What Changed for 2009:
- New Hybrid model with Hemi V-8 engine and two electric motors
- Hybrid provides 25-percent increase in fuel economy and 385 hp
- Next-generation Hemi V-8 engine offers 356 hp
- UConnect GPS now has 30-gigabyte hard drive
- Sirius Backseat TV available with rear DVD entertainment system
- Base SXT model replaced by SE
Dodge introduced the Durango SUV in 1998 and redesigned it for the 2004 model year. The Durango is sized between midsize SUVs such as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Toyota 4Runner and full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia. The Durango also provides the truck-based body-on-frame platform for Chrysler's Aspen.
The Durango offers seating for up to 8 passengers with an available third-row seat. With both rows of rear seats folded, it has 102.4 cubic feet of cargo volume. It has 68.4 cubic feet of space with the third-row seats folded, and there is enough distance between the wheel wells to accommodate 4-foot by 8-foot sheets of plywood. Rear- or all-wheel drive (RWD or AWD) are offered. A hybrid model joins the lineup for 2009.
The 2009 Dodge Durango comes in SE, SLT, Limited and Hybrid models, with seating configurations for 5, 7 or 8 passengers. Standard features on the SXT include air conditioning; tilt steering wheel; cruise control; cloth upholstery; front bucket seats; 40/20/40 folding second-row seat; power windows, exterior mirrors and door locks; remote keyless entry; 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo; roof rails; fog lamps; and P245/70R17 on-/off-road tires on steel wheels. The SLT model adds stain-resistant seat fabric; leather-wrapped steering wheel; 8-way power driver's seat; reclining second-row seats; 2-passenger third-row folding bench seat; 6-disc CD changer; Sirius satellite radio; 115-volt outlet; security alarm; automatic headlights; electronic vehicle information center; and P265/60R18 on-/off-road tires on alloy wheels. Limited models have automatic climate control; leather upholstery; heated front seats; 4-way power passenger seat; power-adjustable pedals; heated power mirrors; memory for the driver seat, mirrors, radio, climate control and pedals; auto-dimming rearview and driver's side mirrors; 3-passenger third-row 60/40-split folding seat; Alpine 8-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; rear park assist; rearview camera; Chrysler's UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link; power liftgate; and P265/50R20 on-/off-road tires on chrome alloy wheels. The Hybrid is equipped like the Limited, but it also adds a universal garage door opener and Dodge's UConnect GPS navigation system and hard drive radio.
Options on the 2009 Durango include a sunroof; heated second-row bucket seats; remote engine starting; rear DVD entertainment system with available Sirius Backseat TV; and a towing package.
Four powertrain choices are offered on the 2009 Dodge Durango. The RWD SE model has a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that makes 210 hp at 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. It comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission. AWD SE and all SLT models have a 4.7-liter V-8 engine that delivers 303 hp at 5650 rpm and 330 lb.-ft. of torque at 3950 rpm. It can run on E85 ethanol, gasoline, or a mixture of the two fuels. Standard for the Limited and optional for the SLT is the next generation of the revived Dodge 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. It now produces 356 hp at 5600 rpm, up from 335 hp, and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. The Hemi engine features Dodge's Multi-Displacement System that shuts down four of the eight cylinders when they're not needed. Both V-8 engines use a 5-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway for the V-6 or the 4.7-liter V-8 engine and RWD; 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway with the 5.7-liter engine and RWD; 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway with the 5.7-liter engine and AWD; and 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway with the 4.7-liter engine and AWD.
Dodge developed the Durango's 2-mode hybrid system with General Motors, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It features the Hemi 5.7-liter V-8 engine teamed with a new electrically continuously variable transmission (ECVT). The ECVT has two electric motors and four fixed gears. One of the motors aids power at low speeds and the other at highway speeds. Total output is 385 hp. Regenerative braking charges the batteries. Dodge estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg city/19 mpg highway. Properly equipped, a 5.7-liter RWD Durango can tow up to 8950 pounds, but the Hybrid can tow only 6000 pounds.
The Hybrid and models equipped with the 4.7-liter V-8 engine have a single-speed transfer case that provides AWD and AWD \"high\" operating modes. A 2-speed transfer case is standard with the available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. It features an AWD mode and AWD \"high\" and \"low\" modes.
Standard on all 2009 Dodge Durango models are dual-stage front air bags; head-protecting side curtain air bags that cover all three seating rows and have rollover sensors; a tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution; traction control; Dodge's Trailer Sway Control; and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Rear park assist and a rear back-up camera are standard on Limited and Hybrid and optional on SLT models. Dodge's Trailer Sway Control monitors the vehicle's intended path and uses a yaw sensor to detect sway. It reduces engine torque and works with the anti-lock brake system to apply braking to individual wheels to keep the vehicle on its intended path when towing, Dodge explains.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Durango 5 stars for the driver and front passenger in frontal impacts, 3 stars for rollover resistance with RWD, and 4 stars for rollover resistance with AWD. The Durango has not been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Like other hybrid systems, the Durango's gasoline engine turns off at stoplights and restarts when needed. With light throttle, the Durango Hybrid can run on electric power alone up to 25 mph. With heavier throttle, the gasoline engine starts. On the inside, the Durango Hybrid has a power gauge that shows when the electric motors are aiding power or being charged. The power gauge also has a green \"economy\" zone that drivers can use to aim for optimal fuel economy.
The Durango Hybrid model comes with Dodge's UConnect GPS as standard equipment. UConnect GPS includes a navigation system, a 6.5-inch touch screen, and a 30-gigabyte hard drive to hold music and picture files, as well as navigation map information. The navigation system can be controlled with voice activation, even when the vehicle is in motion, and also has real-time traffic. The optional rear DVD entertainment system is available with Sirius Backseat TV, which has three children's channels: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. DVDs and TV can be played on the front navigation screen when the vehicle is in Park.