Wheel Chasers

Unlocking the Power and Reliability of a Used Dodge Durango: The Ultimate Guide

The Dodge Durango has been a popular SUV choice for families since its debut in 1998. Over the years, the Durango has gone through several changes and updates, becoming one of the most reliable SUVs on the market.

If you’re considering a used Durango, there are a few key factors you should keep in mind. Overview of the Dodge Durango Model History:

First-generation Durango (1998-2003):

The first Durango was produced from 1998 to 2003.

It featured a body-on-frame construction, with a V6 or V8 engine option. It was a popular choice for families and was known for its spacious interior, comfortable ride, and off-road capabilities.

Second-generation Durango (2004-2009):

The second-generation Durango was launched in 2004. It was redesigned with a unibody construction, providing a smoother ride and improved fuel efficiency.

It also had a longer and wider body, making it more spacious than the previous model. Third-generation Durango (2011-present):

The third-generation Durango was introduced in 2011 and is still in production today.

It features a more refined and modern look, with improved technology and safety features. It also has an optional third-row seat, making it a popular choice for larger families.

Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Used Dodge Durango:

1. Mileage:

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a used Durango is the mileage.

The higher the mileage, the more wear and tear the vehicle has experienced. Be sure to check the maintenance records and have a mechanic inspect the vehicle before buying.

2. Condition:

The overall condition of the vehicle is another important factor to consider.

Look for signs of wear and tear, such as dents, scratches, and rust. Check the interior for any damage or tears in the upholstery.

Be sure to take the vehicle for a test drive to ensure it runs smoothly. 3.

Safety Features:

Safety is a top priority when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. Be sure to check that the Durango you’re considering has up-to-date safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control.

4. Maintenance History:

A well-maintained vehicle is more likely to be reliable and have fewer issues.

Be sure to ask for the maintenance records of any Durango you’re considering. Look for regular oil changes, tune-ups, and other routine maintenance.

5. Price:

The price of a used Durango can vary depending on the year, mileage, and condition.

Do your research to determine the fair market value of the vehicle you’re considering. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the seller if it seems too high.

In Conclusion:

If you’re in the market for a used SUV, the Dodge Durango is a reliable and popular choice. Keep these key factors in mind when considering a used Durango: mileage, condition, safety features, maintenance history, and price.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can find a high-quality, affordable Durango that meets all of your needs. 3.

Top features to look for in a used Dodge Durango:

If you’re in the market for a used Dodge Durango, there are a few key features you should look for to ensure you get the best value for your money. 1.

Engine Performance:

The Dodge Durango is known for its powerful engine options. Depending on the model year, you may have a choice between a V6 or V8 engine.

Look for a Durango with a well-maintained engine that provides reliable and powerful performance. 2.

4WD or AWD:

The Durango can come in either a four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) system. These systems provide improved traction and handling, making them a popular choice for drivers in areas with snow, ice, or rough terrain.

3. Towing Capacity:

Another standout feature of the Durango is its impressive towing capacity.

If you plan on using your SUV for towing, look for a Durango with a higher towing capacity, such as one equipped with a V8 engine. 4.

Spacious Interior:

The Durango is known for its spacious interior, making it a popular choice for families. Look for a used Durango with ample room for passengers and cargo.

Consider models with an optional third row of seating for larger families. 5.

Advanced Safety Features:

Safety is an important consideration when purchasing any vehicle. Look for a Durango with advanced safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning systems.

4. How to Assess the Condition of a Used Dodge Durango Before Buying:

Assessing the condition of a used Dodge Durango before purchasing is an important step to ensure you’re getting a high-quality vehicle.

Here are some tips to help you assess the condition of a used Durango:

1. Exterior:

Inspect the exterior of the vehicle for any signs of wear and tear, such as scratches, dents, rust, or paint damage.

Check the tires for tread wear and proper inflation. Look under the vehicle for any signs of leaks or damage to the undercarriage.

2. Interior:

Check the interior of the vehicle for any damage or excessive wear.

Look for any stains, tears, or odors in the upholstery. Check that all of the dashboard controls and electronics are working properly, such as the air conditioning, stereo system, and power windows and locks.

3. Engine and Transmission:

The engine and transmission are critical components of any vehicle.

Have a mechanic inspect the engine and transmission to ensure they’re functioning properly. Look for any leaks or unusual sounds when the vehicle is running.

4. Maintenance Records:

Request the maintenance records for the Durango you’re considering.

Look for records of routine maintenance, such as oil changes, tune-ups, and fluid changes. A vehicle with a well-documented maintenance history is more likely to be reliable and have fewer issues.

5. Test Drive:

Take the Durango for a test drive to assess how it handles on the road.

Pay attention to the steering, brakes, acceleration, and overall ride comfort. Listen for any unusual sounds coming from the engine or transmission while driving.

In Conclusion:

Purchasing a used Dodge Durango can be a great investment for families and off-road enthusiasts alike. By looking for key features such as engine performance, 4WD or AWD, towing capacity, and advanced safety features, you can find a Durango that meets your needs.

When assessing the condition of a used Durango, be sure to inspect the exterior and interior, have the engine and transmission checked, review maintenance records, and take the vehicle for a test drive. By following these tips and doing your research, you can find a high-quality used Durango for an affordable price.

5. Tips for Negotiating a Fair Price on a Used Dodge Durango:

If you’re in the market for a used Dodge Durango, negotiating a fair price is an important step to get the best deal.

Here are some tips for negotiating a fair price on a used Durango:

1. Do your Research:

Before negotiating, research the fair market value of the Durango you’re interested in.

Use online resources like Kelley Blue Book or NADA to determine the average price for the year, make, and model of the vehicle. 2.

Bring a Mechanic:

If possible, bring a mechanic with you to inspect the vehicle before negotiating. They can provide insight into the condition of the Durango and identify any potential issues that may affect the price.

3. Point out any Issues:

If you notice any issues during the inspection, bring them up during negotiations.

This can help you negotiate a lower price or ensure that the seller makes any necessary repairs before finalizing the sale. 4.

Start with a Low Offer:

Start with a low offer when negotiating, but ensure it’s still within the fair market value range. Don’t be afraid to haggle and counteroffer until you reach a price you’re comfortable with.

5. Be Willing to Walk Away:

If negotiations aren’t fruitful, be prepared to walk away from the sale.

Don’t settle for a higher price than what you’re comfortable paying. 6.

Consider Additional Fees:

When negotiating, remember to factor in any additional fees such as taxes, title transfer, and registration. These fees can significantly impact the final price of the vehicle.

6. The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Dodge Durango from a Private Seller vs.

a Dealership:

When purchasing a used Dodge Durango, you have the option of buying from a private seller or a dealership. Each has its pros and cons, here are some to consider:

Private Seller:


– Private sellers may be more flexible with the price of the Durango.

– You can negotiate directly with the seller

– Private sellers may have a more in-depth history of the vehicle and can provide more detailed information about its condition and maintenance history. Cons:

– Private sellers may not be as trustworthy or reliable as a dealership

– You may not have access to a warranty or financing options

– Private sales are often cash-only, making financing more challenging.



– Dealerships offer financing options and warranties for added peace of mind. – Dealerships often have a wider selection of Durangos to choose from.

– You may have a better chance of finding a Durango with all the features you’re looking for. Cons:

– Dealerships tend to have higher prices than private sellers.

– You may not be able to negotiate as much with a dealership as you can with a private seller. – Salespeople may put pressure on you to make a purchase, which can be stressful.

In Conclusion:

When purchasing a used Dodge Durango, negotiating a fair price is critical to getting the best deal. Research the vehicle’s market value, bring a mechanic to inspect the vehicle, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

When deciding between a private seller and a dealership, consider the pros and cons of each and evaluate based on your personal preferences and needs. Whether you purchase from a private seller or a dealership, ensure you’re comfortable with the final price and that the Durango meets all of your requirements.

