Trucks, Jeeps

Enough details about the 1998-2003 Dodge Durango interior to choke a horse

Body Interior

Steering Wheel and Steering Column

A four-spoke steering wheel with a die-cast aluminum armature and a soft, molded vinyl rim is shared with Dakota. A leather-wrapped version is also available. The rim section was jury selected for hand comfort. The lightweight aluminum armature contributes to a feeling of steering wheel steadiness and responsiveness in the driver's hands.

An energy-management steering column shared with Dakota provides support and guidance for the steering wheel, driver air bag, column-mounted switches and steering shaft. A telescoping intermediate shaft connects the steering shaft in the column to the steering gear. Both fixed and tilt steering columns are available.

See also Driver Air Bag System under Safety and Security and Steering Column

Mounting under Quietness in the Safety and Security section.

Automatic Transmission Shifter

The column-mounted automatic transmission shifter is the same as that on Dakota. It operates the transmission smoothly through cable linkage.

Transfer Case Shifter

The transfer case shifter is the same as on Dakota. The lever is positioned to ensure visibility of the shift pattern nomenclature on the shifter bezel. The shifter pivot includes a low-friction bushing to help keep shift effort low over time. A grained, molded rubber shifter boot with a leather-like appearance snaps onto the shifter bezel for a neat appearance.

See also Transfer Cases under Power Train in the Power Train/Chassis section.

Body Instrument Panel

Durango's ergonomic instrument panel has the same features and construction as that of Dakota. The black molded plastic cluster bezel includes an eyebrow to block reflection from the windshield onto the cluster face in daytime and to prevent cluster reflections in the windshield at night.

Beneath the skin of the panel, a full-width structural plastic retainer incorporates the following functions:

  • Supports the cluster and all panel-mounted equipment including the passenger air bag*
  • Absorbs crash energy in conjunction with the air bags and seat belts, which must always be worn
  • Carries air to the vent, defroster and demister outlets

Structural plastic construction give the panel outstanding stiffness that is perceived as stability and freedom from BSRs, even on the bumpiest roads. Over 50 components normally associated with conventional panel construction are eliminated by combining structure and function. This reduces the potential for BSRs and makes the panel easier to assemble, thereby improving quality.

The retainer consists of three pieces that are vibration welded together: front and rear halves of the duct work, and the support structure for panel-mounted components. The outer skin is molded in one piece and screwed to the retainer. A blend of polycarbonate and ABS, which has excellent impact resistance, is used for both retainer and outer skin.

The panel includes an exceptionally large, bin-type glove compartment having a capacity of 275 cubic inches (4.5 liters). Glove compartment capacity benefits from the need for a knee blocker in conjunction with the passenger air bag* and from integrating the HVAC air ducts into the panel structure, thus freeing up space. Because the outer face of the glove compartment is also the knee blocker, it is placed further rearward in the vehicle than in past practice. A paddle-operated latch opens the hinged bin. A bin-type ash receiver folds flush with the panel when not in use. Its cover includes a raised finger grip.

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Instrument Cluster

The cluster is microprocessor-operated to provide accurate control of gauges. The cluster obtains most of its data via the multiplex data network, simplifying vehicle wiring and reducing the number of sensors compared to vehicles without this feature. Data is generally the same as that used by the power train control module (PCM), ensuring highly accurate readings. Microprocessor control provides gauge readings that are within 1.2 degrees of the input data from the PCM. To protect the onboard odometer reading and other stored data, the cluster records the truck's VIN number in non-volatile memory.

Either of two ISO (International Standards Organization) transfer case operation indicators in the shifter bezel, green and amber in color, are illuminated when the transfer case is in 4WD mode. The green indicator is illuminated when the optional full-time 4WD transfer case is in full-time 4WD mode. The green color is a recognized standard, showing that the vehicle may be driven continuously on all surfaces in this mode. The amber indicator shows that the transfer case is in a part-time 4WD mode, allowing the vehicle to be driven only on low-traction surfaces - snow, gravel, dirt, etc.

The cluster includes the following gauges:

  • Speedometer with maximum speed reading of 120 mph and a secondary metric scale or, if metric units are used, a maximum speed reading of 200 km/h with a secondary scale showing customary US units
  • Oil pressure
  • Fuel level
  • Engine coolant temperature
  • Battery voltage
  • 6,000-rpm tachometer "red lined" (graduations are red) from 4,750 rpm up

Displays

A one-line digital LCD odometer display set into the lower left corner of the cluster face shows cumulative or trip mileage. A pushbutton on the cluster face toggles the display between trip and cumulative readings. Holding the button resets the trip reading. Odometer readings are stored in the cluster microprocessor's nonvolatile memory.

The transmission range indicator is set into an opening in the cluster face opposite the odometer display. A moving red dot appears in a window below the letter for the selected transmission range, providing a more accurate indication than can a pointer.

All cluster information appears on a single plane within a single window, eliminating the "Swiss cheese" appearance of clusters with multiple recessed dials. Overall effect is a neat, uncluttered appearance. Only the gauge pointers break the plane of the display. Gauge graphics are in full view at all times, but warning indicator nomenclature and graphics are visible through the matte-finish black surface of the display only when illuminated. Allowing the gauge graphics to appear while masking the indicators is achieved through a multi-layer screen printing process.

