The 2018 Dodge Durango vs. 2018 Chevrolet Traverse

 

Introduction

When you're in the market for a new SUV, we know you need something bold. You need a vehicle that can take you, your crew, and your gear anywhere you need to go. This year's two biggest SUV releases are the new 2018 Dodge Durango and the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. They are both solid vehicles, but when you put them head to head it quickly becomes obvious that the Dodge Durango has earned its title as the "King of SUVs." With its powerful performance, luxurious interior, sharp exterior, and style to burn, the new Dodge Durango is everything you want from an SUV and so much more. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse isn't a bad vehicle per se, but it just doesn't have the remarkable qualities or class of the Dodge Durango.

Come see for yourself why the Durango has the clear advantage over the Traverse. Your local Kansas City Dodge dealer has the 2018 Dodge Durango in stock, and it really needs to be experienced in person.

Trim Levels

The 2018 Dodge Durango has five different trim levels, with the base model MSRP set at $29,995. The Chevy Traverse has a similar starting price and six trim levels, but the options packages quickly drive up the price.

Dodge Durango SXT

This basic trim features a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, push-button start, and automatic climate control. The Durango SXT is high-tech right out of the gate with a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a ParkView Rear Back Up Camera. The Uconnect infotainment system is ready to rock either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto via its 7-inch touchscreen.

Dodge Durango GT

The GT improves on the SXT by upgrading from cloth upholstery to leather, as well as adding a heated steering wheel, heated, power-adjustable front seats, heated second-row seats, and third-row seats. It also adds a few more fun tech features, such as rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, and satellite radio. A number of upgrade packages are available.

Dodge Durango Citadel

The Citadel further beefs up the interior with ventilated, premium leather seats, an upgraded 8.4-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation, and a serious nine-speaker audio system from Alpine. Rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic headlights do your work for you, and the sunroof lets in plenty of light.

Dodge Durango R/T

The R/T packs a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine with a sport suspension and performance steering. With the BeatsAudio Premium Sound System on the inside and the Performance Front Fascia and Hood, the Durango sounds as good as it looks.

Dodge Durango SRT

The SRT is the ultra premium trim with a 6.4L HEMI V8 engine, an adaptive suspension, performance steering and brakes, and a limited-slip differential. This all-wheel drive beast also features front sports seats and second-row captain's chairs.

Performance

Even the basic 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is packing a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, which makes it capable of towing 6,200 pounds. Going with a higher trim option that includes the 5.7L HEMI V8 kicks that towing capability up to 7,400 pounds, and it still gets 22 mpg on the highway. At the top of the line is the SRT with its 6.4L HEMI V8 engine, a 475-horsepower monster that boasts the best towing capacity in its class: a whopping 8,700 pounds. Yet all three engines are relatively fuel-efficient and prove that you don't have to sacrifice power or style to have a fast and effective vehicle.

As for the competition, the base trim on the Chevy Traverse only has a 2-liter 4-turbo engine. Needless to say, that can't compete with the Durango. Its fuel economy is worse in the city to boot.

Exterior

The 2018 Dodge Durango is as muscular on the outside as it is under the hood. We defy anyone to look at it head-on and not be impressed: from its iconic split-crosshair grille to the sleek angle of its windshield, this is an SUV that exudes strength. The fascias look even more dramatic than on previous models, and the LED racetrack tail lamps will definitely turn heads. The Durango was always a handsome vehicle, and this year's redesigns have made it the best-looking model ever.

When it comes to the Chevy Traverse, the reverse is unfortunately true. Instead of Chevy daring to try anything innovative, the exterior of the new model feels positively old-fashioned. You would be hard pressed to tell this year's model apart from that of last year's… or last decade's.

Interior

The Dodge Durango lives up to its reputation as the premium mover of both large groups of people and large quantities of cargo. Seven passengers can comfortably hop inside, and all told there are over 50 different ways to configure the seats depending on how much additional gear you're carrying. With nearly 85 cubic feet of cargo space, you know this year's Durango is as roomy as ever, and that translates to a comfortable ride for all involved. With options for Nappa leather upholstery and other tasteful upgrades, the interior is as classy as it is functional.

Then there is the Chevy Traverse, which has a reputation for tight interiors. This year's model does have its merits, but overall it's just not that spacious. Making matter worse, even the higher trims lack any real sense of style or class.

Safety Features

The 2018 Dodge Durango has an impressive array of safety features, many of them standard and others available as upgrades. With everything from electronic stability control to blind spot monitoring to numerous braking system enhancements, the new Dodge Durango has earned its reputation as a "two-ton bodyguard" for you and your family. The NHTSA even gave it a four-star rating for its front crash test.

The Chevy Traverse also employs some interesting safety features, including one aimed at teen drivers, but it's too soon to say how effective they actually are. Then there is the fact that certain crucial safety features such as automatic emergency braking and collision warning are only available in the Traverse's top trims. Clearly the 2018 Dodge Durango is the superior SUV.

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