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Dodge’s able-bodied calendar has consistently addled me as an Avengers banana book. There’s Challenger. And Hellcat. Demon and Charger. So what to accomplish of a full-size SUV abutting the team, the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat?
Let’s alarm it Hulk.
Get it in green. It’s the absolute blush for this huge, 5,710-pound, 710-horsepower barbarian that was already alleged Bruce Banner — er, Dodge Durango.
Its capabilities are stupefying, comic-book stuff. Zero-60 in 3.5 abnormal officially. I did it in 3.4. With barrage control. You’ve got to booty it out on the alley with the kids: With all-wheel drive, this Hulk is a abiding ability compared to its rear-wheel drive Charger Hellcat mate.
Find a bare alley on the way to school. Press the Barrage button on the animate (yes, there absolutely is a button alleged Barrage on the console). Mat the brake, mat the throttle, absolution the brake. Hulk explodes avant-garde like a CGI activity sequence, all four auto churning in absolute harmony. The supercharger is screaming, the 6.2-liter V-8 roaring — if you can apprehend it over the kids’ cheers. It’s epic.
Try that in the Dodge Charger Hellcat and it’ll about-face your beard white. With 707 application active admitting aloof the rear wheels, it’s a claiming alike for avant-garde electronics systems to approach the power. I activated the Durango Hellcat back-to-back with an upgraded 797-horsepower Charger Hellcat Redeye in Arctic Carolina this fall, and the Durango exhausted it to 60 every time acknowledgment to above absorption — and admitting Hulk’s added weight and ungainly actualization abutting to the glassy Charger.
The Charger Hellcat (and sister 485-horsepower Scat Pack) is one of my admired sedans. But it’s adamantine for alike this car adherent to abjure that the Durango Hellcat is the above ancestors vehicle.
Not alone does Durango board six calmly with its deluxe third row bench — your 6-foot-5 contributor could sit abaft himself sitting abaft myself in the third row — but it comes with cogent autogenous upgrades you can’t get in the Charger.
Chief amid these is adaptive cruise-control which the Durango possesses and the Charger Hellcat does not. That low Hellcat face is handsome compared to Hulk’s compact mug, but it comes at a cede of airflow which the hungry, supercharged monster beneath the awning demands. The alarm brick artlessly takes up too abundant grille space. Not so with the taller Durango, alike admitting it feeds the aforementioned V-8.
I acquisition adaptive cruise capital in Hellcats — not aloof for easier artery active — but to adapt them in heavily policed acceleration absolute zones. Accept me, this barbarian is so calmly quick you’ll acquisition yourself at batty speeds actual quickly.
“I’m sorry, officer, but you say I was activity HOW fast?”
Durango additionally assets (along with the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan) Fiat-Chrysler’s latest Uconnect 5 infotainment system. Uconnect has consistently been an ergonomic gem — Dodge-Chrysler cockpits are about the easiest to use in the industry — and Version 5 continues to advance the way with an continued 10.5-inch awning (compared to the Charger’s old 8.5-incher), quicker response, Android operating systems and accomplished articulation commands.
The Durango alike excels on the clue (yes, I took it to Carolina Motorsports Park) admitting its college centermost of gravity. Screwed to the arena with avant-garde shocks, the all-wheel drive arrangement allows you to mat the burke out of turns. By contrast, the rear-drive Charger is added afraid on avenue and accordingly added of a scattering to drive. You gotta clue the Hulk to accept it. Dodge alike offers a chargeless driver’s academy at Bondurant Raceway in Phoenix.
That said, Hulk could use a few adorableness pointers from its Charger siblings.
The Charger Hellcat Widebody is one of the best sinister, reptilian designs conceived. With its aglow LED lamps and bloated hood, it looks like article that migrated from Skull Island to abate the Prius species. Durango Hellcat, on the added hand, looks like, well, a Hulk. You ability anticipate alert about bringing it home to mother.
SUVs are adamantine to accomplish sexy. But may I advance widebody fender flares like the Charger Hellcat? And conceivably an continued roof-spoiler like some of Durango Hellcat’s smaller, hot-hatch car brethren? Widebodies accept been a benefaction to Charger and Challenger sales — and they are practical, too.
Doing zero-60 launches on the way to elementary academy won’t appear cheap. The Durango Hellcat comes in a advantageous $10,000 arctic of its Charger equivalent. But can you put a amount on a child’s smile?
Mommy, can we amuse apprehend the Hulk barrage one added time?
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Vehicle type: All-wheel drive, four-door, six commuter SUV
Price: $82,490, including $1,445 destination allegation ($89,965 as tested)
Powerplant: Supercharged 6.2-liter V-8
Power: 710 horsepower, 645 pound-feet of torque
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Performance: 0-60 mph, 3.5 abnormal (mfr.); top speed, 180 mph; towing capacity, 8,700 pounds
Weight: 5,710 pounds
Fuel economy: EPA est. N/A (9.9 mpg observed)
Highs: Ferocious AWD performance; autogenous sanctuary
Lows: Gulps fuel; exoteric architecture needs some love
Overall: 4 stars
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