2018 Dodge Durango R/T RideDrive
As the last body-on-frame SUV in the FCA family, the eight-year-old, third generation 2018 Dodge Durango continues to defy some popular thinking that its day has past. Without apology, Durango delivers performance, utility and comfort – now with a dash of swagger in its SRT and R/T trim levels.
That proven performance, utility, comfort and value – tweaked each year with updated technology and convenience features works for Durango. It continues to be a strong performer in a very competitive SUV segment – selling between 60 and 70,000 units per year since 2013.
Despite continuing rumors that Durango is in line for a major redesign, we ask why. Upping the ante with swagger like the SRT added last year and now incorporated in the R/T for 2018 – we say don’t try to fix what is not broken.
New on Durango R/T for 2018
The 2018 Durango R/T has added more swagger with a new performance look including a widebody stance, functional SRT style hood with center air inlet duct and flanked by heat extractors, a new front fascia and lower valence with new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps.
Equipped with the Uconnect 8.4 with NAV infotainment system, R/T adds the BeatsAudio premium audio as standard. Featuring 9-speakers, a subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier, the system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and more.
2018 Durango R/T RWD drive test vehicle
There was plenty of swagger in our recent test Durango R/T AWD. It sported a hot Redline monochromatic exterior with Black Nappa leather front bucket seats, red accent stitching and ‘R/T’ embroidered on the seat backs.
The powerplant in R/T is the venerable 5.7L HEMI V8 engine kicking out 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque – mated to the paddle shifter equipped TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission with Eco and Sport modes. Hint: skip the Eco. For swagger you want Sport.
Its 20-inch cast aluminum wheels were painted in Low Gloss Granite Crystal and mounted with P265/50R20 Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus All-Season LLR tires. Set up with a slightly lowered and sport-tuned independent suspension, stiffer springs, performance-tuned electric power steering and heavy duty brakes – this baby can run.
Not only does it ride and handle much like its SRT sibling, but with its performance tuned dual exhaust – it even sounds like it. And, though we will not confirm (or deny) testing it – R/T RWD will run 0-60 mph in just over 6.0-seconds.
It should come as no surprise that the R/T RWD is no fuel sipper. It’s fuel economy rating is 14/22 mpg city/highway and 17 combined. But, with its 26.4-gallon fuel tank, it will deliver near 550 miles of swagger on the highway between fill-ups.
Other exterior features of note were the Power Sunroof, Remote Start, Automatic Headlamps with automatic leveling, HID low beams, LED daytime running lamps, heated power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers and ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist w/Stop to list a few.
The roomy Durango cabin seats up to seven (2+3+2). Our test vehicle was six (2+2+2). It included 8-way power driver/passenger both heated/ventilated front seating, full length floor console with connectivity, three-zone air conditioning with filtration, 7-inch TFT driver-customizable digital instrument cluster, new Sport Steering Wheel and Electronic T-Shifter, second row Fold and Tumble Captain Chair seating with mini floor connected console and third row 50/50 split folding seating with power head rest controls.
Towing and Hauling
Our Durango R/T RWD was equipped for towing with Trailer Sway Control, 220-amp alternator, heavy duty engine oil cooler, class IV hitch receiver and 4-/7 pin wiring harness. Featuring rear load leveling shocks for additional control, it tows up to 7,400 pounds with load capacity of 1,280 pounds. For safety and peace of mind, the 8.4-inch Uconnect system even offers capability to view on screen the trailing equipment while Durango is in motion.
Safety of Course
Safety features of note on our test Durango R/T included Hill-Start Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control w/Full Stop, Advanced Brake Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring and Cross Path Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Assist and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning w/Active Braking
R/T Pricing as tested
Our test Durango R/T RWD had a base price of $43,695.
With added options like Hand-Wrapped Dashboard with Live Stitch, Technology Group, Trailer Tow Group, Second Row Fold/Tumble Captain Chairs and Second-Row Console with Armrest and Storage, Power Sunroof, Blue-Ray Rear DVD Entertainment Center and delivery, our 2018 Dodge Durango R/T RWD priced at $53,995.
Though it’s not really necessary for swagger – you can add AWD for $5,045.
With SRT, the swagger is evident as it races 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and runs a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)-certified quarter-mile in 12.9-second time.
When not racing, the SRT does normal stuff too, like hauling up to seven people and 1,600 pounds of their gear just about anywhere they want to go. Yes, it tows too. Durango SRT can tow (best-in-class) 8,700 pounds of boat or trailer for fun when they get there.
Fair warning – you are going to pay about $20,000 more for SRT, but if this level of swagger is in your blood and in your paygrade, go for it.
You can read our test drive of the 6.4L HEMI SRT here: http://ticket-1994427.inwheeltime.com/dear-santa-send-dodge-durango-srt-392-promise-good/
As for us, though we like to think we still have some measure of that SRT swagger left in us, the realism is the swagger-level of the 5.7L HEMI V8 Durango R/T RWD we just tested will suit us just fine.
You can learn more about the 2018 Durango lineup including the very capable V6 models by visiting https://www.dodge.com/durango.html