by Aiden Eksteen
The SUV and crossover craze has saturated every corner of the market - to the point that manufacturers have combined the practical family-hauling body style with the power of the all-American muscle car. Enter the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT: an assertive family utility vehicle with a roaring 6.4-liter V8 under the hood that makes 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and can dispatch the 0-60 sprint in around 4.5 seconds after dropping the kids at school. It merges practicality and comfort by providing seating for six (with heated and ventilated front seats, no less) with the thrill and excitement of a fire-breathing powertrain. The resulting drawbacks of a sporty suspension are that the ride is slightly harsher than is ideal for a sports utility vehicle, and with all that power, the hefty vehicle's weight is apparent around corners. But that doesn't mean you should discount what the Dodge Durango SRT 392 has to offer. Sure, the BMW X5 M is much more engaging to drive and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is quicker to 60 mph despite packing the same punch from under the hood, but if you can look past an iffy cabin and a thirsty engine, this boisterous Dodge could be right for you.
Thanks to the debut of the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, which we review separately, the regular third-gen SRT is now known as the Durango SRT 392 SUV. There are other changes for the new model year, though, including redesigned front and rear fascias, new LED headlight clusters, and a refreshed rear spoiler. Inside the cabin, the dashboard has been redesigned too, and now houses a brand-new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display with updated software.
See trim levels and configurations:
6.4L V8 Gas
It may not be the most spacious SUV, but that doesn't mean the Durango SRT is hard to live with. The infotainment system has been upgraded for the new year; the Uconnect 5 software and a bigger 10.1-inch touchscreen make for a responsive and easy-to-use interface. Still, the interior fit and finish aren't up there with the best in the segment, so if you're looking for an opulent family cruiser with loads of comfort features and a cushioned ride, the Durango SRT 392 isn't it. This is a harsh-riding, performance-oriented machine that is more than a little in-your-face - but that's why we love it. It's quick and punchy, and sounds great. Naturally, the trade-off is how much you'll spend at the pumps. Fuel economy estimates are 13/19/15 mpg, according to the EPA. The NHTSA's safety rating review of the 2021 Dodge Durango is mediocre, too - only four stars out of five. Luckily, an excellent towing capacity and a reasonable starting price redeem it, so the Durango SRT remains one of the most fun and potent SUVs.
There is only one Durango SRT 392 for 2021, with the higher-spec SRT Hellcat available if you want even more maniacal power. The SRT 392 is nothing to sniff at, however, and comes with 475 hp and 470 lb-ft, heated and ventilated seats for the driver and front passenger, three-zone climate control, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment screen. The onboard software is responsive and crisp and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so your entertainment needs are covered if the sound of the throaty 8-cylinder power plant isn't your thing. The price of the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT SUV with no optional extras is $31,765 in the US, which is quite reasonable for a 5-door performance vehicle.