The 2018 Dodge Durango has carved out a niche for itself by being a perfectly sized SUV. Smaller than a Chevrolet Tahoe or Ford Expedition, but larger than a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Toyota Highlander, it gives buyers a vast range of configurable options and layouts. Plus, with a choice of three different engines and a max towing capacity of up to 8,700 pounds, the 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers a level of versatility few other SUVs on the market can match.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T AWD Exterior

For 2018, Dodge has seen fit to amp up the Durango R/T by giving it the same performance-oriented front fascia as the 475-horsepower Durango SRT. That means a more aggressive grille, an integrated air-intake, and lower LED driving lamps, while the hood employs a Hellcat-derived scoop that’s flanked on both sides with functional heat extractors.

Covered in Granite Metallic clear-coat and wearing 20x8-inch low-gloss granite-finished wheels wrapped in 265/50-series Bridgestone rubber, the R/T is definitely marketed at those who want a sportier look and feel. To keep that going throughout the body, Dodge has removed the roof rails and tint the rear windows for a much smoother look overall. Out back, large wraparound LED tail lamps flow through the rear tailgate and into the rear fenders, while a hidden trailer tow hitch and twin polished exhaust tips reside in the body-colored lower rear fascia.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T AWD Interior

Far too often, modern cabins are fitted with redundant systems that do nothing but add clutter and take away from a vehicle's overall comfort. Fortunately, this isn't the case with the 2018 Durango models, as the interior designers have done an excellent job of compartmentalizing certain aspects of this interior's functionality. It's easy to navigate and inviting, and feels really well thought out overall.

The center stack houses Dodge’s UConnect 4C NAV media system with its massive 8.4-inch display. It’s intuitive, has great graphics, and provides clear and readily available information at the touch of the screen. Our R/T also came equipped with the Rear DVD Entertainment Center (a $1,995.00 option) that included Blue-Ray compatible dual-screen video monitors and power eight-way driver and passenger seats. The push button HVAC and media inputs are also easy to use. The clear cluster utilizes a speedometer, a 7,000-rpm analog tachometer, a temperature and fuel gauge, as well as a center positioned seven-inch digital display that, aside from speed, allows you to get information on all aspects of the Durango’s diagnostics.

Seating comes in the form of comfortable R/T monogramed leather buckets with heat and ventilation up front, along with a fold-flat third row and rear heated buckets that recline. With the rear two rows folded flat, the Durango provides storage space of up to 84.5 cu-ft. For 2018, Dodge has also seen fit to remove the rotary shift knob found on earlier models and replace it with a beautifully designed and much sportier, T-handle shifter. Multiple charging ports, a built-in inverter and loads of storage also help to make the Durango an extremely capable mode of transport for those with large or growing families.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T AWD Performance

Under the hood resides Dodge’s 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that produces 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. That equates to a zero to 60 mph time in about 6.5 seconds, which is pretty quick for an SUV that weighs over 5,000 pounds. A smooth eight-speed automatic transmission provides power to the all-wheel drive system, and utilizes an on-demand torque-split setting for low-range gearing. On the road, the Durango swallows up road imperfections with ease while simultaneously time providing good feedback from the hydraulic steering. Thankfully electronic stability control, traction control and electronic roll mitigation have all been incorporated as part of the Durango’s safety systems. Since it was equipped with the Technology Group ($2,495.00 option) our R/T also had additional safety features we'll describe in the safety section.

A properly equipped HEMI Durango can also tow up to 8,700-pounds (SRT model), which means hauling everything from that camper of yours to that track day car is a piece of cake (Pentastar V6 models can tow up to 6,200-pounds, 5.7L HEMI is 7,400-pounds). Trailer Sway Control is standard, and it works by applying brake pressure on alternating wheels and adjusting engine throttle to help eliminate trailer sway, which enhances overall stability. And while our R/T model is not really designed to be an dedicated off-roader, for those interested in heading off the beaten path, it is off-road capable. Mileage on the 2018 Dodge Durango R/T AWD is EPA rated at 22 mpg highway, 14 city and 17-mpg* in combined driving.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T AWD Safety

The Dodge Durango has more than 60 standard and available safety and security features, such as advanced braking technology, electronic stability control, all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, airbags, dynamic stability control, and blind spot monitoring. As previously mentioned, our R/T was equipped with the Technology Group, which also added items like adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, blind- and cross-spot detection, full-speed collision warning and lane-departure warning to ensure make sure both drivers and passengers arrive at your destination safely.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T AWD Overall:

With a more aggressive look, new interior features, and class leading capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango R/T is one of those rare vehicles that strikes a harmonious balance between technology and performance, and bundles it up into a competitive package that keeps it ahead of its competitors.

Drop by your local AutoNation Dodge dealer today to check one out!*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.**Vehicle MSRP of $56,555.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.
Categories: Test Drive Reviews