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Dodge Durango impresses auto technician, wife

Mike Boyd has been a certified automotive technician for more than 35 years. He’s worked on virtually every vehicle on the road during his career. Since moving to Las Vegas from Southern California four years ago, he has been one of the top-rated technicians at Chapman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram on East Sahara Avenue and South Mojave Road.

Melissa Boyd, his wife, was researching new cars online last month when she came across a review and some photos of the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango shown at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. It was love at first sight. She called her husband immediately to gently remind him that she had a birthday coming up soon.

“Sure enough, we wound up in Chapman’s showroom on Melissa’s birthday and drove home in what I now consider to be the finest vehicle that Chrysler has ever built — the 2011 Dodge Durango,” said Mike Boyd. “And I’m saying that because it’s the truth.”

The Boyds said they are particularly impressed with the Durango’s quiet ride, comfortable interior, ease of handling, turning radius and outstanding gas mileage (23 hwy). They also love how well it accommodates their two black Labradors, Crystal and Chelsie.

The redesigned and re-engineered Durango comes with rear- or all-wheel drive, standard seven-person seating, a rich soft-touch and chrome-trimmed interior, and assembly quality that is said to rival or exceed anything else in the segment.

“The Durango’s four trim levels and base-price spread make it extremely competitive with the likes of Ford’s Flex, Expedition and Explorer, as well as Chevy’s Traverse and Tahoe,” said Chapman’s General Manager Don Hamrick. “Seriously, no one’s opinion is more respected around here than Mike’s is and he can’t stop talking about his Durango.”

The new Durango’s Express model includes 18-inch wheels, cloth seats and some surprising features like remote start, three-zone climate control, a fold-flat front passenger seat, trailer-sway control and hill-start assist.

The Crew model adds a 28-gig infotainment system with a nine-speaker Alpine audio and 6.5-inch touchscreen, keyless entry and start, a power liftgate, a roof rack, and the option to add the CrewLux package that brings 20-inch wheels, a Garmin-powered navigation system, leather seating with heaters for the first two rows, rain-sensing wipers and automatic high-beams.

The plush Citadel features ventilated front seats, nappa leather upholstery, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, parking and blind-spot assistance, rear cross-path detection and adaptive cruise control.

The R/T model is equipped much like the Crew but with racier features.

Chapman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram sells and services new and used vehicles. It is located at 3175 E. Sahara Ave. at Mojave Road and can be reached at 702-457-1061 and online at www.VegasDCJ.com.

In addition to its East Sahara location, Chapman also operates Chapman Chrysler Jeep in the Valley Automall in Henderson. Chapman Chrysler Jeep can be reached at 888-207-1687 and online at www.ChapmanChryslerJeep.com.

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