The Dodge Durango is the most underrated SUV, maybe of all time. With a lot more style than its boring, boxy competitors, it has always been as great of an off-roader as a street machine. In addition to its distinct looks, the Durango, across three generations, has consistently made awesome power available. The first-gen had a 360 horsepower 5.9 Liter Supercharged Magnum V-8, Gen-two upped it to a 376 hp 5.7 L HEMI V-8, and in the third generation, they threw in a 710 horsepower supercharged 6.2 L Hellcat V-8, because, why not?
With power, style, and a spacious interior, the Durango is a perfect ride for inpatient families and even better as a law enforcement vehicle. In fact, the 2023 Dodge Durango Pursuit may be the greatest cop car ever conceived. It has the speed and suspension needed for the rigors of police work and a ton of room for hauling the bad guys off to jail. It's also comfortably luxurious because being a cop is hard enough. These amazing Durangos aren't from some radical 3rd party upfitter, and can be ordered straight from the Stellantis Fleet Program.
2023 Dodge Durango Pursuit Police Vehicle: Power And Performance
A police vehicle is only as good as its engine and the 2023 Dodge Durango Pursuit definitely has that covered. With the available 5.7L HEMI MDS VVT V-8 Engine, the all-wheel drive SUV blasts 360 horsepower, which is more than enough to run down almost any scofflaw. The eight-speed automatic TorqueFlite transmission helps turn that power into wheel-turning speed.
Equally impressive is the sports-tuned, load-leveling suspension of the Durango Pursuit. The Nivomat self-leveling dampers and upgraded anti-roll bars make the vehicle handle like a high-end luxury sports car. The suspension also maintains a constant ride height and allows full-wheel travel, even with a maximum load.
Going fast and riding smoothly are essential for a police vehicle, but stopping on a dime is just as important. The Durango Pursuit comes standard with heavy-duty four-wheel disc antilock brakes, plus a little something extra. The Ready Alert Braking system anticipates when the driver may make an emergency stop and sets the brake pads against the rotors, decreasing the time it takes to execute a full breaking application.
Inside The Durango Pursuit
The 2023 Durango Pursuit is as good on the inside as it is under the hood. It starts out up front, with an officer's comfort in mind. The power-adjustable seats are specifically designed to accommodate a full-service duty belt when seated. The shifter has been moved from the center console to the steering column/dashboard, so there's plenty of room for police gear like a mounted shotgun.
Things are nice and plush in the back seat for the perps as well. In addition to the ample legroom, there are cushy seats that provide comfort to even someone who is cuffed behind the back. This is still a law enforcement vehicle, so there's a cage between the front and back seats, as well as vinyl floor covers because criminals aren't always the neatest or most hygienic folks.
One of the coolest (literally) features of the interior is the K-9-friendly Three-Zone Automatic Temperature Control. That's a fancy way of saying the cargo area has its own climate zone to keep police dogs nice and cool before they have to spring into action. Thanks to 43.5 cubic feet of space in the back, Officer Paws doesn't have to be cramped in.
How The 2023 Durango Pursuit Stacks Up
At the annual Model Year Police Vehicle Evaluation, the Michigan State Police put 16 2023s (13 patrol units and three motorcycle units) through their paces. Conducted on three different courses at the Stellantis Chelsea Proving Grounds and Grattan Raceway, the agency tested acceleration, a 4.7-mile lap speed, and top speed.
As Mopar Insider reports, the Durango Pursuit 5.7 L HEMI performed well. It went 0-60 in 7.2 seconds, which was not quite as good as the fastest ICE ride, the Dodge Charger Pursuit HEMI, which did it in six seconds. Then again, the Durango is a big heavy SUV, so that's still a decent time. Too bad there isn't a Dodge Demon 170 Pursuit, to settle this decisively for Mopar.
When it came to the 4.7-mile lap, the Durango pursuit hit in 1:38, which was within seconds of the 1:34 lap from the top earner Ford Police Interceptor Utility 3.0 EcoBoost AWD. Among the SUVs tested, the Durango was as fast or faster than the group. As for top speed, the Durango Pursuit reached 140 mph, which is all the top-end needed for running down everything that doesn't have a Hellcat.
Sorry, No Durango Pursuit For You
The 2023 Dodge Durango Pursuit is certainly an impressive ride, but it's for law enforcement agencies only. Priced about $10,000 more than a civilian base-model Durango, the Pursuit is only sold to police departments, which is a shame. Surely there are plenty of regular people who wouldn't mind the upgraded suspension and braking of the 2022. There are probably just as many parents who would welcome a cage between the front and back seats.
Dodge is discontinuing the Charger after the 2023 model year, so the Durango will be the only law enforcement vehicle they still make. MotorBiscuit reports the good news that Stellantis isn't yet killing the Durango, and it will be back in 2024. In even better news, the next-gen Durango will go back to being a full-sized SUV, on a truck frame, and will come optional with a 471 horsepower 6.2 Liter HEMI V-8. The next Durango Pursuit should be an even better crook-catcher.