2018 Dodge Durango R/T Blacktop
2018 Dodge Durango R/T Blacktop – Dodge refers to it as the Charger of the SUV world, and as is the case with nearly all of their vehicles the Durango really knowshow to personify the bad boy image With a lowered ride height, gloss black everythingand a HEMI under the hood the R/T Blacktop Edition isn’t just another 3-row people mover 2015 Dodge DurangoMy last test-drive of theDurango was exactly 4 years ago…just after the all-new model went on sale And last year the Durango received its first major overhaul since its 2011 introduction so this retestweek was long overdue.
Those upgrades included a new 8-speed transmission with rotary shifterand Eco mode, the latest Uconnect system with Wi-Fi, a full-blown Blu-ray rear entertainmentsystem with dual 9” screens in the seat-backs a number of styling changes to the front fascia,the addition of the LED racetrack tail lamp design, and a host of other interior and featureupdates And now for 2015, Dodge’s signature Blacktop Package can be ordered on all trimswith the exception of the more dignified, range-topping Citadel.
But it looks best onthe high-performance Durango R/T – featuring the 360-horsepower HEMI V8, a sport tunedfully-independent suspension lowered by about 1”, 20” wheels, HID low-beam headlamps,and R/T-embroidered leather seats with red stitching The Blacktop Package itself addsonly $295 to the price and includes Gloss Black in spades – to the grille, wheels,mirrors and badges.
On this Granite Crystal tester, the look is somewhere between lawenforcement and post-apocalyptic If you’re looking for a ride with big-time ‘tude,this is it When driving the Durango it definitely hasthat “it” factor It’s not some cumbersome SUV, instead it’s got performance baked intoits chassis and all of those critical driving elements are in harmony backed by the musclecar sounds of the HEMI V8 An experience that makes the Durango unique in the class And it’s a rig that feels like it’s worth every bit of its $50,000 price tag with asporty modern, high quality feel and some of the best electronics available For a 5,300 lb.
SUV, it’s amazing how wellthis big Durango handles and how truly fun it is to drive The HEMI’s growl heard fromaccelerating quickly never gets tiring It’s built upon a unibody structure and feels tightand never sloppy with reactive steering and paddle shifters for the auto The firmer suspensiontuning gives the R/T a noticeably stiffer ride with quickly muted body motions lendingto frequent head bobbing over small road imperfections but it’s far from offensive.
These GoodyearFortera HL Edition tires are for all-season, quiet ride purposes but still do a betterthan decent job of stable handling If you own a boat, this Durango has the optionalTrailer Tow Group which can handle 7,200 pounds and comes with rear load leveling shocks The V8’s 390 pound-feet of torque is greater than that of the strongest Ford Explorer andit doesn’t require premium unleaded.
Mileage is rated at 14mpg city/22mpg highway and usesthe engine’s ability to run on 4-cylinders to achieve those less than frugal numbers The Durango is bigger than you’d think withthe ability to seat 6 as seen here with the optional 2nd row fold and tumble captain’schairs Because they don’t slide, keeping your knees off of the front seat can be alittle more challenging than expected but they do recline and that’s where you canfind the most comfort,
And this optional console is quite cool as long as you don’t mindgiving up a middle walkway to the 3rd row – it opens in both directions, providescupholders and storage for the remote and headphones And the third row is easily accessiblefrom either side, is adult-friendly and is elevated for better forward visibilit wellexecuted.
And in the rear, you’ve got the Chrysler pop-out flashlight, a large, deepunderfloor storage area and there’s a power function on the navi screen to drop the rearheadrests when not in use Up front, the Nappa Leather Group adds softnessto the commanding, comfy seats, the Uconnect system is no less than brilliant in both itslayout and functionality with all kinds of useful features and the optional TechnologyGroup invites radar-based items like Adaptive Cruise Control with full stop Forward CollisionWarning with Crash Mitigation and Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection,
Remote start aheated steering wheel and heated first and 2nd row seats were definitely appreciatedthis week, It’s a fully stocked ride that takes good care of everyone’s needs Baseprice of the R/T AWD is $43,290 while this one stickers for $51,260 A Beats by Dr Dreaudio system is also standard this year but wasn’t available on my early-build tester With their in-your-face mien, Dodge vehicles aren’t for everyone’s taste but behindthe Durango’s swagger is a luxury-outfitted, sophisticated machine that is as good as theycome
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