Customers have the option between Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and Chrysler's venerable 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. (Interestingly, Dodge press materials continue to use the Hemi name to describe its V-8, while it recently said it would discontinue the use because the Hemi is associated with poor fuel economy). While Dodge is still mum on output, we suspect power figures similar to the Grand Cherokee, with which it shares engines. In the Grand Cherokee, the V-6 delivers 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, with 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque available from the V-8. In an effort to help sooth Hemi fuel-efficiency concerns, Dodge is pushing its Multi-displacement system (MDS), which can shut down four of the Hemi's cylinders in certain situations. The Durango's V-6 will be able to tow 6200 pounds, where the more powerful V-8 can handle 7400 pounds. Rear-wheel drive comes as standard equipment, and the sole transmission choice is a five-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional with either engine. Unsurprisingly, there's no mention of a hybrid version, as Dodge's last attempt at a Durango hybrid barely made it to dealers before it was cancelled. But Dodge did say that certain models of the Durango will have a range of some 500 miles to a tank.
Similar to the Grand Cherokee, the Durango will be loaded with the latest safety equipment and technology. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning are all optional safety equipment. Active head restraints and side curtain airbags for all three rows come standard. The vehicle pictured is the Citadel trim level, which is rumored to sit atop the base Express and midlevel Crew trim levels.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but we expect a two-wheel-drive Express to retail just south of $29,000, including destination. A top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive Citadel, similar to the one shown here, will likely go for around $44,000. By comparison, a base-level, two-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee Laredo starts at $30,995, while the top-end all-wheel Overland retails for $42,690.
The all-new Durango is set to make its first public appearance Labor Day weekend at the Virginia Beach half-marathon as the pace vehicle, accompanied by Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles. Dodge says we can expect to see the new Durango in dealer showrooms sometime in the last quarter of the year, probably close to Thanksgiving.