As versatile and spacious as today’s crossovers and SUVs are, there really aren’t many to get excited about until you start factoring in some of the high-performance (and high-dollar) German offerings. The key exception, of course, is the 2015 Dodge Durango R/T, which combines a meaner exterior and sport-inspired interior with the size and performance advantages that the Durango already holds over its competition. For 2015, Dodge adds a handful of new updates to the R/T trim level, and while the changes are relatively minor, they help to set this trim apart from the rest of the Durango lineup.

Dodge essentially created the three-row, mid-size SUV market in 1998 when it introduced the Dakota-based Durango, and today, the Dodge Durango continues to bridge the gap between smaller mid-size crossovers and full-size SUVs.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Dodge Durango R/T.

  • 2015 Dodge Durango R/T
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    360
  • Torque @ RPM:
    390
  • Displacement:
    5.7 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    39000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

As part of the 2014 design update, the Durango had a pretty sporty appearance, with the LED racetrack taillight design, but the R/T trim level is the way to go if you’re looking for a big SUV with attitude. The 2015 Dodge Durango R/T is easily distinguishable from the rest of the Durango lineup by its monochromatic paint job and lowered ride height, but giving the R/T its mean appearance are the darker elements of the design, such as the tinted headlights and new standard 20-inch, dark, high-gloss wheels.

Interior

Big news for the 2015 Dodge Durango R/T is the new standard "Beats by Dr. Dre" audio system and the optional Premium Nappa Leather Group, which adds Radar Red Nappa leather seats carried over from the Charger and Challenger. Aside from these changes, the Durango R/T still gets the spacious seven-passenger seating and seats with the “R/T” logo embroidered onto the seat backs.

Drivetrain

Backing up its aggressive outward appearance and sports car-like interior, the 2015 Durango R/T comes standard with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. This engine is rated at 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, and thanks to cylinder deactivation, rear-wheel-drive models return decent fuel economy of 14 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. All-wheel drive is optional for the R/T and all other Durango trim levels, but the advanced eight-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board. Unlike smaller crossovers, the Durango R/T has a towing capacity of 7,400 pounds.

Prices

Although the 2015 Dodge Durango has a base price of $30,495, the sporty-looking Durango R/T starts at $39,795 for the rear-drive model and $42,295 with all-wheel drive. The $1,195 Premium Nappa Leather Group, which comes with black or Radar Red leather seats, brings even more of a sporty vibe to the Durango’s cabin.

Competition

Ford Explorer Sport

2014 Ford Explorer Sport High Resolution Exterior
- image 516944

The closest rival to the 2015 Dodge Durango R/T is the 2015 Ford Explorer Sport, which gives the utilitarian SUV a sporty and monochromatic appearance. Unlike the Durango R/T, the Explorer Sport does offer some performance advantages over the standard Explorer, as it is the only model to come with the 365-horsepower, 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6. The smaller-displacement engine gives the Explorer a slight advantage in fuel economy, with EPA estimates of 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Starting at $43,100, the 2015 Ford Explorer Sport is priced higher than a base Durango R/T, but factoring in the Durango’s optional all-wheel-drive, the prices are almost identical. As evenly matched as the Durango R/T and Explorer Sport are, the biggest difference between these two sporty SUVs is the tow rating, which is limited to 5,000 pounds for the Explorer Sport. Displacement still counts, folks.

Read our full review of the Ford Explorer Sport here.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Exterior High Resolution
- image 523435

Beyond the Explorer, if you’re looking for a vehicle that offers as much space and capability as the Durango, you’re probably going to have to step up to the larger and more expensive Chevrolet Tahoe. The Tahoe starts at $46,300, and it comes standard with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 rated at 355 horsepower. Despite being much larger than the Explorer and Durango, the new Tahoe actually gets the best fuel economy in base form, with EPA estimates of 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Although the Tahoe doesn’t offer a performance or appearance package like the Explorer Sport or Durango R/T, the Tahoe Z71 probably has the best looks of the Tahoe lineup to go with its improved off-road abilities.

Read our full review of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe here.

Conclusion

The Dodge Durango R/T was already one of the meanest-looking SUVs on the market (especially under the $40,000 range), but things get even better for 2015 with a sporty new interior package inspired by the new Charger and Challenger. From every angle, the Durango R/T stands out from the sea of SUVs and crossovers on the market, and it does so without sacrificing capability or comfort.

  • Leave it
    • * No added performance for R/T
2011 Dodge Durango R/T Exterior
- image 391909

Read our 2011 Dodge Durango R/T review here.

Press Release

360 horsepower: Check. Standard seven-passenger seating: Check. New standard 20-inch wheels with high-gloss Granite Crystal finish: Check. New rich Radar Red Nappa Leather seats: Check.

2015 Dodge Durango R/T High Resolution Interior
- image 623945

Dodge is again responding to its customers, who have been clamoring for the segment-exclusive red Nappa leather seats since they were first shown as a Durango concept vehicle in the Mopar display at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas.

Now, new for 2015, class-exclusive Radar Red Nappa leather seats are available to order on the 2015 Dodge Durango R/T. Previously only available on Charger and Challenger in the Dodge lineup, Radar Red Nappa leather complements the menacing and sporty attitude of the R/T’s exterior features. This is in addition to the black Nappa leather seating already available with the optional Premium Nappa Leather Group. The Premium Nappa Leather Group is available for a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $1,195.

In addition, the 2015 Dodge Durango R/T now features an all-new standard 20-inch wheel design with a high-gloss Granite Crystal finish, giving the R/T a more performance-oriented look compared with the other available trim levels.

The R/T model also features a unique sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch performance tires, a 20 mm lower ride height, a sporty monochromatic exterior appearance with black headlamp bezels and LED daytime running lamps, R/T-embroidered leather seating with contrasting red or black stitching, the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, premium audio with nine speakers and subwoofer, power liftgate and HID low-beam headlamps. The R/T’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine produces a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with a best-in-class tow rating of 7,400 pounds.

2015 Dodge Durango R/T High Resolution Exterior
- image 623946

2015 Dodge Durango
With a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, improved fuel economy and performance, LED exterior lighting, two interior touchscreens, a programmable digital instrument cluster and an available high-definition dual-screen Blu-ray entertainment system, the Dodge Durango reaches even higher levels of sophistication building on its proven performance, utility and comfort.

Named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for three years, Durango’s standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine paired with the standard eight-speed transmission generates an impressive 290 horsepower (295 horsepower on Rallye, Citadel and select Blacktop models) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow up to a best-in-class 6,200 pounds. The V-6 powered Durango also features a best-in-class driving range of over 600 miles on a tank and up to 25 miles per gallon.

2015 Dodge Durango R/T Interior
- image 623947

The available 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine produces a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with a best-in-class tow rating of 7,400 pounds. The 5.7-liter engine’s Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder-deactivation allows the HEMI V-8 engine to achieve up to 23 miles per gallon.

The instrument panel features a redesigned center stack that houses the 5-inch and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens. The bottom of the center stack houses a media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and auxiliary jacks, as well as a storage bin. The center console features a segment-first rotary shifter for the standard eight-speed automatic that adds another level of refinement over the traditional gated automatic shifter. The instrument cluster has also been given the high-tech treatment and now includes a full-color 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) digital screen. Standard on all models, this screen allows for drivers to customize in more than 100 ways how information is presented.

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