Vehicle Overview
A V-6 and two Magnum V-8 engines are offered, topped by the famed 5.7-liter Hemi. The Hemi V-8 features a Multi-Displacement System that shuts down half the cylinders when they're not needed, which Dodge says improves gas mileage by up to 20 percent.

An electronic stability system and side curtain airbags are standard for 2007. A new grille, hood, front fenders and headlights are present, but the Durango looks much like it did last year. SLT models have standard YES Essentials seat fabric that Dodge claims is stain-, odor- and static-resistant. SLT and Limited models have a standard tire pressure monitoring system.

Dodge promotes the Durango's "broad-shouldered presence," starting with a familiar crosshair grille. The SUV features short front and rear overhangs, a dramatically sloped windshield and what Dodge calls "powerful" wheel arches. Silver tubular side steps go on the Adventurer model. Durangos have standard 17-inch aluminum wheels, but 18-inch and new 20-inch wheels are also available. The exterior mirrors are larger for 2007.

Durangos can hold up to eight occupants when equipped with three rows of seats. A five-person configuration is also offered. Newly optional for 2007 are bucket seats for the second row.

Cargo volume behind the third row is 19 cubic feet; that space grows to 102.4 cubic feet when both rear seats are folded down. Second-row occupants get reclining seats, and an optional DVD entertainment system is available. Reversible slush mats are included in the Adventurer model, which has a rubberized, washable cargo liner. A navigation system is available.

Under the Hood
The base engine is a 210-horsepower (estimated), 3.7-liter V-6. A 4.7-liter V-8 that produces an estimated 235 hp and 300 pounds-feet of torque is optional, and it can run on ethanol-based E85, regular unleaded gasoline or a combination of the two. Durango buyers can also choose a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that cranks out an estimated 335 hp and 370 pounds-feet of torque.

A four-speed automatic transmission teams with the V-6, but V-8 models drive a five-speed automatic. Durangos come with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Dodge promises up to 8,950 pounds of towing capacity when properly equipped.

All-disc antilock brakes include electronic brake-force distribution. An electronic stability system and roll-sensing side curtain airbags that protect occupants in all rows of seats are standard. Rear parking assist is optional.

Driving Impressions
Steering is lighter than expected, and a comparatively soft suspension translates to an especially comfortable ride. This SUV can get a little woozy through repeated curves.

Handling is less than ideal, even on the expressway, as the Durango is a little too inclined to edge out of its lane. Suspensions differ among the three engine choices, but not dramatically.

Response from the Hemi V-8 is less vigorous than expected. Automatic transmission reactions are better with the V-6, which is a little noisier when pushed. The 4.7-liter V-8 might be a good compromise, but flooring the gas too often results in delayed, modest acceleration.