The 2018 Dodge Durango prioritizes fun over practicality, but we’re fine with that.
The 2018 Dodge Durango is the anti-minivan. It’s a three-row crossover SUV that trades as much on its machismo as it does on its actual passenger-hauling abilities.
It’s flawed and dated, yet great to drive. We’ve rated it at 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year, it’s even more muscular thanks to the addition of a new Durango SRT with a 475-horsepower V-8 under its hood. Durango SXT, GT, R/T, and Citadel variants all have a host of minor, trim-specific updates for 2018, too.
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Every Durango rides on a stretched version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s underpinnings, but the Dodge is the only one with a third row of seats. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. Most Durangos use a 3.6-liter, 293-hp V-6 paired to an 8-speed automatic, but the R/T comes with a 360-hp V-8 that endows it with a 7,400 pound maximum towing capacity.
With its rear-wheel-drive design, the Durango is inherently sportier than competitors like the Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder. However, the driveline hump covering the driveshaft that shuttles power rearward intrudes into the cabin, reducing its passenger and cargo-hauling utility. Still, the Durango can seat up to seven with some luggage room behind the third row.
Unfortunately, the Durango’s design dates back to the 2011 model year, and although it offers some advanced safety equipment like automatic emergency braking at a reasonable price, its subpar crash-test scores reveal its age. Similarly, its fuel economy is toward the bottom for three-row crossovers, especially with the optional V-8 engines.
That’s the price to pay for what’s basically a hot-rod in family-friendly clothing.