2004 Dodge Durango SLT 4X2 4.7 V8 Power Tech gasoline


Macho looking SUV that is powerful, but prepare yourself for higher gasoline and maintenance bills


November 2004 - On its first and last trip to Baguio, there was a glitch found in the ABS. We had it disabled in a gas station near Session Road, and we were forced to drive back to Manila without ABS. Had it fixed when we got back.

Early 2005 - Left rear speaker malfunctioned.

November 2005 - Big time battery problem.

December 2006 - Parking brake almost broke.

Early 2008 - Tailgate light started to fall off when bringing it down.

March 2010 - Aircon failed. Nothing was coming out, even just warm air.

May 2010 - An oil leak was discovered just a month after the aircon was fixed.

September 2011 - Aircon failed again. Same thing happened, no air was coming out.

July 2012 - Check engine light appeared, even though the engine was working perfectly fine.

October 2012 - Check engine light appeared again.

April or May 2013 - We were on a vacation in Europe, but our driver makes sure that our cars still run even though it's only around the corner. Aircon failed again, although the problem was less serious, there was still warm air coming out. A month later, we drove it in heavy rain and we had to wipe off the moisture on the windshield. We felt like we were in a delivery van!

July 2013 - Check engine light appeared again. Did not bother fixing it again, because the engine still runs very well.

August 2013 - Left brake light does not work anymore.

General Comments:

At first we wanted the new model Pajero, however due to the scandals hounding Mitsubishi at that time, we looked at other SUVs like the Ford Expedition and the Chevrolet Tahoe. Also, we had a relative who was a top executive in the distributor of Chrysler and Dodge at that time, so we ended up with this!

This is a very rare SUV in this country. In fact, our Durango is the only one with a “fire red” color in this country. We bought this brand new back in March of 2004. Our relatives back then were the official distributor of the Chrysler brand here in the Philippines. Its name is Transfarm Motors. Today that company only brings in Chinese car brands. Chrysler is now distributed by CATS Philippines today. But their service center in Mandaluyong is still owned by Transfarm, and that is why when the car gets its PMS or needs to be repaired, we get the best service!

Now let’s take a review of this car. It has a 4.7 V8 engine. It is a very fast and powerful car. Our Durango can reach as much as 200 kph. In fact it has already reached that speed on the STAR Tollway when it was still brand new and the SCTEX back in November of 2008. It’s so fast that it had already become a target of speed cameras in NLEX when we took it out of town one time. This car is meant to be driven out of town, not in the city where traffic is always bad. Although this car is useful in the city during the rainy season because of the roads being flooded. One time when I was still studying in UST, I happened to use this car and it rained so hard that day (UST always floods when it rains hard) I was thankful I happened to use this car, because we didn't expect it to rain hard and flood.

Comfort for this SUV is below our expectations. The front is alright, but the back is not ideal for big people. The back part I believe is as uncomfortable as the Mitsubishi Pajero in the 1990s and early 2000s. This is an SUV that is meant to be driven, not to be chauffeured in. The comfort of the Ford Expedition is much better. Even a Montero Sport, as they say, has better legroom in the back.

Fuel-efficiency is not something you should expect in an American SUV. When filling up a full tank of gas for a long road trip to the countryside, you will notice at the end of the road trip that the fuel needle is already somewhere near ¼! It’s a really a gas guzzler, but it is worth it because the car runs fast; it has the ability to overtake slowpokes, especially tricycles.

Reliability during our first 5 years of ownership was great. However, due to the repairs and things that needed replacement, reliability has somehow gone down in recent years.

This is one great looking SUV! It's a stunner compared to the usual SUVs you usually see here like the Fortuner, Montero, and even the Expedition and Tahoe. It is still a head turner and people say it’s a great looking SUV. Many people say that this car is great for famous people like celebrities and politicians.

The biggest problems with owning these kind of SUVs are the amount of fuel it consumes and the cost of maintaining one. Sadly, we finally sold this car early last year (February/March 2014) after almost 10 years of it being with us. We're still not sure which car we'll get as a replacement for this vehicle. Whether it's a Mazda CX-5, Toyota Hilux, or a Toyota Fortuner (we're actually waiting for the new models of the 2 Toyotas), we're sure that these ones are cheaper to maintain, less gas guzzling and have diesel engines (except the Mazda though, but my dad really likes it).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th May, 2015