My parents purchased this car when I was in middle school, and passed it down to me as my first car. We live in an area of heavy snow at times, and I swear this car has gotten me through 2 to 3 foot snow drifts without a problem. It now has 210,000 miles on it, has been in 2 wrecks, but it still runs EXTREMELY well. Very reliable and great in extreme weather. I will sincerely miss it when the time comes.
High ground clearance in the snow, great on wet or dirt roads, reliable, and very stylish, compared to other SUVs. Also, great interior options and sound system.
Obviously, with any large SUV, fuel economy is a problem. However, a lot of large SUVs these days require premium, and the Durango has always run well on midgrade.
I bought my Durango used, had it checked out by my mechanic and then took it on a long trip. (OK, I know, that was dumb). When I went to get the alignment done, they said they couldn't do it because of bad ball joints. It was covered under warranty AND so was the next set 10K miles later. Last summer I had to replace the ball joints again. It has a nice inside but my power windows gave out around 130k miles. I drove it to 202K miles and the 4WD has gone out. I kept very good maintenance on it but stuff has just starting going. The front bumper is rusting.
How the seats fold down. This was huge in 1998. The leather seats are comfortable but it is LOUD inside.
I have owned three Dodge Durangos and they have always been dependable and fun to drive. My 98 Durango has 237,000 miles on it. I do not plan on getting rid of it any time soon. I own a 2008 Dodge Durango also and love both of them.