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2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

4WD 4dr SLT

Starting at | Starting at 13 MPG City - 19 MPG Highway

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  • $34,545 original MSRP
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2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

Bigger than a small SUV, smaller than a full-size, the Dodge Durango is just right for every need--from those who will never leave asphalt, to those who will never see it. The aggressive styling is distinctly Dodge, and in addition to the standard 3.7L V6 and hefty 5.7L Hemi V8, the new flex-fuel 4.7L V8 makes great sense as a blend of both fuel economy and power, and at 303 horsepower, offers nearly 70 more horsepower than the engine it replaces. The Durango's near-9,000-pound towing capacity with the Hemi is best in the class, and acres of interior room make it a smart choice for hauling people and cargo.

What's new for 2009?

The 2009 Dodge Durango lineup gets a new gas/electric Hybrid model. The 2009 Durango HEMI Hybrid uses its 2-mode system that integrates a hybrid-electric drive, which reduces fuel consumption by almost 54 percent, with the brute power of a 4.7L V8. The 2009 will also see more entertainment add-ons and more power for the Hemi V8.

Model Strengths

  • Multiple configurations suit all drivers, from urban to rural
  • strong, aggressive styling
  • excellent towing capacity
  • lifetime powertrain warranty.

Model Review

The 2009 Dodge Durango is available in several trim packages, including the more basic SE, the mid-level SLT, the loaded Limited, and the new Hybrid. All models are available in either 2- or 4-wheel drive, and in automatics of either four or five speeds.

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2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

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Review: 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid

Source: MSN Autos

It's surprising what a decade or so will do to a reputation. In the '90s, the sport-utility vehicle was the bee's knees, a must-have for those who wanted lots of room, plenty of capability and a commanding view of the road. Today the sport-ute is a pariah — a gas guzzling beast that clogs our roadways and spews soot wherever they roam. While the 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid might look like one of those beasts of burden from the past that befouls the environment and costs an arm and a leg to fuel, looks can be deceiving.

The 2009 Durango Hybrid is a different, more sophisticated animal — one that claims to boost city fuel economy by 40 percent and overall fuel economy by more than 25 percent. Some may scoff at an SUV that gets 20 mpg, but it's drastically better than straight gas-powered SUVs, especially in the city, and equivalent to plenty of V6 sedans we've tested. The average HEMI Durango can't even manage 15 miles on one gallon of fuel around town. Which is the better sport ute? We think the answer is clear. Plus, the Hybrid Durango is equipped with a HEMI, so power won't be a problem.

In an untimely and unfortunate turn of events, Chrysler announced in October that financial difficulties will force the company to close the Delaware plant that builds its Durango and Aspen large SUVs — both standard and hybrid versions — in December 2008. For those who want to invest in a limited-edition hybrid that could become an instant collector's item, this is your chance.

Model Lineup
There is only one flavor of the Durango Hybrid, a high-end equipped, all-wheel drive Limited model with just three options: an $850 power sunroof, a $1,765 rear-seat entertainment system and a $455 towing package.

With the exception of three small Hybrid badges and 18-inch chrome wheels wrapped with Goodyear Wrangler SRA 265/60/18 tires, this new Durango's exterior is identical to its gasoline counterpart. If you're an introvert, stay far away because this SUV draws attention.

It starts with the imposing signature crosshair grille that melds into a short hood, which leads to a steeply raked windshield. The result is a close resemblance to the forward section of a Freightliner 3-ton truck. Add to this the exaggerated fender flares and "afterburner" taillights . . . well, you get the picture.

Under the Hood
So how can a 345 horsepower HEMI V8 boost overall fuel economy? It's mostly in the transmission. The Durango's electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) is made up of two 60-kilowatt electric motors, three planetary gearsets and four fixed gears. Somehow everything fits in the same space as the standard five-speed automatic transmission.

Co-developed with General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, the ECVT has two drive modes, thus the moniker "two mode" hybrid. Basically, it can run on electric motor only (as it does in reverse and for low-speed forward trundling) or it can use the electric motor to augment the big gas motor.

In the first mode, during stop-and-go and city drives, the Durango Hybrid can operate with electric power only, gas engine power only or a combination of both. Like other hybrids, the Durango shuts the engine off when the vehicle stops, and a gentle nudge on the accelerator pedal propels the big SUV with the electric motors only up to 25 mph for about two miles.

Juice for the electric motors is supplied by a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack tucked out of the way under the second-row seats. When the vehicle decelerates or brakes are applied, some of that energy is captured and sent to the battery pack.

