The Dodge Durango is a sport utility vehicle or SUV that was originally manufactured by the Dodge division of Chrysler. The first and second generations of this vehicle shared many similar components, features, and design characteristics which were primarily based on the Dodge Dakota. Both of these vehicles features a body-on-frame construction and were similarly produced at the Newark Assembly plant in Newark, Delaware. One of the most noticeable differences between these two vehicles is that while the first generation of the Durango was classified as a mid-size SUV, the second one was designed to be a full-size.
The third generation of the Durango was built on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, including a unibody construction which was put together at Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. It is still, however, classified a full-size SUV. Originally, the Dodge Durango was marketed as a rugged and sturdy SUV which could hold up to eight passengers at once with the ability to tow 8,950 lb, properly equipped of course. The 4.7 liter PowerTech V8 engine that this vehicle used was eventually replaced by the 5.2 liter Magnum V7 engine.
In 2007 the Durango received a major facelift and as a result sales came to a grinding halt for a bit. The newly redesigned Durango was put on display at the Dallas Auto Show in April of 2006. This new and improved SUV featured a redesigned hood, grille, wheels, headlamps, and fenders. Some of the new features that come with this model include a sophisticated tire pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control, one-touch turn signal, and rear park assist. This model also had a completely reworked floor as well as an electrical system which was a precursor for the 2009 hybrid version.
Due to a decline in sales and a demand for full size SUVs, Chrysler announced that they would effectively be shutting down the Newark Assembly facility in October of 2008. Production of this vehicle finally came to an end on December 19, 2008. Chrysler then started to focus more on producing hybrid vehicles to draw in the “green” eco-friendly market of consumers. The Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid was a true innovation for this company and their very first hybrid to ever be produced.
This vehicle featured a 345 horsepower 5.7 liter Hemi engine with MDS along with a Two-Mode Hybrid system which was developed by General Motors and BMW together. The total output of the engine in this vehicle is 385 horsepower, though because of the increased weight and taller final-drive ratio, it is somewhat slower than some of the other non-hybrid Hemi trucks. The new Durango-Aspen hybrid has a fuel mileage of about 20 miles per gallon, with 16 mph in the city and 19 mph on the highway. The hybrid quickly became available for purchase at dealerships across the country in early October, receiving around 3,000 pre-orders from a number of dealers.
Chrysler made the decision to bring back the Dodge Durango, putting it into its third generation. Teaser photos of this vehicle were released in August of 2010. This new Durango was built alongside the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Jefferson Ave. Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. This third generation Durango shares much of its design and components with the Grand Cherokee, including the powertrains, chassis parts, and running gear. There are two new engines available with the third gen Durango, including the base engine which is a 3.6 liter V6 capable of 290 horsepower. There is also the Pentstar V6 which works with a Mercedes W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission.