Feb
13
2018 Durango SRT

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 in Granite Metallic

Quick Spin2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392

Class: Large SUV

Miles driven: 172

Fuel used: 15.6 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 11.0 mpg

Driving mix: 80% city, 20% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 13/19/15 (city, highway, combined)

CG Report Card
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceA
Fit and FinishB+
Fuel EconomyD
ValueC
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyA
Tall GuyA

Base price: $62,995 (not including $1095 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: High Performance Laguna Leather Seats ($1595), Customer Preferred Package 27L ($2495; includes adaptive cruise control, brake assist, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-path alert, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning), Rear DVD Entertainment Center ($1995), Trailer Tow Group IV ($995), SRT Interior Appearance Group ($1500), Second Row Console w/ Armrest and Storage ($495; includes USB charging port, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, third-row full console floor mat, and illuminated rear cupholders), Power Sunroof ($1195), 20-inch Low-Gloss Black Wheels ($595)

Price as tested: $74,955

 

Quick Hits

The great: Thrilling acceleration; impressive braking power

The good: Comfortable, well-finished cabin

The not so good: Fuel economy; ride quality

More Durango price and availability information

 

CG Says:

Consumer Guide recently named the 2018 Dodge Durango to its Best Buy list, which marks the sixth consecutive year the Durango has achieved this honor. We chose the Durango yet again because this smartly sized crossover/SUV is a well-crafted machine, and it deftly splits the size gap between midsize crossovers and large SUVs. (You can check out all of the 2018 Consumer Guide Best Buy picks here.)

However, size alone does not account for our fondness for this versatile Dodge. The Durango is a refined vehicle, boasting smooth power delivery, luxury-level ride quality and cabin quietness, and a classy interior with plenty of space for people and cargo.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392

In addition to their unique front fascia and SRT hood with a functional scoop and dual heat-extractor vents, Durango SRTs can be identified by their meatier wheel-and-tire package, Brembo brakes, subtle wheel flares, unique side rocker panels, and rear fascia with dual 4-inch exhaust tips.

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We generally recommend the standard 3.6-liter V6 engine to Durango shoppers, because it offers an excellent blend of power and fuel economy. Folks looking to do some serious towing and/or hauling may be better served by the 360-horsepower “Hemi” V8, but we regard it as largely unnecessary otherwise.

Though probably not the first vehicle shoppers consider when looking for a sporty ride, Durango is now available in three performance-oriented trim levels, the most extreme of which is new for 2018–and is the subject of this Quick Spin. Let’s look at how they compare:

Durango GT:

Starting at $37,795, the GT is mostly a cosmetic package. It includes special exterior trim elements, 20-inch black alloy wheels, and suede cabin trim. The GT can be had in rear-wheel-drive or AWD configurations, but only with the 295-horsepower 3.6-liter V6.

Durango R/T:

Starting at $43,695, the R/T includes the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, sport-tuned suspension, specific leather cabin trim, and unique front and rear fasciae. It’s also available with rear- or all-wheel drive.

Durango SRT 392:

First Spin: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392

Like other SRT models, the Durango SRT 392’s interior is decked out in luxury-grade trim–particularly when optioned with the Interior Appearance Group and “Demonic Red” Laguna Leather seats like our test vehicle.

Starting at $62,995, the new SRT 392 represents the highest order of Durango performance. Exclusive to the SRT is a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V8. All SRTs are AWD and come standard with Brembo-brand high-performance brakes and unique exterior trim. Cabin décor is also SRT-exclusive, as is the Performance Pages infotainment-system supplement. The Performance Pages software can be used to display and record data on acceleration, braking, and track performance.

Consumer Guide recently spent a week with the Durango SRT and came away with mixed feelings. While the performance upgrades do indeed convert the otherwise stealthy Durango into a serious muscle machine, they do so at the expense of the quietness and refinement we appreciate this truck for.

Naturally, we found power delivery to be both immediate and satisfying, though some low-speed downshifts were punctuated by a pronounced “thud”–a phenomenon we’ve not experienced in other Durangos. That said, this is a seriously fast utility vehicle.

It’s the other tradeoffs Dodge made to bring the Durango up to SRT levels of performance that trouble us the most. Most Durango models excel in the areas of ride quality and cabin quietness, and both of those attributes are critically compromised here.

While we find the SRT’s exhaust note sporty and appropriate relative to the power delivered, the novelty of the macho soundtrack wears out quickly–yet that basso burble is ever present, even when cruising at highway speed.

Likewise, ride quality suffers considerably in the name of improved handling prowess. While other Durangos make easy work of  rough road surfaces, the SRT pounds aggressively over tough stuff, resulting in a choppy ride and additional road noise.

We have no complaints regarding the massive brakes augmented by Brembo-brand calipers. Stops are sure and short, and pedal feel is excellent.

For most performance-minded crossover shoppers, we recommend the excellent R/T with its better-sorted ride and handling, and quieter cabin. It’s a fun vehicle to drive that gives up little of the core Durango’s general refinement.

Hard-core performance enthusiasts willing to trade comfort for performance will likely find the SRT’s exhilarating acceleration and excellent brakes a reasonable swap, but we recommend a long test drive before making that commitment.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392

The new-for-2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 delivers ferocious acceleration and aggressive handling capabilities while offering seating for up to seven and a towing capacity of 8600 pounds, but there are obvious compromises. In addition to the hefty sticker price and thirst for fuel, the ride quality and cabin quietness are significantly diminished.

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