Illumination

White gauge graphics appear blue-green when illuminated. Red graphics appear the same in either condition. Light guided across the back of the cluster shines through the graphics uniformly. Blue-green background lighting of the odometer display silhouettes the characters. The moving red dot of the transmission range indicator and the indicator graphics are also illuminated from behind.

Orange gauge pointers present a unique straight-line appearance when illuminated. Customarily, an illuminated gauge pointer must be tapered to make it visible, because the light passing through it then shines out of the tapered sides. To make the pointer visible as a straight line, Durango's pointers have curved top surfaces.

Indicator Lamps

Separate door ajar and liftgate ajar ISO graphic indicators in the cluster are operated by switches in the latches to assure that any ajar conditions are detected. 4x4 indication will be displayed in cluster as full-time (green) and part-time (amber). The single door ajar indicator, which is included with optional power door locks, is operated by any of the door switches. The liftgate ajar indicator and circuit are standard with all equipment levels.

The following indicator lamps are the same as those provided on Dakota:

  • O/D (overdrive) OFF
  • CRUISE
  • TRANS TEMP (active only with automatic transmission)
  • "Upshift" icon (active only with manual transmission)
  • BRAKE systems - parking and service brakes
  • AIR BAG
  • CHECK GAUGES
  • Seat belt icon
  • CHECK ENGINE
  • ABS system (where equipped)
  • Low fuel icon
  • SECURITY alarm system (where equipped)
  • LOW WASH (low washer fluid nomenclature and icon)
  • Turn signal arrows
  • High beam headlamp icon
  • Full-time 4WD (Green)
  • Part-time 4WD (Amber)
  • The TRANS TEMP warning lamp is standard with automatic transmission. It alerts the driver to an excessive transmission fluid temperature that might occur with severe usage such as trailer towing.
  • The CHECK GAUGES indicator is illuminated for the following conditions:
  • Battery voltage too high or too low
  • Oil pressure too low
  • Oil pressure sensor failure
  • Coolant temperature too high

Five of the indicators are lighted by red LEDs instead of conventional incandescent bulbs. The LEDs are permanently installed in the cluster and designed to last the life of the vehicle.

Steering Wheel and Steering Column-Mounted Controls

The optional automatic speed control (cruise control) system and switches are the same as on Dakota. Speed control will engage at vehicle speeds above 35 mph (56 km/h). Rocker-type control switches are ergonomically positioned on the steering wheel hub between the spokes within easy reach of the driver's thumbs for "no-look" operation. Large switch paddles allow easy operation with gloved hands. The switches are arranged logically: OFF/ON and SET buttons on the left initiate and terminate action; RESUME/ACCEL and COAST rockers and a CANCEL pushbutton on the right permit one-hand control of the system while in motion. The CANCEL button, which is between the rockers, disengages the speed control but retains the previous set speed in memory where it can be reestablished by pressing RESUME. Pressing CANCEL has the same effect as tapping the brake pedal. When the system is set, tapping RESUME/ACCEL briefly increases the set speed by 2 mph (3 km/h). Multiple taps are cumulative. Pressing RESUME/ACCEL increases speed continuously as long as the switch is held. Pressing COAST allows speed to decrease as long as the switch is held.

A new set speed is established when either switch is released. The system defaults to the OFF condition each time the engine is switched off. A green CRUISE indicator in the instrument cluster is illuminated when the system is on.

A steering column-mounted lever operates turn signals with "lane-change" feature, headlamp high/low beam and "optical horn" features, windshield wipers, intermittent wipe delay and windshield washers as on Dakota. These functions are combined in a single switch assembly that also includes the hazard warning flasher switch. Hazard warning flashers are operated by a pushbutton on top of the column.

Durango's horn switch is in the center of the steering wheel - the place customers say is the most natural for them to use - as on Dakota. Features of the horn switch are also the same as on Dakota. The switch consists of two flexible, closely spaced membrane contacts concealed behind the flexible trim cover. It is actuated by pressing the cover to bring the contacts together. Switch effort is nominally about 2 pounds (0.9 kg) - equal to or less than that of most buttons. When the air bag* deploys, a hidden seam in the cover above the switch tears, allowing the switch to remain attached to the cover as it flips open.

The pushbutton automatic transmission overdrive switch is recessed in the end of column-mounted shift lever as on Dakota. The knob is labeled to indicate switch presence and method of operation. Actuation is accompanied by tactile feedback. Overdrive operation defaults to the ON condition each time the engine is started and may be cycled off and on with the switch. When overdrive is switched off, the amber O/D OFF indicator in the cluster is illuminated.

Instrument Panel-Mounted Controls

The push-pull headlamp switch includes a courtesy lamp defeat function to turn the lamps off with the doors open. Rotating the knob adjusts the panel, cluster and overhead console lighting intensity in the customary fashion. Rotating the knob counter-clockwise past a detent turns on the dome lamp. Continuing to rotate the knob past a second detent turns off the dome and instrument panel courtesy lamps, regardless of door courtesy lamp switch action. The headlamp switch is located in the traditional position to the left of the steering column.As on Dakota, the pushbutton fog lamp switch is located to the left of the headlight switch where it is easily visible and accessible. A green indicator on the switch shows when fog lamps are on. Switch graphics are illuminated for nighttime use. Fog lamp logic, allows operation with either parking or headlamps.

The molded plastic parking brake release handle is the same as on Dakota. Set into the lower edge of the instrument panel, its smoothly curved rear surface affords a comfortable grip.

The hood release lever is attached to the lower edge of the instrument panel below the steering column as on Dakota. The handle is horizontal for foot clearance. The mechanism incorporates an appropriate mechanical advantage and smooth cable routing to provide low operating effort.

A rear window switch module adjacent to the auxiliary power outlet operates the rear wiper/washer system and the rear window defroster. The rear wiper switch button slides laterally to operate the wiper. Pushing in on the button operates the washer. The wiper operates at one speed in intermittent mode only. The push-button rear defroster switch includes an LED ON indicator. An electronic timer in the switch automatically turns the defroster off after 10 minutes. The rear window switch graphics are illuminated for nighttime use.

An auxiliary power outlet, which is available in the Light Group, mounts in the center of the instrument panel adjacent to the cigar lighter as on Dakota. The power outlet has a rating of 20 amperes and has power at all times; the lighter circuit is usable only when the ignition is on. The power outlet is covered with a snap-on plastic cap when not in use.

Door-Mounted Controls

Like Dakota, a joystick extending through the top front corner of the driver's door trim panel positions the optional power mirrors. It faces the driver and has a large knob for easy operation with gloved fingers. Twisting the joystick left or right selects the mirror to be adjusted.

Switches for optional power windows and power locks mount on the Durango door trim panels as on Dakota. They are easily seen because they face the driver. Located forward of the door pull handle, they are also easy to reach. Raised, ribbed paddles on the rocker-type switches permit switch operation with gloved hands. An LED shines through an opening in each switch paddle when the ignition is on, making it easy to locate the switch at night.

Switches for all windows and the locks are mounted on the driver's door. A pushbutton master switch allows the driver to lock out the other window switches, while the driver's switches remain operational. The LEDs on the front passenger and both rear door power window switches turn off when locked out by the master switch. The switch for the driver's window provides one-touch-down operation. Its paddle is slightly taller than the others and is labeled AUTO. Pushing the paddle down past a detent at the normal operating position provides the one-touch action - opening the window fully without holding the switch.

The front passenger door has a lock switch and one for the adjacent window. Rear doors have only window switches. Black escutcheons with printed switch nomenclature cover the switches.

Overhead Console

An available overhead console that includes a microprocessor-controlled mini-trip computer with compass and temperature functions is shared with Dakota. The console exterior has soft lines and a trim bezel that helps integrate it with the headliner. Also included are large sunglasses and garage door opener compartments. The garage door opener compartment also includes a strip of hook-and-loop tape to secure the opener in place to prevent rattles. Both compartments have recessed latches with finger depressions to facilitate opening.

Trip computer buttons and graphics are large for easy operation and legibility. The variable intensity blue-green vacuum fluorescent digital display is retained. Daytime display intensity is bright for easy visibility. When exterior lamps are on, the intensity is lower and may be adjusted by rotating the headlamp switch knob.

Overhead console functions include:

  • Eight-point compass
  • Ambient temperature
  • Trip odometer
  • Ignition-on trip elapsed time
  • Instantaneous fuel economy
  • Trip average fuel economy
  • Fuel tank range (distance to empty)

The functions are operated by two pushbuttons:

  • STEP cycles the display among its functions
  • US/M selects US customary or metric units for the display output. Pressing both buttons simultaneously resets the selected computer function

Compass and temperature outputs are determined by the microprocessor in the console. The compass uses a patented sensing system to ensure accuracy. The microprocessor monitors vehicle speed in determining the ambient temperature output. When the engine is started while still hot from prior operation, the temperature reading may be incorrect because it is measured by a sensor behind the grille near the radiator and can be affected by underhood conditions. The last temperature reading before the engine was stopped is stored in memory and remains displayed until the vehicle is moving fast enough and for a sufficient time to ensure an accurate reading. The microprocessor obtains vehicle speed information from the JTEC power train control module via the multiplex network.

The console includes two map/courtesy lamps with crystalline lenses that focus light for driver and passenger use. They are illuminated together as part of the courtesy lamp function operated by opening a door, rotating the headlamp switch to the courtesy lamp position or depressing the UNLOCK button on the optional remote keyless entry system transmitter. They are operated individually by pressing the hinged lens of each.

HVAC System

Air Distribution

Air distribution for Durango front passengers is the same as for Dakota. Four large, adjustable registers in the instrument panel provide a high volume of air-flow to the occupants in Panel and Bi-Level modes. Outlet vanes are adjustable horizontally and vertically to suit occupant requirements. Flow from the registers may also be minimized using the vanes.

Instrument panel-mounted side window demisters operate in Floor, Floor-Defrost and Defrost modes. A register on each outlet directs air to the area of the window adjacent to the outside mirror to initiate defogging in this area.

