2018 Dodge Durango Review & Compare | Riverdale, UT

Dodge Durango Reviews Riverdale Utah 

The Dodge Durango is over-the-top, loud, and a little ridiculous--and that's why you want one

The Dodge Durango is huge. Walk up to it, and--unless you're a six-foot-plus bodybuilder--you're probably going to feel a little dwarfed by it. Its exterior is bold and audacious, its interior is decked out with luxuries and amenities, and, when compared to other three-row crossovers, its bold and cocky attitude does seem a little over-the-top.

But, that's exactly why it's one of the few seven-seater SUVs that can compete directly with minivans as a top family vehicle or gear hauler.

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Design and styling

The current-gen Durango has definitely been smoothed, muscled, and broadened over the very first Durango to hit the scene--back in 1997--but the overall look and feel of this brawny SUV has largely stayed the same: a big crosshair grille, a sneering lower lip on the front fascia, a long and straight roofline, and a solid, dropped-off rear end.

One big difference in the most recent generations over the first, though, is in the platform; a part that's not quite as obvious visually, but essentially divides the Durango's history into "truck-like SUV" and "car-like SUV". If you were thinking 'unibody', you are correct. The first few Durango utility vehicles, like most early SUVs, were built body-on-frame. This gave them a lot of strength and durability, but it also felt a little like you were driving an old-style horse wagon.

After making the switch to a unibody, car-like platform, the Durango was able to develop a smoother, more comfortable ride to complement its hefty power, high towing capacity, and impressive payload.

Cargo space and seating

As one of the largest SUV in its class, the Dodge Durango also offers one of the largest cargo holds in its class. Check these numbers:

  • Behind 3rd row seat: 17 cubic feet
  • Behind 2nd row seat: 48 cubic feet
  • Behind 1st row seat: 85 cubic feet

f you're really looking to maximize total cargo space--and you don't mind limiting yourself to a five-passenger maximum--the base Durango SXT can be ordered without any rear seat at all. There aren't official storage volume estimates for that exact configuration, but its guessed that total cargo space in a five-seater Durango would go over 100 cubic feet.

However, the base model is the only trim to make that an option without any custom upfitting--the third row can be added to the Durango SXT for less than $700, and it comes standard on all other trim levels to offer seven-passenger seating in all other configurations. Except, of course, if you opt for comfortable second-row Captain's chairs. It drops seating capacity down to six passengers, but it also cuts way down on back-seat complaints.

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Interior space and features

The cabin is where you get a little bit of give-and-take. There are a few large SUVs that give more legroom or shoulder room here and there to your second- and third-row passengers. But, the seats in the Durango are plenty spacious for adults, and this brassy crossover more than makes up for a bit of coziness with sporty, bold, and attractive features. You won't find many non-luxury SUVs that cater to backseat passenger comforts as well as the Dodge Durango does.

The new Durango offers push-button start and multiple power outlets, to help you feel like you're really living in the modern age of connectivity. Stream music and media through a Uconnect infotainment system with a broad and crisp touchscreen display while you sink into your ergonomically-designed, heated and ventilated front seats and wrap your fingers around a heated steering wheel on chilly mornings. Rear passenger comfort can be customized with three-zone climate control and heated second-row seats upholstered in leather and suede. Light and warmth stream in through the sunroof, bathing you in contentedness--and suddenly, you can see why some families don't just go the minivan route.

It doesn't just end with classic cushy comfort, though--the Durango is one of few SUVs on the market that can safely bundle up little ones, or haul a load of lumber for a home project, or can quietly commute into the office, all while letting you feel like you're behind the controls of a fighter jet. The sport steering wheel with standard paddle shifters fits comfortably into your hand, letting you take the lead with an agile manual mode when you want it, and doing all the heavy lifting for you when you'd rather sit back and relax on your drive. Available accent stitching, on premium leather seat upholstery, surrounds you in cool-guy luxury--even though you may have a toddler spitting up Cheerios in the back seat.

Hey, you can pretend.

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Safety features

The Durango isn't quite as well-equipped with safety features as other family-oriented SUVs on the market, but it does well. Standard equipment--as well as options like the Technology Group Package and the Safety/Security and Convenience Group package--adds safety and security systems and features including:

  • Rearview camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • BSM with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning system with automatic braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control

At the end of the day

If you want a rough-and-tumble SUV, that doubles as a rock-solid family hauler, that can fit all of your gear but still let you relive your glory days, there's really nothing else like the Dodge Durango. It's a whole lot of noise and exuberance packed into a shiny, smirking body, but it gets the kids to school and pick up the groceries with ease. It's more than you need, but everything you want.

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