The Dodge Durango is the SUV version of the Dodge Dakota. It was introduced in 1998. The Durango is in between heavy duty load carrier, has a cargo space of a big truck but has the parking ability and handling of a small truck. It became popular with the press as a "Smart Size" SUV that has the most powerful engine, the largest interior and highest towing and hauling capability, and an up to eight people seating capacity classifying it as a compact SUV.
The first Durango is built in Newark, Delaware running in 245 horsepower, 335 ft-lbs torque, 5.9 liter Magnum V8 engine and the biggest in its class. It is also available in a 5.2 liter Magnum V8, 230 horsepower 300 ft-lbs torque and in a 3.9 liter Magnum V6, 175 horsepower 225 ft-lbs torque. All these three engines come with a four speed automatic with a fifth kick down gear. The 5.9 liter Magnum V8 can tow up to a maximum 7,300 lbs when equipped with an optional Class IV hitch and has a maximum payload of more than 1,800 lbs in an interior package that shows 88 cubic feet of volume when the seats are folded down.
Also, the Durango has a widened Dakota chassis feature having its roof raised two inches from the second seat increasing passenger headroom and visibility. Its spare tire is placed underneath the vehicle therefore creating more cargo room. The rear seats are very comfortable for passengers and when put down may serve as a flat load floor. Its second row seats are adjustable and can be folded and tumbled forward making easier third row access and an improved storage space, or there is an optional third row where you can also fold in conjunction with the second row seats thus making a flat surface from the tailgate to the front seats.
Durango is designed with the idea of a people-mover and a load carrier with frame proposal having maximum stiffness in a minimum weight. The Durango's agility came from the optimized steering and suspension matched up with a large wheel and tire package and appropriately sized shocks and bushing, making it comfortable both on and off the road. Its brakes were enlarged so as to handle the increased weight for tows.
The Dodge Durango is your answer for your desired spaciousness and versatility, thus the problem about transporting more passengers and hauling bigger loads will be a problem no more. Durango Parts are available all throughout the automotive shops around the world, and is also offered through shipments from car magazines and online ordering.
Helpful Tips to Keep Your Dodge Durango in Excellent Shape
Powerful, reliable and sturdy. That is your Dodge Durango. Keep your Dodge Durango well-maintained to enjoy a comfortable ride. You don't have to go the extra mile, basic vehicle maintenance is all it takes to keep your Dodge Durango in excellent shape. Here are some of the basic vehicle maintenance tips:
- Keep that big engine working smoothly.
Your Dodge Durango is big and it needs its engine to deliver all that power it needs to be able to work harder. For the engine to run smoothly, it should be well oiled, otherwise the engine parts will create more friction and generate more heat. If that happens, it could mean disaster for your engine. Don't wait for that to happen to you. Change that motor oil regularly. Also, always check the engine cooling system. Make sure that there's coolant to keep your engine's temperature at bay. Flushing out and replacing the coolant annually is recommended. Also make sure that the radiator and hoses don't leak. Too much heat from the engine causes the hoses to harden and then eventually crack, causing leaks.
- See to it that your car battery is charged.
Your Dodge Durango needs its car battery from start up to powering those window rotors when you need to open or close the window. The battery also powers up the car charger when you plug your phone into it. All these and other functions take their toll on the battery so make sure to have it checked and charged at least once a year. Car batteries usually last up to five years or less, depending on the operating conditions. Another battery maintenance tip is to keep the ports clean and unclogged to ensure that all the power passes through it. Scrape rust off of the ports and make sure that all connections are tight.
- Keep that suspension system sturdy.
Your Dodge Durango's suspension system is designed to withstand the roughest roads. However, it will eventually take its toll on the suspension. To keep it sturdy, make sure the shocks are in excellent condition. Have it checked once a year. Also, have your tires aligned at least once a year to ensure excellent handling and drivability. Uneven wear on the tires or unusual vibrations mean that there's something wrong with your suspension.
- Always have a reliable brake system.
You know your Dodge Durango is safe and reliable when its brake system is in excellent condition. To keep the brake system in top shape, make sure to replace the brake fluid every 20,000 to 25,000 miles, depending on your driving habits. The brake pads also need to be replaced every 25,000 miles or when the brake pads are already too thin. Have your brake system checked by a mechanic if you encounter the following: if you hear a high pitched screeching sound whenever you step on the brakes, when you notice that the brake fluid runs out faster than it normally would, if you smell something out of the ordinary, or if your vehicle pulls to one side when braking.
Dodge Durango Hits and Misses
The Dodge Durango has had a mixed reception towards car buyers. Its story has been that of putting designs, features, and innovations on the vehicle that are objectively good and worth having, but at times fail to meet the current demands of its market. Because of this, the Durango is set aside for its competition—like the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner, and the Nissan Pathfinder—believed to be better options compared to the Dodge. Regardless of the design and the setting it’s released in, all models of the Dodge Durango SUV are well-built and perfectly designed vehicles.
1998-2003: Starting out small
The first generation Dodge Durango was released as a midsize SUV. Its design was mostly based on the design of a Dodge Dakota truck—transformed to become a suitable family vehicle—while having the ability to be a powerful utility vehicle. The V6 or V8 engine had 360 horses that can pull up to 8,950 pounds for towing. Big wheels, a low base, and some racing trims, this SUV had the makings of a beast. The interior was adequately furnished to include features like electronic devices, climate control, and an improved sound system. Its success was hindered by a couple of things. Fuel economy left much to be desired; handling may be a little bit tricky for some. Plus, it was a little difficult for people to figure out how to properly utilize its awkward size.
2004-2009: Full-size commitment
The Durango’s full-size design was again similar to that of the Dakota truck which used a coil-spring rear suspension system. Handling improvement compared to the one from the first generation. Later on, the V8 engine on the top trim was upgraded to give 376 horsepower, with various gearbox and drivetrain options available. What was very notable with the 2nd generation was the 2009 release of the Dodge Durango Hybrid. Against hybrid competitors like the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, it boasted a 340 horsepower engine that still had good fuel economy. Unfortunately, by the time Dodge released the Durango as a full-size SUV, the market has already lessened interest in big vehicles.
2011-present: Current Dodge Durango
The SUV took a break during the 2010 model-year. In its 3rd generation, the crossover-SUV Durango draws inspiration from the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engineering. This 6-passenger vehicle features a roomy cabin, leather seats, electronic assists, and many more. The car even receives a modernized look on the outside. Both power and handling also have major overhauls as well. With a decent price tag, it may finally have the perfect combination of specs and market demands to make the Dodge Durango a hands-down success.