7. Best Places to Search for Used Dodge Durangos in Your Area:

If you’re in the market for a used Dodge Durango, there are several places you can search to find the best options in your area.

1. Online classified sites:

Online classified sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to search for used Durangos.

You can filter results by location, price, and year to find the best options in your area. 2.


Many dealerships carry used Durangos. Visiting a local dealership can provide you with a wider selection of vehicles to choose from.

Dealerships also offer financing options and warranties for added peace of mind. 3.

Private Sellers:

As mentioned earlier, private sellers may offer a more affordable price than dealerships. You can search for used Durangos on sites like Autotrader or Cars.com.

Private sellers usually accept cash payments or bank financing. 4.


Auto auctions are another option for finding used Durangos. Dealerships, rental companies, and government agencies often sell used vehicles at auction.

However, auctions can be competitive and require quick decisions.


Local Car Shows:

Attending a local car show can provide an opportunity for networking with other car enthusiasts and private sellers. You can find potential Durango sellers, and also gain valuable insights and suggestions about ownership from experienced owners.

8. Common Issues to Watch out for in Certain Model Years of the Dodge Durango:

When purchasing a used Dodge Durango, it’s important to keep in mind that certain model years can have common issues that may need to be addressed.

Here are some common issues to watch for:

1. 2011-2013 Durangos

The 2011-2013 Durangos have been reported to have issues with the alternator, engine, and head gaskets.

Additionally, some owners have reported a problem with the air conditioning system. 2.

2014-2015 Durangos

The 2014-2015 Durangos have been associated with a faulty clock spring and issues with the transmission. 3.

2016 Durangos:

The 2016 Durango has had reported problems with the air conditioning system and transmission. 4.

2017-2021 Durangos:

The 2017-2021 Durangos have been reported to have issues with the electrical system and airbag sensors. 5.

All Model Years:

All Dodge Durango models are also known for brake and suspension system issues over high mileage. Additionally, some owners have reported issues related to engine oil leaks.

It’s important to do your research on the specific model year you’re considering to determine if it has any known issues. When purchasing a used Durango, have a mechanic assess the vehicle for any potential problems or issues that might have been overlooked by the previous owner.

In Conclusion:

When purchasing a used Dodge Durango, it’s important to know where to search for potential cars and be aware of any potential issues associated with a particular model year. Know the common issues for your Durango year and have a trusted mechanic inspect it.

Finding a reliable Durango will provide you with a great car for many years to come. 9.

How to Properly Maintain a Used Dodge Durango to Ensure Longevity:

Proper maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity and reliability of your used Dodge Durango. Here are some tips on how to maintain your Durango and keep it running smoothly:


Follow the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule:

Refer to the Durango’s owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This will include regular oil changes, fluid checks, and filter replacements.

Adhering to the schedule will help prevent potential issues and keep your Durango running efficiently. 2.

Check and Maintain Fluid Levels:

Regularly check and maintain fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. Low or dirty fluids can lead to engine overheating, poor performance, and damage to various systems in the vehicle.

3. Change the Air Filters:

Regularly replace the air filters in your Durango to ensure proper airflow to the engine.

Dirty air filters can decrease fuel efficiency and impact engine performance. Check the owner’s manual for recommended intervals for air filter replacements.

4. Inspect and Rotate Tires:

Regularly inspect the tires for wear and tear, and ensure they have the correct pressure.

Rotate the tires regularly to promote even wear and prolong their lifespan. Properly inflated and aligned tires improve fuel efficiency and ensure a smooth and safe ride.

5. Keep Up with Brake Maintenance:

Regularly inspect and maintain the brakes on your Durango.

Have the brake pads and rotors checked and replaced as needed. Properly functioning brakes are crucial for safety and should never be neglected.

6. Flush and Replace Coolant:

Periodically flush and replace the coolant in your Durango to prevent overheating and damage to the engine.

Over time, coolant can become contaminated with debris and lose its effectiveness, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for coolant replacement. 7.

