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Armada or Durango?

  • 2005 LE 4x4 Armada DVD/NAV/Tech - $40,800

    Votes: 25 96.2%
  • 2005 Durango 4x4 DVD/NAV/$4k options - $37,600

    Votes: 1 3.8%

Buying 05 Armada OR 05 Durango

6275 Views 22 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Brass Pass
Please help me!

I got 2 deals to choose in the next day or so:

2005 LE 4x4 Armada - Smoke
(-$1200 holdback -$1500 rebate off invoice) (was $47k MSRP)
$40,800 before fees/tax/lic

2005 Dodge Durango 4x4 Limited HEMI - Black
DVD/NAV/$4k in dealer cost mods (bille grille/dual exhaust/20" wheels/tires)
(-$1k holdback-$5000 rebate off invoice) (was $50k MSRP w/$7k mods)
$37600 before fees/tax/lic

I'm towing a Mastercraft Boat & got 2 kids in carseats.

I love the Armada style/camera option but I have connections to Dodge dealer. I currently own '98 Jeep Cherokee 5.9L & need 3 rows of seats & more power. Both seem awesome in style/options/towing so I'm stuck.

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Same poll on the Durango Forum link

Just for balance I have the same question/poll on the Durango forum:


Wonder what the outcome of this poll will be?

The results are going to be very predictable, but it is the comments that may be helpful to you.....

I did take a look at the Durango (Hemi) before buying the Armada. It wasn't bad, but I like the style of the Armada much better....specially the appearance of the front. Both seemed to have a lot of power for big vehicles. I did not notice any power advantage of the Hemi. I found the Durango to be very cramped compared to the Armada. Also, the interior materials (seats, floor, dash controls) seemed cheap compared to the Armada. And this isn't good because the interior of the Armada could also stand to be better. I also liked the way the seats folded down in the Armada better.

So.......guess which way I voted? :schla24:
NoCalJay said:
Please help me!

I'm towing a Mastercraft Boat & got 2 kids in carseats.

I love the Armada style/camera option ........


If you tow a vehicle, the rear camera will be worth the price of gold. i have never owned a truck before, and I do not have experience with hitches and towing vehicles. But only after 1 or 2 practice sessions, I can line my Armada up perfectly with one try. I can see the hitch with the camera, so it lines up easily. I just have to estimate the distance that the ball extends. It is easy!
I did this trade when I bought my Armada. My previous vehicle was a 99 Durango. We decided to replace @ 75,000 miles due to the problems we had. Nothing major, nothing left us stranded, but every six months or so, something went wrong that required repair, usually to the tune of $750 or so each time. The warranty covered everything, but expired at 75,000 miles. We tow a 26' travel trailer, so towing was a major requirement.

The Armada had way more room inside, seemed to be better built, drove nicer (acceleration, handling, overall driveability), and had a more functional interior.

The Durango was less expensive ($6,000!). Interior quality was better, exterior worse. Reliability was questionable, based on previous experience.

We're very happy with our Armada, and glad we spent the extra money!
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I would guess the $3k you would save today will come off the other end when you sell (and then some)...When I was looking back 1.5-years ago the Durango per mile cost was like twice that of the Armada if I remember right. I think I found the breakdowns on
The durango kinda looks like a mutated version of the armada. It looks like it has down syndrome or something.
former dodge owner

Hi my name is chris and I owned a dodge... :pullout:
I owned a dodge Shadow, it is now called the neon. I had to have this car painted after 8 months because I "took my car from the heat and humidity of mississippi to a different type of heat and humidity of southern georgia" this is the excuse that the dodge dealership came up with that they thought I would buy; then 5 months later the bumper fell of after some snow fell on it.... needless to say I wouldn't buy anything from dodge. Yeah I'm a little bias but in the end I think you will be happier with any other truck not just the ARMADA
More room

How big are your kids? My oldest (14y) is 5'-11" and felt cramped in the Durango. Both my kids picked the Armada because of the huge amount of leg room in the second row(more than a Suburban!) and nearly 6" wider at the shoulder than the Durango.
I had a Durango for seven years. Seven mud slogging, desert trail eating, rock pounding years and that truck never let me down. I knew in my heart that when the day came that I needed to replace it, another Durango would sit in its spot.

And then Dodge introduced the all-new Dodge Durango. It was like walking in on a naked grandparent. I was shocked, dismayed, they took a perfectly good TRUCK and crossbred it with a minivan to acheive some mutated, fisheyed, humpbacked spawn.

I ordered my Armada this past Saturday.
Tien said:
The durango kinda looks like a mutated version of the armada. It looks like it has down syndrome or something.
LOL...I agree, reminds me of a dog getting ready to take a dump :D

I too looked at the Durango, but the room in the Armada (particularly the 2nd row!) along with the smooth, smooth tranny and awesome power persuaded me otherwise. And I have to agree, the Durango is ass ugly in my opinion.

just read some of the posts on dodge talk, our forum, no one would even suggest the durango is a better vehicle than the theirs, about a 1/4 suggested that it was a toss up or that the armada was even simply better!!!

you probably dont have to guess which way i voted! i had to make the same choice, in the end, the styling and roominess won me over.
The Durango and the Armada were the two trucks we were deciding upon.

-V8 comes standard in the Armada (we got the SE)

-Center shift on the Armada more than the steering wheel mount on the Durango.

-Liked overall front seat storage and layout in the Armada.

-Outside styling, we just liked the more aggressive look of the Armada.

For us it wasn't any one big thing, but just the small details equaled the Armada for us.

Good luck!
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I too went through a similar decision process before ending up with the Armada. While I don't necessarily agree that the Durango is ugly - I think it's a decent looking truck (personal opinion only) from the front - I hated how it looked from the rear. If you drive up behind could easily think you were looking at the rear end of a Dodge minivan - and we all know if you drive an SUV the last thing you'd be caught in is a minivan.

Similar comments regarding the interior - the Dodge was decent...the Armada roomier...and the one thing I didn't like ...was the humongous dash on the Durango - that too reminded me of being in a minivan...for some reason that bugged me.

Lastly, the ease with which the Armada comes off the line...and accelerates through the gears compared to the Durango should be the clincher.

This is a no brainer given the costs you've posted - they're close to each other and the Armada specs out better in every way -- easy decision.
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No Decision - Armada

I liked the Durango and was going to consider it, but it all came down to one issue, VDC(vehicle dynamic control). It's not available on the Durango, even as an option. There is a lot of data that demonstrates how important a safety feature this is for any vehicle, but more so with a large SUV. It doesn't take a lot to lose control of any SUV and not much more to get it to roll. Keeping control is absolutely key.

I believe it was the head of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety who stated he would even consider an SUV without VDC and I have to agree. I'm sure you love your kids and want them to be as safe as possible, so get the Armada.
Alright the poll results are in. No surprises except some Durango owners going Armada.

Armada Forum:18-0 Armada
Durango Forum: 23-3 Durango
Jeep Forum: Even as of last night (site down for repair)

So my final decision was hands down…Armada. Basically I wanted a fullsize upgrade from a Cherokee & that was the main variable – the Durango is still a great deal if I wanted to remain mid-sized. The Armada is more expensive but loaded at $40k it seems like the better deal.

I test drove both with a friend last night. Both of us at 6-ft felt the Armada was less, uh “intimate”. He summed it up: “After a long day of boating you’d rather relax in the king sized Armada. That thing is like flying first class, the Durango is like flying coach.” Inside the Durango was fine - Jeep-like only longer. As far as power goes I have a 5.9 so everything felt the same. If I just wanted something newer I would go Durango. But I feel with family now I need the extra room. In fact, on a boat trip both our families: 4 adults & 4 kids can fit in 1 vehicle without feeling cramped! (Or 2 kids, wife, & both sets of grandparents – you get the idea), all without being in a van.

Armada Pros: Tows 9000+ lbs. Full-size room. 2nd row is limo-like w/front seats all the way back. Overall exterior/interior style is modern. Rear view camera! Electric rear hatch. AND no rattles - yet. 8-seater. Completely stock still looks good.

Armada Cons: Won’t fit in my garage (I’d have to empty it out). Gauges are not modern or white. All controls look fake – too plastic. I’ll have to deal with it. My head hits in the 3rd row not that I’ll ever ride there.

Durango Pros: HEMI. Fits in the garage. Cool gauges – white. Looks badass in black with 20” wheels & painted grille. I actually fit in the 3rd row. Great Cherokee upgrade. Makes me wish I had this 5-yrs ago when I had surfboards & no kids.

Durango Cons: 2nd row is ok. The sales guy had to move over so I didn’t crush his knees. Stock Durango looks a little goofy. Grey on grey on grey on grey interior.

So my friend is now getting a Titan instead of the Ford F350. Then this morning I just discovered my coworker just bought the Titan & loves it - he was a Ford guy. If Dodge made a full size Ram SUV I’d be all over that but they don’t for some reason & I don’t want to wait for the extended Ram 4-door. A couple of other friends bought $50k Suburbans & at $40k the full-size Armada smokes ‘em in most respects. But for a mid-size SUV the Durango is it. So it all comes down to interior room preference. I want to go full-size, so I’m getting the Armada this week!

Armada funstuff:

Thanks for all the input!
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We knew


Figured you'd see it the way we all have.

As for the cheap looking control thing, that's true. I've been trying to see if I could get the A/C controls from a QX, but it looks like I'd have to buy the whole assembly at like $400. No thanks...

Not sure what year the Armada was (didn't pay attention) but the '05s have that nice aluminum added. There's always if you want to spruce it up with a dash kit.

Good call! And welcome to Armada ownership!
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Good for you, congrats. I walked the same EXACT road as you and came to the same conclusion. We can't both be wrong can we?

I replaced my Durango last year with a 300C.

I am now replacing my Jeep Grand Cherokee with an Armada.

See, you can have your Armada, and Hemi too.

Like you, I felt the Armada was much closer to what a $40K investment should feel like. It was frustrating going to dealerships, looking at Armadas, Durangos, Seqouias, and finding none of these $40K machines offered some of the things my $34K car has in it. Bluetooth? Nope. Nav? Sure, just bend over for us. I even had one salsemen trying to get me to ooh and ah because the seats had memory settings.

I'm thinking, yeah, OK, why would they not? If these SUVs are the flagship products of their brand, it doesn't show in the development department.

One car you may or may not have considered is the Land Rover LR3. It entered our search at the last minute and it is NIIICE. But, about $6000 more. That's money better spent on 22" rims and headset DVD systems!
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