Review: 2020 Dodge Durango SRT

Since I’ve been gone with the 707 horsepower Challenger Hellcat in 2015, SRT has put big, overpowered HEMI V8s in anything Chrysler would let them get away with.

Obviously, during what I can only imagine was a brainstorming meeting, someone at SRT must have said, ‘Sure, having a Challenger is fun and all. But what if I want to be able to tow a boat, take my three kids to hockey practice, and go drag racing all in the same vehicle?”

And so in 2017 we were introduced to the Dodge Durango SRT – a real one family vehicle that is also a real muscle car. Three years later, the SRT Durango hasn’t really received significant updates. However, it still excels at one very important thing; put a big grin on your face.

As is the case with all standard SRT vehicles, the Hellcat variants are making all the headlines – and that’s certainly true of the forthcoming 2021 Durango Hellcat. However, so is all the 6.4-liter, ‘392’-equipped SRT vehicles, is that they still offer a high level of performance that, unlike the Hellcat, is usable for everyday street driving. Think of it this way; a 392 car may not be more fun than a Hellcat, but it’s fun, more often than a Hellcat.

Review 2021 Dodge Durango SRT

With 475 horsepower on tap, delivered seamlessly through an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, it’s possible to propel the Durango SRT to 62 mph in less than five seconds. That’s fast by any standard. But especially for a vehicle with space for six people. Simply select with the “launch” button in the center console, keep your left foot on the brake, hit the gas and away you go. You can do that over and over again without the engine or transmission breaking into a sweat.

However, there is a problem. Because of the Durango’s sheer size, it’s hard to use all that power to cover even normal highway holes. In traffic you really have to fight with all that power. Bury your foot a little too far into the throttle and you’ll find yourself in someone else’s backseat.

Still, the power is intoxicating, and because torque delivery is nice and low, you can use it to throw your passenger back into their seat on a whim. A powerful exhaust gives you all the HEMI muscle car sound you could ask for and the performance-tuned steering makes the Durgano surprisingly nimble, though somewhat numb overall.

While the AWD Durango SRT is rated for a 7,200 lb. towing capacity (no surprise with its 470 lb-ft of torque), it adds the Trailer-Tow option with a 7- and 4-pin wiring harness, a Class IV receiver – Tow hitch, compact spare tire and trailer brake control cost an additional $825.

Review 2021 Dodge Durango SRT

Review 2021 Dodge Durango SRT

Most notable about the Durango SRT are styling cues borrowed from the Dodge Charger, such as a menacing performance grille and functional vented hood reminiscent of several Hellcat models. Dodge’s iconic red LED taillights with red accents position the Durango as an unmistakable member of the Dodge family.

Inside, the cabin is more than spacious. The front and second row leather and suede seats are both heated, and the overall quality of the Dodge’s interior gets better every year.

What’s irritating about the interior, however, is how much of it is an optional extra. So much of what brings the Durango SRT’s interior up to par with its segment is part of what’s been dubbed the “Premium Interior Group” option, which adds a wraparound instrument panel, suede headliner, and carbon fiber interior accents for an instant $2,495. arouses .

It’s almost overwhelming how much “infotainment” is available in the Durango SRT. Of course, you get Chrysler’s UConnect system that comes to life via an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are compatible and you can even use the car as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hot Spot.

However, what is really entertaining is the SRT performance pages app where you can track your reaction time, 0 – 100 km/h time and much more. Are you going to set speed records in this gigantic passenger car? Probably not. Will those features ever get old? Also no. If you want a DVD entertainment center in the back, it’s an additional $1,995.

Review 2021 Dodge Durango SRT

One option you’ll want to have is the Harmon Kardon amplified speakers with subwoofer package. It’s $995.

It’s hard to imagine what kind of weather scenario the Durango SRT couldn’t handle. In addition to the weight, power, torque and AWD system, you also get four-wheel traction control, electronic stability control, a conventional front differential and an electronic locking rear differential. Your tires are perhaps your best safety feature, and again, you’re in good hands there with the Durango’s tough 295/45ZR20 BSW all-season run-flat tires.

The “Technology Group” offers customers adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, advanced braking assist, full speed collision warning and lane departure warning. However, Dodge will charge you an extra $950 if you want them.

On paper, there’s no good reason to buy a Dodge Durango SRT. It’s too big. Too loud. Too coarse. Too thirsty. Too powerful. The basic price is already too expensive and then it seems like everything is an overpriced, optional extra.

If you’re looking for a “performance SUV”, there are many more sensible options on the market for much less money. But I don’t know if it’s possible to love those SUVs as much as you love a Durango SRT. Start the 392 HEMI engine. Rumbling down the street. Put your foot in it. You can’t help but have an emotional, overly joyful response to those things.

TThe vehicle was provided to the writer by the car manufacturer. Content and vehicle ratings were not subject to to approval.

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