Dodge Durango



  • my3sonsmy3sons Member Posts: 3
    My wife and I own a 99 Durango 5.2L ( bought used from dealership w/ 21K miles in Nov 00) that we have had nothing but trouble with specifically related to the coolant system. (Water pump, thermostat 2x, freeze plugs, Plemon gasket, etc.) However, we love the vehicle from all other perspectives. We are looking to get out from under this one (62K miles) before any more $ is dumped into it. We have read on other forums that others experienced similar issues with the 99 but haven't heard much about the 03. (We don't like the style of the 04 so that is out) We are trying to decide if we should go with a very low miles 03 but don't know whether we will be faced with the same thing all over again? Or even better if any one knew of new 03s that a dealer is trying to off load, then at least we wouldn't be inheriting anyone else's problem child.

    Any advice?
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    There are still new '03 Durangos out there. A quick search at for a new 2003 Durango "any distance" from your zip code should return 100+ results. I just tried it from my zip code and got 134 results. Most appear to be highly optioned SLT models and a few R/T's. However, considering they will soon be 2 years old, I would imagine the dealers would be willing to make someone quite an attractive offer. There were also a couple of dealer Demo's listed as well.

    I have had my '03 SXT 4x4 since October of '03 and now have almost 12,000 miles on it. I like the truck very much and it has only needed routine maintenance. I did get my first recall notice today in the mail, but it is nothing major...Dodge wants to replace the front wiper motor due to a potential design flaw. I will get it done eventually...maybe next month sometime when it goes in for its annual state inspection.

    Our neighbors have a first year Durango with well over 120K miles on it. They have admittedly had some problems, but continue to use theirs as a daily driver.
  • my3sonsmy3sons Member Posts: 3
    Thanks Ryster. I did that exact search last night and found a couple that I might be interested in. Closest one ~600 miles away. I am still interested if there are other people out there that have the Rango w/4.7L (00-03) and whether that was a significant overall improvement. Also did this engine change require a major change to the overall drive train?
    Still a little gun shy but we might be convinced if we can believe that we just got stuck with lemon.

  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    In terms of a drivetrain change, starting in the '02 model year Dodge went to a 5-speed automatic in the Durangos. Not sure what other hardware changes went along with the tranny change.

    The Durangos are not reknowned for their stellar reliability, but they are no worse than a comparable Explorer/Mountaineer or Blazer/Trailblazer/Envoy.

    Personally, if I had bad luck with any kind of vehicle I would probably not buy another one. There is no guarantees when it comes to vehicles.
  • denimo1denimo1 Member Posts: 13
    I've just put a K+N aircharger on my 04 hemi Durango and while the power is up, so is the engine noise!

    I knew there'd be some induction roar but the ticking and other noises are really noticeable even on a steady throttle, my 04 truck now sounds like an 80's one with 300,000 on the clock. Any thoughts?

  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    let me know if you get better gas mileage with the k&N in, as far as the ticking noise, i have it to, when i brought it in they said its the pulse of the fuel injectors, so i left it at that
  • trashguytrashguy Member Posts: 1
    Our family just increased by two with twins, and we need to upgrade the family car. All along we have been looking at the new Durango, but I am wondering what size engine I should get. It is a stretch on our budget to get the Hemi. Most of our driving is on the interstate, so I want the truck to be quick out of the exits. We also will not be towing anything more than 2 tons, so I wonder if we really need the bigger engine.

