2018 Dodge Durango Review
Edmunds expert review
Dodge does things a little differently from other automakers. While others make anonymous four-cylinder family sedans, Dodge offers the Charger, a large family sedan inspired by muscle cars of the past and powered by a V6 or a choice of three V8 engines. And in an era when car companies refresh crossover SUVs at the speed of midterm election cycles, Dodge carries on with an aging but proven formula for the 2018 Dodge Durango.
If the Durango looks familiar, that's because you've seen this current generation on the road since the 2011 model year. That's an eternity compared to a number of its fresher rivals, but Dodge has kept this three-row crossover relevant, most notably with a significant update for 2014 that added a satisfying eight-speed automatic transmission and a revised interior with Chrysler's excellent 8.4-inch touchscreen.
For 2018, there's even more to like, including a new high-performance SRT model that cranks out 475 horsepower, accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and can tow up to 8,600 pounds. No other non-luxury automaker offers anything like it.
The Durango's fundamentals — including extraordinary towing capacity, available V8 power and adult-size space in the third row — are key to its enduring appeal. And as one of the most muscular vehicles in its class, the Durango is also one of the heaviest. That takes a toll on real-world fuel economy and can also make the V6 engine feel anemic at times. It also bolsters the argument for choosing the exuberant V8, gas bills notwithstanding.
If you can find a powertrain that suits your needs, whether a V6 or a V6, there's a lot to like. Even at this advanced stage in its life cycle, the Durango remains one of the most capable and well-rounded three-row crossovers you can buy.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Dodge Durango as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs for this year.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Dodge Durango is a three-row crossover SUV available in five trim levels: SXT, GT, Citadel, R/T and SRT.
All Durango models except the SRT are rear-wheel drive and offer optional all-wheel drive. The SRT is only available with all-wheel drive. Seven-passenger seating is standard, while second-row captain's chairs (reducing capacity to six) are optional. If you need to prioritize cargo over passengers, you can order the base SXT with just two rows of seats. The other trims are three-row only.
The base SXT comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine (293 hp, 260 pound-feet of torque) matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, a load-leveling rear suspension, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, three-zone climate control, a 60/40-split folding and reclining second-row seat, a 50/50-split folding third-row seat with power-folding headrests (or alternatively, an option to delete the third-row seat) and cloth upholstery. Technology features include Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, dual USB ports and a six-speaker sound system.
The GT adds 20-inch wheels, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, remote start, heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats, leather and suede upholstery, a 115-volt power outlet, driver-position memory settings and satellite radio.
Going with the Citadel gets you xenon headlights, automatic high beams, automatic wipers, upgraded brakes, front parking sensors, roof-rail crossbars, a sunroof, a cargo cover, upgraded leather upholstery, additional leather trim, a power-adjustable steering column, the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, a navigation system, a power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, and a nine-speaker audio system with a subwoofer and HD radio.
An optional Anodized Platinum appearance package adds upgraded leather upholstery with silver accent stitching and special interior trim.
The R/T moves into high-performance realms with the 5.7-liter V8 engine (360 hp, 390 lb-ft) as standard, an upgraded steering system, a sport-tuned suspension, a performance hood design, LED foglights, red accent stitching and a Beats audio system. The Citadel's standard roof rails and sunroof are optional. The 5.7-liter V8 is also optional for the Citadel.
Some of the higher trims' standard features are also offered on lower trims as options. A Technology Group package for the Citadel and R/T adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist. Blind-spot monitoring is also offered on the GT via a separate options package (Safety/Security and Convenience Group) that additionally includes a handful of the Citadel's standard luxuries.
Optional on the GT and R/T is a Brass Monkey appearance package that adds a gloss black grille, black headlamp bezels, 20-inch bronze-painted wheels and extra body-color trim. An optional Blacktop appearance package (also for the GT and R/T) is similar and fits the Durango with 20-inch, black-painted wheels and a variety of blackout exterior trim items. The Blacktop package also bumps engine power up to 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Other options include black running boards and bright pedals (Mopar Running Board package); a second-row console with armrest and storage (includes an in-console, 12-volt power outlet and a USB charge port); a dual-screen rear entertainment system (with Blu-ray compatibility); and a trailer-tow package.
Finally, the new SRT trim level tops it off with a 6.4-liter V8 engine (475 hp, 470 lb-ft), performance-tuned steering, an adaptive suspension, electronically controlled limited-slip differential, SRT Performance Pages (various configurable performance parameters), and a driver's session at the SRT Track Experience driving school.
Options include a sunroof, upgraded Laguna leather upholstery, the rear entertainment system, the SRT Interior Appearance Group (includes carbon-fiber accents and soft-touch headliner) and the Technology Group.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Dodge Durango Limited (3.6L V6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Durango has received some revisions to appearance packages and standard equipment at various trim levels. Our test Durango's Limited trim is similar to today's GT. Otherwise, our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Durango.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out5.0
Audio & navigation
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.