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2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 First Test: Flying Brick
My Garage Add to garage
By: MotorTrend On: 01-01-2018 Model(s): One of the most important lessons my father ever taught me and my two younger brothers was about self-sacrifice. 2018 Dodge Durango
Author Experience: Expert review

One of the most important lessons my father ever taught me and my two younger brothers was about self-sacrifice. When it comes to putting others’ needs before your own, my dad is the resident authority. What’s this have to do with cars? Well, why else would he have gotten us a dowdy minivan as our family’s first car?

It used to be that you had to sacrifice style, drivability, and a little bit of personal dignity in order to meet the vehicular needs of your family. True with minivans, but also true with more than a few SUVs. But as the new fire-breathing 2018 Dodge Durango SRT proves, it is possible to have a family hauler that doesn’t sacrifice the basic human desire for excitement behind the wheel.

It’s kind of amazing that it took Dodge eight years to make a true high-performance Durango, but it’s worth the wait. The performance goody list is long—anchored by a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 churning out 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of twist mated to an eight-speed automatic and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Other add-ons include a stiffened and lowered suspension, Brembo brakes at all four corners, three-season tires, and seven driver-customizable drive modes to help make the most of the Durango SRT in any given condition. Dodge rounds out the Durango SRT package with a wide-body kit, a leather- and suede-finished interior, and a performance exhaust system to ensure the whole neighborhood hears you coming.

The Durango SRT is just as much go as it is show. With launch control engaged—really just a rev limiter—this seven-seat Dodge rockets from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and blows through the quarter mile in 13.2 seconds at 103.5 mph. Our test team thinks the Durango could be quicker still to 60 mph, but the launch control won’t allow any adjustments above 3,500 rpm. Throttle response from the 475 hp feels a bit artificially aggressive, but it fits the Durango’s character just fine, as does the exhaust’s upshift burp that serves as a reward for staying at wide-open throttle.

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