In the second mode, the 5.7-liter V8 engine is the primary source of motivation with an assist from the electric motors if needed for passing, pulling up a long hill or towing up to a 6,000-pound trailer. The engine features Chrysler's Multi Displacement system. With a little practice on the go pedal, the big HEMI can be coaxed into operating on four cylinders at around 40 mph, and can do so for several miles while gradually increasing speed. On a fairly flat highway, it's not difficult to maintain four-cylinder operation at 70 mph.

Inner Space
For this review, Dodge provided us with a pre-production Durango Hybrid for a family vacation to Southern California. Though the Hall clan (six in total) had its doubts about the roominess of this handsome sport ute, they were dashed by the end of the 10-day, 2,527 mile round trip from Olympia, Washington. In fact, everyone praised the vehicle's size and amenities.

From a driver's point of view, the dashboard presents a nicely designed, no-nonsense layout. Big knobs and controls can be operated easily, the four-spoke steering wheel has a nice feel and front leather bucket seats are never uncomfortable. Snatching a water bottle or snacks can be accomplished without taking eyes off the road.

At 5 feet 4 inches tall, our daughter had no difficulty reaching the pedals or handling the big sport ute when it was her time to drive. She did, however, have a bit of a problem climbing in and out of the vehicle — there's no grab handle for the driver. Access to the third row is a simple affair: lift a lever on the side of either second-row seat and fold it forward. This opens up a good-size aisle.

I did a stint in the third row with my 14 year-old grandson Adam. He's 5-feet 7-inches tall and I'm 5 feet 11 inches, and after a couple hundred miles I didn't feel an urgent need to change seats.

Since this is the Limited edition of the standard Durango, our vacation ride had all of the comfort and convenience features: air conditioning, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat with memory, power front passenger seat, cruise control, a navigation system and Chrysler's MyGIG entertainment system.

By far, the grandkid's favorite feature was the optional rear-seat entertainment package with satellite TV (Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network). For the adults, the power-opening rear hatch was a godsend.

Chrysler has been on a push to upgrade the quality of materials used in its vehicles' interiors. Unfortunately, the Durango hasn't been upgraded, so hard plastic is in abundance. However, clean lines and tasteful details in the cabin at least make it an enjoyable place to spend time.

On the Road
The Durango Hybrid's bones are separate body and frame in the truck tradition. Despite that, it displays a degree of refinement that could endear it to buyers who aren't fond of trucks.

The majority of our miles were clocked on Interstate 5, where the Durango mimicked that of a passenger car, albeit an old-school big sedan — think 1993 Buick Roadmaster. In other words, it's a smooth ride that is never severely harsh. Also, the passenger pod is well isolated from road and mechanical noise, so it's quiet at highway speeds.

Body roll is present but predictable, and the vehicle has a stable feel overall. Steering feedback is reasonably good, with the big rig always going where it's pointed.

There are some quirks in the hybrid system to which drivers (and occupants) have to adjust. With all of the shifting power sources, surges and pauses occur as the vehicle goes through its transitions from electric mode to a combination of electric and gas engine, and then to full-on Hemi power.

EPA rated 19 mpg in town, 20 highway, we averaged 21.3 mpg on our journey. Considering that we added 1,300 pounds of people and stuff to the Durango's 5,600-pound curb weight, that's an impressive number.

Right for You?
In hybrid dress, the Durango has an MSRP of $45,340, including an $850 destination charge. That's $5,000 more than the HEMI-only Limited 4x4. However, there is an estimated $1,800 hybrid tax credit for those buyers who qualify.

If the Durango Hybrid's brash looks aren't your style, the more traditionally styled Chrysler Aspen Hybrid is just $140 more. But with either you'll find a navigation system that is not always intuitive to operate, and an onboard fuel mileage gauge that can't be reset to zero. This means you have to keep a written record of gallons purchased and miles driven for an accurate reading.

Today, full-size SUVs have moved to persona non grata status for most — but not all — consumers. There are folks who ferry around six or seven kids to baseball or soccer games, and those who load up lots of gear and tow a trailer for weekend outings. Their number totals about three-quarters of a million people.

The Durango Hybrid can meet their needs, plus deliver the fuel economy that is close to, or even exceeds, that of the much-touted crossover utility vehicles.

Larry Hall is the editor of Northwest Auto News Service and a freelance journalist based in Olympia, Wash. For more than 20 years, he's covered the automotive industry for numerous trade journals, newspapers and business publications.

Printable Version

2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Handsfree Wireless Opt

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain Unlimited Years/Unlimited Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Dodge Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

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2009 Dodge Durango Sport Utility

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