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Dodge Durango SRT. Photo: FCA

Over the long holiday weekend, my family and I were tooling around the New Hampshire Lakes region in a white Dodge Durango SRT with bright blue racing stripes and black wheels.

What they're saying: The consensus of family and friends: it's one of the ugliest cars they'd ever seen (though it's not hard to see that my family is not the target audience for this vehicle.)

  • The Durango SRT is a hot-rod version of a family-hauling SUV, with a 475-horsepower HEMI V-8 engine — maybe a way to appease Dad when Mom wants a minivan.

Driver assistance technology is an afterthought: You have to pay $2,395 extra to add adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and lane departure warning.

One feature that really helps drivers but is often overlooked in any car are the headlights.

  • The Durango SRT's excellent automatic high-beams were a big help at night spotting deer and a bear on the winding backwoods roads.
  • They come with an auto-leveling system that adjusts the beams based on the pitch of the car and automatically dim when they detect an oncoming car.

The bottom line: At $76,645, however — the kind of money you'd spend on a Volvo equipped with more safety and driver-assistance technology — there are probably more practical choices than a tricked-out Durango.

Go deeper

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.