Entry Navigation/Commuter Group ($695 -- includes power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, integrated Garmin navigation system, touchscreen audio/navigation interface, digital audio storage, automatic wipers, automatic headlights); Blackberry Pearl Coat ($295).
3,604cc (220 cu-in)
DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
290 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
260 @ 4,800
Five-speed automatic with console shifter
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 3.59; II = 2.19; III = 1.41; IV = 1; V = 0.83; R = 3.16; Final = 3.06
The Durango gets off the line smartly, especially with throttle/brake overlap, but then falls on its face slightly. The V6 revs slowly, especially below 5,000 rpm, but it does rev to 6,300 rpm before shifting. Lack of a six-speed certainly hurt the Durango here. Manual shifting via console lever; no throttle blipping on downshifts, but it will grab gears.
A firm pedal feel and reasonably short stroke. Consistent stopping distances among the six runs -- shortest to longest varied by 5 feet.
Skid pad: Lots of understeer, requiring much throttle correction to keep the Durango on its line with stability control (ESC) turned off. With ESC on, it was just a matter of flooring the throttle and keeping the steering constant. Slalom: The Durango has well-controlled motions, but at the limit, it feels large, weighty and top-heavy. Has good turn-in for the first cone or two, but then understeer makes it hard to keep up. A decent amount of throttle correction is needed. ESC on and off numbers were nearly identical, as there is some intervention at the very limit.