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Average User Score
4.1 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 23 reviews
1998 Dodge Durango Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 22 reviews
Based on the Dodge Dakota, the popular mid-size pickup, the 1998 Dodge Durango is an SUV that has the attitude and power of a full-size truck, but the handling and user-friendly interior of a classic SUV. Like the Dakota, which combined the best of both worlds, this mid-size SUV combines the towing capacity and interior space of a full-size SUV with the comfort and driveability of a compact SUV.
In 1998, the Durango came in two trims, the SLT and SLT Plus, which basically just added body-color bumpers, leather upholstery, and more power options. Two powerful engines were available -- the 5.2-liter, 230-hp V8, or the 5.9-liter, 245-hp V8, both paired with four-speed automatic transmission. ABS, front dual airbags, and on-demand 4WD, best used for off-roading or snow conditions, all came standard.
Inside sit two rows of seat, comfortably fitting five people, with a removeable third-row bench seat which adds two more. This third row is easy to access when the second row seats fold forward and flat. Both rows fold flat for lots of cargo space. The Durango is wider than the Dakota and has a dropped floor to add more interior room, more than any other SUV in its class. The roof raises up in the back to give extra headroom to passengers in the rear seats. Being the creator of the minivan, Dodge has not skimped on such things as rear climate control, storage and plenty of cupholders in the 1998 Durango.
Because it closely resembles the Dakota, the 1998 Durango has a more rugged look and personality than its suburban SUV counterparts, but underneath it maneuvers city streets and parking lots as well as muddy mountain passes. Drivers loved its 7200-pound towing capacity, storage, interior space, and easy to operate third row seating. What they didn't love was the poor 12/17 mpg, sometimes rough ride, and endless repairs, particularly with the brakes and ball joints.