    Any advice?
  • danohdanoh Member Posts: 26
    I test drove Durangos with both engines. I liked them both.
    in the end, it came down to what was on the lot with the options i wanted.
     I was easily able to deal to edmunds tmv for the truck (plus the 3500 rebate).
    You cant go wrong with the "base" 4.7. Plenty of power for the interstate.
    I wouldnt go broke over a hemi - but drive one of each and decide for Yourself.
    Its a great truck - enjoy!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,117
    A reporter is looking for a person who bought a new redesigned Dodge Durango in the past two months. Please respond to [email protected] by Tuesday, August 17, 2004.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • bgfflbgffl Member Posts: 2
    I've owned a 2000 and a 2002 with the 4.7 and just bought a 2004 Limited with the 4.7. I notice a little less power on hills than my '00 and '02 had but I'm still very happy with the 4.7. I'm currently getting 15.6 MPG around town but have not taken it on any long trips yet. I had to search around a bit to find a Limited with the 4.7. It seems the majority of Limiteds I have seen have the Hemi.
  • beck1beck1 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying the same exact vehicle to pull a 7500lb trailer. I am debating on whether it is the right vehicle. After reading your excellant article I don't think it is!!! I was originally looking at a 2500 Suburban, but was afraid of the gas mileage.
  • princeabubuprinceabubu Member Posts: 45
    The 04 Durango Hemi we have is getting 11.5 around town. It has about 4500 miles on it as of now. Should I expect and imporvement? Or is this as good as it's going to get? The EPA estimate is a bit off... But what do they know...
  • ajsajs Member Posts: 1
    Hi... I'm in Michigan too.
    Where did you get your 04 Limited for $25,517.?
    What goodies did you get?
    I plan to buy in a couple of weeks.
    Also, do you think that the Hemi is worth the poor gas mileage if I'm not going to be towing very often. Does re-sale come into play in that decision?
    Thanks for any ones input!
  • califjohncalifjohn Member Posts: 101
    does anyone know if the Durango will get the new variable displacement system now used on the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum, and Jeep Grand Cherokee (2005) Hemi's? If it works as advertised (i.e. "seamless" transition between 4 cyl and 8 cyl operation)the system would be a real plus for fuel economy on the highway. I have read that a 20% increase is expected for highway travel, and that would put the Durango right at the top of my short list.
  • twinbladesztwinbladesz Member Posts: 104
    Went to 2 different Dodge dealers over the past couple of days. The first dealer didn't have the color my mother wanted the Light Khaki Limited with just the heated seats. After sitting there for almost 2 hours we got the sales manager down to $29,995 in Graphite with the 4.7 liter. We went to the second dealer and they had Light Khaki with and without the Hemi. We told him to put us in this truck he had to beat the price from the other dealer. He gave us a price of $27,995. Later on we got my mom from work and brought her to the dealer for a test drive. I have to say it rides really good even over some torn up NYC streets. The 2nd row seats were very comfortable and my wife and I weren't thrown around riding through the bumps. I test drove it after she was done and liked responsiveness and the way the steering wheel felt while going over those craters lol. She kept telling me to slow down but I wasn't driving it any different then the way I normally drive heheh. If the guy plays his cards right my wife and I might pick up an Atlantic Blue Limited with a few more options along with a 300 in a little while. Although the one we test drove had a Hemi badge on the liftgate my parents are supposed to get the 4.7 liter and the Salesperson said that particular one was supposed to be the 4.7. If its a snafu and they get the 5.7 for that price that would be great. Then again I cant keep up with my mom now imagine if she gets that 335HP engine rofl.
  • twinbladesztwinbladesz Member Posts: 104
    There is a Navigation system offered by Mopar. I think you would have to see the parts manager on how to get it installed. When I would build and Price the Durango it was part of the Mopar Accesories. It was a 6 disc MP3 CDplayer and a DVD Navigation system all in one unit for $1799. For some reason its disappeared from the website so it might be waiting for the 05 Model Year before it comes back.
  • keeferbkeeferb Member Posts: 81
    Can anyone tell me if the 04 Durango transmissions make that 'buzzing' sound that so many of the Daimler Chrysler vehicles make when shifting or coming to a stop?

    Thanks in advance!
  • lbj51lbj51 Member Posts: 1
    This is a great truck and I love it, especially the power, the infinity sound system, the split-folding third row seat, and the looks. I've had 2 problems with my new Durango: 1). the LED readout on the premium stereo went blank; the stereo works fine, but all of a sudden no readout or clock. The dealer has ordered a new one. Thankfully, it looks like all they have to so is remove a faceplate, take out 2 screws and slip in the new unit; 2). sometimes there is a squeaky "chirping" kind of rattle (can't think of a better way to describe it) coming from under the dash somewhere. I'm worried about it, but it doesn't happen all the time. I don't want the dealership taking apart the dashboard not knowing what to look for.