Take Care of the Battery:

Inspect the battery regularly for corrosion or damage. Clean the battery terminals if necessary.

If your Durango is equipped with a maintenance-free battery, you may not need to check fluid levels. However, non-maintenance-free batteries may require topping up with distilled water if levels are low.

8. Address Any Warning Lights:

If the dashboard warning lights illuminate, don’t ignore them.

They indicate potential issues with your Durango. Have the vehicle checked by a mechanic to identify the problem and address it promptly.

10. Comparing the Durango to Other Popular SUVs in Its Class:

When considering purchasing a used Dodge Durango, it’s helpful to compare it to other popular SUVs in its class.

Here are some comparisons to consider:

1. Ford Explorer:

The Ford Explorer is a well-rounded SUV known for its spacious interior and strong performance.

It offers a range of engine options and has a higher towing capacity than some Durango models. However, the Durango often offers better off-road capabilities.

2. Chevrolet Tahoe:

The Chevrolet Tahoe is a larger SUV with a higher towing capacity and more cargo space compared to the Durango.

The Tahoe also offers a smoother ride and a more luxurious interior. However, the Durango tends to offer better fuel efficiency and more advanced technology features.

3. Toyota Highlander:

The Toyota Highlander is a popular choice in the midsize SUV segment.

It offers a comfortable ride, a well-designed interior, and good reliability. However, the Durango generally has more powerful engine options, better towing capacity, and a more rugged exterior design.

4. Jeep Grand Cherokee:

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a direct competitor to the Durango.

Both vehicles offer similar off-road capabilities and shared engine options. The Grand Cherokee is slightly smaller in size but has a more luxurious interior.

The Durango, on the other hand, offers more seating and cargo space. In Conclusion:

Properly maintaining your used Dodge Durango is crucial for ensuring its longevity and reliability.

Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, check and maintain fluid levels, replace air filters, inspect and rotate tires, keep up with brake maintenance, flush and replace coolant, and take care of the battery. Additionally, when comparing the Durango to other SUVs in its class, consider factors such as towing capacity, off-road capabilities, interior space, fuel efficiency, and technology features.

By properly maintaining your Durango and considering its strengths and weaknesses compared to other SUVs, you can make an informed decision and enjoy many years of reliable and enjoyable ownership. 11.

Best Model Years of Dodge Durango for Specific Needs (Towing, Off-Roading, etc.):

If you have specific needs for your used Dodge Durango, such as towing or off-roading capabilities, certain model years may be better suited to meet those needs. Here are the best model years of the Durango for specific requirements:



For towing purposes, the best model years of the Dodge Durango are 2014 and newer. These model years feature an available 8-speed automatic transmission, which enhances towing performance and fuel efficiency.

Additionally, Durangos equipped with the V8 engine provide the best towing capacity. 2.


If you plan on taking your Durango off the beaten path, consider model years 2014 and newer, as they offer available all-wheel drive systems, better ground clearance, and enhanced off-road features. The Durango Citadel and R/T trims, specifically, come with an optional skid plate package for added protection during off-road adventures.

3. Fuel Efficiency:

For those concerned about fuel efficiency, model years 2014 and later are the best options.

These Durangos feature an available 8-speed automatic transmission, which improves fuel economy compared to older models. Opt for a Durango with the V6 engine, as it typically offers better gas mileage than the V8.

4. Reliability:

While every vehicle can have varying levels of reliability, some model years of the Durango have shown more favorable ratings in consumer reports.

The best model years for reliability, based on consumer reports, include the 2014, 2016, and 2017 Durangos. These model years have had fewer reported issues compared to earlier models.

It’s important to note that these recommendations are based on general trends and consumer reports. Individual vehicles can vary based on their maintenance history, mileage, and condition.

When considering a used Durango, thoroughly inspect the vehicle, review its maintenance records, and consider having a trusted mechanic perform an inspection to ensure its suitability for your specific needs. 12.

