Even More Choice Coming to the Dodge Durango - a Bright Light in a Darkening Brand

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

While not a new or even recently refreshed model, the Dodge Durango is one of those vehicles that keeps its corporate parent happy through perpetually buoyant sales.

January saw the three-row midsize SUV’s sales rise 9 percent, year over year. Despite the current generation bowing near the start of the decade, and with its last refresh now four years in the past, Durango sales in 2017 rose 104 units over 2016. Along with the Challenger, it was a shining star in a lineup that saw its volume plunge 31 percent between this January and last.

For 2018, Dodge understandably wants to spread the sales net as wide as possible. A such, buyers of hotter Durangos must now ask themselves a question: “Can I pull off this look?”

That’s because starting in March 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will allow Durango buyers to check a box for a factory custom-look paint job. What color do you like your stripes?

It’s important to know this, as those extra-wide dual stripes cover a lot of real estate. Subtlety is absent. Running from stem to stern, over the bumpers, grille, hood, roof, and tailgate, the paint package comes in five flavors: Bright Blue, Flame Red, Gunmetal Low Gloss (with metallic finish), Low Gloss Black, and Sterling Silver. Only available on R/T and SRT variants, the paint package will set you back $1,195 in the U.S. and $1,495 in Canada.

If you’re worried others might not take you seriously after seeing your Durango’s new duds, you can at least sound flashier. Also available this year is a bolt-on Mopar stainless steel performance exhaust system, which FCA claims was “developed in concert with Dodge//SRT engineers and designers, which provided access to proprietary sound data, creating unique and unmistakable sound characteristics.” Four-inch chrome tips complete the look.

There’ll be no mistaking the sound approaching Windthorpe Secondary School, that’s for sure. It’s dad, and he’s running a little late (after spending close to two grand on his new pipes). SRT owners will shell out $1,850 USD or $2,855 CAD for the pleasure of this exhaust, while R/T owners take a haircut on their bill, owing either $1,595 USD or $2,365 CAD.

For those whose need for individuality is especially acute, you can have the look, the sound, and an actual boost in handling prowess. Mopar now offers custom springs for R/T and SRT Durangos, making for flatter cornering and lowering the SUV’s ride height by six-tenths of an inch. It also reduces pitching, fore and aft, during acceleration and hard braking. Expect a price tag of $325 USD or $471 CAD for that set.

Finally, the final new addition is a Interior Appearance Group for the Durango SRT line. This factory package, which bumps an already lofty sticker up by another $2,495 (U.S.), features a premium-wrapped instrument panel, Dinamica soft-touch headliner, jazzy speaker trim rings, and real carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels.

For the person who has everything (including a Durango), these parts and packages are surely the answer to someone’s prayers. To everyone else, it just looks like FCA squeezing extra profit from an existing model in a sinking brand. Still, why wouldn’t Dodge dress up its biggest sales stud?

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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3 of 16 comments
  • Ernest Ernest on Feb 08, 2018

    I'm wondering how long before my neighbor parks one of these next to his White Hellcat Charger. I'm loving the concept- but I'm a sucker for a big American V8 in something more reasonably sized than a Suburban.

    • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Feb 09, 2018

      The D is much smaller than a Suburban. Plus, your neighbor is probably going for the Jeep Trackhawk to keep with the 707hp theme. The SRT is only 475.

  • Dan R Dan R on Feb 12, 2018

    There goes the brand. Do they care? Last hurrah?

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I use a now discontinued Kuhmo AT tire that is surprisingly good in the snow, even in 2WD. However since most of my driving is on road, I'm going to look for a more highway friendly tire for smoother quiet. I'm sure it can still handle the forest roads leading to my fishing spots.
  • MaintenanceCosts So this is really just a restyled VW Fox. Craptacular tin can but fun to drive in a "makes ordinary traffic seem like a NASCAR race" kind of way.
  • THX1136 While reading the article a thought crossed my mind. Does Mexico have a fairly good charging infrastructure in place? Knowing that it is a bit poorer economy than the US relatively speaking, that thought along with who's buying came to mind.
  • Lou_BC Maybe if I ever buy a new car or CUV
  • Lou_BC How about telling China and Mexico, we'll accept 1 EV for every illegal you take off our hands ;)