A Dodge SUV that can beat almost all of the AMG SUVs out there?

The Dodge Durango started life as a midsize, body-on-frame SUV in 1998 and became a full-size SUV for its second generation, which ran from 2004 to 2009. That second-gen model saw declining sales year after year, going from 137,148 sales for the 2004 model year down to just 3,521 for the 2009 model year. The Durango then fell out of production for 2010 (only 572 examples were sold that year), and by the time the 2011 model year came around, Dodge had redesigned the Durango into a full-sized unibody that was sportier than ever with a more upscale interior. Engine options for the current generation have been limited to a 3.6-liter Pentastar and Dodge’s 5.7-liter Hemi, but that is about to change now that Dodge is introducing the Dodge Durango SRT, which includes an even sportier exterior and interior package to go with a 6.4-liter Hemi (392 cubic-inches,) something that makes the Durango the fastest SUV in its class with an output of 475 ponies and 470 pound-feet of torque – that’s one mean machine.

If it seems to you like the Durango was ready to see its fourth-generation before it got yet another trim level, then I would have to say I agree. The current generation has been on the market since 2011 and was updated for the 2014 model year. But, FCA is trying to hold off on pushing out so many new-gen models and is instead focusing on coming up with new ways to bring interest to the models that are actually due for an update. The most obvious car this is happening to is the Dodge Challenger with its new SRT Demon, but the Durango is another one of those models that will soldier on for another year or two. But, at least you can now get it with that 6.4-liter Hemi wrapped in a very sexy package with room for six. With that said, let’s check this baby out and see what all it’s working with!

Updated 07/06/2017: Dodge has finally announced pricing for the Durango SRT. It starts out at $62,995 before options, taxes, and delivery. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn more about it, how it compares to other time levels, and the competition.

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Durango SRT.

Exterior

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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The Durango SRT features a balanced package that includes updates inside and out, as well as under the metal. On the outside, the first thing you’ll notice is that the SRT now has a new face that includes a sportier but smaller grille that rocks an SRT badge to go with a larger and wider air dam and dual LED fog lights in each corner. The other major thing here is that the front fascia itself doesn’t have that ledge below the grille, but instead a thin air intake that is almost as wide as the grille itself. To the naked eye, the headlights appear the same, however, the inner area of the lens has been modified a bit and the turn indicator is now clear with an orange light. Rounding out the front end is a new hood that aggressive and features a functional cold air intake and heat extractors – something few probably thought they would ever see on the current-gen Durango.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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The first thing you’ll notice is that the SRT now has a new face that includes a sportier but smaller grille that rocks an SRT badge to go with a larger and wider air dam and dual LED fog lights in each corner.

Meanwhile, the side profile doesn’t see too much in terms of SRT-specific design cues outside of a set of wheels that look similar to those on the R/T, but are finished black, and the Hemi badge on the fenders. The brake system has been upgraded to include bright red, Brembo calipers that look quite nice behind those black wheels. Around back, it’s the same story, with the only noticeable difference being the fascia insert down below that now fully encases the exhaust outlets. Those outlets, by the way, are also chrome. Otherwise, the only thing that makes the rear end stand out is the SRT badge on the rear hatch.

The following exterior colors are available on the Durango SRT:

- * Billet Clear Coat
- * Blu by Yu Pearl Coat
- * Bruiser Grey Clear Coat
- * Dark Black Clear Coat
- * Granite Clear Coat
- * Ocean Blue Pearl Coat
- * Octane Red Pearl Coat
- * Redline Pearl Coat
- * Sangria Metallica Clear Coat
- * White Knuckle Clear Coat
- * Vice White

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 119.8
Length (Inches) 201.2
Width (Inches) 77.1
Height (Inches) 71.9
Track, Front/rear (Inches) 64.4/64.7

Competing Designs

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The first model that comes to mind as a decent competitor is the Mercedes-AMG GL S63. It seems like a pretty wild comparison I know, but it has comparable looks, power, and performance, so it’s not quite as wild as you might think.

