For more than 20 years now, the Durango has served as Dodge’s entry in the mid-size SUV category. The current third-generation model arrived in 2011 and has received cosmetic and mechanical upgrades in the decade since.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
Dodge believes you can never have too much power, so for 2021 it has added the Durango SRT Hellcat, powered by the same supercharged V8 featured in the brand’s Charger and Challenger Hellcat models and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
All Durango trims get updated exterior styling and a new interior design.
Dodge offers the Durango in SXT, GT, Citadel, R/T, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat trims. SXT, GT and Citadel are powered by a 3.6L V6 engine. R/T gets a 5.7L Hemi V8, while SRT 392 uses a 6.4L V8. SRT Hellcat’s V8 displaces 6.2L.
All variants share an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
SXT trim’s exterior features include LED auto on/off headlights, LED fog lights and taillights, chrome grille, single exhaust tip, bright roof rails with crossbars, passive keyless entry, 18-inch wheels and tires, and heated/power-adjustable side mirrors.
Inside, SXT comes with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fold-flat front passenger seat, leather-trimmed steering wheel, a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster display, full-length upper and lower consoles, a six-speaker stereo with 8.4-inch touchscreen and smartphone integration, 12-way power driver’s seat, three-zone climate control, and cloth upholstery.
Among SXT’s standard safety and driver assists are tire pressure monitoring and rear park assist.
GT adds black exterior trim, 20-inch wheels, a power tailgate, paddle shifters, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, a 10-way power front passenger seat, a 115-volt power outlet, remote engine start, and a garage door remote.
Citadel models gain chrome wheels, a sunroof, navigation, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, front and rear park assist, a nine-speaker stereo with subwoofer, wireless smartphone charging, and leather door panels.
R/T trim brings a performance hood, sport suspension, and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
SRT 392’s additions are an adaptive damping suspension, high-performance exhaust, black wheels, and a limited slip rear differential.
Finally, SRT Hellcat models are all about the big motor, adding aero tweaks for more downforce, and other design cues borrowed from the Charger Widebody.
Citadel trim can be optioned with an Anodized Platinum package of platinum chrome door handles and grille, satin carbon wheels, black roof rails, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a suede headliner. Citadel can also be optioned with the 5.7L engine.
You can add a rear-seat DVD player in GT trim on up, along with a tech group of adaptive cruise, collision detection with auto braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are bundled as a stand-alone extra.
Also on offer is a 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo.
Dodge’s fuel consumption estimates for the Durango are 12.7/9.6 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 3.6L engine. The 5.7L’s ratings are 16.7/10.9 L/100 km, and the 6.4L V8 is ranked at 18.3/12.2. As of this writing, Dodge had yet to publish figures for the Hellcat’s 6.2L motor.
The Dodge Durango is an oddball in the mid-size SUV class. It’s more truck-like than many vehicles of a similar size, but smaller than actual truck-based full-size models like the Ford Expedition and GM’s Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. There’s also a lot of overlap with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, though the Durango has a larger, three-row interior to the Jeep’s five-seat arrangement.
By adding the SRT models (the Hellcat is new, but the SRT 392 has been around for a couple of years), Dodge has given the Durango enough performance to keep up with high-end European SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS.