2005 Dodge Durango
1-10 of 25 reviews
Test drive review

Dad's Minivan - and loving it

by from RTP, NC on March 26, 2010

The 2nd generation Durango is like having a minivan that you can take off road. Pros: Hemi power, 3rd row seating, multiple power outlets, best handling in class, styling (if you like it) Cons: Hemi...
The 2nd generation Durango is like having a minivan that you can take off road. Pros: Hemi power, 3rd row seating, multiple power outlets, best handling in class, styling (if you like it) Cons: Hemi mileage, lots of hard plastics inside, styling (if you don't like it) We've always had a minivan for the school and an SUV for trips off the beaten path, but with 2 kids involved in activities, my Grand Cherokee was too small for carpool duty, and getting too small for family trips. The Durango isn't as off-road capable as the Jeep, but what is? The AWD has been more than capable in snow, on fire roads, and in deep sand at the beach, plus it easily carries 5 kids when we carpool, or everything our family of 4 needs to go camping. The huge back doors open 90 degrees to the body, making access to the 3rd row seat easy with the tilt and tumble middle row. The middle row also has a large center armrest/small center seat that folds down to provide convenient cupholders and a wide space between the children (parents will appreciate this). There is almost no room behind the 3rd row when it's up, but that's pretty much par for the class. Fold it down and you've got plenty. I already had a car-top bag, and while getting it on and off of the very tall Durango is a challenge, it means that we can actually carry 7 people on long trips in relative comfort. I'm amazed at how quiet the car is, at highway speeds you hear the pleasant rumble of the Hemi and wind noise comparable to my wife's minivan. The handling is surprisingly good for a car this tall and heavy. The Hemi means you never lack for grunt, and the suspension works very well, with minimal body roll and well weighted, linear steering. That comfort diminishes after an hour or so because the seats are somewhere between "firm" and "hard", but I figure that means it will be longer before I'm sitting on the springs. Driver comfort is a tossup for me between the D and my wife's Sienna van - the van seats are softer, wider, and flatter, the Durango is supportive and well-bolstered, with a better relationship to the wheel and pedals. I like the control layout of Dodge products, so I find everything right where I expect it, and nearly everything works as I expect. All of the controls are large and well labeled, and mostly logically laid out. There are power outlets in the dash, center console, and cargo area, with the latter 2 configurable to be on even when the key is off (convenient for charging cell phones/iPods/games, or for running inflators/trouble lights). The center console is cavernous - with a tray to keep small items from getting lost. A very thoughtful touch is that the lid allows you to run the cord for your phone charger from the outlet inside the console to the cubby designed to hold your phone on the outside. There are also plenty of places for your stuff - a giant bin in the console, thoughtfully lined with a rubber mat to keep things from sliding. The robustly styled interior matches well with the Freightliner/Power Wagon exterior. I like the styling of the Durango, particularly compared to the Tahoe and Navigator, but it's definitely strongly styled, and I get that not everyone will like it. Still, it's executed well and consistently, and kudos to Dodge for that. On the con side, the hemi is thirsty - although I'm averaging slightly better mileage than I expected: 18mpg give or take for a mix of town and highway driving, with a little idling in the carpool line thrown in for good measure. The interior is filled with hard surfaces - lots of plastic and not a lot of padding. I hope that it will hold up well, and it does make cleanup easier, but finding a place for your elbow on a long trip and be challenge. Many reviews pan the 3rd row seat as unusable, and I certainly wouldn't ask any particularly large adults to sit back there, but it's more than sufficient for our 3rd row use. The rear seats also fold/unfold quickly and easily, giving you a wide, flat space for your stuff. I haven't tried to carry a full 4'x8' sheet of plywood back there yet, but it looks like it might fit. Most of the reviews I read that panned the Durango seemed to be from people who bought the wrong class of vehicle. If you want to park in the compact spaces and get 30mpg, buy a small sedan. If you want go-kart handling and a spoiler, buy a sports car. This is a large midsized SUV - and in that class, it's an A student.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

54 out of 54 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

get the Hemi

by from Michigan on March 6, 2009

My wife and i bought our 05 limited with 60 thousand miles on it about 2 month ago. We love it!! The Hemi has plenty of power. We get about 17 to 18 mpg on e way at about 70 mph. In the city we get 13...
My wife and i bought our 05 limited with 60 thousand miles on it about 2 month ago. We love it!! The Hemi has plenty of power. We get about 17 to 18 mpg on e way at about 70 mph. In the city we get 13 to 15mpg. One of the only flaws that I can see is the plastic around the front seats. They has a tendency to crack .I purchased a new piece for 50 dollars and that is all that I have not liked. It has plenty of room it handles really good in the snow and I can see that we will have it for years to come
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Great car, safe car, highly recommended.

