The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has the distinction of being America’s most powerful three row SUV. Its 392 cubic-inch HEMI V8 makes 475-hp and 470 pound-feet of torque, which means it will sprint to 60-mph in just 4.4-seconds, run the ¼-mile in the high-12’s, top out at over 160-mph AND tow a WHOPPING 8,600-pounds. Combine that with a choice of eight different colors, a host of options and an MSRP starting price of $62,995.00,** and you’re looking what is perhaps the burliest high-performance people mover currently on sale.
2018 Dodge Durango SRT Exterior:
The beauty of the Durango is that it has always been the “right size” SUV in the full-size segment. Not as large as the Chevrolet Tahoe or Ford Expedition, the Durango works on just about every level without ever feeling too big for a standard parking lot or garage. And regardless of what trim level you choose, from the SXT to the SRT, it can be configured to fit your needs.
For 2018, the Durango SRT brings with it enough visual queues to prove to onlookers that this is a performance-based SUV. The front fascia, for example, utilizes a more aggressive grille, an integrated air-intake and lower LED driving lamps, while a new hood employs a Hellcat derived scoop that’s flanked with functional heat extractors. Small fender flares not only allow for a more aggressive stance, but also allow the Durango SRT to run all new five-spoke 20-inch Goliath wheels wrapped in 295/45-series rubber. Our tester was clad in White Knuckle clear-coat which really helped those large 6-piston Brembo brakes stand out. Last but not least, and finishing out the package, are a 392-fender badge and a redesigned lower rear bumper that houses the 4-inch chrome exhaust tips.
2018 Dodge Durango SRT Interior:
Simplistic, easy to navigate and inviting – those are the key components of a well thought-out interior. Far too often are modern cabins fitted with redundant systems that do nothing but add clutter and take away from a vehicle’s overall comfort. This is not the case with the 2018 Durango SRT, and the interior engineers have done an excellent job of compartmentalizing certain aspects of this interior’s overall functionality.
The center stack houses Dodge’s UConnect media system with its massive 8.4-inch touchscreen. It’s intuitive, has great graphics, and provides clear and readily available information at the touch of the screen. This is also where you’ll gain access to the SRT settings and Performance Pages where owners can adjust transmission, paddle shifters, vehicle stability control, suspension, steering and even the all-wheel drive system to fit their individual driving style.
The climate controls and media inputs are also a cinch to use. Now, behind the leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel lays a clear cluster with a speedometer, a 6,000-rpm tachometer, temperature and fuel gauge, as well as a center-positioned digital screen that, aside from speed, allows you to get information on all aspects of the Durango’s diagnostics (mpg, tire pressure, oil temp, etc…). Fans of the Durango will also notice that the turn dial gear selector shift knob found in standard models has been removed in favor of the same T-handle shifter found in the Dodge Challenger and Charger. There are also highly bolstered buckets with heat and ventilation, an alcantara headliner, seating for 6-adults, and a lot of storage space (84.5cu- ft with the rear seats folded flat).
2018 Dodge Durango SRT Performance:
What Dodge did here was develop the fastest, full size, three-row SUV, and they released it to the public before they even knew they wanted it. Under those black heat extractors lives a 6.4L 392 cubic-inch HEMI V8 that produces 475-hp and 470-pound feet of torque. The Durango SRT will top out at over 160-mph, run the ¼ mile in the high 12’s and tow up to 8,600-pounds (that’s more than a Chevy Tahoe). It’s also a hoot to drive, will blitz sports cars off the line that cost 6-digits AND let you set it up how you want it via its seven different drive modes (Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Valet, Eco).
It’s how it drives, though, that truly sets it apart. I recently drove one across the United States, putting on over 3,000-miles in a week, and it was nothing short of fantastic. The steering is firm but not overwhelming, the adaptive handling helps to mask the 5,369-pound curb weight, and those big 6-piston Brembo brakes on 15-inch rotors help to bring the Durango SRT down to a halt with little drama. There’s also the matter of the beautifully programmed 8-speed automatic transmission. Yes, you can shift it manually via the steering wheel mounted paddles, but the engineers have done such a wonderful job of getting it dialed in that there is simply no need.
In inclement weather the Durango SRT is also very confidence-inspiring. We drove through multiple severe weather systems and never once did we question its surefooted-ness. That, combined with a quiet cabin, room for 6 adults and a go-pedal that was a giggle fest meant we fell in love with the Durango SRT very quickly.
2018 Dodge Durango SRT Safety:
The Dodge Durango has more than 60 standard and available safety and security features such as advanced braking technology, electronic stability control, all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, airbags, dynamic stability control, blind spot monitoring, along with a host of other features that have been put into place to keep occupants safe and sound.
2018 Dodge Durango SRT Overall:
The Durango SRT is the 6-passenger, all-wheel drive, all-purpose hammer that we’ve been waiting for. Not only will it tow, haul and transport just about anything your family can think of, but it will also satisfy the hot-rodder in you. And with a $62,995.00 base price (as tested: $71,670.00)** it’s a downright bargain compared to other high performance SUVs in the segment. Drop by your local AutoNation Dodge dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $62,95.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.