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2004 Dodge Durango - First Look: '04 Dodge Durango - Off-Road Insider

Posted in Features on February 3, 2004 Comment (0)
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2004 Dodge Durango - First Look: '04 Dodge Durango - Off-Road Insider
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It's been a long time coming, but the all-new '04 Dodge Durango is here and boasts best-in-class power and a broad-shouldered presence that could only come from Dodge. With more style, more cargo room, and more capability, the '04 Dodge Durango has an excellent combination of interior space, all-new safety features, and an unbeatable 8,950-pound towing capability. With a standard V-6, available 4.7L V-8, and the all-new 5.7L Hemi Magnum V-8, the Durango has a full range of powertrains providing improved fuel efficiency across the board.

"The new Dodge Durango offers increased levels of refinement, safety, and interior room wrapped in a bold new design brimming with Dodge DNA," said Darryl Jackson, vice president of Dodge Marketing at DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "With the market growing for sport utilities with three rows of seating, Dodge has worked to improve the overall packaging of the Durango, and we delivered. The new Durango has all the room you really need, with increased head, hip, and leg dimensions, 102.4 cubic feet of cargo space, and a third row seat that allows seating for seven."

The all-new Dodge Durango has the interior room, and towing and hauling capability of its large sport utility vehicle (SUV) competition, yet provides the fuel efficiency, performance, and handling of the smaller fullsize SUVs. The '04 Dodge Durango is larger than its predecessor; 7 inches longer, 3 inches wider, and more than 3 inches taller. With its third row seat folded and middle row up, the way the majority of three-row-seat SUVs are driven, the '04 Dodge Durango has more cargo room than the previous-generation Durango.

The '04 Dodge Durango is available in three trim levels: ST, SLT, and a new Limited package.

Acdelco Professional Iridium Spark Plugs Are The Latest In High-Performance TechnologyACDelco, a leader in the automotive aftermarket, continues to offer its customers new technologically improved products, as evidenced by the ACDelco Professional Iridium spark plug.

Throughout its 76 years of selling spark plugs, ACDelco has developed a broad range of plugs designed to perform in all types of automotive applications. The ACDelco Professional Iridium plug launches the next generation of high-performance spark plugs.

"Iridium is one of the strongest, densest precious metals on earth," said Michelle Glazier, ACDelco product specialist for spark plugs. "And with a 100,000-mile limited warranty offered by ACDelco, customers can be confident that these spark plugs are built to last."

With a melting point approximately 700 degrees Celsius higher than platinum, ACDelco Professional Iridium spark plugs are able to burn fuel more efficiently and deliver better performance. The ACDelco Professional Iridium spark plug also requires less precious metal for the electrodes than platinum-tipped plugs, while still outperforming them.

"If you look at an iridium tip, it's equivalent to about the size of two pinheads," Glazier said. "It's less drain on the electrical system because it's smaller, and it's a more efficient use of the energy in your vehicle."

Specially designed electrodes on the ACDelco Professional Iridium spark plug increase electric field strength and reduce sparking voltage, resulting in improved cold starting and quick acceleration.

A tapered, cut-ground electrode offers enhanced flame spread during combustion, while a secondary microdischarge of the center electrode burns off carbon deposits, providing superior anti-fouling performance.

Currently, ACDelco Professional Iridium spark plugs are available for certain '02-'03 Chevrolet, Buick, and Pontiac vehicles. Since these vehicles come equipped with iridium plugs, they must be used as the replacement. However, there are some applications where the iridium may be used as an upgrade to the current system.

For more information, visit the ACDelco Web site at acdelco.com.

State of Minnesota, National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, General MotorsKick-off Multi-State E85 Public Awareness CampaignThe Minnesota E85 Team, the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC), and General Motors Corp. announced plans to promote greater use of the ethanol-based fuel E85 as an alternative to gasoline in Minnesota. The announcement was made on the steps of the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota.

E85, which is 85 percent ethanol and just 15 percent gasoline, is made from renewable sources, such as Minnesota-grown corn. Its price and performance are similar to those of regular gasoline, but ethanol is renewable and domestically produced, and its use produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The market for E85 has increased tenfold during the past five years, to about 10 million gallons a year. Minnesota is now home to nearly 90 E85 fueling outlets where E85 is typically priced considerably less than gasoline.

The public awareness effort is part of GM's two-year partnership with the nonprofit NEVC focused on increasing E85 use in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). FFVs may fuel with either E85 or gasoline interchangeably. The direct-mail program, "I Fuel Good," will target owners of '02- '04 GM flexible fuel vehicles by giving them a $30 debit card that can be used to purchase E85 fuel. Owners will also receive E85 informational literature, a list of E85 refueling stations in their area, a window sticker, and a T-shirt. Additionally, participating GM dealers will receive assistance in educating customers about the benefits of using E85. Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado, and Illinois are also participating in the education campaign.

Since 1997, nearly all Minnesota gasoline has been blended with as much as 10 percent ethanol. Currently, economic impact of ethanol in Minnesota is estimated at more than $550 million in output and more than 2,500 jobs. Fourteen percent of Minnesota's corn crop, or 140 million bushels of corn, is made into ethanol and livestock feed annually. Minnesota's 14 ethanol production plants can produce 380 million gallons each year.

