2002 Dodge Durango

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Key Specs

of the 2002 Dodge Durango. Base trim shown.

2002 Dodge Durango Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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.



Exterior
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.



Interior
Depending on the seating configuration, the Durango seats as few as five occupants or as many as eight. Two front buckets ...
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.



Exterior
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.



Interior
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

Latest 2002 Durango Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(3.0)

Reliable got me back and forth to work

by Britcar from Detroit, Michigan on August 28, 2018

This truck has 3 rows if you need the space comes with radio usb and auxiliary port a little tint on windows 4 door . Read full review

(4.0)

Dodge durango

by Dodge girl from Ohio on August 18, 2018

This truck lasted me 14 years. I never had to put a lot of money into it. Great vehicle to own. 7 seats with plenty of room. Towing package towed all of our needs and then some. Sturdy vehicle. Light ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2002 Dodge Durango currently has 6 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Dodge Durango has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Durango received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker