NEW FOR 2009:

– New 5.7-litre Hemi V8 with variable valve timing and Multi-Displacement System (MDS) for more horsepower and improved fuel economy
– SLT adds eight Alpine speakers, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, overhead console, Electronic Vehicle Information Centre, automatic headlamps, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, rear courtesy lamps, front and rear aimable lamps, tire pressure monitoring display, body-colour moulding with bright insert, and 276-watt amplifier
– UConnect connectivity buttons removed from entry-level radios when UConnect is not available
– Exterior colours: City Teal added; Marine Blue discontinued

For 2009, the Dodge Durango is basically unchanged, save for new standard or available features. The big change is in the available 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine, which is now revised with the addition of variable valve timing, for more power with improved fuel economy.

The Durango comes with a choice of 4.7-litre flexible fuel V8 or 5.7-litre Hemi V8, both with five-speed automatic transmissions. The 4.7-litre comes with a single-speed four-wheel drive transfer case and can be optioned to the full-time system with low range that’s standard with the 5.7-litre. Three rows of seats are standard equipment.

The SLT comes with 18-inch aluminum wheels, front and rear air conditioning, full-length console, power locks with keyless entry, trailer sway control, floor mats, fog lamps, privacy glass, automatic headlamps, garage door opener, maple woodgrain trim accents, heated mirrors, 115-volt power outlet, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and Sirius satellite radio, black roof rack side rails, Stain Repel seat fabric, eight-way power driver’s seat, 40/20/40 split fold-and-tumble reclining second-row seats, third-row passenger fold-into-floor bench seat, security alarm, cruise control, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, tire pressure monitoring display, one-touch up/down front windows, and front and rear variable intermittent wipers.

An optional SLT Plus package adds 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, power-adjustable pedals, heated leather seats, and 60/40 split-folding third-row seat.

Based on the Dakota pickup truck, the Durango is a big vehicle that will haul a lot of people, but will ask for a fair amount of fuel in return. Its nimble steering and good road manners means it drives more like a big car than a truck. It can optioned to a high level, but if you want to go a step beyond, it’s also sold at Chrysler as the Aspen.

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