Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Dodge Durango



  • 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.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    im looking at buying a 04 limited hemi, the transmissions on dodge in general always scared me from buying one, can anybody tell me if there having issues at all with the drivetrain in general, i test drove a durango today and i noticed when it shifted to 4 gear it stumbled a little bit, like it was slipping is the best way to explain it, always in fourth gear it was doing it, just curious to any feedback from you guys or girls would be great, BTW the one i test drove had 8 miles on it, dont really know if theres a break in period on these trannies
  • stakeoutstakeout Posts: 173
    I also test drove a Limited 4x4 'Hem-mee' yesterday.. my wife is looking for a new SUV to replace her Subn 4x4 coming off a 3 yr lease next month...just curious what did you think about it...

    for me the Durango was pretty quiet.. actually surprised me... since I had the salesman with me for the test run, I didn't really get to put it thru it's paces fully .. good ride.. nicely appointed in the Limited version... they could have kept that woodgrain on the SLT into the Limited and done away with the metallic look on the dash.. personal preference on my part.. roomy but even though it's 1" bigger than the Tahoe, I think the Tahoe has the interior room-edge on it... let's put it like this ain't no Suburban like we both have now.. I have a Z71 also..

    as far as the Hem-mee goes.. it didn't really impress me like I was expecting... what I mean by that.. from a standing start acceleration was ok... I wasn't expecting burnouts but a chirp would have been nice.. from a kick down at 30 mph for passing it was NOT neck snapping by any stretch ... with that 335hp in that truck it should rock.. to me it didn't..

    my nephew had an Escalade last year.. only 10 more hp at 345 it was a lot faster than this one.. maybe something was wrong with it.. I doubt it.. or maybe it's just Dodge's way of using Hem-mee as a marketing tool..

    to me, it is NOT the Hem-mee of old... drove the old ones a lot.. couple of good friends had them way way way back then... 426 365hp street version.. 426 425+hp dual quad race version back in the mid 60's when I had my '65 Goat... guess I couldn't expect it to be actually..

    as far as that 'different ' front end goes... they should have kept the Ram p/u front end on it.. rather than that droopy nose

    anyone else get better acceleration/performance out of the Hem-mee Durango..... I just can't believe it didn't perform better than it did..just seemed to be not enuff ooomph in it..
    but I still love that Hem-mee kid... 'Hem-meeeee'
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    as far as the test drive it was great, having an armada getting rid of it really soon im looking for another suv, the ride is 10 times better than that of the nissan, only problem that ive seen is the lack of room in the second row, but i can live with that, only thing im concern about is the drivetrain on the dodge hence is why im here asking for feedback
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    I test drove a 4X2 and it chirped the tires a little. Did not have traction control. Decided on a 4X4. Could not chirp the tires either. That had traction control. Remember that the Durango 4X4 never goes out of all-whell drive, so it will be hard to burn the tires, especially with traction control. The Suburban has a 2 wheel drive setting, so chirp away. Also, my Staff Sergeant has the Hemi in his truck and absolutely loves it. One of the faster trucks I have been in. He can burn 'em pretty easy, but it is a 4X2 and it is a pickup.
    As for the room in the middle row, it is fine. My son just turned 15, he is 6'1" and weighs 210. He likes the room just fine. Especially with the slight-reclining seats. He liked the Armada's middle seat room just a little better, but likes the Durango's third row much better. Chasman, you know why I am not going the Armada way. Sorry about your troubles and thanks for the input on the Aramada board. Hope your lemon law suit goes well. I am getting a Durango as soon as my lemon law suit on my Kia comes through. Is the Hemi the fastest, strongest engine in the world? No. But it is pretty darn good. I'm sold.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    thanks for the kind words, yeah im hoping to get rid of TPOS soon, yeah my only concern on the durango was the drivetrain, mainly the tranny area, im not worried about burning the tires since i have 2 camaro's lol, just want a good overall suv and not get takin again
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    i think the 5-45rfe tranny will prove a decent unit in the durango. it's been around serving duty behind the 4.7l since late '98 and so far has proven to be quite reliable. seemingly better than the old RE series trannies that were in dodge trucks behind the old engines (5.2l and 5.9l). plus you get a 7 year 70k warranty. usually if there is a build problem with a tranny it'll show up before then...

