Tuesday, May 28, 2019

2019 Dodge Durango SRT

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT392 
  • ENGINE: 6.4-liter HEMI V8  
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 475 hp @ 6,500 rpm/470 lb.-ft. @ 4,300 rpm  
  • WHEELBASE: 119.8 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 201.2 x 85.5 x 71.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P295/45ZR20  
  • ECONOMY: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway/13.3 mpg test   
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 24.6 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 5,510 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 8,700 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner  
  • STICKER: $76,450 (includes $1,495 delivery, $11,960 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Dodge Durango is, at base, a solid three-row SUV. Add SRT performance to the base package and you have a vehicle that can rock your drive.

            Three-row SUVs are getting more popular with growing families (don’t forget the grandparents) and numerous trips to Costco. Dodge Durango fits nicely into the segment. 
            Our tester, far from being a base Durango with a 293 horsepower 3.6-liter V6, was the top-of -the-line (both in trim and performance) SRT version, with a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 rated at 475 horsepower. A decent amount of exhaust roar goes along with this power, but essentially this is a quiet engine. Hit the loud pedal too enthusiastically, though, and the SRT jumps ahead. There are 413 square inches of swept brake area to stop all this performance.
            Even for its size, the Durango handles well. We had fun challenging the corners on our hill climb test.
            Inside, the instrument panel is clear, but has issues. The large centrally mounted tachometer is augmented by a 180 mph and degree speedometer that is almost impossible to read. The (legal) useable range is only two to three inches long (maybe 20-30 degrees). Fortunately, there’s a digital speedometer tucked into the lower right corner of the tach. This is one car that needs a heads up display.
            In the center of the dash is a clear infotainment screen with the usual suite of options. All the dash readouts are white-on-black with red highlights. It’s all very “Dodge,” including the typeface used for the numbers.
            Front seats are comfortable with excellent side support. The heat and vent seat controls are incorporated into the infotainment screen. Second row rear seats are comfortable with good leg room. There’s a low center hump, but a permanent two cup holders and arm rest/console preclude middle passengers in the second row. There are UConnect screens in the backs of the front seat headrests for entertainment.
            The third row bench is tight but has manageable leg room. The second row seats fold and lift for third row access.
            With the second and third row seats folded, you have a large flat cargo floor for just about anything you’d want to tote. One caveat. In order to fit the third row seats in, some base cargo capacity is compromised. For example, I had to fold the third row seat backs flat in order to get my golf bag in.
            The rear hatch is something of an anomaly that requires some learning. You can unlock it with two pushes on the fob button, but you have to lift it manually. You can power lower it with the same two pushes. Power up and down can also be achieved with button on the console above the rear view mirror. Yes, it does have a learning curve.
            Besides the large cargo area, there is good interior storage. A cubby at the bar of the center stack has two USB and an AUX outlet. There’s room for water in all four doors. And between the front seats there is a large useful arm rest/console with a 12-volt outlet and the workings of the CD player. 
            At its heart, the Dodge Durango is a good large SUV, except for the color.Our tester was painted F8 Green. Our tester was over-optioned and over-powered, but it was a good driver that was hard to park.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

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