NEW FOR 2008:

– Revised 4.7-litre V8 engine
– Trim levels revised to one trim line
– New full-time AWD single-mode transfer case replaces full-time AWD system on 4.7-litre
– Second-row 40/20/40 fold-and-tumble bench seat now standard
– New SLT Plus Group, including interior convenience package, heated leather seats, leather-wrapped wheel and 60/40 split bench rear seat
– Standard automatic oil change indicator message
– Available front and rear movable LED lights, backup camera, tire pressure monitoring display, rear cargo organizer, MyGIG entertainment stereo, Technology Group II package, Convenience Group package
– Exterior colours: Light Sandstone Metallic replaces Light Khaki Metallic

For 2008, the Dodge Durango receives a revised, flexible-fuel 4.7-litre V8 engine; horsepower increases from 235 in 2007 to 303, while torque jumps from 300 lb-ft to 330. The previous line-up of SLT, Adventurer and Limited is pared down to a single trim line of SLT, with available options, including an SLT Plus package.

Two engines are available, both V8s: the flexible-fuel 4.7-litre, and a 5.7-litre Hemi with multi-displacement system (MDS), which seamlessly shuts off half the cylinders under light load for improved fuel economy. Both engines use a five-speed automatic transmission. The 4.7-litre uses a full-time single-mode AWD system; the 5.7-litre comes with a full-time AWD system with low range.

The Durango’s three rows of seats include a second-row 40/20/40 reclining fold-and-tumble bench, and a fold-flat, third-row bench that can be optioned into a three-passenger 60/40 split bench.

Features on the Durango SLT include 18-inch aluminum wheels, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, YES Essentials stain-resistant fabric, power eight-way driver’s seat, full-length front console, power locks, electronic stability program with traction control, electronic roll mitigation and trailer sway control, floor mats, fog lamps, heated mirrors, 115-volt power outlet, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, SIRIUS satellite radio, power locks with keyless entry, roof rack side rails, security alarm, cruise control, tilt column, power windows and front and rear variable intermittent wipers.

Features available as options or in packages include power-adjustable pedals, laminated side glass, garage door opener, trailer tow package, power liftgate, backup camera, MyGIG entertainment stereo, heated seats, leather seats, skid plates, remote starter and 20-inch wheels.

Based on the Dakota pickup truck, the Durango is a big vehicle that will haul a lot of people, but with a corresponding thirst for fuel. It drives more like a big car than a truck, with fairly nimble steering and good road manners. It can be outfitted into a very well-optioned vehicle, but should you want to go one step up, it’s also sold at Chrysler as the higher-level and more chrome-laden Aspen.

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