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 Kels on Sunday, February 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 216,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My husband and I bought our 2006 Dodge Durango SXT 4x4 new from the dealer. We weren't sure if we liked the new style at the time but we drove it and loved it! For a big SUV it drove smooth and comfortable. It fit our 2 kids and 2 large dogs well. ALways got about 19 mpg. We tried to stay on top of all maintance ..tranny flushes, radiator flushes, oil changes etc. Aside from tires and brakes the first issue I had with the Durango was at nearly 200,000 miles the 4x4 control module went out in it. Then the next year at 216,000 miles it started to over heat. 2 different dealerships were stumped as to why it would overheat. It could idle for hours but once you drove it 1/4 mile it overheated. Instead of paying to get into the head gaskets I had it replaced with a remanufactures Jasper engine. I'm not sore about that because like I said we had no issues up til then. $4,994 for the engine and labor isn't bad after 8 years of not getting nichled and dimed. The paint has held up nice but the Durangos all seem to rust near the gas tank door. We had purchased the rust protection and recently had it taken care of. 2006 Durango with new engine and no rust looks brand new now!"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By JenGS on Thursday, February 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Styling and power!"
Cons: "gas mileage and smooth driving"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Bought the 2009 Limited model after doing a lot of research on the vehicle. It's a beautiful car that is fun to drive. Very powerful and comfortable, fits my family well. Starting to have a few electrical issues with the power seating and power liftgate. Things I don't like: the gas mileage in this vehicle is awful! Should be getting 13...not even close, try 8-9mpg city! GAS GUZZLER! We knew it wasn't the greatest on MPG going in, but 8mpg is ridiculous! It is also a very bumpy ride around corners and bumps. It feels like the shocks are blown all the time. If we had been able to test drive it a little more before we bought it, we wouldn't have bought it."
By great one on Monday, January 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles great, good interior options.great in snow"
Cons: "engine falls apart."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Engine blew at 77000 miles.Babied the truck. no off roading, only did about 7k a year. Regularly scheduled maintenance. Never missed any routine maintenance no accidents. One day engine woulndt start. Had it towed to dodge and was told it was fatal. Something called hydrolock. 6k to fix. I refused. Apparently this is common with the 2004 hemi."
8 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Blahawk11 on Saturday, December 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 141,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, good gas mileage, great power"
Cons: "cheap plastic, electrical problems,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I owned this SUV since 133k miles on it now has 141k. the tranny does have a mind of its own sometimes and I am starting to have problems with the front fan not wanting to work same with the 4wd which is wierd because its AWD. The plastic is pretty cheap in some areas like on the front seats especially they are falling apart. sadly it takes 7 quarts of oil (5.7 hemi) great power. bought it in May of '14 so i havent had it for to long. Alot more power after I put a K&N air intake on it. not a whole lot of room under the hood to work on. kind of tight width wise for bigger people. not much room for storage (ie glove box and center console) Has alot of blind spots on the front end or mabe i just sit weird. Gets better gas mileage than my 95 ford F-150 5.8L and my 92 Dodge D-100 318. though has a little bit to much room for just me."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By oo7 on Friday, November 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best handling and performing SUV"
Cons: "Cheap materials used on interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has been a great vehicle to own. Other than regular oil changes and three sets of tires, the SUV has been extremely reliable. Gas mileage is not that great, but what do you expect from a 5.7 liter engine and a heavy duty vehicle. All systems continue to function well with the exception of the stacking CD player. I am on my second unit and the CD player no longer works. The CD's appear to get jammed. Leather interior and paint have held up well. Fit and finish of interior could be better and would prefer less use of cheap looking plastics. Would I buy this vehicle again? Absolutely! Do I recommend it to others? Absolutely!"
18 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By DurangoFunctional on Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Room, funtionality, AWD!, tow package, storage bin"
Cons: "4.7 could use a little more HP/typical big SUV MPG"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my Durango used with 65k on it and since have nearly put 10k more on it. I purposely picked the SXT trim for the delete 3rd row seat in favor of the additional storage compartment. I also chose a AWD/2spd 4WD model for that added function for the ICE storms we have in SC. Other than a trans service because of the mileage and a related ESP sensor this truck has performed brilliantly. The AWD system is superb, I can traverse my up hill gravel driveway with no slip where other's spin. It handles ice, snow, mud, heavy rain, and wet field grass like it were dry. The interior of the SXT is not luxurious, but it is perfect for anyone who is outdoorsy, has pets, hunts, or just wants a functional over frilly vehicle. Seats are comfortable for long hauls, and there is plenty of legroom for grown adults(I'm 6'3"). I have seen comments of interior is plasticy, it is but it's durable and less to worry about falling apart. I have two huge storage bins in the back under the main floor. One for towing/hauling gear, the other for my outdoorsy stuff I don't want laying around. Only gripe I have is I wish the 4.7 flex fuel put out 250hp to 300hp instead of the 230hp, but it will still adequately get up and go when passing and merging on the highway. The other is the fuel mileage, but this thing has all the function I want, room, and durability so I will live with the 16-22mpg."
8 people out of 17 found this review helpful