• (4.4) 21 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $1,062–$7,506
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 14-16
  • Engine: 250-hp, 5.9-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 5-8
2002 Dodge Durango

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Dodge Durango

2002 Dodge Durango Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Dodge’s sole offering in this segment straddles two sections of the SUV market. The Durango isn’t too big or too small; it’s larger in size than most midsize sport utility vehicles, such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, with its V-8 engines and optional eight-passenger seating. It challenges full-size models like the Chevrolet Tahoe. Billed as the “right size” by Dodge, the Durango promises “full-size SUV roominess” combined with compact-level maneuverability.

A new entry-level SXT model joins the lineup for 2002. The Durango also can be equipped with step-up option packages, which include the SLT, SLT Plus and performance-oriented R/T. A new option group includes graphite front and rear fascias, grille and fender flares, as well as 16-inch aluminum wheels. Newly available curtain-type airbags for the front and second-row seats deploy from the ceiling. The Durango, which debuted for the 1998 model year and is based on the Dakota pickup truck, is due for a face-lift, if not a redesign, possibly for 2003.

From the windshield forward, the styling on the four-door Durango is the same as the Dakota pickup truck. Its overall length is 193 inches. The R/T edition includes 17-inch tires on cast aluminum wheels, performance shock absorbers, a limited-slip differential and a performance-oriented axle ratio.

Depending on the seating configuration, the Durango seats as few as five occupants or as many as eight. Two front buckets and a three-place second-row seat are standard for five-passenger capacity. For eight-passenger seating, a three-place bench can replace the front buckets and an optionaltwo-place third-row seat can be added. The middle and rear seats fold flat for a maximum cargo volume of 88 cubic feet. A new DVD-based backseat video entertainment system is available as an option.

Under the Hood
A 235-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8 that drives a newly enhanced five-speed-automatic transmission is the base engine, and a 250-hp, 5.9-liter Magnum V-8 that teams with a four-speed automatic is optional. The Durango comes either with rear-wheel drive or a choice of two four-wheel-drive systems. Standard 4WD cannot be used on smooth, dry pavement, but the optional 4WD system is a full-time unit. Both systems may be engaged with a dashboard-mounted switch. Antilock brakes are standard.

Driving Impressions
SUVs aren’t supposed to sound like Dodge’s sporty, performance-oriented Durango R/T edition. It emits lushly gurgling exhaust notes that would befit a sports car and sounds like it’s ready to lunge into space. While it’s reasonably vigorous, the performance from the Magnum V-8 engine falls a bit short of what one is led to expect from that muscular sport-tuned sound out back. On the plus side, the automatic transmission reacts promptly and smoothly for passing.

The Durango is essentially pleasing all around, but it isn’t quite as friendly to the driver and occupants as, say, the new Ford Explorer. Steering is easy and little correction is required, but it’s not quite as precise as on some SUVs. It’s difficult to overcome a tendency to avoid pushing too hard in tight curves. Appealing seats offer excellent support and firm but comfortable cushioning with plenty of space for the driver and passengers, though the rear seatbacks aren’t very tall.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 21 reviews

Write a Review

Good vehicle for the winter!

by DogLoverMom from on November 18, 2017

This vehicle is perfect for any student who need some wheels to commute to and from work or school. Or just having a first car.

Read All Consumer Reviews

7 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2002 Dodge Durango trim comparison will help you decide.

Dodge Durango Articles

2002 Dodge Durango Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 6 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Other Years