    Any similar problems from anyone? Just curious. Any comments on that weird squeak?Thanks.
  • phkckphkck Member Posts: 185
    Took a test drive today of the 04 Limited Hemi.
    I am in the market for a large SUV and had really never thought of the Durango as I had no head room in the 1st Generation.

    I started out testing the Sequoia and did like the ride, handling and finish. The engine and transmission felt good but lacked power. Felt like a great SUV for the long hall but not real exciting.

    I then test drove the Armada a few times. Really wanted to make the Armada happen. The engine and drivetrain seem wonderful. More than adequate power for most. However, I heard the dreaded resonance issue they are having with the roof during the test drive. Also, on highway there was quiet a bit of noise in the cabin and I ended up with a bit of a bucking bronco ride over some expansion joints.
    Finally, the steering wheel seemed to have a bit of play and vibration over the competition.

    The Durango, Hemi had good power, makes the vehicle seem a bit smaller. Not as roomy as the Armada but had a much more solid feel to the ride. Rear seat is tighter than Armada but passable as kids get the back seat anyway. Overall package seems like a good value esp at invoice minus rebates.

    Glad I took the test drive! Still deciding.
  • jgriffjgriff Member Posts: 362
    My Durango impression, first off I was not sure if I like the styling but it is growing on me. It has more character than some of the other plain-Jane boxy look-a-like. I need and want a vehicle that does a lot of things very well e.g. room, comfort, cargo etc. Cars in general just aren’t cutting any more for me.

    I’ve test driven quite a few; 4Runner, Pilot, Element, Explorer, Expedition, Tahoe/Yukon, TB/Envoy, Forrester. As usual there are always pros and cons for all models e.g. too big/small, too expensive, reliability etc. For me there are a lot of factors in choosing a new ride, once I get past the vehicle setup it has to have a reasonable price and then be reliable. Right now the 4-Runner leads in reliability area, but it is borders on being too small. In the past, I’ve had my share of excessive unscheduled shop visits. My experience in general, the foreign have faired better than the domestic. But that is really hard to judge, for me it has been almost 50-50 not all of my foreign cars have been good, and not all of domestic have been bad.

    First year models, make me nervous as I've had a couple of bad ones.

    Engine: Two Durango test drives, 1st one was the 4.7, 2nd was the Hemi. Both are very smooth engines and most will be happy with either one. The downside of my Hemi test drive, it landed me my first speeding ticket in about 10 years (50 in 40 crap). Until you adjust, you really have to pay extra attention to the speedometer, cause oh-baby it can get away from you.

    Exterior: you either love or hate it. As always subjective, but it got some character. The Hemi had running boards installed, and they stuck out way too far for my taste (kept bumping my shins). I would bypass on them, cause it is not overly huge jump to get on board.

    Interior: Well done, with a couple of small exception. As well as the interior appear to be designed & put together, it almost seems like an oversight, that is that the door-handle inserts have the screws exposed, no plastic cover or caps. Just seems very odd, especially on a $30k truck.

    I’ve never been a fan of the cruise control functions being separated, ON/OFF on one side, Accel, Resume, Cancel on the other. But I got use to it in our Caravan, so it is livable. BTW, our lease Caravan was one of our better domestic experiences; of course we only had it for 3 years.

    I’m going to have to go back and double check, but it seems that the second row was a little tight in the leg room area. It would have been GREAT, if Dodge boys would have engineer the seat to slide forward and back et al Pilot.

    No A/B setup for tripodometer.

    In the end, the Durango made my short list.

    Just my $.02, thanks for your time ~ Jim.
  • jgriffjgriff Member Posts: 362
    Man, this sure is quiet group. I'm not sure if it means there not many people here, -or- if everyone is just out happily driving their DD.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Member Posts: 233
    It's always been like that in here as far as I can tell.

    Anybody know if the 6.2 will be made available in the Durango? How about the 5.7 with the cylinder deactiviation, ala 300C?
  • phkckphkck Member Posts: 185
    Did most of the 04 Durango owners get the side air bags? I was looking at a loaded Limited but no side curtain airbag. In fact of the 40 on the lot not a single side curtain. "At least it had the shiny chrome wheels!"
    I can understand people not wanting to pay the $500 but at least put it on a few Durangos with stickers over $40,000.
  • twinbladesztwinbladesz Member Posts: 104
    I've noticed that as well. For those that might want them we would just have to wait for them to build one for us.
  • jgriffjgriff Member Posts: 362
    I test drove a SLT Hemi, 2nd time. I felt the vibration on the gas pedal that has been mention before.