    as for sqealing the tires...i believe the electronic throttle and torque management computer software are prolly realing this in. plus remember the new hemi is a relatively short stroke design that gets its highest torque and HP output rather high up on the rpm scale.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    yeah i test drove another black durango today, very nice and this one didn't have no issues with the shift points on it, now if i could only get a good trade in on my armada i might take it home tomm, no resonance whatsoever drove really nice and tight, and alot quieter for sure, this hemi has all the bells and whistles ill let you guys know if i take it home
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Good luck. I would say be patient and wait for your lemon law buy back. You will definitely lose your a@* in a trade. I believe you are picking the right vehicle for a replacement though. I have researched extensively and the Durango answers the most questions for my situation. Hope it does the same for you.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    yeah i hear you bro but ive had it, if you only know what ive been going through its killing me, if i lose a little bit i dont care, just to get rid of this POS is all im worried about, im sick of all the rattles and my ears popping all the time, plus add a headache to that and thats why it sits in my garage
  • stakeoutstakeout Posts: 173
    I'm sorry if I was a bit too much 'tongue in cheek' with that chirping the tires remark... just meant that I didn't think the off the line was earth shattering... I'm not into jack rabbit starts these days nor have I been for a long while... just thought that the performance in the test drive I took was not up to what I thought it would be... especially with all the hype that Dodge has been giving the Hem-mee..

    as for the Suburban 4x4's we have.. I guess there's more of a chance of it snowing in the middle of July where I am near Myrtle Beach than I'd have getting a chirp out of the tires on ain't gonna happen.. nor do I expect it to..:) :)

    chasmanz28.. good luck with the decision on getting the Durango.. hope it meets your expectations.. have fun with it.. because that's really what this car/truck stuff is supposed to be all about :)
  • wdogwdog Posts: 21
    Reading nice things so test road a 2004 SLT with hemi. Two concerns:

    A - Engine sound noticeably louder than cruising when mildly accelerating in single lane local traffic. Do others notice/bothered by it? Haven't read any mention. Would the smaller engine with 4X4 provide passing power and not have this effect? Will not do towing. Plan on owning long enough to make engine price a non factor and don't drive enough for mileage differences to matter.

    B - After 15 minute ride my back hurt a bit. Then found out no lumbar support.

    I would get a Limited, didn't notice lumbar support in any version. Probably wouldn't have gone for the test ride if I had known. However, all else seemed really nice. They now offer bluetooth cell phone connection and navigation. Nav's something Tahoe and Sequoia don't offer. Denali/Caddy have it, but they are AWD. None of these offer bluetooth. Forget about Nissan Armada or Infiniti QX56 after reading Armada horror posts. I can wait till September and see what Durango and other large SUV's come up with.

    Be interested in what current 2004 owners have to say on A and B above. Might then ask salesman for a longer, on the highway, test ride.

    PS to chasmanz28: I can't say what to do, but if I were in your place I'd feel the same way. Hard to keep financial considerations in prospective. Hope the pleasure of the next purchase soon makes this a distant memory. I too would like a little more room in the second row and that's what turned me to the Armada/QX56. Wonder why almost every SUV has to be a minivan on steroids. That is, just because you can cramp three rows of seats, can't you offer more room for the second row as an option. Durango once offered them with two or three rows, giving more 2nd row leg room to the former. Wouldn't it be nice to at least allow adjustment to 2nd/3rd row?
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    i was in 2 hemi's limited when i test drove, i did noticed the engine noise a little but that didn't bother me since its a beast of a motor, like i said the main thing that im worried about is the ride, hence any resoanace or rattles when going over any bumps plus if there was any excessive wind noise coming in the cabin and i was very happy with the ride over all, like you said owning a armada im spoiled when it comes to room, buy im not really a big person so that doesn't bother me at all even though its smaller overall for sure, and my back didnt bother me at all, in fact it feels nicer to drive because if its compact size and the seats for me where perfect, if your planing on buying one go with the limited hemi for sure, its only 900 bucks more for the hemi a steal if you ask me, overall from test driving 2 durango's im very pleased, so if can trade in my armada from a fully loaded durago im going to do it, even though i might lose 2 to 3 grand i dont care
  • stakeoutstakeout Posts: 173
    with all the test drives I've been taking the past two weeks..

