2018 Dodge Durango Review and Comparison in Albuquerque, NM

The Dodge Durango Plays Its Own Game

While it might fit many of the requirements to be in the mid-sized SUV category, it doesn't play by their rules. The Dodge Durango brings you everything you secretly wanted in your family vehicle, making it a practical vehicle that can be a lot of fun.

Whoever thinks that you need to sacrifice power to make your vehicle more comfortable has clearly never been in the Dodge Durango.

A Rebellious Past

The Durango didn't exactly follow the same path that other SUV models did. All SUVs started as bulky and uncomfortable - in design, interior, and performance - being popular only among enthusiasts. Many models have since changed to a more "family-friendly" design, ditching the bulky exteriors for more sleek ones. The Durango didn't though, it held onto that past, giving customers an option that would still portray the power those enthusiasts grew to love. While the Durango did conform when it came to platform changes for a more comfortable ride, it continued to hold strong to its bulky and bold design - probably because it had the power to back it up.

Not Your Ordinary SUV

When we say the Durango is powerful, we are underselling it. Even the base model brings more power than some other models allow you to upgrade to. The engine that you'll find on the SXT, GT, and Citadel is a 3.6-Liter V6 that can make 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. That is a solid amount to start with, but Dodge didn't see it as enough.

An engine that is optional on the Citadel and standard on the Durango R/T is the 5.7-Liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. The Durango R/T even throws in sport-tuned features for its steering and suspension, as well as a sportier appearance. All of this might sound so exciting that you think it is the top, but you aren't aiming high enough for the Durango.

475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque is where Dodge draws the line with the Durango SRT. The 6.4-Liter V8 achieves a 4.4-second zero-to-sixty time to put you on par with some sports cars. The Durango SRT also comes with standard all-wheel drive, and can tow up to 8,600 pounds. While this model is rather expensive, it affords you the opportunity of a driving lesson at the SRT Track Experience at Bondurant Racing School in Arizona.

An Extraordinary Interior

Where the Durango does play by the rules, it does so perfectly. With many different possible seating configurations, an impressive amount of cargo space, and more personal space than you could need, the Durango seems to mock the norms by outdoing them.

With three-rows of seating as the standard option, every passenger is left with the elbow room that they need. The middle-row bench stretches from edge to edge of the interior, making sure nobody complains about being stuck in that middle seat. If you find that you don't fill every seat, you can replace the bench with Captain Chairs for more space for six passengers.


Yet another option is getting rid of the third-row seating when you choose the Durango SXT, boosting your cargo space and dropping the passenger capacity to five. Dodge wanted to make sure you had every option that you could need to make the interior of the Durango perfect for your needs.

How Much Cargo Space Could There Be?

Put simply: a lot. If you have every seat of your three-row SUV in use, you can still get 17 cubic feet of space behind that last row. When you fold that third row down, you are looking at up to 48 cubic feet of cargo space, but the real impressive number comes when all of the seats are folded down: 85 cubic feet. With a convenient loading floor, you'll be able to haul some of the largest pieces of equipment, the largest pieces of furniture, or anything you could need for that DIY project you're tackling this weekend. With only one other vehicle in the class that can beat those numbers, you'll appreciate knowing you've chosen a vehicle with room for everything you could need.

Packages for Advanced Safety Features

While all of the other features have ended up where they should, standard safety features are lagging behind. When you choose the GT or Citadel you can get a rearview camera, and parking sensors in the front and rear, but some of the most popular features are only available through packages. If you want a blind-spot monitor, you'll need to order the Safety/Security Convenience Package.

For features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, lane departure warning, and other radar-based systems, you'll need to choose the Technology Group Package.

While this is disappointing, it certainly isn't enough to rule out the Durango for your family vehicle.

Rebellion Done Right

While it goes a little too far in some categories, the Durango does a good job of not being your ordinary SUV. It doesn't try to blend in - even if it tried, it couldn't because it is the tallest and longest vehicle in its class - but that's good. This model brings the bold style and power that drivers crave, while still letting you pack your whole family into a comfortable vehicle.

Compare the Dodge Durango vs the Competition