By KBB.com Editors
Despite the growing popularity of crossover utility vehicles, or CUVs, for those with serious towing and hauling needs there are few substitutes for a full-blown, body-on-frame SUV, among them the 2008 Dodge Durango, a seven-passenger muscle machine with a rugged and distinctive style, a fairly plush interior and the option of a HEMI V8 under the hood. Although not as large as a Chevrolet Suburban, the Durango has grown large enough to compete head-on with such competitors as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. Dodge's MDS (Multiple-Displacement System) technology helps save some gas, and alternative fuel fans will find a friend in the new 4.7-liter Flex-Fuel V8 that can run on either gasoline or E85.
If you need a roomy SUV but the thought of a full-size Suburban turns you off, check out the 2008 Dodge Durango. It offers seating for seven and still has a fair amount of room for cargo behind the third-row seat. Power freaks will love the optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine.
The Dodge Durango isn't big like a Chevrolet Suburban, but it's still big and thirsty on gas. The Durango's bold styling may not be everyone's cup of tea and may grow old fast.
A new 4.7-liter V8 engine producing 303 horsepower replaces the previous 4.7-liter engine. The new powerplant also provides better fuel economy. The ParkView rear back-up camera system is now available.
Driving Impressions On the road, the Durango delivers a noticeably smoother ride than its predecessor and several others in the class. The quieter interior is free from the intrusive wind and tire...noise of the first generation. The steering is pretty impressive for a vehicle of this size, with good response and feedback that allow the driver to make exact lane changes and easily negotiate tight turns. Power for the base Durango is supplied by a sturdy 3.7-liter V6, with the 4.7-liter Magnum and the mighty 5.7-liter HEMI V8s as options. The base Durango is rear-wheel drive and offers the option of on-demand four-wheel drive; V8-powered Durangos have a tow/haul transmission setting that reduces gear searching by remaining in a lower gear for better pulling power.
The powerful HEMI V8 engine adds less than a thousand dollars to the price tag without a huge penalty in fuel economy.
Optional Heated Cloth Front Seats
Available on the SLT and Adventurer trims, these seats add warmth without having to add expensive leather as well.
The available split-folding third-row seats can be folded flush, and a flip-and-tumble second-row seat greatly aids entry and exit for rear passengers. The handsome dash is clean, simple and easy to use, with controls well within the driver's reach and logically arranged. Low-back rear seats won't block the driver's rearward view and feature headrests that can extend high enough to accommodate the tallest passengers. Introduced last year is the heated quad bucket seat package available on the SLT and Limited trim levels.Exterior
The 2008 Dodge Durango's styling may be new, but it's no less bold than the first Dodge Durango. The Durango's new look basically exaggerates the original model's popular styling by enlarging the grille and front headlamps and giving a new look to the rear. Larger six-by-nine-inch side mirrors improve driver visibility, while optional 20-inch chrome wheels are sure to increase the Durango's ability to get noticed. Total up all the little changes and the effect is one strikingly imposing vehicle that looks every bit as tough as it claims to be.
The 2008 Dodge Durango SXT features a V6 engine, air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear defroster, power locks, express up/down front window, power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, speed control, side-curtain air bags, Electronic Stability Program, traction control, tilt wheel, 17-inch steel wheels and a rear wiper/washer. The SLT trim adds a power driver's seat, 18-inch alloy wheels, 115-volt outlet, MP3-compatible six-disc CD changer and fog lights. The Adventurer adds the 4.7-liter V8, 17-inch unique alloy wheels and specific trim, while the Limited features 18-inch chrome alloy wheels, power liftgate, leather seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control and ParkSense rear park assist.
Options include a 4.7-liter V8 or a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, rear-seat DVD entertainment, six-disc CD/MP3 in-dash changer, leather seats, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, third-row seat, navigation, heated front and rear quad bucket seating, power rear liftgate, ParkSense rear park assist, ParkView rear back-up camera, remote start, electronic transfer case, aluminum wheels, power sun roof, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and power-adjustable pedals.
Although the V6 looks impressive on paper, the Durango's weight makes for slow going with the base engine. The new-found power in the 4.7-liter V8 makes it a better choice for shoppers trying to balance cost with performance. If you can afford an extra $1,000 and want all the performance available, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 is the way to go.
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
303 horsepower @ 5650 rpm
330 lb.-ft. of toque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 9/12 (E85), 14/19 (2WD, Gasoline), 13/17 (4WD, Gasoline)
5.7-liter V8 HEMI
335 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
370 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (2WD), 13/18 (4WD)
By david on Thursday, February 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "high stance, great drive, look great"
Cons: "no aux hook up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this truck used. I bought this truck knowing it had a hemi. So I wasn't surprised with the fuel economy like some of the people on here. An awesome truck! If driven soft, can get 21 mpg. Hard driving will give you closer to 14 mpg. Lots of power when needed. Lots of space. Great feel when driven. Sound very tough when just barely touching the gas. If you want good fuel economy, don't get this truck. If don't mind paying the extra amount to fill it up, one HECK of a truck!"
By Bren on Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 227,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth ride, and lots of room."
Cons: "Gas mileage isn't great, but it's a big SUV."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car new in 2004. I have always had a 30 to 40 minute commute to work and back. I put 227,500 miles on it so far. I broke down one time only, because of a bad water pump. Other than that I had no flats, or mechanical problems, until now. It is old and tired, and it has served me well. I feel like I am losing an old friend. My kids are grown, and I am downsizing."
By ply72rr on Saturday, January 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, interior size/seating, decent gas mileage"
Cons: "Ride, handling in snow (4x2)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded my 2003 Durango in to buy my 2004 Durango new and have loved every minute of owning it. It has loads of cargo space. I've moved my entire house twice using only my Durango. With the Hemi, this thing has plenty of power; however, that power is a downfall in snow. I've had only one real issue with the truck and that was the power steering system, but that appears to have been resolved. I drove the truck for 5 years in South Korea and learned that even as big as it is, it can go down some seriously small roads without any problem. Visibility is good, ride could be better, but it's overall a lot of fun to drive."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By dan p on Sunday, December 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, comfortable, powerful, great 4 off road"
Cons: "bad on gas."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I know most people would not think of the Durango as an off road vehicle. But I lifted mine 4 inches. I also added some 20x12.5 in rims on 33s off road tires. Guessing that added to the poor gas mileage. But with just the K&N intake and straight dual Magnaflow exhaust the Durango feels Powerful and was great on gas, again till i added the big heavy rims. But i have to say some of my most fun moments the Durango has taken me there, and the Arizona trails such as Chiva Falls have been a blast to drive through. My Durango is 10k short of 200000 and still runs like a champ. I truly believe that with regular maintenance my Durango will get me to 300k without any problems as it has been since i got it."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Rango on Friday, November 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room, 3 rows (stow-able), entertainment"
Cons: "GAS GUZZLER, randomly shuts off, slow acceleration"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Pros: Large, lots of room, convenient (6-CD changer, satellite radio, lots of cup holders) Cons: terrible gas mileage, car shuts off randomly when turning the steering wheel all the way, doors are heavy Overall, this car is great if you have a large family and disposable income for gas."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By lilloriw on Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe, dependable, great looking, runs great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my 2004 Dodge Durango new and loaded and never had any problems with it except for new tires and oil changes!!! I only put 41,000 miles on it so far and can not find any car as dependable as mine. Yes the gas mileage may not be so great, but the money I saved on no repairs in 10 years, made up for 12/17 MPG. It's tough, strong, good looking and safe!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful