2018 Dodge Durango Review

Durango

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2018 Dodge Durango Overview

The basic design of the current-generation Dodge Durango has been around since 2011, and while it was updated for the 2014 model year, it’s starting to look a bit long in the tooth. For 2018, Dodge injects some fresh excitement into this full-size unibody SUV with an all-new SRT trim. This SRT variant takes the Durango from an ordinary SUV comparable to the Honda Pilot to a tire-screeching performance truck ready to take on such vehicles as the Mercedes-Benz AMG GL S63 or BMW X5—albeit at a much cheaper price.

The Durango SRT is an altogether different animal from the rest of the Durango lineup. Under its aggressively styled hood sits the familiar 6.4-liter Hemi V8 Dodge has used in its other SRT models, which comes with both a functional cold-air intake and heat extractors. It puts out an impressive 475 hp and 470 lb-ft and is paired with an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters, rev matching, and a launch control system. The stock exhaust should also sound pretty spectacular thanks to a new tuned system complete with 2.75-inch pipes and resonators. The SRT boasts a 0-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds, making it the fastest 3-row SUV in its class according to Dodge. Towing capacity maxes out at 8,600 pounds.

For handling, the 5,500-pound Durango SRT receives Bilstein active dampers, stiffer springs, thicker antiroll bars, and large slotted and vented Brembo brakes with 6-piston calipers up front and 4-piston calipers in back. The standard tires are Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-seasons, but stickier P-Zero 3-season tires are an available upgrade. The SRT also offers 7 driving modes—Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Valet, and Eco—to adjust engine mapping, transmission response, and the AWD system.

Visually, the Durango SRT’s exterior is distinguished by its functional hood ducts, more aggressive-looking front and rear fascias, fender flares, a smaller mesh grille, and special badging. Its interior might fall a little short when compared to those of upscale German performance SUVs, but it nevertheless offers a plethora of premium appointments and available upgrades. The SRT trim offers heated and ventilated front-row and heated second-row captain’s chairs, silver accent stitching on the dashboard, Nappa leather upholstery with suede inserts, black chrome trim, and a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters. The Durango’s 7.0-inch configurable digital instrument cluster has been redesigned, and the Uconnect infotainment system receives an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, HD Radio, and the new SRT Performance Pages system, which track vehicle performance metrics. Also standard are an electronic T-handle shifter, a 180-mph speedometer, and a 9-speaker BeatsAudio system.

Available safety options for the 2018 Durango include forward-collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic detection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2017 model 4 out of 5 stars overall, although the AWD version earned just 3 stars in the rollover category. The 2017 Durango also received top Good scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in most areas aside from a Marginal rating for the frontal small-overlap test, which was introduced after the Durango’s platform was designed.

Updated

Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.

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