2003 Dodge Durango SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Dodge Durango SUV

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Dodge Durango Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 235 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Dodge Durango

  • A solid sport-ute all around, but a little long in the tooth to call a class leader.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong V8 engines, smooth-shifting transmission, excellent ride quality, rugged good looks.

  • Cons

    Dismal gas mileage, dated design.

  • What's New for 2003

    Entry-level Sport model gets bigger wheels (16s versus last year's 15s) and all Durangos now have four-wheel disc brakes. Inside, you'll find a six-disc CD changer as a new option. A redesign is due for 2004.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (29 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


2003 durango slt 4.7

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Durango SXT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

We bought our Durango new in 2003. It had a couple of issues which were covered under warranty.The exhaust manifold was leaking due to 3 broken bolts.Also,the a/c unit had a few issues. Since then it has been a very capable and reliable vehicle.We have the required maintenance done at the proper intervals and haven't had any issues since warranty expired. I recently got an enclosed trailer to haul 2 snowmobiles.I am pleasantly surprised at how well it tows the trailer. We live in Utah,and towing sleds requires going up hills(mountains). On grades over 6%,I have to put it in 2nd,but it still maintains 40 mph no problem. Overall,we are happy with this vehicle.




Awsome

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Durango SXT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

Bought my Durango in March 07. It only had 49000 miles, it now has 64000 miles. good power and reliability, i drove from MD to PA on several occasions the ride was very comfortable. drove cross country from MD to KS towing a nissan PU and the towing and power were excellent. the best SUV i have driven. better then the ford and chevy lines. the MPG is something to be disered about 12.5 to 13 miles to gallon, but i knew this when i bought it. the body still is tough looking but also classy. best SUV out there.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Right sized suv

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Durango SXT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

Have enjoyed this vehicle immensely. It is comfortable, tows heavy loads with ease, great for long trips with wife and kids, and for short trips with the added in-laws (3rd row). Manageable gas mileage from the 4.7L V8 - 16-17 around town and 18-19 on the highway. Bought used and driven over 50000 miles and planning to double that. Only one problem to note - blower motor resistor bank - which I easily replaced.




It's the best vehicle

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Durango SXT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

and a pleasure driving. The performance and power are great. However it uses too much fuel.




Peppy

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Durango SXT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

Makes getting on a crowded highway feel safe. Great acceleration, but as you might expect, you can watch the fuel gage go down. Also, as a city resident, this mid size, narrow SUV is great for squeezing down narrow streets and parking. Spent about $300 over 2 years above routine maintenance which is not bad. Bought truck with 30,000 and now have 50,000. Overall like the dodge (this is my 3rd) and I think dodge gets a bad rap most prof. reviewers (consumer ratings are always higher).




2003 dodge durango sxt 4x4

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Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Durango SXT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

This truck is the best on i've owned. The truck before this was a Ford exporer and I can't believe the difference. Dodge has done a wonderful job with their SUV and I'm a buyer forever



Full 2003 Dodge Durango Review

What's New for 2003

Entry-level Sport model gets bigger wheels (16s versus last year's 15s) and all Durangos now have four-wheel disc brakes. Inside, you'll find a six-disc CD changer as a new option. A redesign is due for 2004.

Introduction

Back in 1998, if you wanted eight-passenger capability in an SUV, it meant having to step up to a full-size beast, such as a Ford Expedition or GMC Suburban. Smelling an opportunity, Dodge designed its Durango SUV to fill the gap between midsize SUVs and their larger brethren.

The Durango offered a third seat that the Explorers and Blazers of the day didn't. The Durango was (and still is) based on the Dakota and shared many components, including chassis, powertrain, some body panels and many interior pieces. Power came from either a standard 5.2-liter V8 or an optional 5.9-liter V8, and all first-year Durangos had four-wheel drive.

As the years went on, a two-wheel-drive version became available, a more efficient 4.7-liter V8 replaced the old 5.2, a sporty R/T model debuted, the cabin was redesigned and curtain-style side airbags became optional.

Now the Durango faces a number of freshly redesigned or new challengers, such as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and Honda Pilot. All have third-row seats as well as more refined cabins. But this truck-based sport-ute doesn't try to be all things to all people and makes no apologies for its somewhat tougher character. With its class-leading towing and hauling capabilities, the Durango remains a solid choice for folks who need plenty of seating and serious hauling capacity in their midsize-ute.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Five versions of the Durango are offered: entry-level Sport, well-equipped SXT, luxury SLT, even plusher SLT Plus and the muscular R/T. For most folks, the SXT will be sufficient, equipped as it is with popular features such as a CD player and roof rack along with the Sport's standard fare that includes air conditioning, alloy wheels and power windows, door locks and mirrors.

Powertrains and Performance

All Durangos can be had with either two- or part-time four-wheel-drive, except the R/T, which comes only as a full-time four-wheeler. SLT models, however, do offer the full-time system as an option. The standard power plant for all but the R/T is the contemporary 4.7-liter V8 that pumps out 235 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Teamed with a five-speed automatic, this engine furnishes crisp throttle response with power accessible from a broad rev range. The 5.9-liter V8 (245 horsepower, 335 lb-ft) is standard on the R/T and optional on the SLTs; it comes paired with a four-speed automatic gearbox. Both engines like their gasoline; we've noticed that either one seems hard-pressed to average more than 13 mpg.

The Durango is ready to work, with maximum payload and towing capacities that, at 1,770 and 7,550 pounds, respectively, outmuscle the competition.

Safety

Side curtain airbags (that provide protection for the head and upper torso in side-impact collisions) are available, a feature that's rare in this class. In terms of crash tests, the Durango scored four (out of five) stars in frontal impacts and rated "Acceptable" (which is tantamount to three out of four stars) in frontal offset tests. There is no side-impact data available.

Interior Design and Special Features

Anyone familiar with the Dodge Dakota should feel right at home in the Durango, as the two share most cabin components, such as the dash and seat designs. What this means is large gauges and simple controls and, in lower trim levels, a somewhat bland decor. All but the Sport and SXT come with a third-row seat that increases passenger capacity to seven. On the SLT, a front bench seat is available, which would allow up to eight to ride in a Durango.

Driving Impressions

In terms of handling dynamics, body roll is well controlled and, with the help of responsive, tight steering, the Durango can run through twisty two-lane roads with confidence, sans the tippy feeling that some other utes are plagued with. And even when carrying a full load of passengers, the suspension handles the burden with little effort, providing an excellent ride without bottoming out on bigger bumps. As far as power, the smaller V8 is fine, and along with the alert automatic gearbox, provides brisk all-around performance for this 4,500-pound SUV.

Talk About The 2003 Durango

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 13
  • cty
/
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs