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2009 Dodge Durango Review

Despite a comfortable ride and adequate handling, many reviewers said the 2009 Dodge Durango isn't as able a performer as other used midsize SUVs. With cramped second and third rows, an aging interior and exterior design and poor fuel economy, test drivers said most shoppers will be able to find a better family SUV.

Pros & Cons

  • Family-friendly interior features
  • Strong V8 engines
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Rough on-road ride
  • Poor fuel economy




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Dodge Durango Overview

The Dodge Durango ranks near the bottom of the 2009 midsize SUV class for its poor fuel economy, as well as its low interior quality and uncomfortable ride. However, shoppers who need a five- or seven-seat family SUV that’s strong on towing may still find some things to like about the Durango.

Reviewers noted that the Durango’s available V8 engines are strong, with plenty of power for heavy-duty hauling or highway driving. However, its standard V6 didn’t have enough power to satisfy most test drivers. Plus, the Durango’s traditional body-on-frame platform means that it lacks the refined ride of more modern, car-based crossovers.

The five-seat 2009 Dodge Durango comes standard with rear-wheel drive and a V6 engine. A third row was available on base SE and SLT trims and standard on the Limited trim. One available feature the Durango offered that most other SUVs didn’t is Sirius Backseat TV, which is a satellite TV system with a few kids’ channels that was an option on SLT and Limited trims. If you get a four-wheel drive Durango, you’ll get the 4.7-liter V8 engine standard. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine was optional on SLT and Limited trims.

See the full 2009 Dodge Durango specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the 2009 Dodge Durango’s rugged, up-for-anything capabilities but want a smooth on-road ride, take a close look at the 2009 Ford Explorer. The Explorer’s available V8 engine isn’t quite as powerful as the Durango’s, but test drivers were impressed by the Explorer’s array of available features, like power-folding third-row seats. The Explorer provides similarly burly capabilities to the Durango, but in a more civilized package.

Shoppers considering the Durango for on-road family duty should consider a crossover like the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. It has more cargo space than most SUVs in its class, and reviewers praised the Traverse for its sleek styling, eight-seat capacity and smooth, quiet ride. The Traverse’s V6 engine also gets significantly better fuel economy than the Durango, and it has excellent safety scores. The Traverse is no brawny off-roader like the Durango or Explorer, but it’s much more manageable and comfortable for drivers who plan to use their SUV for car pool rather than the muddy trail.

Compare the Durango to the Explorer and Traverse »

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