Durango Unchained: 3-Row SUV Gets More Attitude for 2019

2019 Dodge Durango

The Dodge Durango does a convincing job combining the available power and attitude of a muscle car —such as Dodge's own Challenger coupe or Charger sedan — with the practicality of a three-row SUV. For 2019, Dodge has made a number of notable improvements across the spectrum of Durango trim levels, from the entry-level V-6 SXT to the 475-horsepower, Hemi-powered SRT model.

Related: Dodge Durango GT Amps Up Go-Fast Looks With Rallye Package

Changes for 2019 focus on how you can configure the cabin, along with exterior modifications that give the Durango more presence on the road. The SUV comes in five trim levels: SXT, GT, Citadel, R/T and SRT. Engines range from a standard 3.6-liter V-6 (295 hp) to a 5.7-liter V-8 (360 hp) and finally the 6.4-liter V-8 (475 hp) at the top of the range. All-wheel drive is available on all trim levels, but the Durango's platform means two-wheel-drive models are rear-drive, not front-drive like most competitors. That could sway snow belt shoppers to pony up for AWD.

Thanks to its spacious cabin and available third-row seating, the Durango makes for an eye-catching SUV that's also highly entertaining when equipped with the optional performance engines. Seating accommodates up to seven, though the optional second-row captain's chairs drops total capacity to six. The Durango is also graced with Dodge's intuitive Uconnect infotainment system, which is clear-cut and simple to use.

The SXT starts around $31,500 with the destination fee and comes with a 3.6-liter V6 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. All three Durango engines use an eight-speed. If you're on a budget but still need to haul things, it's worth noting the SXT can two up to 6,200 pounds. New for 2019, the optional Trailer Tow Package for all Durangos gets an integrated trailer brake.

Despite occupying the lowest rung on the ladder, the SXT is hardly what you'd call bare-bones. It has a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (leather seating is optional), and keyless access with push-button start.

Despite having a V-6 like the SXT, the Durango GT gets the same front-end styling treatment and LED foglamps for 2019 as the brawnier, V-8-powered R/T and SRT. It also gets dual exhaust for slightly more power — an option on the SXT. You can also order a performance hood, complete with center air intake and dual heat extractors, for an added dose of muscle-car design. New 20-inch wheels come in one of two finishes, Satin Carbon or Brass Monkey. A third-row seat is also standard; it's an option on the SXT. Additional options include heated first- and second-row seating, a power liftgate and leather upholstery with suede inserts.

At the midpoint of the range is the Durango Citadel, which allows buyers to choose between the V-6 or V-8 power. For 2019, the Citadel comes standard with second-row captain's chairs instead of a bench seat. Harman Kardon premium audio is also available for the first time in the Citadel; it's also available on the R/T and SRT. Noteworthy standard equipment on the Citadel includes a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation system and 20-inch wheels.

Next is the Durango R/T, which includes the 5.7-liter V-8 that's an option in the Citadel. Available features on the R/T include the Harman Kardon audio, along with Nappa leather seats. This V-8-powered SUV can tow up to 7,400 pounds when properly equipped.

Last but certainly not least is the Durango SRT. Its 475-hp Hemi V-8 launches the SUV to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds. Not only fast in a straight line, the SRT can also haul plenty, with maximum towing capacity of 8,700 pounds. As the top-dog Durango, the SRT comes loaded with features like premium leather seats, a suede headliner, a performance-tuned suspension and all-wheel-drive system, beefier Brembo brakes and a flat-bottom steering wheel with integrated shift paddles.

Order books for the 2019 Durango are now open, with first deliveries due this fall.

Cars.com's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

 
Related Articles
More From Cars.com