There was a common response from FCA’s SRT engineers when asked why they built a 7-passenger SUV with a 6.4 liter Hemi, all-wheel drive, Launch Control, Track mode and 475 horsepower, and then making it capable of doing 12 seconds in the quarter mile. Their reply? “Why not?” After driving it at the 2017 Texas Truck Rodeo I see their point. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is an SUV that indulges the wants while also providing the needs. In short, it reinforces the ‘sport’ in sport utility vehicle.
INTERIOR: Like all SRT products on the market today, sitting inside the Durango means being hugged by massive bucket seats designed to hold you in place while experiencing high g-force. In the Durango SRT, the second row also gets a set of bucket seats to feel like backseat racers. Admittedly, not too many vehicles with track mode offer TV monitors and cup holders for rear passengers. And even with a third row the Durango still offers plenty of cargo space in the back.
Up front, you get Dodge’s easy-to-use infotainment system that allows you to customize driving preferences from seven different drive modes: Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Valet, Eco
Or make it easy on yourself and press the SRT button underneath, and go have some fun.
EXTERIOR: I can’t look at the front end of the 2018 Dodge Durango without thinking of a Star Wars storm trooper’s helmet. Whether that’s good or bad depends on the individual. But, if you like aggressive body lines and an exterior that will dismiss all notions of suburban mediocracy then the Durango checks all the right boxes: Hellcat-inspired hood scoops, Brembo brake calipers peeking through a set of powder coated wheels and a shiny red ‘392’ badge. It lets other people know that while this Durango may have Cheerios in the cup holders and car seats in the back, it has a dark side. And a killer exhaust note.
SPECS AND PERFORMANCE: “That thing got a Hemi?” Yep, and that makes the Durango SRT the fastest SUV on the market, with a ¼ mile time of 12.9 seconds! This thing isn’t some trim package weekend garage brand; the Durango SRT is a real rock ‘n roller capable of turning it up to eleven if needed.
Launch control is easy to use. Shift into neutral and press the button. Then position the Durango in the direction you wish to blast off. Left foot on the brake and put your right foot on the gas and push it to the floor. Listen to the 392 Hemi rev ‘til you’re ready, and let go of the brake. Make sure you’re ready for it; if not, you’ll feel your brain get thrown to the back of your skull. As the Durango SRT charges from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds you’ll need all the concentration you can muster to fully appreciate the thrill of going this fast in a vehicle this big. And worth a mention: The 2018 Durango SRT can tow up to 8,700 pounds, with a starting price of $62,995.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you approach this SUV with a sense of reason you’ll be missing the point; it’s trying to add flare to a compromise. The SRT seems to prove that a vehicle that is usually a sign of maturity doesn’t have to get rid of its rebellious youth to make room for a third row. Those looking for a sensible three-row passenger vehicle can consider the seemingly endless number of options on the market. Those looking for something that can make you look forward to morning commutes at the push of a button need to look no further than Dodge’s Durango SRT.