2021 Dodge Durango SRT 392 review: A big, comfy, 475-hp couch
In theory, there isn’t much that it actually is new in the Detroit-built Dodge Durango. Barring a slight facelift inside and out, the second update in the third generation of this SUV, the 2021 model is the continuation of what has been launched since 2011.
The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 bearing the 392 designation is been in Chargers and Challengers since 2015. Yet by combining the two, Dodge has created its own unique beast, one that offers fast, family-friendly features. Plus, some recent quality of life updates make this three-row SUV surprisingly complete and very convincing.
- Driving force without effort
- Lots of long-range comfort
- Excellent cab technology
I do not like
- Touchy gas pedal
- Absolute thirst machine
- It needs more standard security technology
The shape of the Durango should be familiar enough, given its age. But for model year 2021, there are some new aesthetic tricks up this model’s sleeve. The headlights are a bit more aggressive thanks to a rejiggering and the SRT 392 picks up a chin spoiler for a slightly sportier arrangement. Whether you go for the standard V6 from the Durango or something a little spicier, this SUV looks big and rugged, its proportions not too far off the sturdy Charger sedan.
2021 also graced the Dodge Durango with a sharp new interior. Most of its older bits have disappeared, with a new dashboard that better complements its infotainment screen. While full climate functionality is built into the display, I really appreciate the full set of physical buttons just below the screen, which provide easy access to HVAC settings, as well as heated seats and steering wheel. My tester feels just a little fancier thanks to the comfortable Laguna leather seats ($ 1,595) and the Premium Interior Group package ($ 2,495), which adds a suede upholstery, more elaborate materials on the dashboard, and some interior accents in carbon with an attractive appearance. The revised center console is also fantastic, with more space for a wireless device charger, a well-sized compartment under the armrest, and four USB ports (two USB-A, two USB-C).
The waistline is a bit high, so the Durango 2021 can occasionally feel a bit constricting visually, but there’s actually plenty of room inside. Sitting in the second-row captain’s chairs, I don’t miss head or leg room, and the $ 595 second-row console option adds some nice comforts including illuminated cup holders and an extra USB charging port, plus to the standard supplied torque. If two rows aren’t enough, a quick lift of a side handle overrides the center row forward, giving you access to a third row that’s surprisingly roomy for a 6-foot tall adult, even with a slightly raised floor. That optional console has a reverse hinge that allows returning occupants to access what’s inside, which is a suitably clever touch. Regardless of the row, each seat is comfortable enough to absorb many, many miles.
That’s a good thing, because the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT was built for cruise. Pick a direction, put this big enough brute on any local ramp, and sit back and relax. The Durango consumes miles and returns spade comfort, thanks in part to an adaptive suspension that, in its most comfortable Auto mode, more or less eliminates any nastiness underfoot. The steering is direct enough for a light touch to hold the course, although in high wind conditions, this machine on one side of the slab may require some minor course corrections. The gas pedal is entirely too touchy, even in its most muted form, sending heads wobbling a little more than I’d like in city driving, but the brake pedal is fantastic in its modulation. For an extra $ 1,295, you can slap on some high-performance SRT front brakes with two-piece rotors that will rub speed at impressive speed, which can make the difference between overcooking one corner and stepping out the other side all squeaky clean. like.
Normally, I wouldn’t even mention corner sculpture in a three-row family transporter review, but this isn’t a pedestrian sport. The 2021 Durango SRT’s 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produces 475 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, which is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. That’s a little cheaper than what the engine does in the Challenger and Charger varieties of the same name, but make no mistake, this is abundance of motive power. Cold starts will likely annoy the neighbors. The sound that permeates the cabin is addictive; it’s enough to make you want to accelerate on any occasion, and the sound and fury that comes with it only reinforces that decision as the right one. If, for some reason, this horsepower isn’t enough to satisfy your desires, there’s also a limited edition 710hp Hellcat variant. But the joke is on you, because that is already sold out.
With the SRT mode switch set to Sport, body roll decreases as the steering and suspension stiffen and throttle response becomes even more sensitive. When I’m deep in the forest roads, I feel comfortable handling like a similarly equipped Charger – just, you know, a little taller. There’s also a Track mode, but it disables traction control, which is probably not the best idea when it’s 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the vehicle is wearing Pirelli Scorpion Zero 295 / 45ZR20 all-season tires. It will also tow 8,700lbs out of the box, which is, frankly, insane. That’s enough for a few larger travel trailers, a properly sized horse trailer, or, hell, another Durango SRT.
When in Durango, you may or may not look like the local police highway patrol, so expect many drivers to give up their lane position as you navigate.
Of course, there’s always a downside – other than the $ 64,490 window sticker – and in this case, it’s fuel economy. The 5,378-pound Durango SRT 392 is a thirsty dude, reaching a paltry 13 miles per city gallon estimated by the EPA and a 19mpg freeway. If you also have a remote enjoyment of what the gas pedal does and don’t constantly switch to Eco mode, good luck never reaching those figures. My city economy in the final stages of winter is approaching a single digit, with highway mileage set at around 17ish. Even with its 24.6-gallon fuel tank (with a theoretical maximum range of around 465 miles if you never leave the highway), you’ll watch the Durango’s needle move in near real-time if you’re not gentle on the pedal.
The 2021 Dodge Durango also picks up some welcome cab tech upgrades. At the center is the Uconnect 5 infotainment system, the latest from Stellantis. In addition to brilliant graphics and enthusiastic responses, the display (reaching up to 10.1 inches on taller models like this one) is packed with features, including standard wirelessis , along with satellite radio, over-the-air updates, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Alexa integration. Uconnect has always been a good system and its newer version only gets better. Six USB ports are standard between the first two rows, with a seventh on offer if you opt for the second row center console upgrade.
Uconnect 5 now runs on the Android Automotive platform, but sadly you don’t have access to any awesome built-in Google apps like you do with other AA systems, like Polestar.
On the safety front, things are a bit scarce to begin with – the Durango 392’s standard safety kit simply consists of the federally mandatory backup camera plus front and rear parking sensors with automatic low-speed emergency braking. For $ 495 you can add blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning, while another $ 2,395 brings the rest of the available features, including advanced automatic emergency braking, adaptive full-speed cruise control, and l lane departure warning.
While the large Durango family has many competitors, none can match what the SRT brings to the table. Theit’s quite swashbuckling, but it only produces (“only”) 400 hp and 415 lb-ft – even though its starting price is about $ 10,000 lower. The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride lack performance variants, but they can amass a little more style and luxury than the Dodge does. The current generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee has its SRT variant, but it is only two rows and with a new e way More advanced generation on the horizon, I’d say it’s worth holding on to see how the 2021 model stacks up. If you want more space than the Durango SRT provides, there are Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, but they don’t have road performance-oriented models.
The 2021 Dodge Durango, therefore, is in a rather favorable position. Throwing a mighty V8 into an already solid three-row family SUV creates a special kind of car that’s just plain fun all the time, full stop. You will love it and your kids will love it, but your poorly packaged groceries now scattered all over the trunk may have a different opinion.