Four defroster outlets clear the windshield. Airflow direction and distribution is provided by the aerodynamically designed ducts. Simple outlet grilles molded into the instrument panel top cover are present only to prevent small objects from falling into the ducts.

Large air ducts that feed the vent, defroster and side window demister registers are the result of using them as part of the support structure for the molded plastic instrument panel.

A floor duct with separate outlets for driver and front passenger provides abundant airflow with a low noise level.

Heated and cooled air is directed to second- and third-seat occupants through a central duct that diverts up to 38 percent of the total airflow and divides it among both sets of foot wells. On vehicles with the standard two-seat configuration, airflows rearward only to the second-seat area. Diverting a portion of the total airflow to the rear passengers has minimal effect on front passenger comfort because the added area of the central duct reduces airflow restriction, resulting in a net gain of approximately 33 percent in total system airflow compared to Dakota. Second-seat occupants control rearward airflow manually with a cable-operated damper door in the duct. With SLT or SLT+ equipment, which includes bucket front seats, two sets of outlets are provided in the rear face of the center console: two, four-way adjustable barrel-type upper outlets and two fixed lower outlets. A three-position thumb wheel mounted between the upper and lower outlets adjusts airflow balance between the upper and lower outlets or stops it completely. ISO graphics on the console indicate the direction of flow in each position. Air flows to the third seat only when directed to the lower outlets. Air flowing to the third-seat foot-wells exits the duct beneath the center section of the second seat.

Instrument Panel Controls

Rotary HVAC system control knobs on the instrument panel are the same as Dakota. They are aligned vertically to the right of the instrument cluster for easy access. All control functions have ISO graphic symbols that are illuminated when the exterior lamps are on. The fan control has four speeds. The mode control has eight settings and also actuates the air conditioning compressor. Modes identified with air conditioning have blue graphics; graphics for the remainder are white. Air conditioned modes include:

  • Maximum Air Conditioning, in which air is recirculated within the cab for rapid cooling and flows from the instrument panel registers
  • Panel, in which outside air is distributed through the panel registers
  • Bi-Level, in which air flows from both panel and floor outlets. As in the past, air flowing from the panel outlets is warmer than that from the floor outlets if any heat is added by setting the temperature above the minimum level
  • Non-air conditioned modes include:
  • Panel, in which outside air flows through the panel registers
  • Heat, in which outside air flows primarily through the floor outlets
  • Mix, in which outside air flows in equal proportions through the floor and defroster outlets. Mix mode is new to Dakota for 1997
  • Defrost, in which outside air flows primarily through the defroster outlets

An OFF position prevents outside air from entering the cab for passenger comfort at low ambient temperatures. Each mode has a discrete function identified by a detent in the control knob. It is not possible to select an intermediate position between modes to alter the preset air distribution because mode doors in the passenger compartment HVAC unit are operated by engine vacuum. A vacuum reservoir, which is integral with the molded cowl screen, stores vacuum for operation during low engine-vacuum conditions.

Without air conditioning, the mode control includes only the non-air conditioned modes.

The air conditioning compressor runs in the Defrost mode and now also in the Mix mode to ensure effective defogging of the windshield and side windows. This occurs only when the ambient temperature is above freezing.

The temperature knob has a 260-degree range of travel with multiple detents to facilitate fine adjustment of air temperature. Air may be heated in any mode.

Rear Compartment Air Conditioning

To ensure ample cooling for second- and third-seat occupants, a rear compartment air conditioning system is available as a stand-alone option. It includes a roof-mounted evaporator, a wide squirrel-cage fan, a lower housing and a drainage system to carry condensed water outside the vehicle. The wide, shallow unit is positioned between the front and second seats to maintain full headroom for all occupants. The headliner is molded to cover the unit and includes an inlet grille and four, four-way adjustable outlets. Foam gaskets seal the outlets to the unit to maximize flow to the passengers. The fan provides maximum airflow of 120 cu ft/minute (3.4 cu m/min) matching the front unit's peak flow to ensure ample cooling for rear passengers. Under maximum cooling conditions, air outlet temperatures from the front and rear units are equivalent. A rotary, four-position switch controls fan speed. Fan speed nomenclature on the switch bezel includes an "O", for off, and three tear-drop symbols of increasing size. The switch extends down from the unit through the headliner behind the front passenger and requires relatively low effort to allow the driver to operate it without looking or conscious effort. For cooling, an air conditioning mode must be selected on the front control panel, but the fan operates independently to circulate air if desired.

Air Exhausters

A new two-outlet air exhauster system, at 80 square inches (516 sq cm) the largest on any Chrysler vehicle, provides balanced heating and cooling flow throughout the passenger compartment. The exhausters also reduce blower noise at any given airflow level compared to vehicles without them and help reduce door closing effort. Air flows out of the passenger compartment primarily through grilles in the lower corners of the quarter trim panels. It also exits at several other locations to maximize airflow and minimize noise. All outlets are located aft of the rear door lock pillars (C pillars) to ensure that airflow reaches third-seat passengers. The following additional outlets are provided:

  • Slots at the base of the quarter trim panels
  • Narrow gaps between the headliner and quarter trim panels above and below the quarter windows; this also aids in keeping the windows mist free
  • Grillwork in the liftgate opening header

Airflow leaves the body shell through openings at the base of the liftgate pillars that are concealed by the taillamps and fascia. Molded rubber exhauster housings concealed by the rear fascia have one- way valves to block the entry of outside air and noise.

