Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Dodge unveiled the first generation of the Durango at the 1997 North American International Motor Show.
The car-maker unveiled the third generation in 2011 and updated it later on almost every year.
Maybe the 2021 model should have been completely new, but the car-maker didn’t think it was the moment to launch it due to the world pandemic situation that led to financial difficulties for all the car-makers. Instead, they introduced a new facelift in July 2020.
The manufacturer revised the headlights from the outside, which now featured LED technology both for the lamps and for the daytime running lights. The grille was enhanced as well, and a new front bumper was installed. Apart from the SRT and the SRT Hellcat versions, which featured a different hood with air-scoops, the rest of the pack featured regular ones.
Inside, the manufacturer installed a new interior for the three-row SUV. A standard 8.4” U-Connect system was fitted as standard on the SXT and GT trim levels, while from the R/T and up models, a 10.1” touch-screen was fitted as standard.
Under the hood, Dodge installed two engine choices, apart from the SRT products. There was a 3.5-liter V6 unit offered in two power options and a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi that offered 360 hp. The standard transmission for the entire range was an 8-speed automatic. Dodge offered the Durango with either rear- or an all-wheel-drive system.
When Dodge reintroduced the Durango in 2011, it was unlike anything seen in the SUV segment before, providing its comfortable three-row seating, driving range, power, muscular design and cargo volume.
The 2014 Durango keeps all that ingredients and adds latest technology to enhance functionality, performance and design. The front fascia is designed using the current Dodge cues. It ha a slimmer “split crosshair” grille, redesigned projector-beam headlamps and a raised front bumper, completed by a new sculpted hood. The side profile looks has accentuated muscular fender arches and curves that flow back in through the doors. At the rear it has a new dramatic LED racetrack tail lamps and it features a new designed trailer hitch. Inside, five-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreens, a customizable 7-inch TFT gauge display, forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop and the latest generation of Uconnect Access Via Mobile are just some of the 2014 Dodge Durango’s available state-of-the-art features. Also, more than 60 safety and security features are available on the Dodge Durango, including standard all-speed traction control, seven airbags, electronic stability control and even trailer-sway control.
The second generation of the Dodge Durango SUV was also the first to introduce the 5.7-liter Hemi engine in the lineup. It had five different trims, starting with the basic, 4x2, SE, which featured basic options such as central locking, air-conditioning and a six-disc CD player with MP3 capability.
The Durango was based on the same chassis as the Dodge Dakota pickup truck. It featured a three-row seating position and a seating capacity of up to seven passengers. Its off-road abilities were limited due to the heavy weight. On the transmission side it first came with an automatic 4-speed gearbox. Another 5-speed automatic and a CVT were added later on for different engine options.
In 2007, a facelift was introduced at the Dallas Auto Show, and a newly redesigned hood was shown to the public. New features included electronic stability control, a tire pressure-monitoring system, rear park assist, and a one-touch turn signal.
By the end of 2008, the demand for the big SUV decreased and in October the Newark assembly plant where the Durango was built was shut down. The world financial crisis hit the big SUV market the most. In its last production year, as a 2009 model, Dodge was promoting the first Durango Hybrid, where the big 5.7-liter V8 engine was helped by two electric motors with 65 kW.
Introduced as a 1998 model, the Durango replaced the older Ramcharger, which was on the production line since 1974.
The Durango shared the same platform with the Dakota pickup truck, and the carmaker didn’t try to hide that by any means. Unlike the Ramcharger, the Durango was offered as a four-door full-size SUV that increased the market share of that brand.
Dodge designed the Durango in a retro-styling way, with the front fenders lower than the hood. The same recipe worked well for the Dakota. Its big, crosshair design on the grille and slim, horizontal headlights made the car look mean. Its flared fenders resembled the cars from the ’50s, while the raked, curved windshield made the connection with modern vehicles.
Inside, Dodge installed the same dashboard design as the one fitted in the Dakota. For the 1998 model year, the carmaker offered an interesting option for a third, rear-faced, row of seats. With that option checked, the Durango offered room for up to eight people. The customers were not very thrilled by that and didn’t ask for it. Later on, Dodge deleted that option from the list.
Chrysler decided to offer the same drivetrain as the one fitted in the Dakota, but later on, it added some more punch to the SUV. It included the 5.9-liter engine carried over from the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Edition and a supercharged V8 for the R/T version.