Think of the Durango SRT 392 as an Extra Large Charger.
In idea, there is not a lot that is truly new within the Detroit-built Dodge Durango. Barring a gentle face-lift in and out, the second refresh on this SUV’s third era, the 2021 mannequin is a continuation of the one which’s been kicking round since 2011. The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that carries the 392 designation has been in Chargers and Challengers since 2015. Yet, in combining the 2, Dodge has created its personal distinctive beast, one providing quick, family-friendly performance. What’s extra, some latest quality-of-life updates make this a surprisingly well-rounded and really compelling three-row SUV.
LikeEffortless motive forceLoads of long-range comfortExcellent cabin tech
Don’t LikeTouchy gasoline pedalAbsolute thirst machineNeeds extra commonplace security tech
The Durango’s form must be fairly acquainted, given its age. But for the 2021 mannequin 12 months, there are a couple of new aesthetic tips up this mannequin’s sleeve. The headlights are a bit extra aggressive because of a rejiggering and the SRT 392 picks up a chin spoiler for a bit of additional sporting disposition. Whether you go for the Durango’s commonplace V6 or one thing a bit of spicier, this SUV seems huge and hard, its proportions not too far off from the burly Charger sedan.2021 additionally graced the Dodge Durango with a pointy new inside. Most of its oldest-looking bits are gone, with a brand new dashboard that higher integrates its infotainment display. Even although there’s full climate-control performance constructed into the show, I actually admire the total complement of bodily buttons simply beneath the display, offering quick access to HVAC settings in addition to the heated seats and steering wheel. My tester feels only a bit fancier because of soft and supportive Laguna leather-based seats ($1,595) and the Premium Interior Group bundle ($2,495), which provides a suede headliner, fancier supplies on the instrument panel and a few cool-looking carbon inside accents. The revised heart console is swell, too, with extra space for a wi-fi machine charger, a decently sized under-armrest cubby and 4 USB ports (two USB-A, two USB-C).
The beltline is a bit of on the excessive aspect, so the 2021 Durango can sometimes really feel a bit visually constricting, however there’s truly a great deal of area inside. Sitting within the second-row captain’s chairs, I’m not left wanting for headroom or legroom, and the $595 second-row console choice provides some good creature comforts together with illuminated cup holders and an additional USB charging port, along with the pair supplied commonplace. If two rows is not sufficient, a fast elevate of a aspect deal with vaults the center row ahead, providing entry to a 3rd row that is surprisingly roomy for a 6-foot-tall grownup, even with a barely raised ground. That optionally available console has a reverse hinge that permits way-back occupants to entry what’s inside, which is a correctly intelligent contact. No matter the row, each seat is snug sufficient to take in many, many miles.That’s a very good factor, as a result of the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT is constructed for cruising. Just choose a course, wrangle this sufficiently giant brute onto any native on-ramp and sit again and chill out. The Durango eats up miles and returns consolation in spades, thanks partly to an adaptive suspension that, in its most snug Auto mode, kind of eliminates any nastiness underfoot. The steering is simply direct sufficient for a light-weight contact to take care of heading, though in blustery situations, this slab-sided machine might require a couple of extra minor course corrections. The gasoline pedal is completely too sensitive, even at its most muted, sending heads bobbing a bit greater than I’d like in around-town driving, however the brake pedal is implausible in its modulation. For an additional $1,295, you’ll be able to slap on some SRT efficiency entrance brakes with two-piece rotors that can scrub pace at a powerful charge, which might spell the distinction between overcooking a nook and popping out the opposite aspect all squeaky-clean like.
Normally, I would not a lot as point out corner-carving in a three-row household hauler overview, however that is no pedestrian sport-ute. The 2021 Durango SRT’s 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produces 475 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, which is shipped to all 4 wheels by the use of a smooth-shifting eight-speed automated transmission. That’s rather less than what the engine makes within the Challenger and Charger sorts of the identical identify, however make no mistake, that is loads of driving force. Cold begins will in all probability irk the neighbors. The sound that permeates the cabin is addictive; it is sufficient to make you need to goose the throttle at each alternative, and the sound and fury that outcomes solely reinforces that call as the best one. If, for some purpose, this isn’t sufficient energy to sate your needs, there is a limited-edition 710-hp Hellcat variant, too. But the joke’s on you, as a result of that one’s already offered out.