When it comes to the Durango SRT, it’s kind of like a wild car among American SUVs. You can compare it to models like the GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition, and even the Chevy Tahoe, but none of them have the sheer power that makes the Durango SRT what it is. Sure, they all have three rows of seats when properly equipped, but you won’t be pulling 4.4-second sprints to 60 mph. You could say that the SRT is a bit unconventional, so we also have to go unconventional when looking to the competition as well. Fair warning: you’ll initially want to burn me at the stake for what comes beyond this paragraph, but if you want something that really competes, you have to talk to our German neighbors.

The first model that comes to mind as a decent competitor is the Mercedes-AMG GLS63. It seems like a pretty wild comparison I know, but it has comparable looks, power, and performance, so it’s not quite as wild as you might think. In the front, you’ll find that the GLS63 has a bit more aggression to it, and it’s really hard to beat the AMG grille. The air dam takes up most of the lower fascia and opens up a little more in each corner to create the corner vents. An elevated lip of sorts lifts up in the middle to give the front end a bit of a snarling took. The side profile is just as tame as that of the Durango SRT, but you’ll notice it has a similar, boxy design. The big difference here, and arguably what makes the GLS63 look better, that the rear quarter glass of the GLS63 blends almost seamlessly with the rear door glass as to where the SRT’s is clearly separated by a pillar. It’s a much sportier and elegant look for the AMG, so it wins with a technicality in overall profile. Around back, both models are rather uneventful and sport a mild rear overhang. The Durango is more refined while the AMG’s is tilted upward just the slightest bit. The Durango wins when it comes to rear design just because of the rear lights that wrap around the rear quarters and cross the entire width of the rear hatch. It brings just the right amount of color into play and tops the boring look of the GLS63’s rear hatch. Down below, the AMG gets a more prominent diffuser, while the SRT’s is smooth as a baby’s bottom. Both feature exhaust outlets that are integrated into the rear diffuser. Truth be told, you’ll be happy with the appearance of either model, but the GLS63 is the only model you need to consider.

2014 BMW X5 High Resolution Exterior
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2014 BMW X5 High Resolution Exterior
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I might as well slide my head under the guillotine and bring the BMW X5 into the mix. In comparison, it’s a little more refined in comparison to the GLS63, but could be measured to have the same amount of aggression and style in comparison to the Durango SRT.

Since we’ve already opened the can of worms that brought about the comparison of a Dodge to a Mercedes (how dare I?,) I might as well slide my head under the guillotine and bring the BMW X5 into the mix. In comparison, it’s a little more refined in comparison to the GLS63, but could be measured to have the same amount of aggression and style in comparison to the Durango SRT. Up front, you’ve got the kidney grilles, but down below, the X5 is more reserved with a short but wide air dam and a pair of fake vents that are accented by a trim insert to give it a bit of an edge. You’ll find that the X5’s design actually looks bit smaller thanks to the long stretched out headlights and smaller grille elements, but don’t let that fool you. Like the SRT and GLS63, the side profile isn’t anything to write home about. And, if you’re sitting in that third row, you’re going to find yourself with a much smaller piece of glass to look through. The X5 does have a much sharper body line below the waistline compared to the others, so if you’re someone who likes to stick out with a sharp look, the X5 may be for you. Around back, the X5 is quite similar to the GLS63 in the effect that the taillights don’t extend across the rear hatch. However, the X5 also has the extensions on the sides of the rear overhang which gives it more of a sportier appearance. The exhaust outlets are integrated into the rear fascia while there is skid plate in place of the diffuser-like elements found on the Merc and the Dodge.

As far as appearances go, it really boils down to taste, but neither are a bad choice. I personally prefer the Durango SRT, just because it’s the most aggressive American SUV you can get, and there’s just something about a Hemi that even a hand-built AMG engine can’t compare to. But, we’ll talk more about that later. Let’s see what the interior has in store for us!

Exterior Dimensions

Mercedes-AMG GLS63 BMW X5 Dodge Durango SRT
Wheelbase (Inches) 121.1 115.5 119.8
Overall length (Inches) 203.2 193.3 201.2
Overall height (Inches) 72.8 69.4 71.9
Overall width (Inches) 84.3 76.3 77.1
Track front/rear (Inches) 66.0/66.8 64.7/65 64.4/64.7

Interior

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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Inside, the Durango got quite a bit of attention, but it is now the range-topping model, so that’s to be expected. Most notably is the hand-wrapped and stitched dashboard that is now soft to the touch and features white contrast stitching like the rest of the upholstery. The shift control knob has been replaced by a T-handle shifter, and the center console is now accented by glossy black chrome. At a glance, the steering wheel may look the same, but it’s also wrapped and stitched, but not features a flat bottom with the silver coloration extended from the bottom spoke. The hub of the steering wheel also features an SRT logo. Ahead of the steering wheel sits a familiar instrument cluster, however, it has been updated to include SRT graphics and a 180-mph speedometer.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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Most notably is the hand-wrapped and stitched dashboard that is now soft to the touch and features white contrast stitching like the rest of the upholstery.

Like the center console, the trim around the HVAC vents and door handles are also glossy black chrome. While the pedals down below get the aluminum treatment. First and second rows now how captain’s chairs that are heated and ventilated, and included embossed SRT logos. The seats come standard with Nappa leather and suede inserts with silver-stitched SRT logos while Demon Red Laguna leather with embossed SRT logos is an option. Sometime after the SRT’s official release, a carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered as an option as well. Finally, a set of velour-bound floor mats with SRT logos come as standard equipment and help increase the uniqueness of this range-topping model.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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As far as technology goes, the same infotainment system carries over. However, it has been updated to include new SRT performance pages to go with phone connective via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. HD Radio is also a standard feature as is the ability to download apps and a five-year SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic subscription. The audio system is enhanced by a BeatsAudio setup with nine speakers and a 506-Watt amplifier.

Comfort of the Competition

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Interior
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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Interior
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The GLS63, for example, is pretty well equipped, but it does have some outdated styling.

The inside of the Durango SRT is straight up American design but, it still manages to compete with the German’s pretty well. The GLS63, for example, is pretty well equipped, but it does have some outdated styling. Take the weird, early-2000s era keypad that resides in the center stack – it’s just out of place in a modern Mercedes and is one place where the Dodge definitely shines brighter. The flat-bottom steering wheel, semi-digital instrument cluster, and even the glossy trim inserts all give enough modern ambiance to get over the little things like that keypad. There’s also an updated infotainment display that looks like it’s a cousin of the iPad, heated and cooled front seats with a massage function, and let’s not forget about the optional heated and cooled cup holders – now that’s luxury right there. All of the seats are comfortable, and there is seating for seven. More importantly, however, is that there’s enough room in the third row for larger adults. That third row also folds down electronically for extended cargo room if needed.

2014 BMW X5 High Resolution Interior
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2014 BMW X5 Interior
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The current X5 is set for a facelift for the 2018 model year, so the current model is actually a few years old. It’s still fairly modern in its own respect, though. The seats aren’t quite as supportive as those in the Merc or the Dodge, but the dash isn’t anywhere near as gaudy and features precise and clear-cut character lines.

The current X5 is set for a facelift for the 2018 model year, so the current model is actually a few years old. It’s still fairly modern in its own respect, though. The seats aren’t quite as supportive as those in the Merc or the Dodge, but the dash isn’t anywhere near as gaudy and features precise and clear-cut character lines. The infotainment display is a 10.2-inch unit but is wide and short in nature. Poplar Wood trim comes standard throughout while the seats are wrapped in Dakota and Nappa leather. Like the other models we’ve discussed here, the X5 does offer seating for seven, but it’s not quite as spacious in that third row as the GLS63. The rear seat does come with a 40-20-40 split that increases the cargo room from 23 cubic-feet up to 66 cubic-feet. Some models get a rear camera with Top View, but it’s not quite as good as Mercs 360-degree camera, either. As far as interior options go, you can go with the Luxury Line which will give you a sport leather steering wheel, or you can go with the M Sport package that includes Sport seats, your choice of aluminum, Fineline Oakwood, or Poplar wood trim to go with an M steering wheel and Anthracite headliner. Obviously, if you know Bimmer, you want to go for the M Sport package, but it will up the price a bit and possibly push it farther out of range with the Durango SRT.