Underhood Components

A rubber damper on the air conditioning compressor clutch reduces clutch cycling noise. The compressor relay is located in the power distribution center to minimize relay cycling noise in the cab. Underhood air conditioning plumbing includes a new all-aluminum refrigerant return line, minimizing the amount of hose in the system to improve durability.

With rear air conditioning, a larger, parallel-flow condenser and a higher capacity fan are required to remove the additional heat absorbed by the rear evaporator, which increases total evaporator capacity by 20 percent. Aluminum tubing connects the rear unit into the main system at the receiver-dryer, minimizing the number of unique parts required. The tubing is insulated to minimize temperature gain en route to the evaporator and rubber isolated to prevent BSRs.

Audio Systems

Durango offers four audio system configurations:

  • Premium AM Stereo*/FM stereo radio with cassette and CD players, eight Infinity® speakers in six locations and a 100-watt power amplifier
  • Premium AM/FM stereo radio with cassette and CD players and four speakers
  • AM/FM stereo radio with cassette, eight Infinity speakers in six locations and a 100-watt power amplifier
  • AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player and four speakers

Instrument Panel Units

Durango's premium AM stereo*/FM stereo radio cassette player, CD player is the same as that offered on Dakota. The cassette and CD players are combined with AM and FM stereo radios in a single unit. It includes the following unique features:

  • Radio Amplifier and Controls
    — Three-band graphic equalizer - mechanical sliders with LED-lit center detents
    — Pushbutton power switch
  • Cassette player
    — Soft-touch pushbutton cassette ejection with the ignition off
    — Tape mode selector button
    — Automatic ejection of defective cassette
    — Dolby B® noise reduction which may be switched off
  • CD player
    — Automatic power loading
    — Automatic play when disc is inserted
    — Soft-touch pushbutton ejection. Disc can be ejected even with the ignition off
    — Plays 5-inch or 3-inch discs automatically
    — Audible fast forward and reverse
    — Bi-directional SEEK
    — SCAN
    — Last disc position memory
    — CD mode selector button
    — Random or sequential play

See also Speakers, below. *Some AM stereo broadcasting may not be compatible with this radio.

The AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player is shared with Dakota. It includes the following features:

  • State-of-the-art AM receiver circuitry
  • Enhanced FM multipath detection and abatement circuitry to improve sound quality in urban areas
  • Automatic Dolby B® cassette noise reduction with defeat switch
  • Microprocessor-operated automatic power loading of cassettes
  • Microprocessor-operated soft-touch controls for fast forward, rewind and eject
  • Soft-touch fast-forward and rewind rocker switch
  • Radio operation during cassette fast forward or rewind
  • Cassette Track Music Search
  • Automatic metal tape equalization
  • Enhanced-reliability tape deck operation
  • Automatic ejection of defective cassettes

See also Speakers, below.

Speakers

An Infinity® speaker system is available with either radio. It is powered by a four-channel 100-watt central power amplifier as on Dakota. Amplifier output is equalized to complement the acoustics of the vehicle. Each front channel is equalized in three frequency bands covering the full range of output frequencies; each rear channel has two equalization bands. The customer may alter this equalization with the graphic equalizer in the premium radio. The amplifier is concealed by the right cowl side trim panel.

The Infinity system includes eight speakers in six locations. In the front, the system includes 0.75-inch (19-mm) dome tweeters and 6.5-inch (165-mm) woofers mounted in the door trim panels. Infinity logos are molded into the tweeter grilles. In the rear, 6.5-inch (165-mm) coaxial speakers are mounted in the doors. All speaker grilles have sufficient open area to ensure full audio output at maximum volume. All speakers are mounted close to the trim panels to ensure that the output is projected into the passenger compartment, not dissipated in the body cavities.

Four, wide-range speakers are also available with either radio. All are 6.5 inches (165 mm) in diameter; one in each door. Speaker locations are the same as with the Infinity system.

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Seats

General Informationve recliners and integral head restraints. The recliners allow infinite adjustment through a 27-degree range - 6 degrees forward of design to 21 degrees aft of design. Reclining motion is controlled by a coil spring wrapped tightly about a hardened rod to hold the back in place. Lifting the recliner lever on the outboard side of the seat cushion loosens the spring slightly, allowing the rod to slide to a new position. Recliners on both sides of each back give extra stability. The recliners are also used in the aircraft industry in airline seating. They are interconnected by a cable to release simultaneously. For longitudinal adjustment, seat tracks are unlatched by lifting a wide, readily accessible transverse bar ("towel bar") forward of the cushion. Latches on both tracks of each seat accept seat belt loads and ensure a stable seating position.

Rear seats include vertically adjustable head restraints at all outboard seating positions. The head restraints are padded for comfort and upholstered in the same fabric as the seats.

Front-seat back map pockets are standard with SLT and SLT+. Two trim colors - Mist Gray and Camel - are available with all equipment levels.

