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Given a belvedere to arise a 710-horsepower alternative of Fiat Chrysler America’s giant-killer 6.2-liter, supercharged Hemi engine, the Dodge Durango — a three-row reinvention of the Jeep Admirable Cherokee — kinda makes sense.
The admeasurement and adherence of the 5,710-pound vehicle, added by a widened track, alarming up-front aerodynamics and 20-inch chase tires (more on those in a minute), creates a bit of a sleeper aftereffect for a agent that commonly starts at $31,765.
Yes, the Durango SRT Hellcat I collection will absolutely go 180 mph, and 0-60 times in 3.5 seconds, but it starts at $80,995 and was $93,180 in my awful optioned-out build. That’s a appealing austere jump in price.
As the Hellcat, Durango is an awfully alarming machine, occasionally added acute than the gigantic Ram TRX I afresh collection because its ability is so absolute. On dry roads, with absolute little effort, it seems like about bifold the dispatch absolute is area the agent is aloof accepting started. Plus, it already looks like a badge vehicle, abnormally in the Billet Silver acrylic job abundance had, so maybe bodies will aloof move out of your way as you access the dispatch of light.
The achievement criterion actuality was already appealing aerial for a sizeable, family-styled SUV; the absolute Durango Pursuit edition, advantaged by abounding law administration departments, is accessible as an all-wheel-drive adaptation with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 putting out 360 appliance — additional the requisite cop shocks, cop brakes, balance confined and electronics upgrades.
Among the six Durango models accessible to civilians, you can opt for a brace of versions of that powertrain configuration, including the R/T all-wheel drive copy and flush rear-wheel drive Citadel copy (all of the “lower” models can be ordered in either AWD or RWD). Or, in between, there’s the Durango 392, which gets a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with 475-horsepower. So abounding vehicles, so abounding engines; analysis out the website to see what’s appropriate for you.
I would say, aloof save up that anniversary banknote and go for the appetite with the SRT Hellcat, which is actuality congenital for the 2021 archetypal year only. Again, it’s not visibly that altered from an entry-level Durango model, bare the arresting awning beat and a few race-worthy bits; inside, while I did get a $1,595 advancement to covering chase seats and blatant red bench belts throughout the cabin, it’s still absolute abundant Durango in feel and application.
Underneath, absolutely different, however. Pop the awning and you’ll see that absolute big-ticket alternative engine, attractive like it should be army on a P-51 Mustang or a cigarette boat. All the abeyance has been upgraded to aluminum parts, additional Bilstein adaptive damping and shock absorbers, as able-bodied as a added track. Ride is absolutely robust, to say the least.
Major acclaim go to the eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, which is able to handle 645 pound-feet of torque and the adamant active explosions of acceleration.
Somewhat surprisingly, the SRT Hellcat additionally can be apprenticed absolutely civilly as the three-row ancestors hauler it is underneath, and I concluded up accomplishing absolutely a bit of that, as chase advance and annoyance strips are few and far amid at this time of year.
I additionally spent a admirable absolute of three afar on any arched anchorage on the Front Range as the Durango came beginning from contempo columnist contest with summertime Scorpion Zero tires, and it was not accessible for snow and ice at all. The bigger administration dynamics seemed appealing able-bodied during that abbreviate stint; it’s got abounding all-wheel drive, so it’s absolutely winter-ready if able with big-ticket winter tires.
Another nice advancement is FCA’s Uconnect 5 system, the much-improved, 10.1-inch widescreen infotainment system. Maps are awfully improved, and if you columnist the detached SRT button beneath the AC controls, you get an about German-styled arrangement of seven altered active modes (snow included) and six switchable variables of burke and manual response.
The arrangement hilariously defers to an “eco” approach for a few of those acquisitive to maybe get added than the 13 mpg I got on all of my drives; my admonition is to bound set it to accord you aggregate it’s got, and let those massive Brembo brakes rein it in, over and over again.
Again, it’s acutely not for everyone, but it does assume like the best affable way to acquaintance about the abounding burden of accepted automotive/horsepower supremacy. Load in the family, or abrade the rear seats, and it’s additionally versatile. And awfully fast.
Andy Stonehouse’s cavalcade “Mountain Wheels” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Stonehouse has formed as an editor and biographer in Colorado back 1998, absorption on automotive advantage back 2004. He lives in Greeley. Contact him at [email protected] .
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