In 1998, the Dodge Durango started as a smooth-riding, quick-cornering high-horsepower SUV ‘sports car’ and has now turned into a sports car beater.
In 1998, the mid-sized Dodge Durango generation rolled into the SUV market with a nearly unheard of smooth but excellently cornering suspension. Using the same high-torque, high-horsepower engines as the Dakota, Dodge wanted to put together a very comfortable but sports-oriented utility vehicle with some big shoulders and an attitude.
2020 Dodge Durango – dodge.com | Shop Dodge Durango on Carsforsale.com
When the Durango was introduced, Dodge called it a ‘Smart-Size’ SUV but classified it as a compact SUV. Since that classification stuck, it had the highest towing and hauling capability, the most powerful engine, and seat up to eight people, making it the only compact in its class to do so. What started as a bit of an SUV sports car has now turned into a sports car beater.
Today, the Daily Driver is looking back at the storied history of the legendary Dodge Durango “sport” utility through the years.
The new, powerful Durango is launched to sell in the market gap between the larger Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Explorer.
The second Dodge Durango generation grew larger and embraced the auto show concept Dodge Ram Powerbox exterior design cues to great success. The previous generation had a luxury feel on the inside, but the 2nd generation Durango’s plastic interior suffered from cost-cutting to keep the price low.
The reintroduced Dodge Durango‘s design ditched the boxy look for a more aggressive, aerodynamic, and speedy profile. To be more competitive, it also included a dramatically redesigned and luxury-focused interior.
2011 Dodge Durango – fcanorthamerica.com | Shop Dodge Durango on Carsforsale.com
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat – fcanorthamerica.com | Shop new Dodge Durango on Carsforsale.com
There are many thoughts and speculations on where the 4th Dodge Durango generation is headed. The Durango may even be discontinued like it was in 2009. However, Dodge’s gossip suggests that the new Dodge Durango will be built alongside the mechanically similar 2022 Jeep Wagoneer at Fiat-Chryslers Warren Truck Assembly Plant. And there’s even a suggestion that the Durango will get back to its roots with a body-on-frame construction.
Regardless of the new direction, the Dodge Durango, through the years, has shown the ability to quickly navigate obstacles on the road in a way few SUVs can. The Dodge Durango generations will continue to put the word sport into sport-utility.