"Expanding use of renewable fuels such as E85 is important to our national security, our economy, and our environment," said U.S. Senator Mark Dayton. "It not only reduces our reliance on foreign oil, but also expands demand for Minnesota farm products and is a clean-burning fuel that cuts down on pollution. My mobile office van has traveled thousands of miles on Minnesota's roads using E85 for more than two years. Making it more widely available is a win for our state and a win for the nation."

Approximately 80,000 to 100,000 FFVs have been registered in Minnesota since the late '90s. In addition to the thousands of private FFVs on the road, many government and university fleets use E85, including Hennepin County, the State of Minnesota Motor Pool, St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses), and the City of Minneapolis.

"E85 is a clean-burning, domestically produced alternative transportation fuel that can be used in a growing number of vehicles being produced today," said Phil Lampert, executive director for the NEVC. "Today, ethanol made from corn reduces petroleum fuel use by 98,000 barrels per day and provides jobs for American farmers."

In the future, when it will be made from biomass such as corn and wheat stalks and forestry waste, ethanol has the potential to virtually eliminate automotive greenhouse gas emissions.

GM produces more than a third of the more than 3 million E85 flexible fuel vehicles on American roads. All '02-and-newer Chevrolet and GMC fullsize SUVs equipped with the Vortec 5300 engine are E85-capable, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Specially equipped Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra fullsize pickups also are available with E85 capability.

"E85 is only beginning to become more widely available, and we're pleased to be able to provide consumers with an incentive to try this homegrown alternative fuel and take advantage of the benefits," said Gary Herwick, director of transportation and alternative fuels policy. "We want to educate and encourage industry and consumers to use E85 in their GM flexible fuel vehicles whenever possible."

Cold Weather Triggers Need for Car Care; GM Goodwrench OffersExpert Maintenance TipsColder weather is here, and those lower temperatures drive the need to winterize our trucks. Neglected vehicle maintenance results in nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"Fall serves as a reminder of the importance of vehicle safety," said Doug Herberger, GM North America vice president and general manager of Service and Parts Operations. "We all want our families to be safe and secure on the road, and that begins with proper care and maintenance to ensure your vehicle is performing at its best. While some mechanical failures are unavoidable, most can be traced to poor maintenance and can often be easily prevented." The U.S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating. Low coolant, worn or loose belts, and defective hoses - common causes of breakdown - can be simple for a certified technician or a skilled backyard mechanic to detect and correct.

The Car Care Council reports that 90 percent of the vehicles inspected at check lanes during the last Car Care month failed at least one aspect of the inspection. GM Goodwrench invites consumers to visit one of its local dealers to ensure that their vehicle is up to date on its maintenance needs. The inspections can help to make sure their vehicle is properly serviced so it runs better, lasts longer, retains its value, and provides optimal safety and security.

Key areas to monitor in order to ensure trouble-free winter driving:
OIL Changing oil and filters at recommended intervals minimizes
engine wear and reduces possibilities of internal damage.
FLUID LEVELS Low or high fluid levels - including coolant, oil, power steering, transmission, brake, and even washer solvent - can affect
vehicle performance and safety.
BELTS AND HOSES A broken belt or ruptured hose can cause costly engine damage
and travel delays.
BATTERIES A weak battery can leave you stranded at the worst time and
place.
TIRES It's not just tread life that should be checked; pressure is also
important. Incorrect air pressure can compromise vehicle ride
and control.
BRAKES Only an expert inspection can make sure that your brakes are
functioning properly with full braking capability.
HEADLIGHTS Properly aimed headlamps are a must for helping you see and be
seen.

Hummer and Tread Lightly! Team Up to Restore Recreation Sites and Launch Hummer HelpThe national nonprofit organizationTread Lightly! and General Motors' Hummer division recently announced Hummer Helps, a new partnership under the umbrella of Tread Lightly!'s Restoration for Recreation program aimed to promote socially responsible four-wheeling by enhancing recreational areas and educating the public about responsible outdoor use.

Tread Lightly!, whose mission is to empower generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, received a $100,000 endowment from Hummer to specifically be administered as a grant-giving initiative. The endowment will be distributed to select outdoor enthusiast clubs who are Tread Lightly! members and have pinpointed recreational areas in need.

The Restoration for Recreation endowment was given to Tread Lightly! as part of a program within the Hummer division titled Hummer Helps. The Hummer Helps program was created to recognize Hummer owners who have used their vehicle's capability for acts of humanity, and to sustain the lands where outdoor enthusiasts enjoy off-highway activities.

"Hummers are purpose-built vehicles with superior off-highway capability and many of our owners work to protect the environment for future use," said Mike DiGiovanni, Hummer general manager. "This donation to Tread Lightly! will bring local community volunteers together with federal, state, and local land management agencies to work toward a common goal - enhancing our recreational areas."

"Tread Lightly!'s relationship with Hummer is a collaborative partnership that is long-term in scope because outdoor ethics is a long-term issue requiring long-term solutions by all involved," said Lori Davis, Tread Lightly!'s executive director. "This endowment is a new dimension to this partnership and further demonstrates Hummer's commitment to the environment through education and restoration."

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