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.