    Well I'm a mere 6'1" and I find my left knee banging against the driver’s door handle/panel, I could not seem to get the seat lower enough to get below it. And the 2nd row of seats very cramped, my knees were easily pressing up against the hard plastic seat-back of the SLT. I had to move the front seat way up to get some room [not good]. Heck I’ve got more knee room in my Mazda-6. As I stated before, to bad Dodge didn't think to put the 2nd row on some rails.

    The 4Runner & Murano have more room in the 2nd row, but alas NO 3rd row, & less cargo room behind the 2nd row. Pro/Cons trade-offs etc. etc.
  • phkckphkck Member Posts: 185
    Well, I am probably getting close to being placed into the rude consumers forum. I went back for another test drive of a loaded limited Durango. The only problem I noticed on the test drive was that there were no side airbags. Sticker was north of $41,000. I asked and they had no Durangos with side airbags. But they located one about 3 hours away and would do a dealer trade. I was not over-joyed with the prospect of having 200 miles on my new car and essentially getting it sight unseen.
    We negotiated and I was getting a bit low balled for my trade. We were about $2500 apart on the deal when we started. We came to within $500 but I had the numbers I needed to hit or no deal.
    My favorite line was Paul, don't let me lose your sale over $500. C'mon its only $500.
    I thought, repeated back "Exactly, don't lose my business over $500, it's only $500"
    They let me walk, but I will be damned if I did not get 2 phone messages that evening that they could do the deal. End of the month (Aug 30th). Probably lit the fire a bit.
    Long story short I am still in my current car and keeping an eye on inventory.
    There are probably 45 or more Limited Durangos on lots in the area. I will hold out for awhile more.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Walking is good, but I wouldn't worry too much about a dealer trade for one 200 miles away. You'll have opportunity to test drive it before signing everything (insist on it).

    Car sales across the board were down significantly in August, although Dodge did lots better than most, but you're still in good shape to get a great deal.

    Steve, Host
  • twinbladesztwinbladesz Member Posts: 104
    For my parents in place but my dad ruined it the cheap bum that he is. My wife and I did the leg work looking for a Light Khaki Limited Durango with just the heated seats, folding mirrors and a 4.7 engine. First dealer only had Graphite and gave us a price of $29995. He also told us that Khaki was an unpopular color. Ok sounds like he was trying to snow us on the color. So we go to a 2nd dealer told them what we were looking for and he had about 6 Khaki's 3 Limiteds and 3 SLT's. Looked at a limited with only the options we wanted. He asked what he had to do to get us in it. Told him to beat the 1st price. So he told us $27995. Told my mother what we found and we picked her up after work to take it for a spin. Read the sticker and it was $37028. Although the one we test drove was a Hemi, it at least gave me an idea of what the 335hp can do. Dad nixed the deal saying he could get one for cheaper as the 05's arrive. I just want to slap the man. But we will fix him. The Durango road pretty nicely over a street with all the pavement ripped up and just the washboard left. I will definetly consider it to replace my Explorer.
  • paisleypaisley Member Posts: 1
    We are a med size family used to driving in an Astro van everywhere, but our van has some miles on it so we are going to try to take the strain off of our trade in value and get a truck to drive
    We are looking between the 1998 Durango and the 1998 Expedition, does anyone have any advice about the two, we are used to the larger ride, but are unsure about any major drawbacks about either vehicle.
    Thanks for any help
  • mpena1mpena1 Member Posts: 2

    What dealership was this, that was a great price on a limited, I live in Northern NJ, looking for a limited Durango. My e-mail address is [email protected], I appreciate the tip.

