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.