If you're the kind of person who has a family but still craves American muscle in their chosen mode of transportation, something like the Dodge Durango SRT 392 could be right up your alley. It's more than your average crossover as it seats six people and also comes with a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. There are certainly better options out there when it comes to technology and space, but few of them come with such an impressive towing capacity of 8,700 pounds. Still, is the aging Durango SRT worthy of your selection when vehicles like the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade are genuinely modern, despite their power deficit? Or, should you go for something smaller like the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, or more luxurious like a BMW X5 M? Read on to find out.
A new Dodge Durango SRT 392 in 2022 only has one change. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert have been made standard whereas in 2021, these two features were optional. Aside from this, the muscle-SUV carries over unchanged.
The base price of the Durango SRT 392 in the USA is unchanged from that of the 2020 variant, which is commendable considering that it has a few notable updates. It carries an MSRP of $62,995 before a $1,495 destination charge. However, if you spec enough features to upgrade it from the standard base model you'll find yourself forking out around $80,000 for a fully loaded model. However, far less powerful competition from the Kia Telluride makes the Durango SRT price look seriously high, with the Korean starting at a cost just under $32,000.
See trim levels and configurations:
6.4L V8 Gas
As we've just mentioned, the weight of the Durango is its biggest downfall, no matter which of its configurations you drive, and this becomes all the more apparent when you stray from the straight and narrow by trying out some corners. Every fast turn is met with tire squeal and clear understeer, while anything faster than a mild cruise will see the suspension struggle to keep the body from leaning, a job at which it fails miserably. Speaking of the suspension, thanks to this vehicle's sporting intentions, it's rather stiff. While it does little to prevent body roll, it certainly plays its part in minimizing comfort over small and big bumps alike. For a family vehicle, that's not ideal, but at least the seats are fairly comfy and help counter the jarring springs. That's not to say that driving this SUV is without excitement though, especially when you get that V8 to roar. The steering is accurate although a bit too aggressively weighted, and the brakes are impressive too. However, there's only so much that Brembo braking can do, and emergency stops aren't maneuvers that you'll look forward to performing.
The Dodge Durango SRT 392 has plenty of faults, but we honestly feel that many of them are balanced by its positive features. The issues we have are these: the suspension is too stiff yet does not keep the body stable at any sort of decent speed, the interior materials and build quality are less than exemplary, the engine is ridiculously thirsty, and there's a lack of advanced safety features as standard. However, the Durango can be redeemed in the minds of many for its fantastic towing capacity, spacious and comfortable cabin, and yes, because it has a V8. In addition, its price is not all that expensive for the output and speed you get in comparison to many competitors, most of which can't hold a candle to this SUV in terms of pulling power or performance. It's a conflicted and inherently flawed machine, but if you take it on a test drive and it makes you smile, then go for it.
The Durango SRT 392 is nearly fully equipped with decent specs as standard and is already fairly expensive as a family car, but we'd recommend adding the Technology group package with its advanced driver aids for peace of mind. Since the Durango seats six and could be used on long journeys, we'd also consider adding the rear-seat entertainment system, but other than that, we'd be happy to leave the vehicle as is.
If you're willing to spend big, and potentially breach the six-figure mark with enough options, you can have the Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Like a regular Grand Cherokee SRT but more powerful, the Trackhawk boasts a monstrous 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque, making it capable of draining your bank account with fuel bills just as quickly as it can embarrass sportscar owners at the drag strip. This stupendous power output has the ability to cloud your judgment and overlook all of its negative facets, but on balance, we'd have to recommend the Durango SRT 392 instead. It's more practical while still offering plenty of fun and still has an aurally pleasing soundtrack, even if it's not as raucous as that of the Trackhawk. The biggest factor behind our reasoning, however, is the price. If you're spending that almost 90 grand, you could get a proper sports car and a cheap SUV instead.
A new generation Grand Cherokee has arrived for 2022, but it doesn't yet have an SRT option. That means the Durango SRT's 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque are stronger than that of its two-row sibling, which can muster at best just 357 hp from a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The Durango is more practical with three rows and a much larger cargo area, and its vastly more characterful, but the new Grand Cherokee is based on an updated platform, has an available hybrid option, and tons more standard tech and luxury. While it may share an infotainment system with the GC, the Durango SRT feels like an older generation vehicle, because it is. The Durango is very expensive, and for $5k less, you can get a top-speed Grand Cherokee. It might be less powerful, but it is more luxurious, and if you really want seven seats, the new Grand Cherokee L has that covered, albeit with less room than the Durango. It might look cut and dried on paper, but the reality is these cars appeal to two different buyers. Want luxury? Get the Grand Cherokee. Want emotion? Get the Durango SRT 392.
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