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2021 Dodge Durango: It’s Not About Being Nice, It’s About Being Strong

Dodge doesn’t work with half measures. It is easier to understand the 2021 Durango when thinking like this. Parenthesis: regarding the contemporary Dodge range, one thing appears clearly: among the U.S.-marketed models, there is nothing smaller than the mid-size crossover-SUV Dodge Journey.
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Otherwise, there have been some severe fluctuations in the compact and subcompact Dodge family during the last couple of decades (see all the Caliber, Neon and Dart stuff), while the evolution of the “big” Dodges continued in a stable manner.

Was it important that their large cars have always been dedicated American products, while the recent compact and subcompact Dodge vehicles have been conceived with foreign involvement? Well, this looks like a question for Dodge’s management, we have something else to do here today: let’s have a closer look at the 2021 Dodge Durango.Approach
Trustable from the very beginning: first generation Dodge Durango started its career in 1998 as a solid automobile, the body-on-frame kind of mid-size SUV (it was based on the same type of chassis as the Dakota and the Ram). The Durango grew into a full-size SUV in 2004, when the second generation was launched.

The third generation was introduced in 2011 according to a modern approach: unibody configuration, both axles featuring independent suspension (multi-link for the rear wheels). This generation shares its platform (in a slightly longer wheelbase version) with the Grand Cherokee, the appreciated premium SUV from Jeep. Also important: this new kind of mid-size Durango came with three rows of seats.Ambiance
We are in 2021 and the third generation of the Dodge Durango is doing well, after two updating interventions, in 2014 and in 2018. So, we are talking about a ten-year-old model series that doesn’t show a wrinkle on its face. Maybe the limited resources of the FCA group (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is now part of Stellantis, the new group formed by FCA and PSA) somehow braked the development of a fourth Durango generation, yet it looks like nobody should worry about it for the time being.

The freshly restyled 2021 Dodge Durango is technically and aesthetically competitive, while its “pillar of the brand” image contoured through the years has a special significance now. According to this, Durango is one of those things able to defeat time – what an appealing message! For those who previously skipped buying a Dodge Durango, the 2021 version of this SUV series demolishes one of the most widely used excuses to walk on by: the somewhat simplistic aspect of the interior finish materials.

Now, the interior of the Durango looks better and there are enough options regarding the dashboard design and the upholstery to give the cabin a quite pretentious style. The instrument panel is also new, the Uconnect 5 software is included on the infotainment side, an 8.4-inch screen is standard on SXT and GT trims, while R/T and Citadel versions have a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Something not to be missed: an SRT Hellcat variant with a 710 hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 will be available for 2021 only.Thrust
Since we already mentioned it, let’s start here with the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat (runs on 20-inch Pirelli P Zero tires). Its Hemi V8 has a torque peak of 645 lb.-ft (875 Nm) at 4,300 rpm, enough for the full-size SUV with full-size muscle to accomplish the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds!

Even if the competition offers 4-cylinder mills for the basic level of their equivalent SUVs, the Durango;s engine range starts with a V6 andthen follows with the mighty Hemi V8s. This calibration has something to say, like don’t buy your Durango for fuel economy, but for a dynamic enjoyment. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 develops 293 hp and its torque characteristic reaches a peak of 260 lb.-ft, being capable to solve the 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 7.4 seconds. That’s a fast SUV, already.

One level up, the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 provides 360 hp and counts on a peak torque of 390 lb.-ft. You can get to 60 mph after 6.7 seconds from a standing start. This engine has a so-called Multi-Displacement System, meaning four of its cylinders can be deactivated when the throttle is closed or at constant speeds. The technology may give an advantage of 10% to 20% concerning the fuel economy.

Buying one of the SRT versions, hiding bigger V8s under the hoods, certifies that you have chosen the maximum fun, which – by the way – is possible only by disregarding the overwhelming fuel costs.What to pay for
There are six casual trim levels available: SXT, SXT Plus, GT, GT Plus, R/T and Citadel. The SRT versions should be considered as something special. AWD is optional throughout the range, again with the exception of the SRTs that get it by default. A common sense approach can only lead to the selection of the V6 engine.

This version has enough nerve for a use with a certain dynamic touch. Yet, we believe some of the owners will soon take care to drive it in a rather economical manner. After all, if the consumption is the priority selection criteria for your new SUV, you’d better forget the Durango.

The starting price for a Durango SXT is $33,340 (RWD). For $ 1,505 more, you can have the AWD. Actually, for a nice looking finish and a satisfactory interior equipment, the GT trim is preferable. Starting price: $36,345  in RWD guise.

 
 
 
 
 

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