That Dodge Durango in Your Rear-view Might Be a Cop

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
that dodge durango in your rear view might be a cop

Once upon a time, fearsome variants of conservative full-size sedans roamed America’s highways en masse in search of speeders and felons, but the emergence of the SUV as the preferred tool of law enforcement relegated the traditional four-door car to the back of the pack.

It’s no wonder why Ford had no problem ditching the Taurus. Some 80 percent of the automaker’s police fleet orders specify the Police Interceptor Utility — a butched-up Explorer — instead of its sedan stablemate. Chevrolet’s Tahoe PPV offers law enforcement a more rugged SUV option.

Not wanting to be left behind in the switch to high-riding cop cars, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has debuted a competitor — the Dodge Durango Pursuit.

Offered alongside the existing Charger Pursuit for 2018, the Durango Pursuit fields FCA’s 5.7-liter Hemi V8, an engine good for 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic handles shifting duties. While all Durango Pursuits come equipped with full-time all-wheel drive, the extra traction only appears when the rear wheels can’t handle the job. (It’s nice having another cop car that’s rear-biased.)

A two-speed transfer case should allow responding officers to reach that crime scene on the side of a mountain, or, perhaps, give that fleeing Jeep Wrangler a run for its money.

Compared to Ford and Chevy, Dodge’s newest police offering tops its rivals in terms of standard power. The Tahoe’s 5.3-liter V8 makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft, while the standard 3.7-liter V6 under the hood of Ford’s cop SUV delivers 304 hp and 279 lb-ft. However, law enforcement agencies have the option of upgrading to a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft on tap.

In the twist wars, Dodge emerges the victor.

“Unofficial testing results at the Michigan State Police 2018 model-year vehicle evaluation event created such a stir among law enforcement agencies that we simply had to find a way to build this vehicle,” said Steve Beahm, head of passenger car brands at FCA North America, in a statement.

As one would expect, FCA outfitted this Durango with all the necessary rough-and-tumble trappings of a pursuit-rated vehicle. That means a heavy duty oil cooler and water pump, upgraded brakes, a 220-amp alternator, and 800 cold cranking amp battery. There’s also a place to mount a spotlight, should the force choose to.

Ground clearance on this rig is 8.1 inches. If hanging a trailer or boat off the rear bumper is part of the job, the Durango Pursuit’s 7,200-pound towing capability should be able to handle it.

The vehicle seems capable, but FCA claims it’s available for order only “for a limited time.” A next-generation Durango is expected to appear sometime next year.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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4 of 29 comments
  • Hummer Hummer on May 10, 2018

    I hope the Durango drops the Crossover and switches back to an SUV in the next generation, maybe it can finally give the GM fullsizers some competition. Especially seeing everyone else putting out more crossovers, having real SUVs available is a huge brand builder.

    • Flipper35 Flipper35 on May 11, 2018

      Jeep will have that covered for you. The Durango has never been a full size competitor, though the 2nd gen was close, based on the Ram platform of the time.

  • Carrera Carrera on May 10, 2018

    Hmm...the Durango would be nice but we just got 7 Chevy Silverado Crew Cabs V6, 5 Explorer Interceptors, 1 Explorer XLT ( very weird) 2 Chargers replaceing 2 2010 Hemi Chargers. The Explorer Interceptors are very spartan, no non-sense and FWD. The XLT is very luxurious in comparison and is an AWD. Must have been a mistake. The lack of any arm rest makes the Explorer Interceptors a bit uncomfortable. The interceptors come with Goodyear Eagles but the XLT has Michelins. We are good for the next 8 years.

    • OzCop OzCop on May 11, 2018

      As the retired fleet command guy in charge of a 500 vehicle police fleet, my best guess for that "one off XLT" is most likely the Chief's new vehicle. It is not unusual to spec out vehicles for a specific individual, particularly a police chief or the high sheriff...

  • Cprescott The pandemic changed the sales game. No longer do dealerships need inventory. After two years people are accustomed to having to order what they want and then extorted on the price by the dealer for that privilege. Now used cars with 75k are selling for $5k more than I paid for my 21k, 2016 model back in January 2019. I pray my car won't get totaled and I have but 13 payments left to make on it. I may never buy another car again.
  • Grein002 I hope you meant "take the Ranger out behind the *barn*" rather than "bar". I think something completely different happens "behind the bar".
  • Cprescott Suddenly there is no reason to buy ugly anymore. The Silverdodo is dead. Long live the less hideous Colorado.
  • Cprescott Portable BBQ's for everyone!
  • Lou_BC The 2023 ZR2 is burdened with GM's 8 speed. It's been allegedly "fixed" so it doesn't gear hunt and shudder. I still won't trust it. The turbo 4 cylinder should address the lack of torque found in the V6. I test drove a full-sized Trail Boss. I could make it gear hunt. The turbo 4 didn't seem to be lacking in power, at least for an empty crewcab with a 6.5 box. It lacked anything resembling character. It had next to zero compression braking even with tow/haul engaged. Chevy should have continued offering the VM Motori based inline 4 diesel that's in the older Colorado trucks. I do like the fact that the 2023 comes with 33's standard and IIRC the wheel hubs/axles etc. have been beefed up to handle the larger rubber. The bolt pattern (IIRC) is shared with fullsized 1/2 tons opening up one's choice for aftermarket wheels.