The three-row SUV has been on the market for a while now and shows its age in some areas
Comfort, performance, and interior space are its main selling points
Update: A new 2021 Dodge Durango was unveiled on July 2. More of a refresh than a new generation, the updated Dodge Durango gets new interior and exterior features. The interior is where things get really interesting as the 2021 Dodge Durango gets a new centre console with a 10.1-inch screen that includes UConnect5, modern tech like a wireless charging station for your mobile phone, and an available digital instrument cluster. Towing capacity is improved as well.
As expected, the 2021 Dodge Durango gets a Hellcat edition with the 6.2-litre Supercharged HEMI V8 that delivers 710 horsepower. That will get it to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds (97 km/h), making it by far the fastest three-row SUV ever.
The three other engines in the current Dodge Durango lineup are all returning in 2021. The 3.6-litre V6 powering the base SXT models delivers 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque while the GT, GT Plus, and Citadel models in the US (Canada doesn’t get the GT Plus) get the same V6 with 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
Things get really interesting in the R/T version where the 5.7-litre HEMI V8 joins the party with 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Dodge takes it up another notch with the Durango SRT that gets its power from a 6.4-litre V8 with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Pricing is expected to remain the same, so expect to pay between $35,000 and $65,000 in the US, and $42,000 to $70,000 in Canada.
The previous version of this story listed the 2021 Dodge Durango’s dated design and tech as one of its faults. With the announcement today, the Durango definitely improves in that regard.
Note: Our take below is based on the 2020 Dodge Durango. Because the changes made today won’t impact what was previously written or simply improve upon it, the elements below still hold true on the 2021 model.
What The 2021 Dodge Durango Does Well
1. Like the 2020 model, the 2021 Durango will likely have some of the most comfortable seats in the segment. The front seats provide a ton of support while also be plush and soft. The suspension can be a bit harsh in the R/T and mostly the SRT models, but overall the Durango is a refined city or highway cruiser.
2. The V8 turns the R/T and SRT models into true performance SUVs. You will reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in about 6.0 seconds in the R/T and 4.0 seconds in the SRT. That’s pretty crazy for a three row SUV. Only the Ford Explorer and its ST version comes close to delivering the kind of performance offered in the Durango lineup. They aren’t just fast in a straight line either, they can handle corners with confidence.
3. The Hellcat is just out of this world. It’s only available for one year and if you can get your hands on one, you will have something truly special.
3. Towing capacity is above average for the entire lineup. The base V6 tows up to 6,200 pounds, the R/T can now haul 8,700 pounds and the Dodge Durango SRT has a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds like the Hellcat. No other mid-size SUV comes close when it comes to towing.
4. The interior is above average in terms of interior space. The cargo area as well. The Durango is one of the more versatile options in the three-row mid-size segment.
5. The 2021 model brings updated technology to the table. Features such as a wireless charger and a digital instrument cluster are now available. Moreover, FCA’s UConnect5 offers a ton of improved connectivity while remaining easy to use.
What The 2021 Dodge Durango Doesn’t Do So Well
1. Fuel economy will likely remain a problem. On 2020 Dodge Durango models, the V6 averages 22 mpg (12.7 litres per 100 kilometres), the R/T averages 17 mpg (16.7 litres per 100 kilometres), and the SRT, well, let’s just say it’s from another era. Buyers may expect that in the SRT, but the V6’s fuel economy rating is scary, especially since you will likely do even worse. The Durango was and should remain near the bottom if not at the bottom of its segment when it comes to efficiency.
2. There are some reliability issues that can hurt the ownership experience. It’s too early to tell if the 2021 Durango will fix some of these issues.
What We Would Tell Our Friends
The 2021 Dodge Durango got just enough improvements to jump back in the discussion in the segment. The power output and range of models is unrivaled, and you can’t find another three-row SUV like the Durango SRT or the Durango Hellcat. The new tech is a much needed improvement, and the towing capacity across the board remains impressive. If you need to tow, comfort and performance matter, and you don’t care about fuel economy, the 2021 Dodge Durango is definitely worth a look.