Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,200 – $23,700*

2005 Dodge Durango

2005 Dodge Durango

  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Ride
  • Trailer-towing capability
  • Acceleration
  • Fuel economy

Even larger than the 1998-2003 model, Durango matches some full-size SUVs for space and towing capacity. Unfortunately, it also matches their poor gas mileage. Overall, a Durango accelerates like a good midsize SUV, and it compares favorably to domestic rivals. We recommend that the underpowered V6 be avoided in favor of a V8–preferably the 5.7-liter Hemi. Thus equipped, Durango earns a Recommended rating.


Dodge redesigned its midsize sport-utility vehicle for 2004, giving it larger dimensions and more available power. The new Durango was 3 inches longer in wheelbase, 7 inches longer overall, close to 5 inches wider–and almost 400 pounds heavier than its predecessor. Principal competitors included the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Toyota 4Runner.

Durangos were offered with rear-wheel drive and two all-wheel-drive systems, one with low-range gearing. Three engines were available: a new 3.7-liter V6, a 4.7-liter V8, and a newly optional 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 85 more horsepower than the largest previous engine. V6 models came with a four-speed automatic transmission; V8s had a five-speed automatic with tow/haul mode.

Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS were standard. Traction control was newly optional, but an antiskid system was unavailable. Also optional were curtain side airbags that covered all three rows of seats. Front torso side airbags were not offered.

Durangos came in ST, SLT, and Limited trim. ST models had two rows of seats for five-passenger capacity; the SLT and Limited had a third row to seat up to seven. Third-row seats folded flat to the floor. The Durango’s rear liftgate lacked separate-opening glass.

Limiteds had leather upholstery, which was optional on the SLT. Other available features included adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, DVD entertainment, satellite radio, and Chrysler’s UConnect, which used the audio system as a hands-free, wireless link to any cell phone in the vehicle. A sunroof was available for the first time. Durangos could tow as much as 8950 pounds.

Yearly Updates

2005 Durango
A new Adventurer option package for outdoors enthusiasts included a rubber cargo-area liner with built-in organizer, plus a special roof rack and unique trim. Limited models could now be fitted with a navigation system. Heated front seats were newly available for the SLT as well as the Limited.
2006 Durango
An antiskid system became standard on the Limited edition and optional for other Durangos. Limiteds now offered eight-passenger seating, courtesy of a new three-place third-row seat. A power rear liftgate was made standard on the Limited and optional for the SLT. Traction control was no longer offered on Durangos.
2007 Durango
Dodge’s largest SUV got revised front and rear styling and some new features for 2007. Traction control was not offered, but an antiskid system was standard instead of optional for ’07, as were curtain side airbags that cover all three seating rows. Newly available for ’07 were 2nd-row bucket seats, remote engine start, 20-inch wheels, and dual-zone climate control.
2008 Durango
The 2008 Dodge Durango got a more powerful, 303-hp 4.7-liter V8 engine this year. This engine replaced a 235-hp 4.7 V8.
2009 Durango
Durango added a gas/electric Hybrid model for 2009, and the available Hemi V8 was boosted to 356 hp, a gain of 21. Newly available was Chrysler’s uconnect multimedia suite, which could include a wireless cell-phone link, 30-gigabyte hard drive for storing digital music and picture files, and a navigation system with real-time traffic information. However, Durango was discontinued early in the model year.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Three engines are available in Durangos. A 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 in ST and SLT 2WD models mates with a four-speed automatic transmission. Both the 230-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 and the 335-horsepower Hemi 5.7-liter V8 work with a five-speed automatic. For 2008, a more powerful 303-hp 4.7-liter V8 engine replaced a 235-hp 4.7 V8.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/225
Engine HP 210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 235
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.7/287
Engine HP 230-303
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 290
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/345
Engine HP 335
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 370
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



Road Test

Performance varies according to engine. The V6 is tepid at best in both initial acceleration and passing power; Dodge estimated 12.2 second 0-60 mph time. Durango’s 4.7-liter V8 is strong off the line, but passing power is weak. So is its estimated 10.2-second 0-60 mph time. The optional 5.7 V8 delivers plenty of power at all speeds, but its estimated 8.2-second 0-60 time only matches that of Ford Explorer’s smaller 4.6-liter V8. Models equipped with AWD are slightly slower from start-off.

Fuel economy wins no awards. An AWD SLT averaged 13.2 to 13.9 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. An AWD Limited with the Hem V8 averaged 13.9 to 15.3 mpg.

Durangos are among the nicest riding domestic SUVs. Suspensions iron out small bumps without being sloppy in side-to-side motions, though ruts and larger bumps can induce bounce. Steering is direct, but light and slow to react to quick directional changes. Expect moderate to considerable body lean in turns, but fine brake-pedal feel.

Engines are quiet at idle, but growl during acceleration. No tire whine is noticeable. Wind rush starts at around 60 mph, but never drowns out normal conversation.

Large white-faced gauges are backlit in green at night, and always easy to read. All controls are within arm’s reach. Interior materials are appropriate for the class and mostly durable-looking, but some lightweight plastics detract.

Front occupants enjoy plenty of leg and head room, even with the optional sunroof, while the driver gets a high, commanding view of the road. It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, but thick front pillars obstruct the view around corners. Large mirrors aid the rear view, and the available rear DVD screen does not block the view astern. Entry/exit requires a large step up, but becomes easier if available running boards are installed.

Second-row seats offer good head, leg, and toe room. Leg room is only tight for taller riders with the front seat fully rearward. The second row flips and folds with one hand, to allow access to the third row. The third-row bench can accommodate adults, but its seat bottom lacks thigh support.

Cargo volume is among the largest in its class. Second- and third-row seatbacks fold to create a nearly flat floor. Back glass does not open, but the tailgate liftover is floor-level, making loading large or heavy items easy. The standard one-piece third-row seat can only be folded from inside the vehicle, after moving the cushion forward, but the optional seat folds from outside. Dodge said a 4×8 panel would fit on the floor between the wheelwells, but it’s too long for the tailgate to close. Abundant in-cabin storage includes a deep center console and useful console tray.


Model Tested: 2005 Dodge Durango AWD SLT 4.7-liter

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 3
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 7

Total: 56


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.2 200.8 76.0 74.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
102.4 27.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 39.3 41.4 37.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 Durango 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: A/C may not blow cool air after driving about two hours with blower on low due to evaporator icing unless a resistor is installed in the evaporator sensor circuit. (2007-09)
Description: Brake pedal pulsation caused by original pads leading to runout of the rotor(s), which requires resurfacing (or replacing) the rotors and new brake pads. (2004-05)
Poor drivability
Description: The vehicle may have difficulty backing up on a steep hill requiring reprogramming the powertrain control module. (2005-06)
Description: The remote starter may not work because of a failed hood switch. (2004-05)
Description: The engine may not start, or may start and stop, when using the remote start feature due to a bad hood switch. (2004-05)
Steering problems
Description: Power steering additives containing Teflon can plug up the filter in the fluid reservoir. (2004-05)
Electrical problem
Description: The tailgate ajar warning light may come on accompanied by the interior lights and chime due to a wire for the tailgate shorting to ground and swapping the wires fixes it. (2006-07)
Description: The engine may not start, or may start and stop, when using the remote start feature due to a bad hood switch. (2004-05)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission may suffer delayed engagement after sitting overnight due to split in the filter in fluid cooler return line. (2005-06)
Transmission problems
Description: The filter in the transmission fluid cooler line may allow the torque converter to drain down causing delayed engagement when started after cold soak and a revised filter is available. (2004-06)
Transmission problems
Description: Vibration that feels like driving over rumble strips while driving at a steady speed is caused by defective transmission torque converter. (2007)
Fueling problems
Description: The vehicle may be hard to fill because the nozzle shuts off repeatedly unless an improved fuel vapor tube is installed. (2005-09)

Recall History

2004 Durango
Description: Positive battery cable may contact upper control arm mounting bracket, which
could result in short circuit.
2005 Durango
Description: Fuel tank filler tube inlet check valve may not fully close at end of refueling, allowing some fuel to escape from filler neck.
2005-06 Durango
Description: During certain operating conditions, windshield wiper motor armature shaft may break.
2005-06 Durango w/42RLE automatic transmission
Description: Cup plug that retains park pawl anchor shaft may be improperly installed, which could prevent engagement of “park” position.
2005-06 Durango
Description: The front windshield wiper motor armature shaft may break, causing a loss of front windshield wiping capability, which could occur and the driver’s vision could be obscured. Dealers will inspect and replace the windshield wiper motor.
2006 Durango
Description: Static electricity spark could cause turn signal, headlamps or wipers to malfunction without warning.
2006 Durango
Description: Wrong occupant restraint controller was installed on some vehicles, causing an increased risk of injury to the driver under certain crash conditions. Dealers will replace the occupant restraint control module.
2006 Durango w/ ABS
Description: Rear brakes could lock up under certain braking conditions.
2007 Durango w/automatic
Description: The powertrain control software can cause a momentary lock up of the drive wheels if the vehicle is traveling over 40 mph and the operator shifts from drive to neutral and back to drive. If the drive wheels locked up, loss of vehicle control could occur. Dealers will reprogram the powertrain control module free of charge.
2007 Durango
Description: The right front steering knuckle may have been improperly manufactured and could fracture, resulting in a loss of steering control. Dealers will inspect the recalled vehicles to identify the defective parts and replace them as necessary.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.