Is The Dodge Durango Really The Standard Bearer For American Performance?

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Dodge Durango: American Performance?

Dodge Durango: American Performance?

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Performance does seem to be under threat of regulation into non-existence sometimes, what with 54.5 mpg CAFE standards, the anthropogenic global warming crowd, and even our own wallets asking us if we really need all that horsepower and speed every time we head to the pump. But is an SUV really the thing to pull us out of this tailspin?

First off, let us recognize the fact that the new Dodge Durango is a pretty impressive upgrade over the previous model, as is its corporate cousin, the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Excellent exterior designs, high-grade interiors, good road manners, solid off-road capability, it's all there.

There's even an SRT8 version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, as much as Chrysler might try to hide it. But can these too-tall, occasional off-roaders really be premised on the rebirth of American performance--especially when they're owned by an Italian company, produced from a semi-German platform, and not nearly as impressive as Chrysler's own stable of two- and four-door SRT cars?

The commercial below makes precisely that claim, and even the Dexter-inflected voice of Michael C. Hall can't quite make us believe it. What do you think? Is this real American performance, or just real American ... marketing? For that matter, are these the only SUVs to remember the "Sport" part of the name? Give us your take in the comments.

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