CarTest! Expert car reviews and advice     |     home
up      previous  next

Durango's generous hauling capacity applies to both loads and passengers.

2000 Dodge Durango Road Test
Big hauler tows 7,350 lb, carries eight

By Bill Roebuck

The Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicle tries to give you everything: Tough, off-road abilities, lap-of-luxury comfort and conveniences, workhorse torque and towing capacity, smooth performance and handling, and plenty of room for the whole family with seating for up to eight.

New for the 2000 model year is a 4.7-litre Magnum V8 that provides improved smoothness and fuel efficiency over its predecessor. It delivers 235 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine is coupled to a new electronically controlled automatic transmission that features a dual-ratio second gear. The tranny uses a higher ratio second gear for better startup acceleration, and a lower ratio for kickdown mode in highway acceleration for smoother performance.

Four-wheel drive (either part- or full-time) is standard on all Durango models, including the Sport, SLT, SLT Plus, and the just-released R/T Sport. The R/T features a growling, 250-hp, 5.9-litre Magnum V8 and massive 17-in. cast aluminum wheels. It's the one Tim “The Toolman” Taylor would order, I expect.

Compared to other vehicles in this size range (believe it or not, it's classed as a compact SUV), the Durango has the largest overall interior roominess and largest towing capacity -- 7,350 lb. The Durango is a truck at its heart. Ladder frame construction provides the chassis with strength and durability for a solid, stable ride. Ground clearance is substantial at 8 in.

One surprise in the Durango is its tight turning circle at 38.4 ft. Another was the quiet, smooth ride -- not truck-like at all. The Durango's price ranges starts at $37,750. The R/T as tested was $46,355.

© Copyright Bill Roebuck, 2002.

Search CarTest!
Custom Search