While there are several great three-row SUVs on today’s market, few pack as much muscle as the 2021 Dodge Durango. It offers some of the most powerful engines in the class. Meanwhile, spacious seating and modern features make this SUV a more than worthy family vehicle. Meanwhile, an available 4X4 system with low-range gearing enables you to tackle a muddy trail. Let’s take a closer at look why you should consider buying a new 2021 Dodge Durango.
What’s New for 2021?
This year, you can now get the Durango with an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system. Refreshed exterior styling adds to the SUV’s appeal. For drivers who desire a more thrilling performance, Dodge offers an all-new Durango SRT Hellcat model.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Dodge Durango – The Pros
1. Versatile Pentastar V6 Engine
Dodge offers the Durango with a trio of Hemi V8 engines. However, most drivers will be perfectly pleased with the standard Pentastar V6 engine. Models equipped with a dual-outlet exhaust are rated to develop 295 horsepower. Expect the V6-powered Durango to hit 60 mph in around 7.7 seconds, which is relatively quick for a 5,000-pound SUV. Drivers will also be able to obtain the lineup’s best fuel economy. Road-trippers should be able to average up to 26 mpg on the freeway.
2. Great for Towing
Drivers who don’t own a pickup truck will find the 2021 Dodge Durango to be a suitable alternative. Even the V6-equipped Durango can handle a 6,200-pound load. Meanwhile, upgrading to a Hemi V8 engine increases the Durango’s towing capacity to an impressive 8,700 pounds. From travel trailers to show cars, drivers will be able to tow a lot of stuff. Dodge also offers the Durango with all the necessary towing essentials, including trailer sway control and a load-leveling rear suspension.
3. Can Handle Off-Road Driving
The 2021 Dodge Durango isn’t quite as rugged as some other SUVs, such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Nevertheless, it’s still an admirable off-road performer. Families will love taking camping trips in the new Durango. A capable 4X4 system is on its list of options. When traveling in deep mud and snow, adventure seekers can activate the 4WD system’s low-range setting for enhanced traction. Drivers can also take advantage of the Durango’s 8.1 inches of ground clearance.
4. High-Performance Models
When it comes to performance capabilities, the Dodge Durango ranks among the segment’s upper echelon. There are two high-performance models in the lineup. Most driving enthusiasts will be more than happy with the SRT 392 model. Its 6.4-liter, Hemi V8 engine develops an exciting 475 horsepower. New for 2021 is the SRT Hellcat model. Dodge tunes this model’s supercharged Hemi engine to push out a remarkable 710 horsepower. Its 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds is insane for a seven-passenger family hauler.
5. Soft and Comfortable Ride
The new 2021 Dodge Durango handles reasonably well for a big vehicle. This is especially true for the high-performance models, which are equipped with an adaptive suspension system. However, this SUV’s best attribute is its supreme ride quality. Even on rough highways, passengers can look forward to experiencing a soft and comfortable ride. Its standard suspension smoothly glides over bumps. When taking an out-of-town journey, families will also appreciate the Durango’s lack of road noise.
6. Muscular Physique Turns Heads
When checking out the new 2021 Dodge Durango, car shoppers will notice that it looks far more muscular than the typical crossover. Its brawny exterior styling will appeal to a lot of people. A Dodge Charger-inspired front fascia arrives for 2021. Improved LED headlights and an overhauled grille help create a more exciting SUV. An available vented hood gives the Durango an especially sinister look. Dodge also offers the Durango with quite a few eye-catching appearance packages.
7. Made for Families
Drivers who need a family vehicle should definitely take a look at what the new Durango has to offer. An available third-row seat enables the Durango to carry up to eight people. Taller passengers will be thankful for the extra legroom. There’s also a family-sized cargo area in the back. Buyers who demand more luxury have some enticing upgrades to choose from. Dodge’s dual-screen entertainment system will keep kids happy. Climate-controlled front seats and heated second-row seats are offered as well.
