1998 Dodge Durango SLT 5.2L from North America

Summary:

The perfect compromise between a mini-van and small truck. I love it!

Faults:

Starter replaced at 39,000 miles, just out of warranty.

Upper Ball Joints replaced at 40,000 miles.

Lower Ball Joints replaced at 90,000 miles.

Rear Speed Sensor replaced at 90,000 miles.

Exhaust Valve work done at 95,000 miles due to low compression. Fixed the problem.

Front Speed Sensors replaced at 145,000 miles.

Serpentine Belt and Tensioner replaced at 145,000 miles.

Front Brake rotors replaced at 145,000 miles.

Part-Time 4-wheel Drive is never in "Part-Time" since I owned the car, it's either in 4-wheel or it's not. The key here is to not drive it constantly in Part-Time because it's a lot of wear and tear on the transmission, front tires, and ball joints every time you take a corner.

General Comments:

I have loved everything about this car except the gas mileage. The mileage stated when I bought was 19 on the expressway, but I have never seen it. Most of the time I get 15.

The truck has been used and abused, but still runs great, is very reliable, and has plenty of power for most of my uses.

Maintenance is the key to this vehicle. Make sure you rotate tires as required and get an alignment if it starts to vibrate or the front tires will get chewed up and the ball joints will go quickly. This is what the first owner failed to do and I got to pay for new tires, new ball joints because of it. That's the fun in buying a used car I guess.

This truck does NOT have the power I needed to pull a heavy car though. The truck is rated at 10,000 lb. towing, but does not do well pulling a 1500 lb. trailer with a 4500 lb. car. I feel the engine bogging down severely and feel that the transmission will not make it far pulling that kind of weight, but 4000 lb. seems to be no problem.

This is a good family car (4 kids) but not as comfortable as a mini-van so don't buy this as a replacement to one.

It is exactly what I expected it to be, a compromise between a mini-van (seating capacity) and a small truck (towing power and cargo room).

I am surprised to read all the complaints of repairing these cars, because as I approach 150,000 miles, I really have had few problems. I plan to drive this car until it dies (which I don't expect to happen for at least another 50,000 miles or 2 years).

It's funny, I much more of a Chevy and Ford fan, but I love this truck, the price was right, and I got exactly what I wanted out of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2003

6th May 2006, 08:09

That 10,000 tow rating is actually 10,500, which includes the vehicle's weight of 4,689 pounds. Including your 4,500 lb car as well as your 1,500 trailer is 10,689. I'm not surprised your tranny was straining.

11th Aug 2007, 23:40

I have had several repairs on my Durango as well. But over all I really like it. It is the perfect compromise between a minivan and a pick up. I performs admirable in 4 wheel drive (I live driving in snow and ice with it) and I am always confident when accelerating. We bought it 5 years ago at 90,000 miles and it's at 168,000 now, I've had to replace the transmission, rear speed sensor and the entire front end, ball joints, brakes etc. and now will need to replace the regulator on one of the windows. I have a strong suspicion this truck was abused by the original owner since when we replaced a rattly speaker, the inside of the door looked like it had been driven through a stream or small river. I really can't complain as it has been very reliable, and now, knowing how it was not properly maintained before we purchased it. I like the power and it has plenty of room for my three kids, two big dogs and the groceries or hockey equipment, can't forget the husband. Plus it gets me where I need to go, no matter the weather.

1998 Dodge Durango SLT 4x4 5.2 Magnum V8 from North America

Summary:

Overall, very well worth what I've put into it

Faults:

Moisture corrosion of electrical contacts for alarm system (make sure under your floor mat is drying properly as this can and will happen to you) - Warranty repaired.

Water pump at 127,000 miles.

Lower ball joints at 94,000 - Warranty repaired.

Upper ball joints at 125,000 miles.

Evaporator at 123,000 miles.

Other than that, basic maintenance, brakes pads (rotors once because I waited too long), tires, tune-ups, light-bulbs, etc.

General Comments:

Not all Durango's are lemons, with over 135k miles and climbing, the work I've had done one mine is what I expected. I plan on buying a new one to replace this next year and by then I should have well over 150k.

Tires average 50-55k miles before I feel they are unsuitable for safety reasons.

First major tune-up was at 94k miles.

Some of the items I didn't like about my 98 (was ordered, not one of those "off the lot" deals) were subsequently corrected in later models.

Suggestions - figure out how much you drive and get the Maximum Care warranty, even though I barely used mine, any time I went to the dealer they took care of the problems with little or no fuss. If your dealer is a problem - find another dealer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2003