With the SRT mode swap set to Sport, physique roll diminishes whereas steering and suspension stiffen, and the throttle response will get much more delicate. When I’m deep in forest roads, it feels simply as snug to manhandle as a equally outfitted Charger — simply, , a bit of taller. There’s a Track mode, too, however it turns off the traction management, which in all probability is not the best thought when it is 32 levels Fahrenheit and the car is sporting 295/45ZR20 Pirelli Scorpion Zero all-season tires. It’ll additionally tow 8,700 kilos proper out of the field, which is, frankly, nuts. That’s sufficient for some bigger journey trailers, a decently sized horse trailer — or, hell, one other Durango SRT.When you are in a Durango, it’s possible you’ll or might not resemble your native constabulary’s freeway patrol, so count on loads of drivers to cede their lane place as you cruise by.
Of course, there’s at all times a disadvantage — past the $64,490 window sticker — and on this case, it is gasoline economic system. The 5,378-pound Durango SRT 392 is a thirsty fellow, reaching a paltry EPA-estimated 13 miles per gallon metropolis and 19 mpg freeway. If you have got even a distant enjoyment of what the gasoline pedal does, and you are not always swapping over to Eco mode, good luck ever reaching these figures. My metropolis economic system in end-stage winter is pushing nearer to single digits, with freeway mileage pegged out round 17ish. Even with its 24.6-gallon gasoline tank (with a theoretical max vary of about 465 miles if you happen to by no means go away the freeway), you may watch the Durango’s needle transfer in close to actual time if you happen to’re not delicate on the go-pedal.The 2021 Dodge Durango additionally picks up some welcome cabin-tech upgrades. At its coronary heart is the Uconnect 5 infotainment system, Stellantis’ newest. In addition to slick graphics and keen responses, the show (reaching as much as 10.1 inches on larger fashions like this one) is loaded with options, together with commonplace wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, together with satellite tv for pc radio, over-the-air updates, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and Alexa integration. Uconnect has at all times been a very good system, and its freshest iteration solely will get higher. Six USB ports are commonplace between the primary two rows, with a seventh on provide if you happen to go for the second-row heart console improve.Uconnect 5 runs on the Android Automotive platform now, however sadly, you aren’t getting entry to any cool baked-in Google apps such as you do with different AA methods, equivalent to Polestar’s.
On the security entrance, issues are a bit of sparse to start out with: The Durango 392’s commonplace security equipment simply consists of the federally mandated backup digital camera plus entrance and rear parking sensors with automated low-speed emergency braking. For $495 you’ll be able to add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, whereas one other $2,395 brings the remainder of the out there options, together with superior automated emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise management and lane-departure warning.While the larger Durango household has loads of opponents, none can fairly match what the SRT brings to the desk. The Ford Explorer ST is kind of the hustler, however it solely (“only”) makes 400 hp and 415 lb-ft — then once more, its beginning value is a few $10,000 decrease, too. The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride lack efficiency variants, however they will pile on the fashion and luxurious a bit greater than the Dodge does. The current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee has its personal SRT variant, however it’s solely two rows, and with a more moderen and far more superior era on the horizon, I’d say it is price holding out to see how the 2021 mannequin stacks up. If you need extra space than the Durango SRT supplies, the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon exist, however they do not have street-performance-oriented fashions.The 2021 Dodge Durango, then, is in fairly a candy spot. Throwing a potent V8 into an already strong three-row household SUV creates a particular sort of machine that’s simply flat-out enjoyable on a regular basis, full cease. You’ll like it and your children will like it, however your poorly packed groceries now scattered all around the trunk may need a distinct opinion.
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