by from DE on October 11, 2008

I love this Durango! Although quite horrible on gas, the handling is great, its comfortable, (although I wish the second row seat was back a little further so I don't constantly get kicked in the back...
I love this Durango! Although quite horrible on gas, the handling is great, its comfortable, (although I wish the second row seat was back a little further so I don't constantly get kicked in the back of my seat by my 4 year old), and it looks wonderful. I feel safe in it and that is most important when you have young children with you. The Hemi engine is quite powerful, which means it eats gas like mad, but other than that, it is probably the nicest car I have ever owned and the newest. I bought it with 50,000 miles on it 1 year ago and have had no problems with it. Took it on a 1800 mile road trip 2 months after getting it and it was great. The gas mileage on the highway was surprisingly good. Its all the stop and go that eats up the gas.
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Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Value and Speed

by from Chicago/Iowa on August 23, 2011

This car is the bomb. I'm about to buy my third. My 2004 went to my ex, I wrecked the second, 2005, and am replacing it with a third 2005. Yes, I like them. The interior is plastic, but OK. You can sp...
This car is the bomb. I'm about to buy my third. My 2004 went to my ex, I wrecked the second, 2005, and am replacing it with a third 2005. Yes, I like them. The interior is plastic, but OK. You can spend double for an X5 BMW and get a nice interior. I commute three hundred miles, often in bad weather, and I've never enjoyed a commute more. The ride and handling are excellent for the size, but you need the hemi for frequent passing in a vehicle this big. This car accelerates almost as fast as my M3 from 30 to 70! Unlike the M3, however, it does not get stuck on a wet lawn. In fact, I went up a 45 degree hill in two feet of snow last winter, and the Durango stays nicely in line when other cars are sliding off the road in front of me. If you want gas mileage, buy a Prius. I'd rather be able to hit a deer at 70 and walk away, as I did. I'm six foot, and the seat is perfectly set to step in, without the running boards, though they are a nice touch for the kids. The back fits a 4x8 sheet of drywall and large furniture/windows, so this is a great multi-purpose vehicle. Since there is no premium for these, unlike other big SUV's, you can get a low mileage one for a song compared to new or other similar SUV's. I have not had any reliability problems, and it's a lot cheaper to maintain and fix than my other cars. Lastly, if you buy it for business, it fits the greater than 6,000 lb. sec 179 rules, so it can be expensed the first year. For me, there is no better vehicle, regardless of price.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Great vehicle

by from Warsaw,Mn on September 23, 2012

I love my Hemi Dodge Durango. I had a conversion van which was nice when the kids were home but now wanted to upgrade to a SUV. Had to have the Hemi power for towing. Used prices between the Hemi and ...
I love my Hemi Dodge Durango. I had a conversion van which was nice when the kids were home but now wanted to upgrade to a SUV. Had to have the Hemi power for towing. Used prices between the Hemi and small V-8 is very minimal so why not get the extra horsepower. Would not buy one without a Hemi. Mopar Nut
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

I hate to give it up!

by from Virginia on February 7, 2011

I have owned my Durango SXT since 2008. I am in love with this vehicle. I have not had any problems other than routine maintenance. It is my first SUV. It handles great, smooth ride, very roomy. Handl...
I have owned my Durango SXT since 2008. I am in love with this vehicle. I have not had any problems other than routine maintenance. It is my first SUV. It handles great, smooth ride, very roomy. Handles great in the snow and rain. I just wish the interior wasn't so basic. I am giving mines up because of the driving distance that I have to do because of school, but when I am done in a couple of years I will be looking into a newer Durango.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

would buy another

by from Northeast , PA on September 23, 2012

great all around vehicle. Tows great. Holds 6 people easily. Very powerful and handles great. Reliable and cheap to own.
great all around vehicle. Tows great. Holds 6 people easily. Very powerful and handles great. Reliable and cheap to own.
Comfort
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Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

It turned out to be a Lemon

by from Denver, CO on May 11, 2006

I have owned my 2005 Durango SLT 5.7 l HEMI since October 2005. I have had nothing but problems with it. The Ovedraft doesn't hold when going downhill. When in 1st or second gear in the mountains, the...
I have owned my 2005 Durango SLT 5.7 l HEMI since October 2005. I have had nothing but problems with it. The Ovedraft doesn't hold when going downhill. When in 1st or second gear in the mountains, the transmission cannot figure out a constant speed - the vehicle keeps accelerating and decelerating on its own. It is very inconvinient and sometimes dangerous. Sometimes first or second gear will not even hold the vehicle down - I have experienced acceleration to 30mph in 1st and 45mph in 2nd gear. The dealership cannot find what's wrong with it. They have contacted Dodge engineers and they say they are trying to figure out what the problem is. I can tell you what it is - it is a cheaply made car. The HEMI power is less than impressive - acceleration is worse than my 210 hp Jeep Liberty. The biggest LEMON i have ever owned. Do yourself a favor, don't buy this vehicle
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Purchased a new car

Does not recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

owner

by from CA on May 14, 2006

I love my new stylish durango. I have 4 kids and I downsized from an excursion, we love it.I love the way the body looks,I wish I had a sun roof but otherwize the gas makes up for it and the price. I ...
I love my new stylish durango. I have 4 kids and I downsized from an excursion, we love it.I love the way the body looks,I wish I had a sun roof but otherwize the gas makes up for it and the price. I will wait to see how it holds up mechanically.I feel smart driving it, its so sporty outside and we compared it to all the smaller suv's in its size.Its practical without going to a minivan.
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Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Reliable, solid, and fast

by from Poconos, PA on December 29, 2012

Never had a problem with this sport utility. Very dependable. Confident in the snow. Tons of room inside. A real 3rd row seat and huge cargo area. Very quiet and smooth on the highway. Over 20 mpg on ...
Never had a problem with this sport utility. Very dependable. Confident in the snow. Tons of room inside. A real 3rd row seat and huge cargo area. Very quiet and smooth on the highway. Over 20 mpg on road trips.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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