2018 Dodge Durango R/T: Boldly-Styled Three-Row Crossover with V8 Power [Review]

2018 Dodge Durango R/T
[Photo: Dodge]
The 2018 Dodge Durango lineup consists of seven available trims with base prices ranging from $29,995 to $62,995. Leading off at the low end is the Dodge Durango SXT. That’s followed by the SXT Plus, GT, Citadel, R/T and the king of the stable, the high-performance SRT. All models except the SRT version are available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The SRT is all-wheel drive only.

Three longitudinally-mounted front engines are available. The base engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Farther up the ladder is the classic 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that generates 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. Finally, at the top end, there’s a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that pumps out 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. All models come hooked to an eight-speed automatic with overdrive and paddle shifters. Towing capacity on the low end is 6,200 pounds, with the R/T capable of pulling up to 7,400 pounds and the SRT able to tow up to 8,700 pounds.

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Seating in the three-row Dodge Durango accommodates up to seven. However, my test 2018 Dodge Durango was an R/T set up to seat six with captain’s seats on the second row and a 50/50 split-folding third row. The base price for the 2018 Dodge Durango starts at $46,295, while this R/T model with options rang up at $56,555, including destination charges.

Options included Lane Departure Warning; a rear DVD entertainment center with two screens, a towing package, the second-row captain’s chairs, a power sunroof, and a second-row console with armrest and storage.

Visually, the Durango R/T’s exterior displays a powerful look. Up front, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 resides behind and beneath a large, scooped hood. In the rear, the large back window and distinctive taillamp assembly, along exhaust integrated into the rear fascia provide an aggressive package.

Inside the cabin, there is sumptuous leather seating and a smooth, symmetrical arrangement that is not only attractive, but user-friendly as well.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T
[Photo: Dodge]

PERFORMANCE

The 2018 Dodge Durango R/T certainly makes few compromises, particularly in its all-wheel drive configuration. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 does feature an Eco mode, which optimizes the new 8-speed transmission’s shift schedule and throttle sensitivity as well as employing cylinder deactivation. That technology also manages to shut off the fuel injectors while you’re coasting down hills, again to save fuel. The transmission snaps off quick shifts, particularly when the Sport mode is selected.

Acceleration is brisk when you nail the throttle. When you’re just looking to waft down the road, its smooth and refined. The cylinder deactivation process is also seamless, when it does kick in.

The 2018 Dodge Durango R/T’s ride quality is civilized and quite comfortable, and the handling and steering feel well-tuned. For a 7,000-pound SUV, it holds the road well, and remains surprisingly stable.

2018 Dodge Durango R/T
[Photo: Dodge]

TFLCAR’S TAKE

This latest iteration Dodge Durango is a nice balance of stylish and aggressive. It is considerably more attractive than ever before. FCA advertises more than sixty safety and security features. With all of its build combinations, the Durango appears to offer something for a wide range of SUV shoppers. Thanks to an 8.4-inch fourth-generation Uconnect system, connectivity is also a strong point, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

The 2018 Durango Durango R/T takes that style and practicality a step further with that 5.7-liter HEMI V8. On grounds of its performance, it’s appropriate to think of the R/T as a Charger of SUVs. If you’re looking for even more power, check out our review of the Dodge Durango SRT below. Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more videos featuring your favorite new models! If you enjoy our content, please consider donating to our Patreon page.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Dodge Durango R/T 

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $46,295
Price as Tested:
$56,555
Engine: 5.7-liter HEMI V8
Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally-mounted front engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 360 hp @ 5,150 RPM
Torque: 390 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission
Suspension: Front: Independent SLA

Rear:  Multi-link

Brakes: Power-assisted front discs/rear drums
Tires: Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus P265/50 R20 107T
Fuel capacity: 24.6 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 19 City / 27 Highway MPG

Dimensions:

Wheelbase: 119.8 inches
Length: 201.2 inches
Width: 75.8 inches (without mirrors)
Height: 71.9 inches
Turning Circle: 37.1 feet
Curb Weight: 7,100 pounds

 

Arv Voss
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.