What Are The Best Years For The Dodge Durango?


The Dodge Durango has been on the market since 1998, and three generations later, the SUV is a favorite for most families.

It is a three-row crossover SUV that offers interesting features for families and people who love adventure.

But which is the best year for the Dodge Durango?

What Are The Best Years For The Dodge Durango? 

Some of the best years for the Dodge Durango are the 2015, 2018, 2014, and 2020 models. Most of these models are fun to drive and offer great versatility for families and other motorists. 

Most of the new models might be expensive, but there are so many used models that offer stellar performance.

At first, the Dodge Durango offered truck-like features, and it was the only performance-oriented SUV after the Dodge Journey was stopped.

Dodge stopped production of the Durango between 2009 and 2011, but the model was back bigger and better. 

Below are some of the best model years you can go for:

Best Priced Dodge Durango? 

If you are looking for the Durango that offers the best value for money, the 2020 model will meet your needs. 

The model goes for about $30,795, according to the U.S. News and World Report. 

This is in comparison to the 2015 model, which came in five years earlier, costs up to $20,000. 

While the final price is dependent on the specific features of the models and the trim levels, the 2020 model has so many advanced features for motorists and the MSRP is a bargain. 

If you are looking for modern tech features in a family SUV, you can go for the 2020 model.

You will get features, such as push-button start, power-folding third-row headrests, three-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a seven-inch infotainment system. You also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Best Dodge Durango for Features and Price? 

If you need a Dodge Durango that balances features and price, the 2015 model will meet most of your needs. The first two generations of the Durango offered limited capabilities, but they are ideal when you need a budget used Dodge Durango. 

The third generation started in 2015 and brought in so many advanced features with more power and more versatility. 

Inside and outside, the 2015 model is more refined. Its unibody chassis gives it a stylish look, and you can get it in four trim options; SXT, Limited, R/T, and the Citadel. 

The Citadel is the most stylish of the four trim levels. The model offers three rows of seating where its front-row seat can fold flat, the middle row folds 60/40 while the third row split-fold 50/50. 

Although the third row may not be suitable for adults, it still offers enough comfort for the users. 

The third generation also came with better features and better design compared to the first two models. 

For instance, the newer infotainment system feels easier to use and has more interactive features. You also get a host of safety features and its exterior is well rounded. 

The interior of the 2015 model and the models that followed look more upscale and lush. You can fit more than a few small items in the cargo space. 

How Long with a Dodge Durango Last? 

The Dodge Durango lasts about 250,000 miles, which is about 16 years before it breaks down and requires expensive repairs. There are also instances where the Durango has lasted up to 400,000 miles. 

The longevity of your Dodge Durango is dependent on your driving habits, the service and maintenance intervals, and the frequency of off-road use.

If you drive the Durango aggressively, the rate of wear and tear increases and your vehicle’s durability is affected. 

You need to keep up with the manufacturer’s scheduled servicing and observe conservative driving habits.

If you do so, you will get at least 16 years of good service. 

The 2015 Dodge Durango has a Durango reliability rating of 82 percent from J.D. Power. The highest rating from J.D. Power was 88 percent for the resale value of the SUV. 

Some of the features that make the 2015 Durango impressive include the advanced navigation system, styling of gauges and the cluster of instruments, and the comfort of third-row seats. 

There are a few issues that motorists do not like about the 2015 model, including the limited trunk space, the forward visibility, and the lackluster nature of the transmission system. Most of the models are highly reliable on and off the road. 

Dodge Durango Through The Years: Is It Worth Buying a Used Durango? 

First Generation

The first generation ran from 1998 to 2003. This generation borrowed so much from the RAM truck and has the looks of a Ram pickup, but with a roof and rear seats instead of a bed. 

The Durango can tow up to 7,500 pounds and seats seven passengers. This generation had four different engines, including a 3.9L V6, a 5.2L V8, a 4.7L V8, and a 5.9L V8. 

In 1999 and in 2000, Dodge released a limited edition Shelby S.P.360 with a supercharged 5.9L Magnum V8 engine that generated 360 horses.

The Limited Edition model may have made the first generation of the Durango stand out but it also set the way for the models that were to come later. 

Second Generation

The second generation came between 2003 and 2008. When Dodge was engineering the second generation, they focused on exterior styling and performance. 

However, the exterior styling changes were more conspicuous than the performance improvements. 

If you prefer sleek styling at a bargain, you can go for the second generation. However, you will not get much in terms of performance from this second generation. 

Like the first generation, the second gen was closely linked to Ram pickup trucks. There is also a third row bench seat that allows the model to accommodate eight passengers. 

You will come across four engines in this generation, which include a 3.9L V6, a 4.7L V8, 5.7L Hemi V8, and a hybrid version of the 5.7L Hemi V8 with an electric motor that generates 87 horses. In 2017, Dodge did a facelift of the second generation model. 

Although the 2007 model looks better than the earlier models, it would still be better to buy a third generation if you need advanced tech features. 

Third Generation 

After the 2008 model, Dodge took a break and came back with the 2011 model. Dodge designed the third generation alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As such, the two models share a lot, and this is a good thing. 

Since the launch of the 2011 model, the third generation of the Durango has improved significantly to offer more advanced tech features. 

The automaker even released an SRT Hellcat version that generates 710 horses and 640 pound feet of torque. 

This engine also accelerates fast at 3.5 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. 

What Problems Do Dodge Durangos have?

Having been around for more than 20 years, the Durango has been able to correct most of the issues it experienced earlier, and today, there are only a handful of issues with most models. 

One of the main issues with the Durango pertains to the exhaust manifold bolts breaking. 

The bolts start breaking after the car hits more than 110,000 miles. Motorists will experience a ticking noise, especially when driving a cold engine. You can repair the issue for between $642 and $845. 

You may also experience leaking windshield issues where water from a windstorm can get into your car and you get a “check engine” warning light. You only need a revised crown fitting that goes for about 100 bucks. 

You may also get clogged gas recirculation tube issues. 

This issue needs a quick clean but can result in a rough engine idle or the engine stalling, which affects the safety of your Durango. The Durango with a 5.7L V8 engine may suffer a failing camshaft position sensor. 

The falling camshaft can also result in the engine stalling. You will need a replacement sensor to fix the issue. 

Over the years, the Durango has had a number of recalls. In 1998, there were six recalls, 1999 saw five recalls while in 2000 there were four recalls. Every year since then, there have been a few recalls, but on minor issues. 

The highest number of recalls was in 2014, with a total of 11 recalls. In 2020, there was only one recall while the years 2008, 2017, and 2019 had two recalls each. 

Closing Thoughts

The Dodge Durango has not had any major issues over the years. With routine maintenance, the Durango can last many years, regardless of the model you choose. 

If you are looking for an inexpensive used Durango, pick a first generation Durango. However, you may not like the styling and the truck-like handling that the models from that generation present. 

The second generation has a more advanced styling, but there is no major improvement in the performance of the model. If you need improved styling and improved performance, the third generation will meet your needs succinctly.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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