    Mike Pena
  • twinbladesztwinbladesz Member Posts: 104
    Dealership was Star Auto group on Jamaica Avenue. They sell all 3 Chrysler products, and there is a Mitso dealer next door. They have at least 20-30 04 Durangos so you might get better deal since the 05 's are coming in. You can use this zip code 11434 to get the exact address.
  • bill15bill15 Member Posts: 2
    Can anyone suggest what might have caused this driving experience? Doing about 70 on an Interstate with cruise control on, but the tow haul mode off. The tach had been consistently around 2000 when suddenly the tach jumped to 3000, fluttered a bit, and when I instinctively slowed it settled down and going back to 70 was again 2000 rpm. Might have lasted a minute. Did it twice in a 50 mile stretch in the middle of a 700 mile trip. I believe it came out of overdrive but wonder why it would have done so. I really can't recall hearing a change in the sound of the engine. The road conditions did not seem unusual. Any comments would be most appreciated.
    Thanks, Bill
  • phkckphkck Member Posts: 185
    Could have been going uphill and the Durango just needed to downshift? My best guess.
  • bill15bill15 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks PHKCK, I did not notice an uphill grade but I suppose it could have been a gradual thing. We will be reversing the trip shortly and I will watch for uphill stretches. Have a great day.
  • sky1sky1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Durango I bought new. Had to have it towed to the dealer because the transmission went bad with only 30,000 miles. It wouldn't down shift, went up to 3,000 rpm and it felt like it was in neutral and I was just reving the engine. Just wondering if this is a common problem. Being told it will be about $1,000 to repair and of course the warranty just ran out in April this year.
  • johnjjohnj Member Posts: 3
    I am considering purchasing a 2004 Durango Limited (Demo - 1250 mi.) with various options : Hemi, Sunroof, Chrome wheels, Traction Control, trailer hitch, heated seats, the works (w/o satellite radio and DVD player). I have two questions for anyone willing to help:

    1) The salesman at the dealership told me that the Durango I want has AWD, Elect Shift, Two Speed - Is this preferrable to the alternative? What is the alternative? Is AWD All time 4wd or is there another selectable all time 4WD option that I am missing?

    2) The MSRP of the truck Im looking at is about $40K. Through an EC (friend of an employee) I get 4.5% below invoice on the truck - about $5200 off, along with the $5K cash back ($4K for incentive,plus $1K for financing through Chrysler), bringing the total down to around $30K and change. Any thoughts how much I should try and bring this down due to the fact that it's a demo? Is there a standard rule to go by?

    Finally - according to Kelley Blue Book values, the trade in car I have (2000 Toyota Celica GTS with about 62K miles) should go for about $9500 for private party sale. However, I negotiated the dealer to bump this up to $12K (though this will include the discount I'm getting for the fact that the Durango is a demo). Anybody have any insight on the quality of this deal?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance on this one - this is a major purchase for my wife and I.

    -- John
  • gussguss Member Posts: 1,180
    if you go to the smart shopper page and then real world trade in values Terry over there will give you a good idea what your trade in is really worth. think they have a form now that you can fill out and post.
      I think dealers generally discount demos by only 15 cents per mile.
  • johnjjohnj Member Posts: 3
    Guss - Thank you for your thoughts on this. I definitely appreciate all the help I can get. I'll be posting for Terry shortly.

    Anyone else have any thoughts on these topics?

    Best Regards,
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    For those not familiar with the discussion, here's the link:

    Real-World Trade-In Values

    Steve, Host
  • vladvlad Member Posts: 9

    I really enjoy reading your messages and I truly admire the level of expertise coming here from all corners of life. Recently I purchased my first SUV - a used 2001 Dodge Durango SLT with 77,000 km and 2WD, 4WD-high and 4WD-low driving modes. So, finally I also have some questions to ask:

    1/ What goat-like surprises can I expect from 2WD Durango in the winter? Any tips how to improve its behavior?

    2/ Since I live in the area of sometimes questionable winter driving conditions (Ontario), I wonder whether AWD mode couldn’t be a better choice (in the summer, I often pull a camping trailer, nevertheless my questions relate to winter driving only).

    3/ I would also like to receive your advice about when I should safely engage the 4WD-high mode while driving on-road (rain, heavy rain, snow, snow storm, ice?)

    4/ And when exactly to apply 4WD-low

    5/ Are skid plates really needed for a heavy snow? When mounted, do they create annoying obstacles for future maintenance of the vehicle?

