2005 Durango New Car Test Drive
The Dodge Durango is big and powerful with bold styling. Yet it's surprisingly refined, benefiting from a complete redesign for the 2004 model year. It's quiet, it rides smoothly, and its handling is stable and relatively agile. Efficient packaging has resulted in lots of cabin space for people and cargo.
The first-generation Durango was rough around the edges, but the current model is far more refined. Inside is a quiet, roomy, comfortable and technologically sophisticated cabin. Bigger than the first-generation models, the Durango now fits between the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition in terms of size. A space-efficient design makes maximum use of the Durango's size and it can seat up to seven passengers with the optional third row.
Two V8s are available and both are superb. The popular 4.7-liter V8 and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 are smooth and powerful. They come with a five-speed automatic that's smooth, refined, smart and responsive. There's also a V6.
The 2005 Durango lineup adds new SXT and Adventurer models and the availability of heated cloth seats and a full-screen navigation system.
The 2005 Dodge Durango features an expanded model line: ST, SLT, Limited, and the new STX and Adventurer models. Each is available with 2WD or 4WD.
Durango ST ($26,735) and ST 4x4 ($29,715) comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 and a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 17-inch steel wheels with on/off-road tires, a single-disc CD player, cloth interior, a second-row seat split 40/20/40 (for five-passenger seating), remote keyless entry and a 27-gallon fuel tank. A full-size spare is standard on all Durangos. The 4.7-liter V8 is optional. Also available are a bigger alternator and battery, an AM/FM stereo radio with six-disc in-dash CD and MP3 player, traction control, halogen headlamps, heavy-duty shocks and springs, a two-speed transfer case (low and high gears for 4WD), side curtain airbags and a sunroof.
The STX package adds roof side rails, neutral-density gray body side moldings, running boards, and a six-disc CD changer. Aluminum wheels are available.
The SLT ($29,150) is available with an optional third-row seat (for seven-passenger seating). SLT comes standard with the same cloth as ST, but offers two-tone leather as an option. SLT comes standard with the 4.7-liter V8. Optional is the 335-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V8 ($895). Both engines use the same five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is also available.
The SLT 4x4 ($32,130), the best-selling model, upgrades with body-colored moldings and fascia, a power driver's seat, interior wood trim, rear air conditioning, fog lamps and roof rails. Options include leather, satellite radio, power sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, running boards, a hands-free phone system and a DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones.
Adventurer includes a roof rack with a choice of six rack systems or an Adventurer accessory kit. The package also includes tubular side steps, reversible slush mats, rubberized washable cargo liner with built-in rear cargo organizer, and unique machine-finished wheels. The subtle mineral gray side molding and front and rear fascias visually identify the Adventurer.
Limited ($33,300) and Limited 4x4 ($35,590) add leather seats, a 384-watt eight-speaker MP3 sound system with six-disc CD, aluminum wheels, folding power heated mirrors, and a memory system for seats, mirrors, adjustable pedals. A full-screen navigation system with integrated control unit is optional.
Safety features include optional curtain air bags, and we recommend them highly for the head protection they can provide to occupants in all three rows in the event of a side impact or rollover accident. Side-impact air bags are not available, however. The advanced front air bags deploy with varying power based on the weight of the person in the seat. ABS is standard. Traction control is optional. Electronic stability control is not available. Government (NHTSA) crash tests resulted in a five-star frontal crash test rating (the best rating) for both driver and front passenger.