2018 Dodge Durango Citadel

Dodge Durango Overview

The last time the Dodge Durango saw a complete redesign was in 2011 when it moved away from its body on frame platform to embrace unit body construction. Designed in concert with the then-new Jeep Cherokee as well as the Mercedes-Benz M and R Class vehicles of the time, the 2018 Dodge Durango Citadel can be properly referred to as a veteran. Said differently, while that update brought the Durango firmly into parity with its competitors of the time, the ensuing seven years have seen the rest of the field advance considerably.

On the other hand though, Dodge has made a number of strides to keep the Durango as fresh as possible. Among the most significant was the adoption of an eight-speed automatic transmission back in 2014—along with a new interior treatment incorporating Chrysler’s outstanding 8.4-inch touchscreen interface hosting the company’s universally applauded Uconnect infotainment system.

As a result, while the Durango’s foundation remains rooted in the early part of this decade, the model still manages to feel somewhat contemporary. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to tell the Dodge is old enough to be in grade school when you drive it. What’s more, if you opt for the luxury-oriented Citadel trim level you’ll get the option of the venerable 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter “Hemi” V8. Good for 390 ft-lbs of torque and 22 mpg on the highway, the Hemi can sometimes make you forget just how big Durango Citadel really is.

Happily though, the Dodge puts its size to good use. The 2018 Durango is one of the few vehicles in its class to comfortably accommodate adults in its third row. That’s right; seven full-grown people can comfortably occupy the Dodge Durango. Even better, the Dodge’s broadly opening rear doors—along with its flip and folding second-row seats, makes that third row easily accessible for grownups. Yes, there’s a bit of a climb to get into the Durango in general, but it’s manageable.

Another byproduct of its spaciousness is 84.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity.  Even better, thanks to the presence of that 5.7-liter Hemi in the engine compartment, the Durango is also capable of towing up to 7,400 pounds. Recognizing the fact Durango owners are likely to take advantage of this potential, the Dodge product planners made trailer sway control a standard feature.

While we’re on the subject of standard features, choosing the Citadel trim package endows Durango quite comprehensively. You’ll find sat-nav, xenon headlights, automatic high beams, automatic wipers, upgraded brakes, front parking sensors, roof-rail crossbars, a sunroof, a cargo cover, upgraded leather upholstery, additional leather trim, a power-adjustable steering column, a power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats and a nine-speaker audio system with a subwoofer.

In other words, Citadel arrives pretty much fully loaded. About the only comfort feature you’ll likely want to add is the optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system—if you have young children and do long drives. Available driver’s aids include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.

Over the road, you’ll appreciate the way the 5.7-liter exerts authority over the Durango’s mass. Acceleration is strong, and its sound is wonderfully mellifluous. On the highway, the Durango consumes distance like a hungry person enjoying a sumptuous meal. Around town, braking is middling at best, cornering can be somewhat ponderous and steering is a bit slow. However body roll is minimal and cabin quiet is above average for the class.

Bottom line, this Dodge is very commendable as an alternative to its Grand Cherokee sibling. But you’ll find its competitors are newer and quite formidable when you look outside the Chrysler family.

 For 2018, Dodge Durango Citadel pricing starts at $43,995.

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