2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid
Dodge releases a hybrid version of its full-size Durango SUV for 2009. This truck uses a hybrid system co-developed by Daimler, GM, and BMW.
The Durango Hybrid uses traditional body-on-frame construction, making it a suitable towing vehicle even with its hybrid drive train.
The gas engine and electric motor have a combined estimated horsepower of 380. The Durango has a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 but can drive at low speeds under electric power.
As a full-size SUV, the Durango Hybrid can seat seven and still has cargo space. We like the styling, which has some curvy lines.
Although Dodge offers the Durango model line in many different configurations, the hybrid version can only be had in the top Limited trim with four-wheel drive.
The Durango Hybrid works just fine as a hauler, letting you put the rear and middle-row seats down to maximize cargo area.
Although the interior suffers from some hard plastics, most of the materials are good quality.
LED cabin lights
One nice tech touch are the LED cabin lights for the middle and front rows.
Steering wheel controls
One of our complaints about the Durango Hybrid are the lack of phone and voice command buttons on the steering wheel. There are audio control buttons on the backs of the horizontal spokes.
This hybrid gauge is part of the instrument cluster, taking the place of a tachometer.
You can also view the power flow of the hybrid system with this screen on the LCD.
The UConnect system uses a hard-drive-based GPS system, allowing for high-detail maps.
We like the destination entry options, which include a feature called My Trips, letting you save a route with multiple destinations.
You can store music and photos on the navigation system's hard drive. This screen helps you manage stored media.
You can browse music stored on the hard drive by album, artist, and genre.
The CD slot is behind the LCD. You can set the system to rip any CD you put in the slot.
The sound system uses a digital signal processor, letting you fine tune the audio's sweet spot.
Alpine makes the audio system, which consists of eight speakers, including a subwoofer and center fill. We were generally impressed with the audio quality.
The Durango Hybrid comes with a voice command-activated Bluetooth hands-free cell phone system.
External audio and video
Audio and video jacks are set in the back of the console, along with an AC jack, suitable for plugging in an external device such as a game system.
Sirius satellite TV comes with the rear entertainment package. It has three channels of children's programming.