All three interiors are desirable in one way or another, but if you’re really looking for interior space, you may find that the GLS63 is more in line with what you want. But, the X5 and Durango SRT don’t exactly disappoint in that department either, so it really comes down to whether or not you prefer a German take on things or you’re willing to go an American design. If you’re considering the BMW, however, you’ll probably want to wait until later in 2017 as the 2018 model should be hitting dealers something in the fourth quarter.

Interior Dimensions

Mercedes-AMG GLS63 BMW X5 Dodge Durango SRT
Headroom front/middle/rear (Inches) 41.2/40.0/38.9 40.5/38.8 39.9/39.8/37.8
Legroom front/middle/rear (Inches) 40.3/38.5/35.0 40.4/36.6 40.3/38.6/31.5
Shoulder room front/middle/rear (Inches) 58.5/58.3/50.5 60.5/58.3 58.5/50.4/50.4
Cargo Capacity seats up-folded (cu ft) 16.0-93.8 22.9-66.0 17.2-84.5

Drivetrain

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Drivetrain
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All of the updates to the exterior and interior really help make the SRT standout in the Durango lineup, but what’s lurking under the hood and how power is delivered to the ground is what really sets this baby apart from the pack. To start off, the SRT gets a 392 cubic-inch, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that pumps out a total of 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque 4.300 rpm. That engine is paired to a TorqueFlight Eight-speed automatic that has SRT calibration and a pair of paddle shifters for those who want to stay in control. Power is routed to all four wheels vehicle via a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system which is able to distribute torque based on the various SRT drive modes. And, remember that function air duct on the hood I mentioned earlier? Well, according to Dodge, it helps to drop intake air temperature by as much as 18 degrees under optimal conditions. Not bad. On a side note, the exhaust system has been tuned to deliver the perfect sound, which is also assisted by the 2.75-inch exhaust pipe from the headers back.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Drivetrain
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The SRT gets a 392 cubic-inch, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that pumps out a total of 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque 4.300 rpm.

The automatic transmission and AWD system sends power to the four, 20-inch Goliath wheels that are wrapped in Pirelli 295/45-series, ZR-rated, all-season tires. As an option, Pirelli P Zero three-season tires can be had, as can 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with a new five-spoke design and “Black Noise” finish. The transmission itself takes information like acceleration, grade changes, tire shift, gear demands, and the like to determine the best automatic shifting map, while the rev-match function will control the throttle between shifts for better performance and smooth shifting when you’re in the zone. Launch control also comes as standard equipment and is said to “mimic a professional driver’s inputs” which allows for consistent straight-line acceleration. With that said, Dodge has yet to mention what kind of top speed figures you can expect, but has said that the SRT can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.4 seconds and can run a quarter-mile in just 12 seconds!

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Drivetrain
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As far as suspension goes, the SRT gets a short- and long-arm independent front system with coil springs. There are specially tuned Bilstein dampers that are adaptive based on drive modes selected and current road conditions. In the rear, you’ll find a multi-link suspension with coil springs, Bilstein ADS, and independent upper links. Compared to other Durango models, the springs in the front end are three-percent stiffer while the rears are 16-percent stiffer. The rear sway bar is also 18-percent stiffer which means significantly less body roll and better high-speed cornering ability. All that power has to be kept under control, so the brake system has been updated with Brembo six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston units in the rear. 15-inch slotted and vented rotors can be found up front while the rear makes due with 13.8-inch rotors.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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The Durango SRT comes with a total of seven drive modes, which sounds like a lot, but Dodge pretty much thought of everything. They are setup as follows:

Auto Suited for cruising and relaxing with longer shift times, relaxed steering, and relaxed suspension for a smoother ride.
Sport Sport mode brings about tightened suspension and increased steering gradient. Shift speeds are increased by 23 percent between first and fourth gear while the stability control system is more relaxed to allow more spirited driving.
Track Track mode is designed for smooth, dry surfaces and increases suspension stiffness to the maximum setting while the steering is tightened up for maximum response. Shift speeds between first and fourth gears are increased by 50 percent.
Snow This mode defaults to second gear on take off to provide better traction. The AWD system is set to distribute torque evenly between the front and rear while the stability is set to full-on.
Tow The AWD system distributes torque evenly between the front and rear while the ESC system enables trailer sway control. An active noise cancellation system is also activated to cut down on engine noise during high engine loads.
Valet This mode is designed to keep others who are driving your AWD beats from playing too much. The ECU is mapped to mimic that of a Charger V-6, including horsepower and torque delivery. It also locks out access to first gear (no burnouts of the valet guy) and upshifts happen much earlier. Steering and suspension automatically adjust as needed. The paddle shifters and launch control system are disabled, while stability control is set to maximum.
Eco This mode provides second-gear starts and a revised shift schedule to provide better fuel economy. Dodge’s “Fuel Saver Technology” is said to provide extended range in this mode.
Drift Bet you didn’t count how many modes we’ve covered! There’s no drift mode. We just wanted to see if you’re paying attention. How cool would that be, though?

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 6.4-liter Hemi V-8
Horsepower 475 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 470 LB-FT @ 4,300 RPM
Transmission TorqueFlight Eight-speed automatic
0-60 mph 4.4 seconds
Quarter-mile 12 seconds
Curb Weight 5,510 Lbs
Payload 1,350 Lbs

Competing Performance

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Drivetrain AutoShow
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If you know the GLS you’re probably already arguing that it is much more powerful with 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque from a 5.5-liter, handcrafted, V-8.

With the Durango SRT having 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque on tap, it should be no surprise that we’ve had to look to Germany to find an SUV that could actually compete with it performance-wise. And, if you know the GLS you’re probably already arguing that it is much more powerful with 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque from a 5.5-liter, handcrafted, V-8. And, you’re right, but the big difference here is weight and general aerodynamics. Dodge hasn’t released the SRT’s drag coefficient, but it is 244 pounds lighter, as the GLS63 tips the scale at almost three ton (5,754 pounds, to be exact.) The SRT will get to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and that’s 0.1 seconds fast than what the GLS63 can do. That’s right; the GLS makes that sprint in 4.5 seconds using a seven-speed AMG SpeedShift transmission. Mercedes hasn’t published quarter-mile and top speed figures, but outside sources point to its top speed coming in at 174 mph and a sprint down the quarter-mile taking 12.8 seconds. Dodge has yet to tell us the SRT’s top speed, but we know it does the quarter mile sprint in 12 seconds flat. So, the GLS63 might be able to take it in the long haul, but in a run to 60 or a pass down the track, the SRT will kick the GLS63’s ass. As far as suspension goes, the GLS63 runs a fully independent AIRMATIC system with air springs and automatic 4-wheel level control that compensates for cargo, passengers, or body roll during spirited driving. It also allows for the suspension to be raised if you’re going off the beaten path and will automatically lower at higher speeds for better aerodynamic stability. Four-wheel traction control, 4Matic all-wheel drive, and ESP are all standard equipment.

The 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V-8 delivers 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. That’s 30 horsepower less and 10 pound-foot more than what the SRT brings to the table. But, that also means that the X5 does the 60 mph sprint in 4.7 seconds (0.3 seconds slower than the SRT) and tops out at an electronically limited 155 mph.

Moving over to the BMW X5, you’ll need to go with the range-topping xDrive50i if you want to even try to compete on the performance front. And, even then, you’re going to pay out at least $72,000 for the same kind of power output found in the Durango but higher performance times. The 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V-8 delivers 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. That’s 30 horsepower less and 10 pound-foot more than what the SRT brings to the table. But, that also means that the X5 does the 60 mph sprint in 4.7 seconds (0.3 seconds slower than the SRT) and tops out at an electronically limited 155 mph. There’s no official word on quarter-mile times, but the 2014 X5 could reportedly hit the quarter mile in 13.1 seconds so, like the GLS63, the X5 falls just a little short in the performance department. Not that the figures are bad for an SUV, the SRT is just a bit quicker. The range -topping X5 comes complete with BMW’s xDRive system that is integrated into the stability control, brake fade compensation, traction control and dynamic brake control systems for optimal control and. Up front, you’ll find double wishbone suspension while there’s a multi-link setup out back.

Even in this department, all three perform admirably for their sheer size and boxy nature. But, if you’re someone who wants the absolute best performance, you’ll have no choice but to steer clear of the German dealerships and find yourself talking to a Dodge salesman. I know, it’s pretty wild to say, but the proof is in the pudding, right?

Mercedes-AMG GLS63 BMW X5 Dodge Durango SRT
Engine 5.5-liter AMG V8 biturbo 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V-8 6.4-liter Hemi V-8
Horsepower 577 HP @ 5,500 RPM 445 HP @ 5,500–6,000 RPM 475 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 561 LB-FT @ 1,750-5,250 RPM 480 LB-FT @ 2,000–4,500 RPM 470 LB-FT @ 4,300 RPM
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT® PLUS 7G-TRONIC 8-speed STEPTRONIC Automatic Eight-speed automatic
0-60 mph 4.5 seconds 4.7 seconds 4.4 seconds
Curb Weight 5,754 Lbs 5,095 Lbs 5,510 Lbs

Price

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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The Durango SRT is a menacing machine – much more so than the R/t or the Citadel Anodized Platinum. Those happen to carry a sticker price of $42,095 and $45,090, respectively. So, what will the Durango SRT set you back? Well assuming you can avoid the dealer markup trim, you’re looking at a minimum of $62,995 plus a $1,095 destination fee. When you take the competition into consideration, that price isn’t too bad at all, now is it? On a side note, considering the long list of standard features appointed to this monster of an SUV, I wouldn’t expect to see too many options listed on the order from either. What do you think of the pricing point? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

Non-Competitive Pricing

So, right now, we’re not sure what kind of sticker price the Durango SRT will sport, but with the GLS63 starting out at a staggering $124,100 and the BMW X5 xDrive50i starting out at $72,300, you might find that the Durango SRT offers exceptional performance and luxury for the price. That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow, but the SRT might top $80,000 at most, and even that seems a little high, so it’s kind of hard to turn your nose up at the SRT given the price point of it and the models it competes with performance-wise. Then again, that’s only entry-level price, and both the GLS63 and X5 have a number of optional packages that can significantly increase the amount you actually sign for. Of course, there’s also the $98,800 X5 M that will topple the Durango SRT if you’re really a Bimmer fanboy, but that’s on you.

BMW X5 xDrive50i $72,300
Cold Weather Package $550
Dynamic Handling Package $4,500
Ivory White Interior Design Package $1,950
Lighting Package $1,900
Mocha Interior Design Package $1,950
M Sport Package $3,000
Driving Assistance Plus Package $1,700
Executive Package $3,250
Mercedes-AMG GLS63 $124,100
Night Package $300
Accessory Chrome Package $260
Bang & Olufsen® BeoSound™ AMG Sound System $5,400
Rear Seat Entertainment system $1,950

Other, Less-Powerful Options

GMC Yukon Denali

2015 GMC Yukon Denali
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2015 GMC Yukon Denali
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The Yukon Denali technically sits in the semi-luxury category, but considering the Durango SRT comes with some pretty fine appointments inside and out, one could argue that the two reside in the category. As far as performance figures go, the Yukon Denali falls a little short, pumping out only 420 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Like the Durango SRT, it gets an eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. It doesn’t exactly have all of the fancy drive modes, paddle shifters, or performance-oriented goodies, but it’s pretty damn luxurious for a model that doesn’t come from our German neighbors. Unfortunately, that lack of power means you’ll lose a race against the new SRT any day, as the Denali with the 6.2-liter can hit 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds, at least 2.4 seconds slower than the new SRT. Top Speed is estimated around 108 mph, but this thing wasn’t designed for the same type of performance, so that’s to be expected. Pricing for the Yukon Denali starts out at $68,965 and can increase to well over $70,000 if you start selecting options.

Read our full review on the GMC Yukon Denali here.

