The Dodge Durango is one of the longest-serving designs on the market, having been on sale since 2011. In this case, the Durango brings to mind the phrase “survival of the fittest,” because Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has done a good job keeping this large-for-a-midsize SUV mostly up to date. The 2018 Dodge Durango offers Uconnect infotainment that’s a cinch to use, and a big, comfortable 7-passenger cabin that’s starting to show its age. Thanks in part to a 2014 model-year update, today’s three-row Durango still looks fresh enough, and a new-for-2018 fire-breathing SRT model adds a 475-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 that delivers 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and 8,700 pounds of towing capacity.
Higher-volume models will continue to be powered by FCA’s well-regarded 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or an optional 5.7-liter Hemi V8, both paired to an eight-speed automatic. A base rear-wheel drive Durango SXT starts at $29,995 plus delivery, while the power-drunk SRT asks $62,995 (all prices before options and delivery fees). A well-equipped mid-grade model can typically be had for around $40,000, and represents a good value — especially if you need to tow something.
In theory, there isn't much that's actually new in the Detroit-built Dodge Durango. Barring a mild face-lift inside and out, the second refresh in this SUV's third generation, the 2021 model is a continuation of the one that's been kicking around since 2011. The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that carries the 392 designation has been in Chargers and Challengers since 2015. Yet, in combining the two, Dodge has created its own unique beast, one offering fast, family-friendly functionality. What's more, some recent quality-of-life updates make this a surprisingly well-rounded and very compelling three-row SUV.
The Durango's shape should be quite familiar, given its age. But for the 2021 model year, there are a few new aesthetic tricks up this model's sleeve. The headlights are a bit more aggressive thanks to a rejiggering and the SRT 392 picks up a chin spoiler for a little extra sporting disposition. Whether you opt for the Durango's standard V6 or something a little spicier, this SUV looks big and tough, its proportions not too far off from the burly Charger sedan.
2021 also graced the Dodge Durango with a sharp new interior. Most of its oldest-looking bits are gone, with a new dashboard that better integrates its infotainment screen. Even though there's full climate-control functionality built into the display, I really appreciate the full complement of physical buttons just beneath the screen, providing easy access to HVAC settings as well as the heated seats and steering wheel. My tester feels just a bit fancier thanks to cushy and supportive Laguna leather seats ($1,595) and the Premium Interior Group package ($2,495), which adds a suede headliner, fancier materials on the instrument panel and some cool-looking carbon interior accents. The revised center console is swell, too, with more space for a wireless device charger, a decently sized under-armrest cubby and four USB ports (two USB-A, two USB-C).
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