The Reliability of a Used Dodge Durango Based on Consumer Reports:

Consumer reports provide valuable insights into the reliability of vehicles, including the Dodge Durango. Overall, the Durango has shown average to above-average reliability scores in recent years.

Here’s an overview of the reliability of a used Durango based on consumer reports:

1. 2011-2013 Durangos:

Consumer reports indicate that these model years had average reliability ratings.

However, there were some reported issues with the alternator, engine, and head gaskets. 2.

2014-2015 Durangos:

The 2014-2015 Durangos received above-average reliability ratings from consumer reports. While there were some reported issues with the clock spring and transmission, they were not widespread.

3. 2016 Durangos:

Consumer reports show average reliability ratings for the 2016 Durango.

Some reported issues included problems with the air conditioning system and transmission. 4.

2017-2021 Durangos:

The more recent model years of the Durango, from 2017 to 2021, have received above-average reliability ratings from consumer reports. They have fewer reported issues overall, but some owners have reported problems related to the electrical system and airbag sensors.

It’s important to remember that while these ratings provide a general overview of the Durango’s reliability, individual vehicles can still vary based on their maintenance history and condition. Regular maintenance and proper care can greatly contribute to the longevity and reliability of any used vehicle, including the Dodge Durango.

In Conclusion:

When searching for a used Dodge Durango, consider the specific model years that align with your needs, such as towing, off-roading, or fuel efficiency. Model years 2014 and newer are generally recommended for towing and off-roading purposes, while the Durango’s fuel efficiency is improved in the same model years with the available 8-speed automatic transmission.

According to consumer reports, the Durango has shown average to above-average reliability ratings in recent years, with model years 2014, 2016, and 2017 receiving better scores. However, individual vehicles can vary in reliability based on their maintenance history and condition.

By carefully inspecting a used Durango, reviewing maintenance records, and considering consumer reports, you can make an informed decision and select a reliable Durango that fits your specific needs. 13.

Best Trims of a Dodge Durango to Buy Used:

When purchasing a used Dodge Durango, choosing the right trim level is essential to ensure you get the features and capabilities that meet your needs. Here are some of the best trims of the Durango to consider when buying used:



The SXT trim, available on most model years, offers a good balance of value and features. It typically comes equipped with key features such as three-zone climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system, and smartphone integration.

This trim is a solid choice for those looking for a practical and affordable Durango. 2.


The Citadel trim, available on newer model years, offers a more luxurious experience. It includes features such as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a premium audio system, and advanced safety features.

If you prioritize comfort and upscale amenities, the Citadel trim is an excellent option. 3.


For those seeking a more sporty driving experience, the R/T trim is an ideal choice. It comes with a more powerful V8 engine, upgraded suspension, and sporty exterior accents.

The R/T trim also typically includes various performance-oriented features like a sport-tuned exhaust and paddle shifters. 4.


The top-of-the-line SRT trim is for enthusiasts who desire exceptional performance. Equipped with a high-performance V8 engine, upgraded brakes, and an adaptive suspension, the SRT trim delivers exhilarating power and handling.

It also comes with sporty styling elements and luxury features. When choosing a trim level, consider your budget, desired features, and intended use of the Durango.

Each trim offers its own unique combination of features and capabilities to suit different preferences. 14.

How to Finance a Used Dodge Durango:

Financing a used Dodge Durango is similar to financing any other used vehicle. Here are the steps to follow when financing your used Durango:


Check Your Credit:

Before applying for financing, it’s advisable to check your credit score. A higher credit score may qualify you for better interest rates.

If your credit score is lower, take steps to improve it before applying for a loan. 2.

Set a Budget:

Determine how much you can comfortably afford to pay each month for your used Durango. Consider factors such as your income, expenses, and other financial obligations.

Create a budget that allows for both the monthly loan payment and other associated costs such as insurance and maintenance. 3.

Research Financing Options:

Explore various financing options to find the best interest rates and terms for your used Durango. Start by contacting local banks, credit unions, and online lenders to obtain quotes.