Front Seats

Like Dakota, the storage console/armrest includes an interlock to prevent the lid from opening with the armrest in the upright position. To assist in opening, the lid has a paddle handle (lift handle) mounted under the lid. The latch for the lid is in the lid of the armrest. Inside the console, dividers help organize storage with some specific possible uses identified. Two compartments will hold five CDs each with finger notches in the sides of the dividers for easier access. There is also a pencil tray, a large open area and a coin holder.

Bucket seats, which are similar to those used on Dakota, are standard with SLT or SLT+ equipment. The driver's seat has a four-position lumbar support operated by a lever on the side of the back. A paddle driven by a cam connected to the knob moves the back pad forward up to 0.5 inch (13 mm).

A driver-only six-way power seat track is optional with SLT and standard with SLT+ equipment. It has the same longitudinal travel as the manual seat and 1.8 inches (46 mm) of vertical travel. Three switches on the seat side shield control movement. A lever with four-way action controls vertical and horizontal action. Two paddle switches control cushion angle by raising and lowering it at the front or rear.

The 40-20-40 divided bench seat is optional on the SLT and includes lumbar seating. It has individually adjustable outboard sections flanking a stationary center cushion with folding back that also serves as a center armrest. The armrest includes a multipurpose storage console.

Second Seat

The 40-20-40 seat concept pioneered on Dodge Ram is used in a new way as the Durango second seat. On Durango, the outboard sections use a unique fold-and-tumble mechanism, for which a patent is sought, to provide best-in-class entry and exit for third-seat passengers. Each back is hinged as on a reclining seat and the cushion is hinged at the front edge. Both sets of hinges are spring loaded to make folding automatic. Separate latches that control the folding and tumbling action are operated by a single lever on the outboard side of each seat. Raising the lever slowly, the back latch releases first, causing the back to fold flat automatically. In this position, the back is essentially horizontal and aligned with the rear floor.

Raising the lever fully releases the cushion latch and the cushion tumbles forward to an upright position in the second-seat foot-well, providing access to the third seat. Raising the lever fully with the seat in the full upright position produces a combination folding and tumbling action. Neither folding nor tumbling requires effort beyond that to move the lever; the springs do all the work. The back latch is integral with the hinge; the cushion latch engages a striker on the floor. A secondary lever on the rear of each cushion allows third-seat passengers to release the latches when exiting the vehicle. Head restraints must be lowered but do not have to be removed to fold or tumble the seats. Undersides of the folding sections are trimmed with needled-fiber carpet for a neat appearance.

The center section back also folds, forming a load surface that is level with the cargo floor. This section has detents that hold it in both upright and folded positions and an inertia latch that prevents folding during a sudden stop or collision. The backs of all three sections are carpeted hardboard to support cargo.

Third Seat

The third seat uses a unique folding mechanism, for which a patent is being sought, to provide a level load floor. Folding occurs in two stages: the cushion is moved forward, then the back is folded. Pulling forward on two straps at the front, the cushion rises on the ends of a U-shaped bracket that pivots on the floor beneath the cushion. Continuing to pull forward, the cushion drops back to the floor directly behind the second seat. With the cushion moved forward, the back is free to fold forward flush with the load floor. As the back folds forward, a "flipper" panel to which it is linked, also folds to fill the gap to the second-row seat. The rear surface of the back is hardboard to provide load carrying ability. Both it and the flipper panel are trimmed with needled-fiber carpeting. Head restraints must be lowered when folding the back but do not have to be removed. The seat belt buckles are hinged to fold with the back.

Brackets on the outboard corners of the back bear down and forward against matching brackets on the cushion to prevent folding. The cushion will not move forward in this way because the cushion snaps down into the seating position with the "U" bracket in an over center position A label affixed to the front of the cushion illustrates and explains the folding and raising process.

Seat Construction

A proprietary manufacturing process that bonds the seating fabric to the pad is used for cloth seats. This construction retains its original appearance throughout the life of the vehicle better than seats constructed by conventional methods because this construction resists fabric loosening and wrinkling. Sewn covers are adhered to molded foam pads using steam to melt a film of high- temperature adhesive placed between the cover and pad. A vacuum forms the cover around the tooling, and holds it in place until the adhesive cures. For recycling purposes, the process is reversible - steaming the cover releases it from the pad.

SLT and standard SLT+ seats are upholstered with Niagara cloth - a woven fabric with a random diamond pattern - trimmed with Chanti Classic Cloth and carpet. Leather seats with Ultrahide vinyl trim in Camel or Mist Gray are optional with SLT+ trim. A third seat ordered in conjunction with the leather option has Ultrahide vinyl upholstery.

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Interior Trim

Two levels of interior trim are available: SLT and SLT+. Each has a unique appearance and features as described below. Three interior colors are available with all trim levels: Mist Gray, Agate and Camel. All interiors are fully color-keyed. For contrast, the headliner is a light natural beige and the instrument panel top cover, instrument cluster bezel, door switch bezels, radio face plate, steering wheel and the steering column cover are black.

All molded interior trim panels are made of color-keyed mold-in-color general-purpose polypropylene with a Miller grain finish for high-quality appearance.

Shifter Bezel

A floor-mounted shifter bezel that encompasses the transfer case shifter. It includes molded cup holder with two cavities, each of which fits a mug, medium soft drink cup or 20-ounce (0.6-liter) bottle. With the optional full-time transfer case, two cluster indicators are provided: green to indicate full-time four-wheel drive and amber to indicate operation in a part-time range. The shifter bezel also includes a shallow, integral storage tray.

See also Transfer Cases under Power Train in the Power Train/Chassis section.

Center Console

A center storage console that also serves as an armrest is included with bucket seats on SLT and SLT+ equipment. The forward portion of the console, which overlaps the shifter bezel described above, includes three cup holders with removable, molded rubber insert that will hold a Super Big Gulp drink cup or a 2-liter bottle. The insert is slotted between cavities for mug handles.

At the rear of the console, two cup holders with molded rubber inserts serve second-seat passengers. The center console also houses HVAC airflow outlets and a control for flow from these outlets.

See also HVAC system under Body Interior elsewhere in this section.

Door Trim Panels

Door trim panels follow the same design theme and incorporate the same features as Dakota. They are color-keyed to match the seats but have black inside release handles. Sturdy cylindrical front and rear door trim panel pull handles that provide a full grip with ample hand clearance are extensions of the armrests. The handle circumference is comparable to that of a tennis racket, on which the design was based. Foam padded vinyl covering on the pull handles adds comfort. The pull handles are also useful as assist handles during off-highway operation.

SLT equipment includes padded Niagara cloth bolsters applied to the door trim panels. Optional leather seats, which are available with SLT+ equipment, include Ultrahide vinyl bolsters that match the seat grain pattern. Roomy front-door map pockets are standard with all interiors. Each pocket includes a central divider to increase its versatility.

Floor Storage Modules

A latching storage module in the floor just forward of the liftgate holds the jack and tire changing tools and provides concealed storage for additional gear. It has a carpeted high-grade plywood lid with a recessed, T-handle latch. Pressing on the base of the T, releases the handle, allowing it to be grasped to unlatch and lift the lid. Closing the lid reengages the latch.

In standard two-seat configuration, a storage module bridges the gap between cargo load floor and folded second seat backs. The module has a latching, rear-hinged lid that can conceal two cubic feet (56.6 liter) of gear. The module is plastic molded with a high-grade plywood lid, both of which are carpeted. A tray added at the rear of the module, under the lid, provides segregation for stored items.

Quarter Trim Panels

Quarter trim panels incorporate the same design and construction features as the door trim. Each includes a multi-size cup holder and storage tray inserts for third-seat passengers. The cup holders have three levels of depressions to hold, rather than just receive, the following types of containers:

  • Squeeze bottles
  • Juice boxes
  • 12 oz. cans
  • 20 oz. bottles
  • Big Gulp cups
  • Large coffee mugs. A notch between the cup holders provides clearance for the mug handle

Recessed hand grips with finger depressions, which aid passengers entering the third seat, are also molded into the leading edge of each. The finger depressions are added to clearly indicate the purpose of the grips. Lower front corners of the quarter trim panels overlap the door opening flange to which the weather strip is attached, protecting the weather strip in an area where entering third-seat passengers are likely to step. Second- and third-seat belt retractors are concealed by the quarter trim for a neat appearance. The shoulder belts pass from the retractors to the turning loops through slots in the trim panels.

Liftgate Trim Panel

A two-piece trim panel system covers all interior surfaces of the liftgate. The upper section also provides coverage and access for the CHMSL. The lower section includes a reach-through full grip assist handle to aid in closing the liftgate.

Other Trim Items

Molded trim panels covering roof pillars, cowl sides, door sills, liftgate header and liftgate sill are made from general purpose polypropylene. All are retained by concealed fasteners for a neat appearance. They includes the following additional features:

  • Finished top edges of the roof pillar trim panels overlap the headliner for a neat appearance
  • Rubber lips extending inboard from the door weather strips overlap the windshield, rear door lock and liftgate pillar trim panels in the body openings for neatness
  • The passenger-side windshield pillar trim panel includes a molded assist handle to aid entry and provide passenger stability when traversing rough roads or unpaved terrain
  • With optional Infinity speakers, tweeters are provided in the front door trim panels
  • Center pillar trim provides a finished appearance by capping the flanges and weather strip
  • inboard lips
  • Door sill scuff plates have wide transverse grooves that are easily cleaned for long-term neat appearance
  • A molded header trim panel supports the headliner at the liftgate opening. This header trim includes grillwork that feeds air to the air exhausters
  • The liftgate scuff plate is higher than the latch striker and ribbed longitudinally, permitting cargo to slide in easily. It incorporates molded LOAD TO THIS LINE nomenclature to aid the user in determining the maximum length of cargo without experimentally closing the liftgate. Swivel-mounted cargo tie-down loops are recessed in the outboard ends of the scuff plate and clear the liftgate even in the raised position
  • Front cargo tie-down loops are mounted at the outboard front corners of the load floor for vehicles without third-row seating, or located on the floor aft of the second-row seat with third-row seat
  • Rear tie-downs are located on the rear crossmember at the liftgate.