    almost 99% sure it was the Durango salesman that showed me the manual lumbar support in the Durango Limited 'Hem-meee' I test drove a few days ago.. not sure about SLT though...
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    On the Limited, the lumbar support is a lever on the inside edges of the driver and passenger seats. Right next to the center console. Works pretty good.

         Still recommend the lemon law suit and understand why you want out now. I respect your decision. But if you are willing to lose the money to get out of the Armada soon, at least keep up posted with the differences AS YOU EXPERIENCE THEM. I will tell you, I have been tracking your entries on the Armada board and you were the final nail in the Armada's coffin for me. I am staying away. I love the Durango, but you can only test drive so much. You have had an extended test drive of the Armada, now I am curious to see what your extended test-drive of the Durango yields. Look forward to hearing from you. Best of luck with your deal.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    yes i will keep you guys updated as to the difference in between the 2 suv's, the dealer where im going to buy the durango is giving me a great deal on the trade so im going for it, im going to lose about 2 grand which isn't bad in my situation, i just dont want to go through the hassle of the BBB or getting a lawyer to pursue the lemon law, that would take weeks if not months so im bowing out now, before i bought this armada i had a 2002 ford EB expedition, should have kept that suv but when i saw the armada i feel in love with the way it looked, left my heart take over instead of thinking clearly as to wait until all the bugs were worked out, oh well your always learning thats for sure, but these boards are great for helping other people out and i learned alot and hope to continue to learn as im about to buy this durango tonight, im glad you were reading my post's as to what i was going through with my ordeal and very glad you didn't buy a armada, if i didn't have the resonance issue i would have kept it for sure, i do think the engineers will fix all the problems but not until the 2005 comes out is what im thinking, too bad i had a lemon i really like it alot it reminded me of a mini hummer when i first looked at it and went for the first test drive
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    you know...the recent nissan really reminds of the old chrysler. flash and dash but maybe lacking in the finer details...
  • wdogwdog Posts: 21
    Thanks to all who replied. Would you believe the salesman, who I just spoke to again, and has been selling Dodge vehicles for more than 10 years, still didn't know about the lumbar?

    Now he tells me that Navigation, listed as a Mopar option (5.8") on the Durango web site, can't be ordered. That's different from what a Dodge rep told me, but then again he said the unit was 4.8", and that didn't sound right. Durango looking real good, but without the nav it's wait till September for me.

    Seems like a lot of nice people posting here. Glad to have visited and good luck to all.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Glad to hear that you aren't losing that much. I really thought it would be worse. I really hope you are happy with the Durango. Can't be worse, right?!?! Enjoy the new ride. By the way, I went to Car and Driver's site today and they posted their test results. The Durango won hands down and it was a good write-up. Here is a link. Check it out. Take care and good luck. Give it a week and give us a report! _id=7864&page_number=1
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    well guys i bought the hemi limited, went about 100 miles tonight and i must say so far so good, the ride is so smooth its like riding in a car, the engine what can i say its a hemi, it makes you forget your riding in a 5400lb truck, so yes im happy, couple of other things too, the stereo system rocks, more watts than the armada and sounds nicer for sure, with the infinity speakers you cant go wrong, ill keep you posted as to what else ill find, BTW what i have is a black limited durango fully loaded, including the dvd system, only thing this suv doesn't have is a nav system but that doesn't bother me since i have a portable one anyways
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Good news. Glad you are happy. Break it in real good, then put it through some paces and let us know what you find. Enjoy and take care.
This discussion has been closed.