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Durango reaches higher plateau

With claimed best-in-class power, towing ability, and fuel economy, and neat tech touches like 8-speed automatic transmissions that make their way onboard every model, the new Durango seems a lot of truck for the money.

The entry-level SXT model comes in at $29,795, with the high end Citadel reaching $40,995. In between there is the Rallye ($32,990), the Limited ($39,995), and the R/T ($38,995).

There are two mills available. The 3.6 litre will pump out anywhere from 290 to 295 horsepower, but the R/T model, with 5.7 litres of cylinder space cranks an impressive 360 bhp and 390 lb-ft of torque.

Fuel economy for the 6-banger is18 / 25 (city / highway) on the RWD vehicles, but drops a minute amount to 17 / 24 on the AWD trucks. As you'd imagine, MPG for the thirsty 5.7 litre Hemi falls significantly to 14 / 23 for the RWD vehicles, and 14 / 22 for the AWD's. In addition to the company laying claim to best-in class fuel economy, and they say the V-6 driving range is capable of 600 miles on a single tank of fuel.

The automaker claims the figures for gas mileage from the previous models between 10 and 15 percent, partly due to the vehicles featuring a new Eco Mode that contributes greatly to this improved fuel economy.

Eco Mode optimizes the transmission's shift schedule, as well as throttle sensitivity. Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder deactivation in V-8 models to maximize fuel economy. It also manages interactive deceleration fuel shut-off, which cuts fuel delivery when the vehicle is coasting to reduce fuel consumption.

Further, Eco Mode is automatically engaged upon vehicle startup. A button on the Durango's center stack allows drivers to disengage Eco Mode if more spirited performance is desired.

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