2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 Why Not! Review By Larry Nutson
2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
This, the 475-horsepower Hemi powered Dodge Durango SRT 392 would be my mode of transport from Chicago to Detroit. I was going to take in all the media news events at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.
Midwest weather can vary widely in January. The nice folks at Dodge wanted to make sure I had suitable “wheels” under my seat to help get across the I-94 interstate that potentially could be snow covered. I liked the reassurance of a nicely stout, all-wheel drive SUV to plow through whatever nature might throw my way.
The correct tires are all-important in winter, no matter what you are driving. Dodge offers the choice of Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires on the Durango SRT. As it should be in the cold of winter, my SRT 392 had the all-seasons. If snow became a part of the drive I should be OK.
I wasn’t expecting any high fuel mileage with that much engine at my disposal—and my heavy right foot. However, I knew the Durango had a large fuel tank…just shy of 25 gallons. I wouldn’t need any gas stops and would be able to make the drive without refueling.
As it turns out I got right around 15 mpg for the overall trip. The EPA combined rating is exactly that. EPA highway rating is 19 mpg and the city rating is 13 mpg. I tried a bit to keep the engine operating in its Fuel Saver 4-cylinder mode, but I wasn’t too successful. A couple rest area stops led to some full throttle returns to the highway. Fun stuff!
Dodge says the Durango SRT 392 is the fastest and most capable three-row SUV with a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)–certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds and capable of 0-60 miles per hour (mph) acceleration in 4.4 seconds. So, you get the picture.
The 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 sits under a new functional SRT hood to pump out 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. A Torqueflite 8-speed automatic gets the power to the wheels—all four.
To help manage all the performance at your command and also to help with everyday usages of the Durango a new SRT seven-mode drive system gives the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort.
Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Valet and ECO modes can be selected via the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center housing the new SRT Performance Pages.
All my driving, this-go-round, was in the Auto mode. Not surprisingly, on my return to Chicago I got real-time weather warnings on the Nav system of heavy lake-effect snow with white-out conditions in Indiana when passing along the southern end of Lake Michigan. I put the snow mode to use with my speed, along with all the semi-trucks and other cars, now dropped down to about 30 mph. I didn’t need gobs of power at this point.
Snow mode sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting the 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.
Sport and Track Mode step things up a bit by reducing shift times, adding more engine torque-bias to the rear wheels, and tightening up suspension and steering. Sport is like a half-step and Track is all the way.
I track-drove the Durango SRT this past summer at GingerMan Raceway in southwest Michigan. Dodge has partnered with the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), of which I am a member, in a program to help train member auto writers in the nuances of performance driving.
Pete Jacobsen the Durango SRT engineering program manager was on hand to give about two dozen MAMA members a first-hand run down on all the upgrades to make the SRT 392 very much a track star. The Durango SRT 392 is surprisingly nimble and very confident on the track. The all-wheel drive system with its rear bias for track use delivers amazing performance.
If you are more into straight-line acceleration the Durango SRT features launch control, which makes you as good as a pro-drag racer by optimizing the engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
If you want some track time take note that all customers who buy a new Durango SRT will receive one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Arizona.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT starts at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $62,995 plus a $1,095 destination charge. My media-loaner was loaded up a bit with a bottom line sticker price of $74,995.
An all-important purchase recommendation on any new vehicle today is driver-assistance safety features. Dodge’s Technology Group priced at $2,495 includes adaptive cruise control with stop function, blind spot monitor, rear cross path detection, full speed forward collision warming and lane departure warning.
A $995 trailer tow group sets up the Durango SRT for towing up to 8,700 pounds.
Other comfort and appearance add-ons included power sunroof, rear DVD entertainment, second-row console, high-performance leather seats and 20X10-inch gloss black wheels.
Dodge has done a ton of work to make the Durango SRT 392 do what it does. Brembo brakes, new spring, shock and sway bar tuning, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension, performance exhaust system, wide body exterior, functional SRT hood with center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors, a new front fascia and lower valence to house new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps all make it a very complete high-performance 3-row SUV.
More details, specs and information can be found at www.dodge.com.
With the low winter temperatures and lots of snow, my Durango SRT got quite dirty (as you can see here) and left me no opportunity for clean-car photos. Thankfully, Dodge provides some nice images to view.
© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
MORE DODGE INFO
Dodge Durango Earns New Stripes, Carbon Fiber Interior and Mopar Performance Parts
- New dual-center stripes available in five different colors add sinister factory-custom look — available on Dodge Durango R/T and SRT
- Enhanced SRT Interior Appearance Group brings authentic carbon fiber upgrades to the Durango SRT’s cabin
- New Mopar performance exhaust systems improve flow and add an unmistakable note — available on Dodge Durango R/T and SRT
- New Mopar performance lowering spring kit delivers improved handling and lower stance — available on Dodge Durango SRT; lowers the fastest SUV in its class an average of 15 mm (0.6 inches) closer to the pavement
- Dodge Durango SRT is the most powerful and fastest three-row SUV with its legendary 475-horsepower HEMI® V-8 engine and National Hot Rod Association–certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds that also outhauls every three-row SUV on the road with best-in-class towing capability of 8,700 pounds
New for 2018, Durango R/T and SRT models will feature factory-custom stripes and available performance exhaust systems. The Durango SRT will also offer an available carbon fiber interior and performance lowering spring kit, giving the menacing SUV an even lower stance and improved handling. Dodge will showcase the new features at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 7-19.
“Our Dodge//SRT performance enthusiasts are always looking for ways to make their vehicle their own,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The available stripes and carbon fiber throughout the interior really give Durango a custom look from the factory, and they are perfectly complemented by Mopar’s available exhaust systems and performance springs, which make Durango even more fun to drive.”
New features available in the coming months include:
- New dual-center exterior stripe design covers the front and rear fascias, hood, portions of the roof and the tailgate. The dual stripe is tailored to the signature NACA duct-hood vent to emphasize the Durango R/T and Durango SRT models functional yet aggressive design. With a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $1,195, the stripes are offered in five colors: Bright Blue, Flame Red, Gunmetal Low Gloss (metallic finish), Low Gloss Black and Sterling Silver (metallic finish). Dealer orders for the new stripe package will start in March 2018.
- Mopar’s new performance exhaust systems are bolt on, high-performance units factory-tuned for improved flow, sound and overall performance. The exhaust system’s chromium 304 stainless steel construction improves corrosion resistance. Stainless steel band-style clamps provide tight seals and make installation easy. Welded and polished 4-inch tips provide an aggressive appearance. Both exhaust systems were developed in concert with Dodge//SRT engineers and designers, which provided access to proprietary sound data, creating unique and unmistakable sound characteristics. The new performance exhaust system for the Durango SRT (Part Number 77072487) is priced at a U.S. MSRP of $1,850 and will be available in the second quarter of 2018. The new Durango R/T system (Part Number 77072479) is priced at a U.S. MSRP of $1,595 and is available now.
- Mopar’s performance lowering spring kit enhances the Durango SRT’s already outstanding high-speed cornering stability and consistency. The new springs lower the fastest SUV in its class an average of 15 mm (0.6 inches) closer to the pavement for improved handling and an in-your-face vehicle stance. As with the performance exhaust, Mopar worked closely with Dodge//SRT engineers and used proprietary data — unavailable to the aftermarket — to tune the lowering springs to the factory-fitted dampers. Performance gains include less rear-end squat during acceleration, less nose dive under braking and reduced body roll while cornering. The new performance lowering spring kit (Part Number 77072488) is priced at a U.S. MSRP of $325 and will be available in March.
- The new SRT Interior Appearance Group, which features a premium-wrapped instrument panel, Dinamica soft-touch headliner and accent paint on speaker trim rings, adds an authentic carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels. Available for orders in February at a U.S. MSRP of $2,495.
About Dodge Durango
The Dodge Durango’s combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology, class-leading towing and driving range, confident driving dynamics and aggressive styling make it the Dodge Charger of the SUV segment. For 2018, Dodge builds on Durango’s proven performance, utility and comfort with the new SRT model, appearance packages and an available soft-touch hand-wrapped instrument panel. Durango’s standard eight-speed automatic transmission is paired with the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine rated at up to 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and best-in-class towing capability of 6,200 pounds. The classic 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine produces a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque and is capable of towing up to 7,400 pounds. New for 2018, the Durango SRT’s proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 miles per hour acceleration in 4.4 seconds, quarter-mile elapsed time of 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), all while out-hauling every three-row SUV on the road with a best-in-class towing capability of 8,700 pounds.
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is FCA North America’s mainstream performance brand, and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the company in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2018, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the fastest quarter-mile production car in the world and most powerful muscle car ever, is taking the world by storm, along with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, and the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. These new SRT ultimate performance models join a brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.
Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.