Durango get ’em

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Durango get ’em

IT SOUND’S LIKE a hero from a 1960s Saturday morning Wild West TV serial; (‘how will Dodge Durango escape the dastardly Crimson Bandit this week?’) and in some ways the Durango exudes the same traits as a dashing cowboy, hell-bent on bringing law and order to his dusty little town.

By David Light (david@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Sat 20 Aug 2011, 10:02 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:36 AM

It’s great looking, powerful, can venture onto any terrain and emerge unscathed and can keep a multitude of people safe and secure whilst entertaining them with a few tricks.

The Durango’s unibody structure is more than 25 per cent more rigid than its predecessor, which also means it’s tough. The end result is a vehicle with crossover versatility, SUV capability and enhanced performance compared to anything else its competitive class.

The unibody structure is built with a selection of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels that improve driving dynamics by integrating the suspension with the body - reducing flex when compared with the previous body-on-frame design. In fact, 52 per cent of the Durango’s structure is made from these advanced steels. More than 5,500 welds and 4,100 mm of arc welding contribute to rigidity levels greater than the leading premium SUVs.

The Durango is available with two powertrains that provide rear-wheel-drive performance and fuel efficiency. Engines available include the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, delivering 290hp and 5.7-litre HEMI V8, which produces 360hp - both engines feature variable valve timing (VVT). When equipped with the Pentastar V6, the Durango can drive more than 800 km on a tank of petrol.

Created by the same interior design studio that designed the inside of the new Ram trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Durango’s upscale interior materials and thoughtful design will make you want to jump in, hunker down and thoroughly enjoy even the longest drive.

From the steering wheel all the way back to the soft third row armrest, Durango passengers will feel materials that are to everyone’s taste. Not only is the interior a pleasure to be in, it is extremely functional and gives owners a first-class experience, regardless of the trim level. Durango’s interior is also extremely comfortable for all three rows of passengers, and there’s a surprising amount of interior flexibility.

The instrument panel features a beautifully crafted monotone or two-tone appearance with a dark upper and lighter lower colour and premium soft-touch materials for all price classes.

The result of all these elements is a superlative drive. Not only is the Durango quick and luxurious, the steering responsiveness must be noted. It’s an extremely large car, yet even along the tight roads by the Creek in Deira you feel as if you’re driving an executive saloon. On the highway the car can hold its own with anything else on the road, such is the efficiency of the engine and in the corners, the expected body-roll you get with many SUVs was non-existent. First class.

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