In English, there are over 100 idioms that somehow use the word “big”. Bigger is better, as one saying goes, and nothing exemplifies that mindset better in the automotive world than the Dodge Durango.
At just over 200 inches long, the Durango beats out most other mid-size SUVs such as the Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander. The Dodge Durango SRT has another number that’s quite simply the biggest of the bunch, and that’s 475 horsepower thanks to a big 6.4-L V8 engine.
In true Dodge fashion, the Durango is the biggest and the fastest three-row mid-size SUV you can get.
What started as a late ‘90s SUV based on a mid-size pickup chassis soon blossomed into its own platform. By 2011, the third generation of Durango moved away from its body-on-frame roots and moved into a fully dedicated unibody construction that was shared only with the Jeep Grand Cherokee (which a nascent Fiat Chrysler did in order to reduce development costs).
While the Durango had always been a competent if unremarkable big SUV, FCA changed that in December of 2017 when they announced the SRT trim would arrive for the 2018 model year. SRT, or Street Racing Technology, had historically been a name that had only ever been attached to the very fastest cars that Dodge could make. There was definite excitement for what SRT would bring from the Durango, and that excitement was justified when the Durango SRT hit dealers.
Powered by a 6.4-L (392-cubic inch) V8 engine, the Durango SRT is the most powerful full-size SUV Dodge has ever built. With 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, the 5,500 lb behemoth can rocket from zero to sixty in just 4.4 seconds. That’s about as fast as a Mustang GT from a vehicle that’s almost twice the size of a pony car.
The Durango SRT has also been certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) with a quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds.
Brembo brakes ensure that the 2+ ton SUV stops in a reasonable amount of time (roughly 167 ft) while the Bilstein adaptive suspension gives the SRT a smooth ride in almost any road condition. Unless you set the drive mode to Track, at which point everything becomes taut as a drum for a day of flinging your enormous ride around a race circuit.
Not that any race enthusiasts plan to start running around in Durangos.
Although the Durango SRT plays up its power, it also comes fully equipped with convenience features. On the outside, the Durango gets a power liftgate, remote entry, automatic wipers, automatic high beams, and power-folding heated and auto-dimming side mirrors.
On the inside, the feature-rich SRT continues to impress. Standard features include a 9-speaker Alpine audio system, heated and vented Nappa leather seats and suede headliners (Laguna leather is an optional extra), heated second-row captains chairs, three-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Paying a little extra brings out the premium features, such as an 825-watt 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and a suite of driver assistance technologies like adaptive cruise control, forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross path detection.
Not only is the Durango SRT feature-rich, but it also presents itself with a nice touch of carbon fiber to make sure the dashboard isn’t just a sea of grey and black plastic.
And with a starting price of $64,490, the Durango SRT also beats out every other luxury-minded big SUV on the market with vastly better performance. Tricking your Durango out with the full technology package and a few extra features will easily push it over the $70,000 mark, but not by much, and it’s still cheaper than similarly equipped Ford Escapes and Chevy Tahoes.
Strangely, the biggest competitor for the Durango SRT might be its own sister vehicle, the Jeep Grand Cherokee. SRT went a step further than the Durango in creating the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk by giving it the 707 hp thanks to the Hellcat’s 6.2-L supercharged V8. With that kind of power, the Trackhawk leaves the Durango SRT in the proverbial dust.
But the Trackhawk only seats 5, in two rows, while the Durango SRT seats 6 in three rows. Having that one extra passenger can mean all the difference when it comes to performance SUVs, so larger families are pretty much forced into the Durango just to ensure everyone has a spot to sit.
We’re sure they’ll appreciate it as you blast off to get groceries in 4.4 seconds.