Very stable, more than acceptable handling. I'm about to buy my third. Like the durability report, the Durango's general comfort marks were very good—but not quite perfect. We haven't had any mechanical problems. The V-6-powered Durango is best avoided; its marginally better fuel efficiency is quickly outweighed by its general underhood inadequacy.
Durango buyers can also buy a 5. The biggest problem we encountered manifested itself at about 26,000 miles, a grinding resonance that sounded like—and turned out to be—a bad left-front wheel bearing. Response from the Hemi V-8 is less vigorous than expected. With a Hemi under the hood, the Durango has a gross vehicle weight rating curb weight plus cargo, including occupants of 6600 pounds, a towing capacity of 8650 pounds, and a gross combined weight rating of 14,000. This car accelerates almost as fast as my M3 from 30 to 70! Reversible slush mats are included in the Adventurer model, which has a rubberized washable cargo liner with a built-in organizer.
Why would anyone want a cast-iron kayak? I'd rather be able to hit a deer at 70 and walk away, as I did. Handles great in the snow and rain. They were wrong on all counts. For 2004, the second-generation Durango arrived with the same mission--to cover the middle ground between popular segments. It performed its function reasonably well, and despite expectations to the contrary, we didn't have any major ground-scraping problems with speed bumps or abrupt driveway ramps. Besides the Ann Arbor-Texas-Ann Arbor trip, there was a long weekend run to Second Creek Raceway near Denver, about 2600 miles; a 3500-mile vacation excursion through several southern states; and another vacation trek through several Canadian provinces and parts of Maine. Ride is very quiet and comfortable.
Mine is Limited with Hemi. This peculiar behavior didn't repeat, but later that same day the Sirius radio stopped picking up satellite signals. Quarter-mile performance was identical new and used—15. Interior Durangos can hold seven people when equipped with three rows of seats. Traction control and three-row side-curtain airbags are available on all Durangos, as are light- and heavy-duty tow packages and a skidplate package for off-roade. Well, there are people who love challenges, and that's what the Twistep presented for at least some of us.
Of all Durangos, the Hemi-powered version is the true charmer, with a bounding, fun-to-drive demeanor that almost makes you forget how often you're stopping at the pump. At just over 20,000 miles, a shift from drive to reverse caused the Durango to simply quit cold. Basic Durango styling cues continued, but the current model is 7 inches longer and more than 3 inches taller than its predecessor and features 15 percent more cargo capacity. When we put sport-utilities through their paces in standard road tests, we spend a lot of time talking about handling, acceleration, and braking—the dynamic subtleties that help give each vehicle its personality. It handles great, smooth ride, very roomy. I bought it with 50,000 miles on it 1 year ago and have had no problems with it.
Optional side curtain-type airbags protect all three rows of seats. The Durango averaged 14 mpg over the course of this test. I feel very safe driving it, including on the highway. Handling is less than ideal, even on the expressway, as the Durango is a little too inclined to edge out of its lane. And there were some distinctly long hauls. The first of these excursions was a run from Ann Arbor to Texas and back, with a little 1800-pound U-Haul trailer behind and ice beneath the tires in central Indiana. The Durango has a comparatively soft suspension, which translates to an especially comfortable ride.
If you want gas mileage, buy a Prius. A new Adventurer model with heated cloth seats debuts for 2005. Having never owned a Dodge I have been pleased with the reliability, great dealership and gas mileage! My previous 2 cars were E Class Sedans. The lack of problems made the extended warranty a waste. Cargo volume behind the third row is 19 cubic feet; that space grows to 102. The Durango rides on a 119. Electronic stability control is unavailable.
I have 4 kids and I downsized from an excursion, we love it. Computer sims won't answer that one, either. The Durango rides on a 119. Having never owned a Dodge I have been pleased with the reliability, great dealership and gas mileage! These things should be illegal! It took just over 10 months for the odometer to click past the 40,000-mile mark, a sure sign that the troops found the Durango to be an agreeable long-distance ride as well as a willing workhorse. It's decidedly quicker off the line and far more willing to transport everything plus the kitchen sink than its lesser brethren. My previous 2 cars were E Class Sedans.