Anthony's Analysis: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT 392


If you’re looking for a good ol’ American muscle car, you have a few choices. Chevy has the Camaro, Dodge has their Hellkittens (Hellcat), and Ford has their Mustang. But oh, have times changed! Yes, you can still get these vehicles and have a lot of fun with them, but now, people want…powerful SUVs. Nothing we can do about that. The good thing is that SUVs usually have standard all-wheel-drive so they can deliver all that power easier.

This brings me to Stallantis, Dodge, and the Durango. Now, you can get the Durango as a Hellcat, but the one I had was still an SRT. This is the Dodge Durango SRT 392. I’ll talk about the power in a bit since that’s the most important feature of the Durango SRT. Still, the Durango has aged quite well. The entire silhouette and most of the exterior features have been around for a while, but SRT has spruced them up. When I first saw this particular Durango, it had green paint and I really didn’t like it. Parking the Durango, I started to appreciate just how different it looked and how the green paint popped. This Durango also had a $1,200 option which consists of…dual stripes running from the front to the end of the SUV. Yikes!

There are bulges, creases, and a more aggressive front-end that helps the Durango SRT look even more aggressive, which it has to be. There are 392 badges throughout which, unless you’re in the know, just means some random numbers. Wheels are 20” aluminum and all-in-all, I learned to really appreciate this particular color scheme. Stepping inside, you’ll see the SRT steering wheel, a partial digital driver’s display, and a few very interesting buttons under the climate control. You can control most functions on the steering wheel and if you have the optional adaptive cruise control, you’ll save yourself three blank black slots to show you didn’t pay for that feature. Two minor complaints: the back of the steering wheel has buttons to control the music and volume and feel weird to use.

The other issue is more of an “it was freezing in Chicagoland”. There are paddle-shifters for the transmission, but they can get icy cold. Thankfully, this Durango had a heated steering wheel along with heated and ventilated seats. To your right, you get Dodge’s Uconnect infotainment with navigation and a 10.1” display. This houses a lot of features, but I just used Apple CarPlay for most of the time. Climate control functions are, thankfully, still knobs and buttons and quite easy to use. Under all of this were four USB slots, two being the fancy new USB-C slots. The black interior was your basic scratchy plastics where you would think they would be, but the seats were very comfortable.

Launch control. In an SUV. Why, oh why, would you need launch control in an SUV? I guess it’s the same reason you can put the SRT into Track mode. Seriously, along with your usual SUV Snow, Trailer, and usual Sport modes, having a Track mode with the ability to use Launch Control is hilarious. Did I ever use Launch Control? I’d rather not have a massive ticket because I rocketed the Durango SRT off the line. Not that it’s difficult to do, because of that engine. It’s loud, it’s proud, it has no fancy turbochargers.

Welcome to the Durango SRT’s party piece. It’s a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 producing 475-horsepower and 470 lb-ft. All-wheel-drive, launch control, and an 8-speed automatic rockets the Durango SRT from 0-60 MPH in around 4.5 seconds. That’s seriously quick for something this big. You can use the paddle shifters but it’s better to just keep it in Drive. Something to note is to avoid rough roads or potholes. This is a muscle car in an SUV suit, and the ride can be a bit firm. I do have to say that I had major knee surgery a few years ago and my right leg was in a bit of pain after driving. Worth it? Yes, until I was at my destination. This engine felt so powerful and so responsive, driving slow was almost a chore. It always felt lively but could go slow enough for me to get my Chai Latte at Starbucks.

There were a few ergonomic qualms that I and others found. People shorter than 5’5” had a hard time getting into the front seat due to a lack of a grab handle. This one didn’t have a panoramic roof, yet it is optional. The second-row captain chairs were a bit uncomfortable, and Dodge decided to put the cup holders on the floor. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just a Durango thing? Finally, while driving, I didn’t have the most confidence with that adaptive-cruise control.

Let’s make the pricing easy. The Durango SRT starts at $64,000 and can get to over $70,000. Mine was around $72,000. While mine wasn’t fully loaded, I think it had almost all the equipment I’d look for. The only thing that was missing was the Black Package at $1,900 that makes all the badging and many chrome bits into black. I’m a fan of red, but I can see why someone would want the green. The Advanced Package is around $2,400 but it does have adaptive cruise control, brake assist, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning.

Here’s the question that everyone would like to know: should I buy one? Remember, this is a loud muscle-car SUV that isn’t ashamed of what it is, so if you want something more quiet or can’t handle almost 500-horsepower, don’t do it. Also, if you don’t like 14 MPG you should stay away as the reason to get a Durango SRT is quite easy: it’s a powerful family hauler that’s relatively cheap compared to other SUVs that get around 500-horsepower. Dodge’s Durango SRT was fun to drive, even with my commute to and from work. Keep it in Sport mode, and you’ll absolutely enjoy it. If you want the feel and sound of a muscle car in an SUV body, check out the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT.

Some Nerdalicious Stats

Engine

6.4-liter V8

Power: 475-horsepower

Torque:  470 lb-ft

0-60 MPH

4.5 seconds

It’s loud and proud.

Top Speed

155 MPH

That’s quite fast for something so large.

Transmission

8-speed automatic

Vicious in all but Normal mode.

Price

Around $72,000

It basically has all you need.

Drivetrain

All-wheel-drive

Helps with all this power.

Did I like it?

It’s a loud and quick SUV, so yes.

8.1/10

 

 

Comments

  1. I’m in the market for a new SUV. Looks like this would be a fun ride.

    ReplyDelete

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