There are three engine configurations available for the 2018 Dodge Durango. The base SXT trim possesses a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The numbers are distributed to a rear-wheel drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Taking the R/T trim lets buyers enjoy the raw power of a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. The same engine is available for the Citadel as an option. The R/T comes with a sports suspension, too. The range-topper, the SRT trim, has a 6.4-liter V8 engine with 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. It is the only trim with an all-wheel drive system as a standard. The all-wheel drive system is optional for the lower trim levels. We had the chance to drive both the SXT and the SRT to compare the least and the best that the Durango range has to offer. With a weight of 4,815 lbs for the SXT trim, the vehicle felt more like a truck than a crossover. It seemed like the 3.6-liter V6 had a hard time dragging it from the get-go. It's a good thing that the transmission was able to present quick and smooth shifts to lessen the burden of driving the auto. Nonetheless, it sprinted from 0-60 mph in just 7.4 seconds, which is more impressive than many SUVs in the market today. On the other hand, the high-performance SRT's V8 was a nice match for the Durango's large frame. The auto performed like a sports car with its 0-60 mph acceleration in mere 4.7 seconds. Another nice thing about the truck-like capabilities of the 2018 Durango is its towing power that can handle 6,200 lbs of weight for the SXT and up to 8,700 lbs. for the SRT.
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The tech found in the SXT trim includes rearview cam, keyless entry and ignition, three-zone climate control, heated mirrors, 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity for smart devices, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, dual USB ports, six-speaker audio system, and load-levelling rear suspension. In addition to the standard Durango equipment, the GT installs a rear parking sensors, remote start, heated front and second-row seats, 115v power outlet, satellite radio, memory settings for the driver's seat, and power liftgate. The GT can enjoy some features found in the higher trims with the Safety/Security and Convenience Group, including a blind spot monitoring system. The Citadel upgrades everything with its Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation system, power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, nine-speaker sound system, HD radio, subwoofer, power-adjustable steering column, parking sensors, automatic high beams, automatic wipers and xenon headlamps. The R/T gets an enhanced steering system, LED foglights, and Beats audio system. Partnering the R/T and Citadel with the Technology Group package equips blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, forward warning collision system with auto braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. There are individual options as well that places a dual-screen rear entertainments system with Blu-ray compatibility, 12v outlet, and extra USB port. The SRT bumps all the goodies found in the lower trims with its performance-tuned steering, adaptive suspension, electronic limited slip differential.
The 2018 Durango garnered high scores from NHTSA. The frontal crash rating of the auto was 4 out 5 stars while the rollover rating was at 3 out of 5 stars. Aside from the standard safety elements like the airbags, restraints brakes and child locks, the organization praised the forward collision warning (optional), lane departure warning, crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support of the SUV. For such a long vehicle, we found the rearview camera really useful, especially when backing to a parking space. The other tech found in the auto also aided us a lot in reducing blind spots.
The current generation of the Dodge Durango started with its 2011 model year. Since then, exterior of the SUV remained the same until the 2018 model year. However, buyers can enjoy a coupe of upgrades in the armor of the auto with the elements offered by its different trims. The Durango takes inspiration from its brand's muscle cars with its bulky exterior. Despite its huge frame that houses three rows of seats inside, the SUV is still considered as a crossover. In fact, it was even given the 2018 Crossover of the Year award by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMP). The base SXT trim has 18-inch alloy wheels. Going for the GT replaces them with 20-inch wheels. The R/T equips the crossover with a sporty hood design. The Citadel adds a sunroof and roofrails. Those who are looking for more can avail the optional packages sold by Dodge. The Brass Monkey appearance package for the GT and R/T installs a gloss black grille, blacked out bezels for the headlamps, bronze-finished 20-inch wheels and some new colors to choose from. The Blacktop appearance package offers the same upgrades with the addition other blacked out exterior elements. Other optional extras provide Mopar running boards, trailer tow, and sunroof for the trims that don't have it.
The 2018 Durango can fit up to seven passengers. That is reduced to six when the captain's chairs are fitted. The Durango may be noisy during the start of its sprint from a complete halt given its V6 and V8 engines, but it has a quiet cabin even at highway speeds. The first up to third row of seats provide ample amount of comfort with their firm and supportive make. Getting the optional captain's chairs further increase comfort for the second-row passengers. Upgrading the leather offered by the different optional packages also help boost the convenience of the SUV's occupants. The second row of seats has a 60/40 split folding function. The third row has 50/50 split folding with an option to remove them altogether to optimize cargo space.
The Durango can hold 17.2 cu-ft of cargo behind the third row of seats. Folding the third row of seats gives 47.7 cu-ft. of space. Maximimizing its full capacity by folding the second row of seats raises the cargo space to 84.5 cu-ft.