Ford Expedition

2018 Ford Expedition
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2018 Ford Expedition High Resolution Exterior
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Since we compared the Durango SRT to the Yukon Denali, it’s only fair that we compare it to the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition as well. It offers up an equal number of seats for passengers and offers a folding third row, large moon roof, and even wood trim. Of course, it comes with Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system and even has some wood trim throughout when properly equipped. On the performance front, however, it’s on the low side of the spectrum. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 with 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque on tap. It just made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show, so performance figures are a complete mystery, but don’t expect it to compete in any way, performance-wise, with any of the models we’ve discussed here today. Expect the Expedition to start out somewhere below $50,000 and climb to as much as $75,000 when fully equipped.

Read our full review on the Ford Expedition here.

Conclusion

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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I have to say; I think Dodge would be better off creating models like the Durango SRT and Challenger SRT Demon models later on after the new-gen models come out, but I can’t say that I’m disappointed with what Dodge has done here. I mean, after all, who would have thought that we would ever be able to compare any version of a Durango to something that wears and AMG badge and is motivated by a hand-crafted and very precise engine? I know I sure didn’t, but the proof is in the pudding. Sure, the Durango SRT might not be quite as nice on the inside, but it’s not all that far off – you have to give Dodge that. And, it’s a significantly cheaper proposition to the German models that I’ve discussed. It wasn’t that long ago that SUVs were facing a possible extinction as small, fuel-efficient cars took a strong hold on the market. But now, here we are with 12-second Durangos that compete against German vehicles that at one time had almost no worry when it came their American Equivalent. Oh, how times change.

  • Leave it
    • Would be better if based on the next-gen model
    • A mildly wider body kit wouldn’t be too shabby
    • Price point could be high

Press Release

The Dodge and SRT brands are rocking the high-performance automotive world once again, bringing a huge burst of American power, acceleration and best-in-class tow capability to the three-row SUV segment with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – the fastest SUV in its class.

With the proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 under its new functional SRT hood, the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and a wicked fast time on the drag strip – from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds, covering the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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“The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “This is what you get, when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT: a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.”

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 9. Vehicles will start arriving in Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is loaded with performance features designed to make it America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, including:

Proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque and 4.4 second 0-60 mph times
New wide body exterior brings the Durango SRT together as a true performance SUV
Newly designed SRT hood with a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors to cool the engine and improve overall performance
Standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels
New driver-oriented electronic T-shifter, standard on all 2018 Durango models, provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control
New SRT seven-mode drive system gives the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort
New Sport Mode reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers up to 65 percent of the 392 HEMI engine’s torque to the rear wheels
New Track Mode delivers maximum performance track driving with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience
New performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set world-class performance marks
Sophisticated Active Damping System opens and closes the Durango SRT’s suspension’s damper valves, according to which of the seven modes is chosen, giving the driver options for any driving style
Stiffer front springs (3 percent), stiffer rear springs (16 percent) and stiffer rear sway bar (18 percent) give Durango SRT drivers outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
New exhaust system tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance Dodge SRT exhaust note modeled after the Dodge Charger SRT
Massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers and vented rotors at all four corners, measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear)
New Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires
New performance Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim offered for the first time in a Durango
New interior appointments, including a hand-wrapped instrument panel with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with SRT paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos
New 180-mph speedometer
True carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels (late availability)
Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo
Suede-wrapped headliner and A pillars
New SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome
New performance AWD badging on liftgate

Performance at its core
For the first time ever, SRT power is now available in the Dodge Durango. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is powered by the potent 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm – providing America’s best horsepower and torque ratings and making the new Dodge Durango SRT the fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV.

To keep the powertrain running cool and efficient in higher demand environments, a new cold-air duct provides cooler outside air into the engine. Testing has shown up to an 18-degree Fahrenheit improvement in intake air temperature, resulting in an engine that performs flawlessly on the street, racetrack or when towing a favorite trailer or toy.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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Assuring maximum performance under extreme conditions, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track durability testing – a testing standard that every SRT vehicle adheres to.

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides enhanced shift quality and performance drivability, as well as optimized fuel economy through its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This proven transmission was specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels. For the ultimate driver-controlled experience, the transmission can be manually shifted using the performance-inspired steering wheel paddle controls on the exclusive SRT-lit flat-bottom steering wheel.

