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2004 Dodge Durango

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2004 Dodge Durango Review

Tough-truck styling with the unprecedented power of a Hemi V-8, and greater interior space.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Dodge Durango is classified as a midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) but is actually slightly larger than most SUVs in this class. It was designed to fill a gap in the market between midsize and full-size SUVs. This makes it very versatile, as it’s a good size for people who need more room than is available in a typical midsize SUV, and who often need to tow larger loads. The smaller size makes it more economical and less bulky to drive around and park than full-size SUVs. It's based on a truck chassis and is capable of seating seven passengers, although choosing a model with captain's chairs in the second row reduces the seating capacity to six. The spacious interior has been revised for 2004 to yield larger cargo room and expand passenger legroom. The cargo capacity is sufficient for an SUV, and it is rugged enough to cope with most off-road situations.

The 2004 Dodge Durango has been redesigned to include a greater number of features, a larger body size, and two new, more powerful Magnum engines. Popular with the American public for more than a decade, it is widely considered a capable all-around SUV. Now that it's fitted with a more powerful engine and all-new features, it is set to face the competition again.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.7-liter V-8, 5.9-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Durango ST, Dodge Durango SLT, Dodge Durango Limited

What's New

The 2004 Dodge Durango redesign includes the exciting addition of the Hemi V-8 power, with added features and longer dimensions.


The 2004 Dodge Durango is available in three different trim levels: the entry-level ST, the SLT, and the Limited. Standard features in the ST and SLT levels include 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Limited features 17-inch steel wheels. All models have the chrome grille, privacy glass, intermittent wipers, and rear defogger. The SLT and Limited models have a roof rack, and all models have the fixed liftgate window, cargo tie-downs, and rear liftgate door.


The 2004 Dodge Durango is very similar to its sibling, the Dakota, and the dash and seat designs are almost identical. For those not familiar with the Dakota’s layout, this means large, easy-to-read gauges, and user-friendly controls. The decor is not particularly interesting, especially in the lower trim models, but that's not why people buy this vehicle. The Sport includes air-conditioning and power door locks, power mirrors, and power windows. The SXT model includes a roof rack and a CD-player, and most people will find this trim level sufficient for their needs.

Performance & Handling

All 2004 Dodge Durango models except for the R/T are fitted with a 4.7-liter, V-8 engine, which produces 235 horsepower (hp) and 295 lb-ft torque. This comes with a standard five-speed automatic transmission. The R/T model comes with a 5.9-liter, V-8 engine, which produces 245 hp and 335 lb-ft torque, paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. With such large engines, fuel economy is unsurprisingly poor. The maximum towing capacity and payload are 7,550 pounds for the 23-hp model and 1,770 pounds for the 245-hp model, which is far more than most trucks in this segment. It is pleasant to drive and handles very well. The steering is responsive and tight, and it suffers very little from body roll. The suspension can smooth out bumpy rides, and it drives well even when fully-loaded.


The 2004 Dodge Durango includes side-curtain airbags, which is unusual for this class of vehicle. In government crash tests, it received four stars out of a possible five for frontal-impact collisions. There is no data available for side-impacts.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Durango 4.7-liter: 12/18 mpg city/highway
Dodge Durango 5.9-liter: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong V-8 engines
  • Excellent ride quality
  • Smooth-shifting transmissions
  • Rugged good looks

You Won't Like

  • Thirsty V-8s
  • Decreased maximum passenger size to seven

Sum Up

Tough-truck styling with the unprecedented power of a Hemi V-8, and greater interior space.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota RAV4
  • Infiniti JX35
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • GMC Acadia
  • Land Rover LR4

See the New 2015 Durango.

Front & Driver Side View

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