5 Used Dodge Durango Model Years With the Fewest Problems
In theory, the Dodge Durango appears to be the perfect midsize SUV. It’s competent handling, a powerful drivetrain, impressive towing capacity, and a barn-sized interior wrapped in macho looks. However, consumers seem to have a love-hate relationship with the Mopar mall crawler. Durangos have had dozens of National Highway and Traffic Administration (NHTSA) recalls and their fair share of mechanical issues. But seven seats in hot rod on stilts is a welcome prospect for some. So, which used Dodge Durango model years are the best?
1. 2022 Dodge Durango
Third-generation Durangos came in a plethora of trim levels. Its engine defined each, be it the peppy 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 or the herculean 710-horsepower 6.2-liter Hellcat V8. Two Hemi V8s fill out the middle, connected to rear or all-wheel drive via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Most of the NHTSA’s four recalls have been more recent. But dealerships are required to repair government-recalled vehicle issues free of charge. Thus, the latest model-year Durango could prove to be a more reliable pick than others.
2. 2019 Dodge Durango
The Durango may have been a bit low-rent on the inside compared with the likes of Cadillac, but it’s no cow shed. The mid-range trim levels gained leather-trimmed seats with heated functions in the first and second rows. Moreover, each had nearly the best cargo space in the segment, with a maximum capacity of 85.1 cubic feet. According to the NHTSA, recalls were issued for a rearview display snafu, a wearing front differential pinion gear, and an ABS malfunction. Otherwise, only a few leaky exterior gaskets plagued the 2019 Durango.
3. 2016 Dodge Durango
The NHTSA only issued three recalls on the 2016 Durango, which is pretty good for Dodge. They included cracking front left brake calipers, a faulty fuel rail tube, and a failing cruise control cancellation feature. Nevertheless, the 2016 model year had one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings. Despite lower safety scores than its competitors, Edmunds gave it a 4.5 out of 5.
4. 2015 Dodge Durango
Selecting a third-generation used Dodge Durango may be easier than other models because of its lack of change following the 2014 redesign. Consequently, Dodge’s 2015 Durango has the same spaciousness as the newer versions. The 2015 model year was issued four NHTSA recalls. Most of them are similar to the 2016 model.
5. 2009 Dodge Durango
Owners report minimal problems in the last year of the second-generation Durango. A couple of entries on CarComplaints.com cite an overheating transmission as one of the culprits. Moreover, the NHTSA issued four recalls on the 2009 Durango. Three were for potential shrapnel from airbag deploys and one for a loose rear axle pinion nut. Regardless, a 2009 used Dodge Durango is probably the only second-generation model worth choosing.
Common problems with used Dodge Durangos
For the third-generation used Dodge Durangos, a majority of the SUV’s issues are electrical in nature. Fortunately, they have been sorted out by government agency recalls. Regarding mechanical systems, Durangos have never been known as the most reliable SUV. But how bad are the issues?
RepairPal reports the most common issue as a replacement gasket for the intake manifold, which is approximately $650. A failing power steering pump may cost in excess of $900, but those are the two most expensive. Otherwise, the annual maintenance cost of a Durango is roughly $675, not far off the price of the average vehicle.
Which used Dodge Durango model years should you avoid?
The 2014 Durango has 11 recalls, and there’s no sense in sifting through the paperwork to see if everything was fixed. The 2012 Durango has 10, so looking elsewhere would be best. Dodge’s 2011 Durango garnered over 500 owner complaints to the NHTSA for various electrical problems.
Apart from the 2009 Durango, the second-generation midsize Mopar SUVs should be avoided. For those looking at a 2009 model year, it’d better be cheap. The third generation has its issues, but some years are markedly better than others. Therefore, for those itching for a used Dodge Durango, there’s a chance to get one of the more reliable ones.