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Dodge Durango



  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    is it worth $5000 over six years to have a car you ?absolutely love? than a car that you don?t like as much?

    What about the other $29,000? :-)

    tidester, host
  • cjaubertcjaubert Posts: 17
    I don't understand your question. I am assuming simply a $5K DIFFERENCE in depreciation, with all else being the same. In other words, the $29K will be spent no matter which car you buy.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    the $29K will be spent no matter which car you buy.

    Thanks for clarifying. I didn't pick up on that - I was just focussed on total cost of getting the car you want.

    tidester, host
  • vik66vik66 Posts: 10
    Can somebody tell me how Dodge Durango handles off-road?
    I want to go a little bit more than simple dirty road, but definitely not rock-crawler?
    I was thinking to buy new one, 2004, with skid plates and off-road tires…
    I do not know anybody around who has and went off-road on it, and it’s useless to ask salesperson…
    Thank you for advice…
  • cjaubertcjaubert Posts: 17
    I seem to be the biggest advocate of ’04 Durango’s these days, but I am afraid I have not drive off-road yet. I have the skid plate and the worst thing I did was drive over a parking lot bumper (intentionally) without any problem at all. Sorry I can’t be more help...
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    The April issue of Car and Driver features a full-sized SUV comparison test, and the 2004 Durango comes out on top, just as it did in Motor Trend's March issue.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    I recently bought a 27' travel trailer that weighs 5000 lbs dry and will use it at around 6000 lbs. I am now in the market for something to pull it and I am between the Durango and the Armada (yes, I know about the resonance problem in the Armada and I also know I put the cart before the horse!). I know the Durango Limited 4X4 with a HEMI is rated at 8700, but has anybody actually PERSONALLY towed anything that heavy with it?
    The only review I was able to find on towing (other than regurgitating factory capability) was at They pulled a 6500 lb boat, but only put one sentence in it.
    "After a day of driving the Durango in nearly all trim levels, all three engine options, as well as while towing a 6,500-pound, 26-foot boat with the Hemi, we were surprised at the stability and agility of this truck."
    Not much help, but otherwise a good read. I am also aware of the Moter Trend article (have the mag) and am waiting to get a hold of the Car and Driver one.

  • I posted a message a few months ago about a potential 2002 D R/T purchase. Well, of course after seeing, driving and researching- I had to buy it. I absolutely love(d?) the damn thing, as anyone who saw it would.

    Well, upon noticing some tire wear and steering wheel pull I decided to get my D alligned. Got the call back from the shop saying my upper ball-joints were in rough shape and the lowers are getting there too.

    All I can say is: &%@#!!!! I purposely bought a 2002 as I thought the newer models had hopefully resolved, or, at least would have less ball-joint issues. So, now after owning the truck for 3 months and only 25,000 total miles on it I have to deal with that inevitable Durango curse.

    I absolutely LOVE my D. But I am also pissed that this has happened. Yes, I have the warranty, but will this happen again at 50K? Ughhhhh...
  • brian211brian211 Posts: 69
    Considering an 04 durango. Also looking at other suvs. To those of you who decided to buy one as opposed to an explorer for instance, are you happy with the decision and how has the 04 durango been holding up? How's the 4x4 system on the vehicle?
  • Mid-to-large sized SUVs is a shoppers paridise right now, lots of really good vehicles to select from.

    Through both online research (mostly Edmunds and Consumer Reports) and test drives, evaluated the Tahoe, Envoy, Expedition, 4Runner and 04 Durango.

    Was leaving a Honda CR-V, wife has an Acura MDX.

    Liked the Tahoe, but $ value was just not there compared to it's competition, and I felt the design, ride and overall technology of the mechanics are getting tired and dated.

    Did not like the Envoy, nothing technically wrong with it, just a personal choice.

    Liked a lot of aspects of the 4runner, very nice vehicle all around, the iForce V8 is an incredible engine. But the seats and seating position were not comfortable for my frame. Since I spend about 3 hrs per day in a car, this was an important decision for my personal situation.

    Expedition ended up being my runner-up choice. Nice ride, nice handling, more up-to-date styling and technology than the Tahoe. And prices are reasonable. The only reason it made runner-up and not first place was it's boxy exterior styling.