Compare the interest rates, loan terms, and any additional fees or charges associated with each option. 4.

Get Pre-Approved:

Obtain pre-approval for a loan from your chosen lender. This will give you a clear idea of the loan amount you are eligible for and the interest rate you can expect.

Being pre-approved also allows you to negotiate with confidence when shopping for your used Durango. 5.

Search for a Used Durango:

Begin your search for a used Durango, keeping your budget and financing pre-approval in mind. Utilize online marketplaces, dealerships, and private sellers to find the right Durango that meets your needs and falls within your budget.

6. Negotiate the Price:

Negotiate the price of the used Durango with the seller to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Use your research on the fair market value of the vehicle and consider any possible repairs or maintenance that may be needed. 7.

Finalize the Financing:

Once you’ve agreed on a price for the used Durango, finalize the financing with your lender. Review the terms and conditions of the loan carefully, including interest rate, monthly payments, and any additional fees.

Provide any required documentation to your lender to complete the loan process. 8.

Insure the Vehicle:

Before driving off with your used Durango, make sure you have appropriate insurance coverage. Contact insurance providers to obtain quotes and select the coverage that suits your needs.

By following these steps, you can secure financing for your used Dodge Durango and drive away in your desired vehicle with an affordable loan. Always carefully review the terms of the loan agreement and ensure it fits within your financial capabilities.

In Conclusion:

When buying a used Dodge Durango, consider the best trims that offer the features and capabilities you desire for your needs. Trims like the SXT, Citadel, R/T, and SRT provide a variety of options to suit different preferences.

When financing a used Durango, check your credit, set a budget, research financing options, get pre-approved, search for a used Durango, negotiate the price, and finalize the financing with your chosen lender. By taking these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to finance your used Durango and find the perfect vehicle to meet your needs and preferences.

15. Insights and Opinions from Current Dodge Durango Owners:

To gain further insights into the ownership experience of the Dodge Durango, it is valuable to hear from current owners.

Here are some common insights and opinions from current Dodge Durango owners:

1. Reliability and Durability:

Many Durango owners appreciate the reliability and durability of their vehicles.

They mention that their Durangos have been dependable and have provided years of trouble-free driving. Some owners have reported high mileage with few issues, further confirming the Durango’s durability.

2. Powerful Performance:

Durango owners often praise the powerful performance of their vehicles.

They appreciate the responsive acceleration, towing capabilities, and overall performance, particularly in Durangos equipped with the V8 engine. Owners often mention the ease with which their Durangos handle various driving conditions, including highway cruising and towing heavy loads.

3. Spacious and Comfortable Interior:

The Durango’s spacious and comfortable interior is another aspect highly valued by its owners.

They mention the ample legroom and headroom, even in the third row, making it suitable for accommodating large families. Many owners appreciate the versatility of the seating configuration and the availability of features like heated and ventilated seats, premium audio systems, and advanced safety features.

4. Off-Road Capability:

Durango owners who enjoy off-road adventures often highlight the vehicle’s off-road capability.

They mention the confidence-inspiring performance on rugged terrains and the durability to withstand challenging conditions. Features like all-wheel drive, terrain-selectable drive modes, and skid plates contribute to the Durango’s off-road prowess.

5. Towing Capability:

Owners who frequently tow trailers, boats, or other heavy loads appreciate the Durango’s towing capability.

They mention that their Durangos handle towing tasks with ease, thanks to the powerful engines, stability control systems, and optional towing packages. Durango owners often recommend opting for the V8 engine if towing is a priority.

6. Fuel Efficiency:

Some Durango owners acknowledge that fuel efficiency is not a strong point of the vehicle, particularly in models equipped with the V8 engine.

They mention that the Durango’s size and weight contribute to its lower gas mileage compared to smaller crossover SUVs. However, owners note that the Durango’s fuel efficiency is reasonable for its class and performance capabilities. It is important to note that these insights and opinions are subjective and can vary based on individual ownership experiences and preferences.


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