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Durango reaches higher plateau

Both engines are what we would consider excessively silky smooth. While the big engine would clearly provide more entertainment and performance for just about every move out on the road, let alone tow capacity, there's nothing wrong with the conservation and ability the second place motors provide. 290 bhp isn't exactly going to under power the truck, unless you partake in daily towing.

Chrysler claims a title it owns is the best-in-class towing of up to 7,400 pounds with V-8 engine, 6,200 pounds with V-6 engine. We believe the bigger engine model would be the better choice for any daily tow customer despite this claim that has yet to be tested out in the field.

As mentioned, new buyers can chose any transmission they'd like, as long as it's the 8-speed automatic equipped with a rotary gear shifter with paddle shifters on the new steering wheel.

But we wouldn't expect this single choice in transmissions to trouble anyone. This gearbox shifts both rock solid and smooth, and with all those gears being keenly spaced, they seem to have a knack for being in the right gear at the right time.

This transmission passed all the usual road tests, like great shifting at full take off speed with the gas pedal planted in the carpet all the way up to that 8th cog. Pushing it hard through tight corners, and even late braking trickery with the left foot while taking tight 45 degree turns and keeping the right foot constantly on the gas again saw the auto-box very cleverly and almost always in the proper gear.

The exterior has a new grill with a floating crosshair design. There are also new front and rear designs with LED DRL's and racetrack taillights. The new touches here greatly improve the truck's overall appearance.

Like the new Dodge Chargers, the side profile of the Durango features powerful shape, which is further exaggerated by muscular fender arches and curves that flow back in through the doors. The glass of the new Durango blends seamlessly into the body, and a body-color rear spoiler significantly reduces drag while adding visual sportiness to the side profile.

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