    Thanks in advance!

  • carlrjrcarlrjr Member Posts: 35
    I too recently purchased an '01 Durango. I found the owner's manual to be quite helpful and thorough regarding answers to similar questions I had when I bought mine.

    1. Expect any rear-wheel drive vehicle to become a handful when the road is slick. Easing on and off the gas will minimize the chance of losing traction.

    2. AWD is only an option on some Durangos; if you have it, then there's no reason not to use it all the time, summer and winter.

    3. Per the owner's manual never engage or use 4WD-hi above 45 MPH/70 KPH. You will never hurt anything if you switch between 2WD and 4WD-hi while moving with your feet off both pedals (gas and brake). In other words, only shift while coasting or completely stopped.

    4. Check the manual for a detailed description for when/how to use 4-low. To summarize here, only shift to/from 4WD-Lo while coasting in Neutral below 5 MPH. Very few situations demand this mode; it's only useful when the normal range causes the transmission to stall.

    5. I'm no off-roader, but my understanding is that skid plates are there only to protect the valuable guts from rocks or anything else that would damage what's protected by them.

    Remember, 4WD helps you GO better in the snow but it does nothing to help you STOP. Also note that ice may allow your front wheels to spin when you gas it in 4WD, so drive with the lightest foot possible.
  • vladvlad Member Posts: 9
    Thanks! I'm glad I asked. The difference between AWD and 4WD was around 4K (on a used car).


  • volfanvolfan Member Posts: 1
    Love my 04 Hemi powered Durango with cast alum wheels. Has anybody else had a problem with the front wheel cap falling off? I am about to replace my 3rd one in 10 months and hope the dealership has a solution to this problem. Was told previously that drive thru carwash was too powerful and most likely caused caps to pop off. However, haven't been thru one lately, yet front cap missing.
  • denimo1denimo1 Member Posts: 13
    My Durango has 19000km on it and I'm getting 19-22mpg on highway. Ive added a K+N Aircharger which was noisy at first but I'm getting used to it. Does anyone have info on Mopar-approved header and catback and are there any uprated high beam bulbs available yet?

  • danohdanoh Member Posts: 26
    Just curious..

    i have a 04 Durango SLT awd Hemi.

    Does anyone know how this system splits power between front and rear (40/60????).

    I have looked around the dodge site, but have found nothing.


  • raiders63raiders63 Member Posts: 8
    Has anyone hooked an Ipod up to there 2004 Durango yet? I currently have one of the Belkin FM transmitters, but was starting to look at the Dension IceLink product ( However, their website has a disclaimer that the product should not be used with RDS radios. Has anyone else had luck doing this with some other product or a custom installation?
  • rambobrambob Member Posts: 4
    Bought an 04 in January and love it. Holds everyone and everything just fine. The only annoying problems are seat related. We have the power option on the leather seats and notice two things. First is "play " in the drivers' seat-almost like rocking as you are taking off or stopping. Dealer says its' within range. The other is with creaking of seats and spring noise/ feel in most seats. ANy thougths before going back to dealer? Also have 02 Ram from same dealer and do like dealing with them. Thanks.
  • ywilson1ywilson1 Member Posts: 7
    I had a 2000 SLT 4x4. Loved it and got 130,000 miles out of her. I went in for a tranny service and while I was waiting I went to look at the 2003's they had on the lot. This was 12/2003 at the time. A delivery truck pulled up with the 2004's on it. I know one of the salesmen there and he came out to talk to me. Long story short I traded my 00 for my 03 SLT+ that day. I love this vehicle. They have both been the most reliable and functional vehicles I have ever owned. This one I will keep until the doors fall off!
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    First is "play " in the drivers' seat-almost like rocking as you are taking off or stopping. Dealer says its' within range.

    I think that if you can feel it on normal acceleration and braking then, by definition, it is not in range!

    tidester, host
  • rnwjrrnwjr Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone gotten back to you? I also have an 04 Ipod and use the Belkin and an iTrip... Too scratch and do not have a cassette player in it... I looked at the iceLink,. but I may just by the Monster Cable charger and FM transmitter... Any thoughts????
This discussion has been closed.