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
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
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
Torque: 470 lb-ft
It’s loud and proud.
That’s quite fast for
something so large.
Vicious in all but Normal
It basically has all you
Helps with all this power.
Did I like it?
It’s a loud and quick SUV,