Reviews

2018 Dodge Durango Driving Impressions


When the Durango isn’t showing off its SUV strength by towing a big load, it drives like a crossover, meaning it behaves more like a car. The independent suspension provides a supple and well-damped ride, although there’s some head toss on patchy pavement. The steering is heavy but precise, and the brakes are big and secure for towing.

If you do tow a lot, even though the V6 can do 6200 pounds, the muscular Hemi V8 might be a better choice, for its additional torque; it can tow with the best of them, including some Ram 1500 pickup trucks. The 8-speed transmission works for towing even with its wide ratios.

The 295 horsepower made by the V6 has a lot of weight to push, but the engine is smooth and quiet.

The ride in the SXT and Citadel is firm but supple, while the SRT borders on harsh. And the available 20-inch alloy wheels amplify bad things on pavement. Think twice if frost heaves are big in your town.

That harsh-riding SRT will shoot you from zero to sixty in a Viper-like 4.4 seconds, and on to the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds (certified by the NHRA). With 470 pound-feet of torque, there’s enough pulling power to tie for the lead in the class with 8600 pounds towing. Never mind that the SRT is in a class of two, the other not coincidentally also called SRT, being the Jeep.

Durango’s 8-speed automatic shifts fast, predictable, and buttery smooth. It’s compatible with the V6, Hemi V8, or even the monster SRT, after being strengthened for the rigors.

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