Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld
2020 Dodge Durango SRT
This week we are reviewing the 2020 Dodge Durango SRT. Our vehicle was assembled at the Jefferson North Assembly in the United States and has an MSRP of $90195.00 CAD.
Fun Factor: 9
Can it Family: 9
Karaoke Friendly: 8
City Cruising: 1
There is no doubt that Durango SRT is in a class of its own. With its massive 6.4L HEMI V8 making 475hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, it gives you the sensation to be in a rocket ship like one of my little passengers pointed out at full throttle. The soundtrack the exhaust makes during acceleration reaffirms the Durango SRT to be a spaceship. In our real-life acceleration, the Durango achieved 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds! Yes, 4.1 seconds as a comparison, the BMW M550i we recently tested achieved it in 3.9 seconds. Those numbers are mind-blowing if you factor in the weight of the Durango that's shy of two and a half tons. You would expect its weight to impact cornering negatively; sure it's no formula 1 race car; however, it sure outperforms certain sports sedans we've tested.
Before we took the wheel of Durango SRT, we also test-drove the other 2 engine options available. The smallest engine is the V6 Pentastar producing 295hp and 260lb-ft of torque found in all of Dodge's products. This engine might be your best option if you intend to drive your Durango mainly in the city, the next engine up is the 5.7L HEMI that comes standard on the R/T and is optional on the Citadel. When we last tested the R/T, we found that the 360hp was already plenty and would never have dreamed even to drive a more powerful variant of this family hauler. As the 5.7L is quite powerful, in our mind, this is the engine that offers the best of both worlds when it comes to efficiency and power.
Both the Citadel and the SRT variants offer seating for 6, those seats can really accommodate 6 adults. The stunning Nappa leather seats with perforated suede gave the vehicle a premium feel, and the much needed ventilated front seats to keep you cool while the engine runs hot. As for the overall seating, comfort was good, and we found them on the firmer side. Other Durango variants can seat up to 7 with the 2nd-row console substituted with a middle seat. That 2nd row in the SRT offers 2 captain chairs and gives you luxury-like space with its center console, heated seats; you can enjoy 2 screens mounted to the back of the front seats' headrest. When your children are tired of DVDs, you can plug in their favourite console thanks to an HDMI input or the household plug available in the center console and play your favourite games on the go. When it comes to trunk space, you have space for a stroller placed upright. Collapsing the rear seats can be done manually with one hand for each 3rd-row seat allowing for different configurations and an immense amount of space.
We can't hide the fact that the Durango SRT is quite the gas guzzler and loves being driven in a spirited way, we averaged 17.8L/100km for our fuel economy. During our test drive, we drove 775 km. In the city, we averaged a whooping 19.6L/100km, and during our regular HWY test, we averaged 13.9L/100km. Dodge announces the following fuel economy 18.3L/100km in the city and 12.2L/100km on the HWY, as for the combined result is, the big V8 does have the option to turn off 4 cylinders and while using cruise control set to 105km/h we were able to get a fuel economy of 11.9L/100km on a 50km stretch. This may have easily been the slowest moving Dodge Durango SRT on North American roads during this test. Jokes aside, the CO2 emissions of this bad boy are 363g/km, and yet this isn't FCAs worst offender, that honour goes to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with 413g/km of CO2.
On the HWY, the Dodge Durango SRT is a dream to drive. The massive and wide 20 inch wheels give it all the grip it needs. Both the suspension and steering wheel can be tailored to your liking and needs. The Street mode gives it a more loose feel and sofa-like experience. If you want to feel your Durango even more, you can spice it up in Sport mode that firms up every. The suspension and steering wheel can be adjusted to Track mode, giving you the ultimate driving experience while still being able to drive efficiently in ECO mode, which defaults back each time you start your Durango mode.
Dodge went with one of our favourite consumer sound systems, a Harman/Kardon system with 900 watts, making it even more enjoyable to listen to music loud over the roaring V8. As for the infotainment, the layout is user friendly and simple enough to be operated by a child. Climate controls can be operated via the touch screen or physical buttons, removing the need to go into multiple menus. Where we would like to see improvement is when it comes to changing driving modes. This task will, in most cases, require you to take your eyes off the road. This can easily be fixed by adding a small button on the center console, giving it the ability to change driving modes swiftly.
We've already mentioned that the SRT variant of the Durango seats 6. With this comes 2 little challenges; the Durango only offers 2 sets of latches at the base of the seats in the 2nd row, limiting the number of car seats that can be attached securely. To gain access to them, you need to play a little as they are slightly hidden by the suede, which is traditionally less flexible than leather. The 3rd row only offers anchor latches at the back of the seats. The second hurdle comes when car seats are installed in the 2nd row. This adds complexity when entering the vehicle as the 2nd-row seats can't move once a car seat is placed. This negatively impacts the number of passengers you can bring or passengers that might need to climb between the seats to access the 3rd row. In the scenario where the 2nd row isn't used for car seats, the space provided to get to those seats is ample. An adult will be required to move those seats into the retractable position as the mechanism folds them quite quickly.
Yes, the Dodge Durango SRT isn't the vehicle for city driving due to its high fuel consumption. As mentioned above, the base V6 will work best if it is driven mainly in the city. Something we would have liked to see in the SRT variant is a Start/Stop function to turn off the engine at a stoplight; this would greatly improve fuel economy. It would also be great to potentially add e-torque trickledown from RAM into the Durango SRT to make it more fuel-efficient in the city. One thing we do have to give props to the Durango is how easy it was to park even though the rear-view camera didn't offer the best quality. The steering wheel adjusted itself to give you a better turning radius when driving at lower speeds. Something that for a vehicle this length was surprisingly good and helped us get into the tiniest spot possible.
Why would we buy the 2020 Dodge Durango SRT, or what we liked about it? The blue stripes get the attention of everyone; we could not count the number of people that turned their heads to either look or listen to the exhaust of the Durango, Seating for 6 and yes, as mentioned above those can really seat adults too, for the way it brings enjoyment while driving,
Why we would not buy the 2020 Dodge Durango SRT, or what we did not like about it? Its fuel economy, seats are pretty stiff, the DVD system is slow to read DVD or eject DVD. Changing drive modes can only be done via infotainment.
FCA has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle.
We have no affiliation with FCA Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.
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