2019 Dodge Durango: Better With Age

Dodge brings the venerable Durango back for another year, sprucing up every trim level.

Jim Frenak-FPI Studios

Topline: On Thursday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pulled its batch of updates for the 2019 Dodge Durango three-row crossover from the oven, leaving them out to cool until they are ready to be served with the 2019 model year Durango this fall.

What's New: Across all five trim levels (SXT, GT, Citadel, R/T, SRT), the Trailer Tow Group option package will receive an integral trailer brake. Blind spot monitoring combined with rear cross-traffic detection are now available as a standalone option, and all trim levels receive three new paint colors, including Reactor Blue, Destroyer Grey, and F8 Green.

A programmable digital dash joins an optional entertainment overhaul inside, which includes double nine-inch screens, Blu-ray player, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. A central 8.4-inch infotainment screen with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, navigation screen, and optional rearview towing camera completes the refresh.

Smaller updates dot each trim level in the Durango lineup.

  • SXT: Leather seating is now standard.
  • GT: The front bumper and fog lights of the R/T and SRT is standard, and the R/T and SRT's vented hood is now an option. Cloth seating and 20-inch alloy wheels in either Brass Monkey or Satin Carbon finish are also available.
  • Citadel: Second-row captain's chairs are standard, and the Harman Kardon speaker suite is optional.
  • R/T: Sepia leather seating, and the Harman Kardon system are new options.
  • SRT: The 20-inch wheels also seen on the GT are optional, as are lightweight Brembo brakes with two-piece rotors. The Harman Kardon system is also available on this trim, as are red seat belts.

Quotable: "The Durango is our three-row Charger of the SUV segment, delivering uncompromised utility, advanced technology, class-leading towing and driving range, confident driving dynamics and aggressive styling," stated Steve Beahm, head of passenger cars at FCA North America. "Customer demand for utility vehicles in the United States has exploded over the past decade, and with America's fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUVs in our garage and the new updates for the 2019 model year, Dodge Durango continues to separate itself from the competition with the performance and capability that our customers demand."

What You Need to Know: Beahm's comparison to the Charger is fitting because both cars are based on Daimler platforms, the WK2 specifically being an M-class derivative. The current Durango has been on the market since early 2011, for a longer life cycle than any Durango before it by years. No replacement is yet in sight, but with FCA investing heavily in new crossover platforms, a Durango on a more modern platform may be just a couple of years out, and worth the wait.