The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, tire slip and downshift detection to determine the appropriate transmission shift map. The end result is a fully adaptable performance experience.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Drivetrain
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Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of any performance-oriented driving demand.

When the driver downshifts, the “rev match” function uses the engine controller to blip the throttle, which provides optimal transition between gears for improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.

When placed in “Sport Mode,” the transmission reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers 65 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.

Acceleration and performance handling are enhanced by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the AWD system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When in Track Mode, maximum performance track driving is achieved with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque delivered to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Durango SRT drivers will also notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.

The new driver-oriented electronic T-shifter provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT features launch control, which mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension together for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.

The new exhaust system has been tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance note that is distinctive to Dodge/SRT and provides a lasting impression. To achieve this iconic exhaust tone, engineers have replaced the rear mufflers with resonators to increase overall sound level and improve tone of the true performance 2.75-inch dual exhaust system.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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Ride and handling
The Dodge Durango SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, specially tuned Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms) and a stabilizer bar. Additional changes include 3 percent stiffer front springs, 16 percent stiffer rear springs and an 18 percent stiffer rear sway bar to provide Durango SRT drivers with outstanding high-speed cornering capability.

In the rear, a specially tuned multi-link suspension design has coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.

The 120-inch wheelbase allows for outstanding stability and consistency in high-speed cornering, while a new performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set the world-class performance marks.

The Durango SRT also features the SRT seven-mode drive system, which provides the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort. Suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping are all controlled through this system. In addition to these parameters, suspension feel is controlled by a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the suspension’s damper valves according to the chosen drive mode, providing the driver with options for any driving style.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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The seven SRT drive modes include:

Auto: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions
Sport: delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving
Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from Auto mode and ESC allows maximum yaw
Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution
Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition
Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Auto settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled
ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology

Standard five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with a new “Black Noise” finish ride on Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Available, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels feature a new split five-spoke design also featuring the “Black Noise” finish.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Exterior
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Benchmark braking
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring an estimated 115 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. Credit belongs to massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear).

Aggressive, functional and luxurious inside and out
Along with its new ultimate performance capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides the same combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology and aggressive styling its well known for.

Inside the refreshed cabin of the Durango SRT, new appointments include a hand-wrapped dashboard with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with standard paddle shift, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos. Nappa leather with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT logos are standard. Demonic Red Laguna leather interior with embossed SRT logos is optional.

Other luxurious touches brought to Durango for the first time in the SRT model include new Light Black Chrome center stack, HVAC, full console and door handle bezels along with two choices of decorative bezels. Standard finish is Matte Reverse Chain, and for the first time on Durango a true carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered (late availability). Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo are standard. Adding to the impact of the hand-wrapped instrument panel, the headliner and A pillars are available in Dynamica suede.

A newly designed 7-inch, thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster with 180-mph speedometer allows drivers to select from a multitude of layouts and information. The class-exclusive Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center houses the new SRT Performance Pages along with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, downloadable apps and 5-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. The standard BeatsAudio premium sound system features nine speakers, subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier.

On the exterior, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT carries a SRT hood with functional center air-inlet ducts flanked by heat extractors that help to keep the engine bay cool by removing hot air from the engine compartment. A new front fascia and lower valence house the new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. This new unique look will also include the SRT-inspired grille mesh pattern finish.

New integrated wheel flares and body-color side rocker panels help provide an aggressive stance. The “392” badges flanking each fender with Bright Chrome and Metallic Grey accents differentiate the ultimate performance Durango.

At the rear, a new SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome.

The Durango SRT is also distinguished by new badging on the rear liftgate that denotes the new performance AWD system.

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is available in 11 exterior colors, including Billet Clear Coat, Blu by Yu Pearl Coat, Bruiser Grey Clear Coat, Dark Black Clear Coat, Granite Clear Coat, Ocean Blue Pearl Coat, Octane Red Pearl Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Sangria Metallica Clear Coat, White Knuckle Clear Coat and Vice White.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT High Resolution Interior
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Safety and security
The 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and ESC, which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.

Available safety and security features include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.

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