2018 Dodge Durango 4 R/T Frank Markus
“With that doggone seat belt fixed, road trips are improving the Dodge Durango’s fuel economy.”
We’re past the two-month mark, and this Durango has yet to be stolen. We have, however, had our first two tiny warranty issues. The left rear seat belt refused to release a tether we’ve used to latch our dog, Snickers, into hundreds of press cars. A new latch was ordered and installed, and my tether was safely extracted from the defective one. Our right rear outboard taillamp lens somehow became foggy. Both parts were ordered and arrived the next day. Installation was estimated to take an hour, but 20 minutes in I was notified it would be two hours or more, and I was offered a shuttle ride back to my office. When completed, the dealer shuttled me back to pick up my washed and vacuumed Durango 4. #Satisfiedcustomer.
Our R/T also racked up its first road trip. Highlights included a stop on Kentucky’s bourbon trail at the Wild Turkey distillery, dinner at the Markus family homestead outside Memphis, Tennessee, and touring Civil War battlefield sites in historic Vicksburg, Mississippi. In total we logged 2,173 miles in 37.6 hours, averaging 57.8 mph overall at a much improved 18.9 mpg—a figure that the onboard computer optimistically self-reported at 20.6 mpg. Our overall average is up to 16.9 mpg.
Other trip observations: With subfreezing temperatures outside, a 70-degree interior setting left our feet cold, but 72 kept them warm without frying our upper bodies. I appreciate that FCA offers a choice of regular or adaptive cruise control so that when snow obscures the radar sensor, normal cruise still works. I also appreciate having four following distances. The nav screen conveniently displays services available at upcoming exits and shows the current speed limit with a black or white background when traveling at or below it or a red background when you’re above it. A recommendation: color the background yellow within 10 mph above the limit. One last observation: Two months and 5,000 miles in, I still haven’t learned that the power tailgate switch is on the side of the cargo hold. (Nearly everybody else seems to put it on the gate.) Maybe by next update …
Snickers the wonder dog is once again safely tethered and raring to road-trip.