Chicago 2017: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT - Three Rows and Almost 500 Horsepower

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
chicago 2017 2018 dodge durango srt three rows and almost 500 horsepower

If you want to scare your larger-than-average family by surprising them with a round of impromptu autocross through the mall parking lot, you’ll have to limit the size of your brood or risk looking daft while hustling a Toyota Senna around the storefront of a California Pizza Kitchen. However, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is prepared to accommodate you and your family on those days where you just can’t help but drive like a lunatic.

Ideally, you would let them out before putting the pedal down, but the Durango SRT’s 6.4-liter Hemi V8 can easily move around an extra few hundred pounds of human flesh without breaking much of a sweat. If you decide not to heed my advice of driving defensively with your kindred in the vehicle, Dodge is offering every new owner a full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. At least then you’ll be more familiar with the beastly three-row SUV at the limit.

Aggressive looks and SRT badging aside, the Durango’s primary duties will be practical, so let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. A towing-capacity of 8,600 pounds means you can hitch it to a pontoon boat or massive camper without worrying and the three-row seating is good for six passengers. It’s still a Durango, and Dodge intends it to be used like one.

Dodge also intends for you to occasionally wring out all 475 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque from the 392 cubic-inch motor. When you do, the SUV is equipped to manage a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds and scoot to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds.

Managing the power delivery is a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic and seven drive modes. Track mode reduces shift times by 50 percent in the first four gears, tightens up suspension and steering, and frees up the electronic stability control. Sport mode is essentially a softer track mode while auto is the default comfort mode. There are also eco and valet modes that limit power and eliminate first gear. Snow and towing modes control optimize stability management and set AWD to a 50/50 distribution.

Interior features include headed seats for the front four occupants, an 8.4-inch touchscreen to run your SRT performance data, Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, leather and suede everywhere, and a T-shaped electronic shifter instead of a rotary knob to accompany the wheel-mounted paddles. Dodge will let you go bonkers with red Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim if you want to spend the money.

New exterior features include a functional center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors on the hood, a new front fascia, and a lower valence to house new cold-air duct and upgraded LED fog lamps.

Pricing, fuel economy, and top speed were all numbers that Dodge neglected to share. However, we do know that the Durango SRT will be at the Chicago Auto Show this week and that the SUV should hit dealer lots during the fourth quarter of this year.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Thunderjet Thunderjet on Feb 07, 2017

    Well if I ever need a SUV......

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Feb 08, 2017

    This can tow the camper to the site, drift a bit on the dirt roads, and be fun on a grocery run if you need more beer? Does it have any rear seat entertainment options?

    • NoID NoID on Feb 08, 2017

      I don't see why not. You can get the JGC SRT loaded with the entertainment options, no reason why you couldn't here.

  • Luke42 Manual transmissions are a workaround for the weaknesses of ICE engines.Electric motors don't have these weaknesses, so why reintroduce the workaround?P.S. My first 250k miles were in manual transmission ICE vehicles. I can probably outshift all y'all, and I can definitely drive a manual smoother than some automatics. While I'm proud of my obsolete skills, there's just no reason to pretend I'm driving an obsolete vehicle. An EV should drive like an EV.
  • SCE to AUX Lexus: "Let's add unnecessary complexity to an EV so it is harder to drive and breaks more often. After all, our parent Toyota hates EVs, and is hopelessly late to market with them, so this will be a fun diversion for a while until we figure out how to beat Mazda's sales numbers."
  • Roadscholar I like emotive shifts.
  • Dwford What's next, your blender only spins slow unless you spend $5.99/month for the "Puree Package?"
  • Jeff S We have had so many article about gas wars. A lighter subject on gas wars might be the scene from Blazing Saddles where the cowboys were around the campfire and how their gas contributed to global warming or was it just natural gas.