    I went with the Durango w/Hemi. Liked the styling (you love it or hate it, I loved it), the new innovations that went into it, and the $ value was the best out there. And the Hemi rocks :>>. I was initially concerned about Dodge quality, having been personally burned by a '96 Dodge Caravan that seemed like it needed several thousand dollars work every 20,000 miles. I dumped it for the MDX before it hit 90K miles. But after doing a lot of due-diligence on the new Durango's quality; Checking NHTSA and finding very few complaints or TSBs, searching online and finding that the Newark plant modernization included a lot of quality improvement checks, and going over the vehicle in-person bumper to bumper, I decided to give the *new* Dodge a shot. So far, the bet is paying off. Opposite of what Consumer Reports states, fit, finish, and materials on my vehicle are of good quality. I have no gaps in my dash, or any sharp plastic edges on my seats. Ride is wonderful, handling is great. Zero defects to-date. The bottomless power of the hemi is sweet when you need it. And, I'm very happy to report, my gas mileage is far better than I expected. I am averaging between 17 and 18 MPG highway, and around 13 in city. I know that won't win me any "green" awards for conservation, but I went into the Durango expecting a dismal 12 or 13 MPG based upon CR's findings. They must have towed a house during the entire road test...

    So - I selected the Durango, and am very happy to-date with that decision. I'll keep y'all posted if I find any problems, and how the *new* Dodge handles them if they arise.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
         Excellent response to brian211's question. Right-on-the-money evaluation of the vehicles you listed. I have been extensively researching all of the same vehicles, but narrowed it down to the Durango and the Nissan Armada. I have decided on the HEMI Durango for many of the same reasons as you did and WILL GET ONE as soon as my Lemon Law suit settles on my van.
         The vehicle is well thought out. As far as cargo/passenger space, the only thing the Armada has that the Durango doesn't (that really matters in the real world), is the lift glass in the tailgate. On the Durango, you have to lift the whole gate and rely on a cargo net. But you have 50/50 split bench seats in the Durango that you can't even get on the Armada, so I can live with it. The lift glass is a fantastic feature, but 50/50 split seats are much more useful as the bench in the Armada is really tall in back and is too big for such an "all or nothing" configuration.
         For the price difference and the HUGE difference in ride quality, I think the Durango is worth it. Also, my wife gets migraine headaches and got the start of one while test- driving the Armada - GAME OVER. The vehicle we test drove definitely had the resonance problem you may have heard about. I just don't want to chance it, TSB or not. The Dodge rides MUCH better, it is MUCH quieter, has plenty enough power to get you out of trouble (or into trouble!), and the roll-on acceleration is amazing. Test drive one, you will see. I dropped the hammer on my test drive at 60 mph, looked over my shoulder, changed lanes and had absolutely no idea I was doing 90 mph by midway past the car I was moving around. You have to drive it to see for yourself. Motor Trend commented on this specifically because the Armada won off the line.
         By the way, I know some of you are going to say that the Armada has standard back-up sensors that you can't get on the Durango, but you are wrong. This seems to be the only mistake that Motor Trend made in their write-up. That was a huge sticking point for me and especially my wife as SUVs in general are not the easiest things to back up. To find them,
    - Go to Dodge's website,
    - Select Trucks and SUVs, and click on Durango
    - Go to Build and Price
    - Enter your zip code
    - Select whatever drivetrain and trim model you want
    - click CONTINUE
    - Go into MOPAR ACCESSORIES. It is in the box below Options and click EDIT.
    - Go to Audio Video and Electronics
    - About five items below the DVD system, you will find backup parking sensors for $299 and make the Qty 1.
         If you don't want to pay $300 for it, go to Pep Boys, or an auto store like it, and they have them for around $70, but they won't look as good, but will work.

         Don't get me wrong, I think the Armada is great in its own right and worth at least a look, but the Durango wins hands down FOR ME for now.

