MSRP
$29,995
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2018 Dodge Durango Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2018 Dodge Durango has incredible power from its engines, which include a standard V6 and two available V8s. Models with the standard engine get adequate fuel economy for the class. The Durango's handling receives mixed reviews; some find it a bit unsettled around turns, while others praise its composure.

  • "Four-wheel independent suspension, a near 50/50 weight distribution and electro-hydraulic power steering create a sure-footed driving experience around both on and off the road." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • If you're used to a bigger, truck-based SUV, the Durango should feel pleasantly maneuverable. If, however, you're coming out of a smaller SUV or a car, it could be a bit overwhelming." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Among tough rear-wheel-drive SUVs, the Durango's driving experience stands out as one of the very best." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

A 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes up to 295 horsepower comes standard in the 2018 Durango. A 360-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 is optional. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. With the V6, the Durango gets up to 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is typical for a midsize SUV.

The all-new performance-oriented Durango SRT is equipped with a 6.4-liter V8 that puts out 475 horsepower. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive SRT can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds. 

All three of the Durango's engines are powerful. The base V6 should satisfy most drivers with its ample grunt and smooth power. The smaller V8 is well-suited to highway maneuvers like passing or merging, and the SRT's V8 has the brutish muscle you'd expect from a luxury-badged SUV, not a mainstream brand. The downside to the V8 power is a significant toll on fuel economy. The eight-speed automatic transmission makes seamless shifts and matches the gear correctly to differing power needs. When properly equipped, the Durango can tow up to 8,600 pounds.

  • "The V8 engines in the Durango get the headlines, but the reality is that the V6 is actually quite good. It can haul up to 6,400 pounds, and it offers smooth and refined performance, the 8-speed proving a good match overall despite the occasional hunt for the right gear. That said, the two V8s on offer are pretty cool. There's the 5.7-liter version, with 360 horsepower and up to 7,400 pounds of towing capacity. It sounds great, offers quick acceleration and plenty of passing power. Then there's the new-for-2018 Durango SRT, with 475 horsepower and up to 8,600 pounds of towing capability. It's even quicker, hitting 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, and it sounds terrific while doing it." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The eight-speed automatic is eager to downshift when needed and holds gears when climbing and descending hills." -- Edmunds
  • "Of course, the Durango isn't perfect. Its chief problem is its thirsty V8, an issue that remains even after Dodge replaced the SUV's 5-speed automatic with a new 8-speed last year." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The Durango is a big SUV, and some think it drives like one. While some critics say it can feel clumsy around corners and that its steering does not feel especially reactive, others compliment it for its overall driving composure. The ride is quiet and comfortable, even in the high-performance SRT trim. The Durango comes standard with rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive, an adaptive suspension, and performance brakes are available.

  • "When driving around turns, the Durango feels even bigger than it is due to slow steering and minimal tire grip. It's a large, lumbering SUV. Those upsizing from a more sprightly car may want to look elsewhere." -- Edmunds
  • "Best of all, the Durango – even the sporty SRT model – offers a comfortable ride and quiet interior when just cruising around, with plenty of space for its seven passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The Durango traverses bumps gently and remains quiet at highway speeds. This is a large vehicle, though, and you'll never forget it from behind the wheel." -- Autotrader (2015)
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2018 Dodge Durango

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