- Denver, CO
- 10 months
2005 dodge durango review this car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale. Believe it or not, refinement. introductionthe dodge durango is big and powerful with bold styling. Yet it's surprisingly refined, benefiting from a complete redesign for the 2004 model year. It's quiet, it rides smoothly, and its handling is stable and relatively agile. Efficient packaging has resulted in lots of cabin space for people and cargo. the first-generation durango was rough around the edges, but the current model is far more refined. Inside is a quiet, roomy, comfortable and technologically sophisticated cabin. Bigger than the first-generation models, the durango now fits between the chevy tahoe and ford expedition in terms of size. A space-efficient design makes maximum use of the durango's size and it can seat up to seven passengers with the optional third row. two v8s are available and both are superb. The popular 4. 7-liter v8 and the 5. 7-liter hemi v8 are smooth and powerful. They come with a five-speed automatic that's smooth, refined, smart and responsive. There's also a v6. the 2005 durango lineup adds new sxt and adventurer models and the availability of heated cloth seats and a full-screen navigation system. lineupthe 2005 dodge durango features an expanded model line: st, slt, limited, and the new stx and adventurer models. A full-size spare is standard on all durangos. The 4. 7-liter v8 is optional. Also available are a bigger alternator and battery, an am/fm stereo radio with six-disc in-dash cd and mp3 player, traction control, halogen headlamps, heavy-duty shocks and springs, a two-speed transfer case (low and high gears for 4wd), side curtain airbags and a sunroof. the stx package adds roof side rails, neutral-density gray body side moldings, running boards, and a six-disc cd changer. Aluminum wheels are available. the slt 29,150) is available with an optional third-row seat (for seven-passenger seating). Slt comes standard with the 4. 7-liter v8. Optional is the 335-horsepower 5. 7-liter hemi v8 895). Both engines use the same five-speed automatic transmission. The v6 is also available. the slt 4x4 32,130), the best-selling model, upgrades with body-colored moldings and fascia, a power driver's seat, interior wood trim, rear air conditioning, fog lamps and roof rails. Options include leather, satellite radio, power sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, running boards, a hands-free phone system and a dvd entertainment system with wireless headphones. adventurer includes a roof rack with a choice of six rack systems or an adventurer accessory kit. The package also includes tubular side steps, reversible slush mats, rubberized washable cargo liner with built-in rear cargo organizer, and unique machine-finished wheels. The subtle mineral gray side molding and front and rear fascias visually identify the adventurer. limited 33,300) and limited 4x4 35,590) add leather seats, a 384-watt eight-speaker mp3 sound system with six-disc cd, aluminum wheels, folding power heated mirrors, and a memory system for seats, mirrors, adjustable pedals. A full-screen navigation system with integrated control unit is optional. safety features include optional curtain air bags, and we recommend them highly for the head protection they can provide to occupants in all three rows in the event of a side impact or rollover accident. Side-impact air bags are not available, however. The advanced front air bags deploy with varying power based on the weight of the person in the seat. Traction control is optional. Electronic stability control is not available. Redesigned for 2004, the durango takes styling cues come from the 1946 dodge power wagon. durango's big-rig look is accentuated by its short hood. That short hood leads into a steeply raked windshield and sloping roof. The fender flares resemble those of a semi. The front fenders make the hood look as narrow as it is short. the roofline slopes briefly downward at the rear, and the liftgate window curves in to meet it. This reduces that boxy look common on so many suvs and minivans. Durango's taillights are distinctive as well, looking like afterburners from a jet fighter with two big red stacked circles per side. The sheet metal is molded around them to suggest speed. chrysler has an expensive new wind tunnel at its headquarters in auburn hills, michigan, and it was used extensively with the durango to reduce wind noise. The aerodynamics are fine tuned, including the mirrors and the subtle ducktail at the trailing edge of the hood under the wipers, for reducing wind noise over the windshield. The motor mounts were calibrated to reduce the frequencies and harmonics of each engine. The windows have an extra layer of lamination to deaden sound. Foam is injected into many of the body and chassis crannies, which would otherwise serve as tiny echo chambers. interiorwith a large amount of glass and huge cargo space, the durango feels big spacious. It's officially classified as a mid-size suv, like the explorer, but it's bigger than that and everything about it feels like a full-size. there is 68 cubic feet with the third row folded away, 102 cubic feet with the second row down. The distance between the wheel housings is 48 inches, good for loading wide cargo. And from the outside, the liftgate opens very easily. The cargo floor is relatively low thanks to the rear suspension design. the second and third rows are notably easy to access, as the rear doors open an exceptionally wide 84 degrees. The second-row seat easily flips forward with the touch of one hand, and the seatback flops flat just as easily. This is no small virtue. the second-row seats recline and have their own climate control, so back-seat passengers can snooze in comfort. Details are thought out, including convenient grab handles cleverly molded into the stubby rear leg of the second-row seat, which ease climbing back to the third row. The slt has orange-hued wood trim, while the limited presents a cleaner look with its brushed aluminum. (that's real wood and real aluminum, not plastic.) instrumentation is clean, handsome, easy to read and easy to operate. We especially like the simple black-on-white gauges and rectangular black venetian-blind style heating and cooling vents. The center console is deep, under a removable tray. Forward of that is another important compartment designed to serve as a fast-food bin. Two integrated cup holders with removable neoprene for different sizes of drink containers are provided. we found the slt's manual heating controls and the wiper controls a bit fussy, and the high beams seemed a little lacking one wintry night. Better are the limited model's high-tech climate-control panel with automatic temperature adjustment. It's smooth and quiet, quite different from the relatively noisy, rough-riding pre-2004 models. Both v8 engines are good choices. the 4. 7-liter engine is really good. It's powerful and really smooth. The 4. 7-liter v8 is rated at 230 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. But it only gets 14/18 mpg in 4wd, using 87 octane, and the more we looked at that versus the 5. 7-liter hemi, the more we gravitated to the bigger engine. the 5. 7-liter hemi is rated at 335 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. That's a lot more power than the 4. 7-liter while providing almost the same economy, 13/18 mpg with 89 octane recommended, 87 acceptable. For $895 more, the hemi seems like a no-brainer; plus, it can tow up to 8,950 pounds with the optional 3. 92 rear axle, compared to 7,400 for the 4. 7. And the two-speed transfer case is standard with the hemi 4x4, optional with the other engines. hemi, by the way, refers to the overhead-valve, hemispherical combustion chamber design, and harkens back to the late '60s when the 426-cubic-inch (7. 0-liter) dodge hemi ramcharger ruled. The 5. 7-liter felt a little more powerful than the 4. 7-liter, but it wasn't a night-and-day difference. The double overhead-cam, 5. 6-liter, 305-horsepower nissan armada feels like it has more oomph than the 5. 7-liter durango, which feels solid, but heavy. for its part, the 3. 7-liter v6 is rated at 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque and 16/21 mpg. The shifts were inc.
Denver, CODenver, CO 10 months at autoshopper.com