8. New Uconnect 5 Infotainment System
Dodge’s Uconnect interface was already a top-rated system. However, a new Uconnect 5 version is found on the latest Durango. Users can expect it to be more responsive than ever. Bluetooth now allows two phones to connect to the system at once. Drivers will also enjoy the arrival of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, Amazon Alexa enables users to control functions by making voice commands. Upper trim levels offer a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen.
9. Money-Saving Base SXT Model
Drivers who aren’t looking for a high-dollar family vehicle will like the Durango SXT. Dodge lists this entry-level trim with a starting MSRP under $32,000. It comes equipped with all of today’s most desirable technologies, including an 8.4-inch touchscreen with advanced smartphone connectivity. Other big features include LED headlights, tri-zone automatic temperature control, and voice recognition.
10. Performance Pages App
Like the Durango SRT 392, the new Durango SRT Hellcat comes standard with a built-in Performance Pages app. Drivers will be able to access key performance data through the infotainment system. This cool app can also be used to adjust the SUV’s driving character.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Dodge Durango – The Cons
1. Hemi V8 Engines Are Thirsty
Drivers seeking the best fuel economy should pick the Durango’s standard V6 engine. While the available Hemi V8 engines are very potent, they will consume fuel at a faster rate. City dwellers will have to sacrifice the most efficiency. The EPA rates models equipped with a 5.7-liter Hemi engine to return roughly 14 mpg in the town. Meanwhile, Dodge’s new SRT Hellcat model returns an estimated 11 mpg in the traffic.
2. Some Competitors Have a Higher Safety Score
Experts expect the 2021 Dodge Durango to receive another NHTSA four-star overall safety rating. Some of this SUV’s closest competitors received a five-star overall safety rating. The Durango also doesn’t come standard with any advanced safety technologies. While blind-spot monitoring is optional on the base SXT model, buyers must climb the trim ladder in order to enjoy active braking and lane departure warning.
3. Truck-Like Handling
Many people love the Durango’s powerful feel. However, it handles more like a truck. Some automotive critics describe the SUV’s steering system as being a bit lifeless. This means drivers may not feel a direct connection to the road. Drivers who desire a more agile vehicle will need to choose one of the high-performance Durango models.
4. Can Be More Difficult to Park in the City
Car shoppers should factor in the size of the 2021 Dodge Durango. While the Durango isn’t quite a full-size SUV, it’s larger than most of the other models in the class. Some people will have a difficult time maneuvering the Durango in tight spots. Parallel parking will be an especially difficult task in busy downtown areas.
5. Resale Value Isn’t High
Prospective buyers will be happy to learn that the new Durango has a solid reliability rating. However, the SUV doesn’t tend to have a high resale value. This could be a factor for owners who plan to purchase a newer model in the next few years.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
2021 Dodge Durango vs 2021 Chevrolet Traverse
Another popular three-row SUV is the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. Automotive reviewers applaud the Traverse for its spacious accommodations. Even the Traverse's third row is roomy enough for adult-sized passengers. However, the Traverse doesn’t offer as much performance as the 2021 Dodge Durango. Some people will also favor the Durango’s more muscular styling.
2021 Dodge Durango vs 2021 Mazda CX-9
The Mazda CX-9 ranks among the best-handling models in the segment. A number of must-have safety features also come standard on the CX-9. However, Mazda lists this crossover SUV with a much lower tow rating of 3,500 pounds. Furthermore, families will have more space to spread out inside the new Durango.
2021 Dodge Durango vs 2021 Ford Explorer
There’s a lot to like about the 2021 Ford Explorer. An optional hybrid powertrain enables it to offer extra fuel savings. Some thoughtful safety technologies also come standard on the new Explorer. However, drivers can use the Dodge Durango to tow a heavier load. While the high-performance Explorer ST is quick, it’s no match for the 710-horsepower Durango SRT Hellcat.
Families in search of a new SUV should strongly consider the 2021 Dodge Durango, It’s muscular, spacious, and loaded updated technologies. When it comes to sheer driving fun, the Durango only has a few direct rivals. However, there are just a few drawbacks to keep in mind. Models equipped with a V8 engine are a bit thirsty. Also, no advanced safety technologies come standard on the new Durango.
• Why buy a 2020 Dodge Durango? w/ pros vs cons