Second-Row Seat Assist-Handles

Durango provides a new type of roof rail-mounted assist handles for second-seat outboard passengers. They provide assistance for entry/exit and support for passenger stability when riding. Unlike fixed grab handles, which can be obtrusive, and swing-down handles with spring-loaded hinges, which snap back when grip is released, These assist handles remain in whichever position the occupant desires - up or down. They swing on hinges with detents at both positions that hold them in place but release easily. The headliner is recessed around the handles for easy access from inside or outside the vehicle. Even when folded, passengers entering the second seat will notice them on the other side of the vehicle.

Soft Trim

Sun visor construction includes padded cloth covers that match the headliner with all equipment levels. Inboard visor retainer clips are the same as used on Dakota. They provide a neat appearance and firm support without a visible fastener due to two-piece snap-in construction. The clip snaps together through matching holes in the headliner and windshield header, capturing the headliner.

Snap-in coat hooks are the same as provided on Dakota and match the headliner. They use a mounting system like that for the sun visor retainer clips to provide a neat appearance and firm support without a visible fastener. They are positioned in a headliner pocket with the hook at nearly vertical to optimize coat hanger load.

The headliner has a light natural beige cover of cloth over a molded urethane substrate with foam padding. Construction is the same as Dakota.

The headliner is molded to conform to the windshield, door and quarter window openings, and the roof environment, making added garnish moldings unnecessary and optimizing headroom throughout the vehicle. Its neat appearance is attributable to the absence of fasteners for support. Rubber lips extending inboard from the door weather strips overlap the headliner in the door openings for neatness.

Cut-pile carpeting, which is color-keyed to the seats, is molded to conform smoothly to the floor pan. It includes a high density foam sound barrier molded to the lower surface. The foam is molded to conform to floor pan irregularities, such as stiffening ribs, contributing to smooth appearance and a smooth feel underfoot.

Lids of the front and rear floor storage modules, the back of the second seat and of the third seat, where used, are covered with needled fiber carpeting - a material in which the surface fibers are mechanically stitched to their backing. This material also protects the floors of the front storage module, its storage tray and the rear storage area and prevents items placed there from rattling.

Interior Lighting

Courtesy lamps are operated by door and liftgate switches that are integral with their respective latches. The switches include a separate ground circuit (rather than grounding to the body through the case) for reliability. If any door or the liftgate is opened, all interior courtesy lamps - dome, overhead console, liftgate and front floor - are illuminated. If a door or the liftgate is left open or the dome lamp switch is left in the ON position with the ignition switch in the OFF position,the Central Timer Module (CTM) will extinguish the interior lamps after 15 minutes to avoid discharging the battery. If the ignition switch is in the accessory position, the CTM recognizes that the vehicle is probably occupied and will not extinguish the lamps for occupant convenience. If the HD/LP switch is left in the dome ON position, the CTM will turn them off after 15 minutes (key not in accessory).

Interior Lamps

Front and rear dome lamps, which are standard, have crystalline lenses that disperse light throughout the passenger compartment and include a defeat with headlamp switch. The front lamp illuminates the front and second-seat areas. The rear lamp also illuminates the second-seat area and the third seat/cargo area. The available light package adds an integral ON/OFF switch and revised lens optics to the rear dome lamp, making it usable as a reading lamp for second- and/or third-seat passengers. Its separate switch allows rear-seat passengers to read without interfering with the driver's ability to see ahead at night. The headliner is molded around the lamps to form a smooth transition to the frameless lenses. The lenses and lamp housings snap together through openings in the headliner, facilitating installation and bulb replacement. The optional overhead console, which includes dual map/courtesy lamps, replaces the front dome lamp.

A liftgate-mounted flood lamp is standard with all equipment levels. The lamp is mounted low on the curb side of the liftgate to illuminate both the cargo area and the ground outside.

The following additional interior lamps are available on Durango:

  • Available courtesy lamps below the instrument panel, one on each side, provide front floor illumination. Their exposed bulbs give a flood lighting effect. Large, wedge-base bulbs are
  • easy to replace
  • Ignition key cylinder lamp
  • Ash receiver lamp
  • Engine compartment lamp with crystalline lens that snaps over the tubular, cartridge-type bulb. This new lamp is more aesthetic and disperses light better than lamps without a lens. An integral switch uses a rolling ball to complete the circuit and turn the lamp on

Illuminated Entry System

All interior courtesy lamps illuminate in the customary manner when a door or the liftgate is opened. The lamps will turn off 30 seconds after all doors are closed or when the key is turned in the ignition switch, whichever comes first. The Central Timer Module (CTM) controls timing. With the remote keyless entry system, actuating the unlock button on the remote keyless entry transmitter turns on all interior lamps and initiates the 30-second timer. On vehicles with vehicle theft alarm (VTA), unlocking with the key also turns on all interior lamps and initiates the 30-second timer.

Click here for the main Durango page

We make no guarantees regarding validity, accuracy, or applicability of information, predictions, or advice. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy. Copyright © 1994-2000, David Zatz; copyright © 2001-2016, Allpar LLC (except as noted, and press/publicity materials); all rights reserved. Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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