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Photos: 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid

The 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid does a good job of shedding the negative images of big SUVs by getting close to 20 mpg in city driving. It's surprisingly tech-laden cabin offers convenience and entertainment for the driver.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 21 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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.
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Traditional construction

The Durango Hybrid uses traditional body-on-frame construction, making it a suitable towing vehicle even with its hybrid drive train.
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Hybrid drive

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.
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Seven seater

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.
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Four-wheel drive

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.
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Cargo area

The Durango Hybrid works just fine as a hauler, letting you put the rear and middle-row seats down to maximize cargo area.
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Interior materials

Although the interior suffers from some hard plastics, most of the materials are good quality.
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LED cabin lights

One nice tech touch are the LED cabin lights for the middle and front rows.
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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.
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Hybrid gauge

This hybrid gauge is part of the instrument cluster, taking the place of a tachometer.
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Power flow

You can also view the power flow of the hybrid system with this screen on the LCD.
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GPS

The UConnect system uses a hard-drive-based GPS system, allowing for high-detail maps.
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Destinations

We like the destination entry options, which include a feature called My Trips, letting you save a route with multiple destinations.
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Media

You can store music and photos on the navigation system's hard drive. This screen helps you manage stored media.
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Music selection

You can browse music stored on the hard drive by album, artist, and genre.
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CD slot

The CD slot is behind the LCD. You can set the system to rip any CD you put in the slot.
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Audio settings

The sound system uses a digital signal processor, letting you fine tune the audio's sweet spot.
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Audio system

Alpine makes the audio system, which consists of eight speakers, including a subwoofer and center fill. We were generally impressed with the audio quality.
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Hands-free phoning

The Durango Hybrid comes with a voice command-activated Bluetooth hands-free cell phone system.
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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.
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In-car TV

Sirius satellite TV comes with the rear entertainment package. It has three channels of children's programming.

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