This is my first SUV but my fifteenth or so vehicle. I bought the absolute lowest end stripper model (only a trailer hitch added) and it is still quiet and well equipped. I wanted to be able to tow things and have towed a 1500 lb boat but just this weekend towed my son's Toyota (no, they don't run forever, either) 550 miles. It was very easy! with the 3.7 six, too. Mileage without Toyota: 22.3 MPG; with Toyota behind, 16.3 MPG. Lots of nice features for a trailer tower, too: a carpeted drawer in the back for hitches, balls and tools. Durango really is a bargain! and my wife loves to drive it, too.
Towing capacity (3,700 lbs even with the smallest engine); very quiet; standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes and CD player. Mileage is always at least 17 and sometimes over 22 MPG.
Make the 5 speed automatic standard with the small (3.7) six cylinder. Horn honking takes a lot of effort sometimes.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.