2008 Dodge Durango Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
August 1, 2008

If you plan to tow, a 2008 Dodge Durango with a V-8 will work nearly as well as a Tahoe or Expedition, at a lower price.

In the process of assembling this review on the 2008 Dodge Durango, TheCarConnection.com gathered information from some of the best review sources. Then TheCarConnection.com's editors incorporated their own experience driving the Durango to create the most useful review possible.

The 2008 Dodge Durango is just a half-step smaller than full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe. The Durango was restyled for 2007, with a host of new features, including standard 20-inch wheels for both SLT and Limited trim levels.

The standard engine on the 2008 Dodge Durango remains the 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. A new version of Chrysler's 4.7-liter V-8 is available, with 303 hp and flex-fuel capability. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 returns as the Durango's top powerplant, offering 330 hp and 375 pound-feet of torque. The V-8 engines are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, but the V-6 gets a four-speed automatic. HEMI V-8 versions get the Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which helps improve fuel economy when coasting or cruising--so the three engines get very similar fuel economy of less than 20 mpg, even on the open road.

With either of the V-8 engines, the 2008 Dodge Durango is quite responsive, but with a curb weight of more than 5,000 pounds, it's neither especially fast nor nimble. The suspension is quite soft, bringing good ride comfort, though it can be a bit bouncy and queasy on twisty roads; in following, there's a lot of nosedive under hard braking.

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Inside, the 2008 Dodge Durango is well designed, with reasonably stylish but simple instrument-panel design and good seating for those in the first two rows. Third-row seating, for a capacity of seven or eight in total, is optional. Altogether, the Durango can offer up to 102.4 cubic feet of cargo volume and has a max tow rating of 8,950 pounds.

With four different trims--SXT, SLT, Adventurer, and Limited--and rear- or four-wheel drive available on each, the 2008 Dodge Durango spans a wide range of prices and included features. Top Limited models include leather heated seats, a parking-sensor system, power adjustable pedals, dual-zone climate control, LED flood lamps, and a premium sound system with Sirius Satellite Radio.

Options on the 2008 Dodge Durango include second-row heated seats, a backseat DVD system, and the MyGIG hard-drive music storage system. For 2008, Dodge adds 18-inch wheels as an option on the SXT, more chrome trim on the Limited edition, and a second-row reclining seat is a new option on the SLT and Adventurer models.

Side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes are now standard across the Durango model line. The 2008 Dodge Durango hasn't been recently tested by the insurance industry, and the federal government has only tested it for frontal impact, where it received top five-star ratings for the driver and passenger.

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