         By the way brian211, you specifically asked about the Explorer. Not even in the same class of vehicle. Look at payload and towing alone and you will see the HEMI Durango is 8950 lbs towing to the Explorer's max of 7000 or thereabouts with its top available engine. The Durango has a much more rigid frame and far superior engine, yes, even if you get the V8 in the Explorer, it is only a 4.6L with 239 HP, while the HEMI is 5.7L with 335 HP. Keep in mind, the Durango out-tows and generally took out the Expedition with a 5.4L 260 HP engine, which is the Explorer's big brother! If you haven't read the Motor Trend article, read it here:

    That is my two cents, for what it is worth.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78 eup/index.html

    Under the tab that says 2004 Dodge Durango Review, there are links for Walkaround, Interior, Driving Impression and Summary & Specs. Best article I have found and they towed a 6000 lbs trailer which answered my earlier question. Check it out.
  • trunks1trunks1 Posts: 13
    Does any body think that this is a good idea 4000.000 down at 435.00 a month for 66 months on a base 04durango?????
  • stakeoutstakeout Posts: 173
    in the market for a new SUV.. checking out the Durango ..

    can't find the type of fuel requirement for the Hem-mee.. I noticed it has 9.6:1 compression just a bit more than the 4.7 motor at 9:1 that requires regular...

    does it require unleaded regular or dare I say it.. high test...

    my wife and I both have '01 Subn 4x4's and both leases will be ending very shortly...

    any help appreciated .. thanx
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    in all hemi recommends 89 octane for optimum performance, but also says 87 will work just fine too...
  • stakeoutstakeout Posts: 173
    thanx much

    a number of the so-called 'performance/sport' SUV's require high test like the MDX, X5 etc.. in this day and age of high tech engineering there is no reason for it.. as far as I'm concerned.. :)
  • lucajalucaja Posts: 21
    I'm currently considering an '04 Limited (Hemi) and am hoping someone can explain to me why I would want traction control if the car has automatic AWD. I've received conflicting answers from several dealers already. One dealer suggested that the traction control option is for those who buy the 4X2, which seems to make sense. The other dealer suggested that the AWD wasn't sensitive enough to deal with minimal rear wheel slip--and thus the traction control was a good safety feature (not so sure about that one).

    Incidentally, I'm also considering the Armada (mostly for the more aggressive looks and the additional room) but after checking out the Nissan board (squeaks, rattles, rear-end, resonance issues), I'm not so sure--drove them both, and the Armada seems to drive more like my older Durango, while the '04 feels much tighter.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Sounds like the dealers are just trying to tell you what you "want to hear" to get the deal. Hey, they're salesmen. Bottom line is: traction control is only a $300 option and it will not break the bank. Might even be a break on your auto insurance. If you are worried about it at all, just get it. I am getting it when I order mine. I figure every little bit helping me is a good thing. Safety first when it comes to your family. As far as the four-wheel drive comment by the one dealer, the limited slip in the front wheels is greater when you're in all-wheel drive than when you are in 4 wheel drive otherwise you would have more trouble turning around town. I think that is what he was trying to say. Also, if you don't like traction control in certain situations, you can turn it off. Hope that helps.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    RUN, DON'T WALK!!! ...away from the Nissan Armada. At least until the 2005 comes out, then give it another VERY cautious look. I was between these two vehicles until I started reading the Armada board just like you did. Not too many happy people there. On this board, nobody seems to be complaining about the '04s. Only the ball joints on the older ones. The drivetrain on the '04 is completely different. People here complain about little things like "Why aren't the door handles color matched?" I for one, like that because the color matched door handles on my other care are all scratched up.
  • lucajalucaja Posts: 21
    Thanks for the quick reply---your right $300 doesn't break the bank--but I'd rather not pay for it if its usefulness is rendered moot by the auto-AWD system.

    I think I'll go test drive another one--and try a few take-offs from a dead stop with the wheel turned hard (like exiting a parking lot)--alternating between traction control on/off and see what happens.

    I have the same gut feeling about the Armada--I really wanted to like it (and I do), but there seems to be too many things going on with this first batch--and I'd be kicking myself in the a** if I wind up with one with any of the problems that have been described.

    My 2000 SLT+ served me well (turned it back in off lease last Friday) and I know the '04 is that much better--just a little dissapointed in what I perceive to be a softer look, funny front bumper and kind of bland interior--though the switchgear had a much better tactile feel and fit/finish than the Armada.

    I'll probably order it this week--I was told there's about a 40 day delivery window for new orders.

    Thanks again.
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