2018 Dodge Durango 3-Row Family SUV Muscle Car’s Cardiovascular System – Not really the thing you want to pick up when you’re about to hop in a 475-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT and run the full length of Angeles Crest Highway, one of the greatest-known, technically-challenging driving roads in the country. But when a person tosses you the secrets to a high-performance studio condominium and points to the hills, you attempt not to question lots of questions. You just hope to keep full of life.
Booby-stuck option besides, the Dodge Durango SRT appears like a doubtful decision for an Angeles Crest cruiser. It’s big, heavy, and essentially the actual reverse of the incredible canyon carvers one normally affiliates with a road like this. But a hilarious point takes place on the way to the cliff’s edge; the adaptive suspension sticks the truck to the twisting tarmac like a kindergarten stick project, the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 roars through the high-altitude air, and the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system will save you my right behind after I allow the truck’s golf swing out way too much by means of a gravel-strewn change. Oops. Like the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, its brother from another new mother, the Durango SRT is a hilariously-overwrought piece of practical butt-kicker. It’s what you get when you things a substantial engine from a muscle car into a three-row crossover, and it’s one of the most ridiculous family vehicles you can purchase right now. This isn’t a treasured project from a performance marquee like Porsche or Mercedes-AMG. No, this is 17 feet of moving American thunder that will run from to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds on its way to an NHRA-licensed 12.9-second quarter mile time.
You don’t need to have me to notify you that a sport-tuned SUV with a sonorous V-8 is moving to be an excellent time. But as fantastic as it would be to dial up launch control on the way to the kid’s soccer training, although, far more buyers end up in something like the Dodge Durango Citadel Anodized Platinum, the model’s less-intense luxury trim with far too long a label. If you get out the cartoonish lunacy of the SRT, is the Durango still worthy of a second move?
To get out, I adopted up my Angeles Crest drive by investing a few days bouncing all over Southern California with the Citadel. Spoiler alert: Even sans SRT pieces, this stretched Grand Cherokee is a shocking hoot. A person, that free-breathing 6.4-liter V-8 engine in the Durango SRT is great. It’s the identical powerplant discovered in several trims of the Charger and Challenger, and wouldn’t you know, it appears specifically the same. 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque are best phone numbers for the truck’s most common use-awkward several sports cars at stoplights-without having to create the behemoth excessive to deal with. And even the smaller 5.7-liter V-8 in the Citadel tends to make for a great time. Both engines offer a divided character expertise: There’s small vibrations or extra sound at low speeds; stomp onto it, however, and you (and every person in a two-block radius) are reminded of what you’re loading.
The Durango has always been a favored amongst the towing masses, and the SRT’s 8,700-pound pull capacity is certain to get a very few people fascinated. Visualize: You haul your race car to the track, only it won’t start. Exactly what do you do? Race the tow vehicle instead. The Citadel can pull a little significantly less (7,200 lbs), but it really nonetheless provides more grunt than most is ever going to require. Mix a trailer with the impressive 47.7 cubic feet of cargo room powering the second row of seats and you have a vehicle that will haul an impressive quantity of things. You could possibly get a red leather interior in the Durango SRT. That may be a small very much for some, but if I’m ordering a f*ck-you SUV, I’m heading all out. The rest of the inside is standard family fare; available captain’s chairs and flip-up screens on the back of the front seats make the second row the real seat of power in this article. And blessedly, UConnect stays one of the better OEM infotainment systems out there.
As opposed to some family flatbacks, the Durango is an SUV you’ll actually take pleasure in driving. I expended the much better part of an afternoon with the Durango SRT looping Angeles Crest Highway, and then a 7 days driving the Citadel practically 800 miles about Southern California for different tasks. Never as soon as managed I find myself looking for a smaller drive, or wanting to swap to one thing quicker or maybe more typically “entertaining.” I’ll go to my deathbed defending SUVs as best road vacation vehicles, and thanks to a effectively-insulated cabin and that thumpin’ V-8, the Durango is my new Demonstrate A. (Just disregard the fuel economy-more about that below) It’s difficult to neglect that you’re hustling almost three lots of truck by means of the converts, even in the Durango SRT, however it sides significantly flatter than you’d expect. Beefy Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers up front offer self confidence-increasing quitting power. But even in the Citadel, it’s the rear-wheel-drive based powertrain and the strong platform (it’s relevant to the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, a product or service of the unholy Daimler-Chrysler union) that make it very engaging to drive.
Launch control in a three-row crossover? Get out of right here. But can come back speedy, so I can have an additional transform. I appreciate that Dodge is doing its finest to preserve the classic two-box SUV shape on this page, though it seems like it’s melting a small. But the back end is really uninspired, specifically in SRT trim. I don’t want my 475-horsepower SUV to seem like a Grand Caravan from the rear. It actually sorts of amazing how the company has relocated beyond its components-container-raiding prior, and continue to manufacture the back end of the Durango seem like it was cobbled together out of additional portions. As an eight-year-outdated truck, it’s right behind the instances in a few locations. There’s a manual foot-operated parking brake, which I enjoy-however, many usually do not. There’s no panoramic roof option, possibly, and nothing of the active safety features located on the competition come standard. The whole interior appearance great on the greatest trims when it’s wrapped in stitched leather and soft-touch surfaces…but it’s not $60,000-good on the Citadel. And in a weird flip of the aged-vs-new clash, you can’t order the SRT with the outdated-university counter in the second row to seat seven like you can on almost every other trim.
Son, the SRT is thirsty. The EPA jobs about 15 miles per gallon combined thanks to that giant 392-cubic-inch engine, which I can tell you is no correct shape when you’re flogging the bejesus out of it at 7,000 feet. I almost emptied a full tank operating a 150-mile loop of Angeles Crest Highway. That’s to be expected, but the Citadel’s 17 mpg combined isn’t far better. The Pentastar V-6 doesn’t drink as very much…but it’s also less entertaining. The Durango SRT has a fairly rigid ride that prioritizes dealing with over ride comfort. It’s not unpleasant per se, but it’s clearly rougher than the Citadel, nevertheless of driving mode. That type of includes the “performance SUV” territory, but it’s something to see out for. General Motors’ magnetic ride shocks offer you a more effective balance in its RST trucks. It is going without having said that the SRT is practically worthless off-road, and the Citadel isn’t significantly behind. Its 16.3-level technique direction and eight-ish inches of floor clearance aren’t proceeding to be much help on a trail, neither will the low-account car tires. Ergo, the Durango is sobbing out for an off-road-concentrated trim.
Truthfully, I didn’t anticipate to appreciate the Dodge Durango-in possibly develop-as very much as I do. Changes out the secret to curing the crossover blues is to get them to all rear-wheel-drive-based vehicles with V-8 engines. (I’ll acquire my Nobel now, thanks.) This is the first time I’ve driven a unibody SUV that used to be a challenging body-on-frame truck and not wished for it to come back to its very humble roots. In equally aggro SRT and luxe Citadel editions, the Dodge Durango is a correct respect to a hazy time when each sales achievement and regard at the stoplight might be distilled down to a single question: That thing acquired a Hemi? Yep, it certainly does. But it’s also acquired a good deal of other things going for it also, like a limited chassis, practically-unrivaled towing capacity, and of course, that next row of seats. About town, the Durango carries itself with the identical desirably-unremarkable driving expertise identified across the family shuttle class of crossovers. Then you lean on the throttle, and you keep in mind that there’s something a bit different about this one-something which has a laugh dance on your own lips as your right foot develops heavy.
So although that amazing exhaust note remains a prominent marketing level, it’s the way the Durango balances its ridiculous inside kid with the obligations of daily family driving that actually determine this vehicle. Consider this the anti-minivan: an SUV that may just as accommodate an increasing family without plunging Mother and Father into an existential situation on the fleeting the outdoors of youth. Recall, this sucker can pull four lots in SRT form; that’s ample for your emotional luggage and a whole lot of real baggage to boot. It’s ironic, then, that the only point that winds up tripping up the Durango is time. The recent generation debuted all the way back in 2019, and however, it’s a credit history to the platform and the upgrades Dodge’s technicians have jammed in there which it hard disks as effectively as it can, there’s a new influx of challengers on the horizon. To acquire just a single case in point, Ford is reportedly returning the Explorer to a rear-wheel-drive platform, although its new Expedition is nicely-acquired by journalists and consumers as well. A handful of new variations may maintain stuff new till the next Durango is ready for the spotlight, like an off-road-targeted model or one with a true Hellcat engine. Until then, let the band play on. I’ve for ages been a sucker for the timeless classics.