2018 Dodge Durango SRT

PHOENIX — Dodge is the last automotive brand that has remained committed to building true muscle cars. Some will argue that Chevrolet has the Camaro and Corvette, and Ford the Mustang, but nobody does high-performance better or on a wider scale than Dodge. Dodge already does Challengers with up to 840-horsepower with its human-hauling rocket sled Demon, and 707-horsepower Hellcats in a choice of either a Challenger coupe or a four-door Dodge Charger, that’s popular as a cop car.

But this year it gets even better. It’s no secret that consumers are dropping traditional family sedans for SUVs in a big way, but only Dodge has the sense of adventure and humor by taking it a step further. Engineers at Dodge took the three-row Durango SUV, built it on a new performance-tuned all-wheel drive suspension with adaptive damping and three distinct settings to dial in suspension firmness to one’s liking.

They dropped in a 6.4-liter 475 horsepower Hemi V8 engine with 470 lb-ft of torque, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, added an active exhaust system and six-piston red Brembo brakes and the tire smoking Durango SRT (Street & Racing Technology) was born.

Imagine a family hauler that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and an NHRA certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds. Needing a family hauler for kids, dogs and cargo doesn’t mean a car enthusiast has to compromise their automotive enthusiasm. You’ll be the standout vehicle in the school drop-off line that’s overloaded with (yawn) Toyota Highlanders, Honda Pilots and various minivans.

All customers who buy a new Durango SRT will receive one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving here in Phoenix, Ariz.

In addition to having enough seats for the whole family, the Durango SRT is perfect for loading up summer fishing or camping gear for long weekend getaways, offering best-in-class 8,700 pounds of towing if you decide to bring a boat or camper along.

Visually, the SRT modestly differs from the six other non-performance Durango trim levels with a more aggressive front fascia and lower valence with cold-air ducts and LED fog lamps, a functional hood scoop, a revised rear end design, large circular exhausts tips, SRT badging and, performance 20-inch wheels.
Inside, standard leather and suede seating, an available high-performance Demonic Red Laguna leather seating and new carbon-fiber trim distinguish Durango SRT’s performance interior.

Durango SRT starts at $64,090. Expensive yes, but that’s less than the top trim levels of the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia or GMC Yukon and for those with a car enthusiast in the house, it’s the perfect family-hauler compromise.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $64,090
Price as Tested: $73,360
Seating: 6
Engine: 6.4-liter HEMI V8
Horsepower: 475-hp
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 13-MPG City – 19-MPG Highway

Competes With:
Chevrolet Tahoe
Ford Expedition
GMC Yukon
Nissan Armada
Toyota Sequoia

Fab Features
Sensation of brute acceleration
Aggressive good looks
No compromise between practicality and performance

— Jim Prueter