The 1998 Dodge Durango classifies as a new midsize SUV manufactured by Chrysler under the Dodge brand. It replaces the Dodge Ramcharger, which stopped production five years earlier in the North American market.
The 1998 Dodge Durango offers a sturdy truck-based SUV that can hold up to eight passengers and tow up to 8950 pounds with the right equipment installed. It only uses permanent four-wheel drive.
Body Styles: four-door SUV
Engines: 5.2-liter V-8, 5.9-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Durango, Dodge Durango SLT
The 1998 Dodge Durango makes its debut this year as the latest in Dodge’s line of trucks. It has the roomiest cargo space of all the SUVs in its segment. With an eight-passenger seating arrangement and three and a half tons of towing capacity, the 1998 Dodge Durango provides the most versatile SUV on the market.
Although the 1998 Durango sells as a midsize SUV, it stands larger than its competitors, like the Ford Explorer. However, the Durango also remains smaller than full-size SUVs such as the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe. It sits on a wheelbase of 116.2 inches and reaches an overall length of 193.3 inches. The Durango has a width of 71.5 inches and a total height of 72.9 inches.
The large dimensions of the Dodge Durango give it more interior space than other midsize SUVs such as the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Explorer. This seems evident from the fact that eight seats fit in the SUV effortlessly, despite its midsize classification.
The Durango has three rows of seats to accommodate eight passengers, and it does a commendable job with the two rows up front due to the abundant legroom and headroom on offer. However, the third seat feels a little too cramped for adults to sit comfortably and it suits children better. Moreover, the second-row seats have a thin padding that does not feel very supportive.
With the third seat up, the cargo space behind measures 18.8 cubic feet, and this proves large enough to carry a good amount of luggage. If required, the third and second row can be lowered quickly and easily for additional cargo space. The transfer case for the truck sits located on the floor, which can be a little hard to reach for the driver.
The dashboard of the 1998 Dodge Durango features a simple design with all the controls placed and marked conveniently. Vision looks good up front, but it gets hampered at the rear due to the thick side pillars and rear headrests. The Durango offers good quality overall, even though Dodge uses some cheap plastic parts here and there.
Performance & Handling
The 1998 Dodge Durango offers two engine choices. A 5.2-liter V-8 delivers 230 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 5.9-liter V-8 delivers 245 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque. Both engines pair with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The truck-like design of the Durango makes it seem more like a truck than a large car. This equates to a composed ride on bumpy roads and very little bouncing. Body lean remains, and the nose plows in when the Durango corners harshly, but the SUV still feels rather stable.
Although the steering feels a little numb at the center, the Durango has good directional stability. The 5.2-liter engine offers a good amount of power, but it lags a bit at low speeds. This can be solved with the 5.9-liter engine, though.
The 1998 Dodge Durango earns four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety in frontal-impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Durango 5.9-liter V-8, automatic: 12/16 mpg city/highway
- Lots of space inside
- Plenty of cargo space
- Powerful engines
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Rear visibility problems
- Cramped rear seat
The all-new Durango looks like it will make a big impact in its segment.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Explorer
- Chevrolet Blazer
- Mercury Mountaineer