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2021 Dodge Durango Review

The 2021 Dodge Durango sits in the middle of the midsize SUV class. While it has a comfortable interior and a good predicted reliability rating, its handling isn't very good.

Pros & Cons

  • Ludicrous optional V8 engines
  • Ample seating space
  • Outstanding towing capability
  • Straightforward infotainment system
  • Mixed crash test results
  • Dull handling

New for 2021

  • SRT Hellcat model debuts
  • Refreshed interior and exterior styling
  • Newly optional wireless device charging and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Standard 8.4-inch touch screen and optional 10.1-inch touch screen
  • Optional Tow N Go package

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Dodge Durango's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Dodge Durango has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 58 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 8.2
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 8.5 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Dodge Durango a Good SUV?

The Dodge Durango has plenty of positives that help make it a good midsize SUV. It serves up welcoming seating for up to seven along with a slick infotainment system. In true Dodge fashion, it also has several powerful V8 engine options, including a new-for-2021, 710-horsepower Hellcat version.

While it's far from the most athletic SUV in the class, the Durango delivers a supple ride. Noted weaknesses include a somewhat lethargic base engine and mixed interior quality in lower trims.

Why You Can Trust Us: 58 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 58 Dodge Durango reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2021 Durango is the right new car for you.

This 2021 Durango review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2011.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Dodge Durango?

You should consider the Durango if you're looking for a reliable, family-friendly SUV that features a lot of technology. Its muscle-car-inspired V8 engine options make it one of only a few nonluxury SUVs to have an insane amount of horsepower under the hood. The Durango is pretty well-rounded, but you may want to look elsewhere in the class for more agility or better crash-test results.

Find a 2021 Dodge Durango for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Dodge Durango: What’s the Difference?

The most notable change for the 2021 Dodge Durango is the introduction of the 710-horsepower SRT Hellcat model. Across the rest of the lineup, the Durango sees interior and exterior design changes, and some tech features were upgraded. Previously, a 7-inch touch screen was standard and an 8.4-inch touch screen was optional; for 2021, the 8.4-inch display is standard and a new 10.1-inch touch screen is optional. Wireless device charging is now available, and standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now have wireless capability.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Durango »

Here are the key changes for the Dodge Durango over the last few years:

  • 2017: GT trim replaced Limited trim
  • 2018: SRT model introduced; 7-inch touch screen and rearview camera added to standard features list; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay became available
  • 2019: gained available 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo
  • 2020: new appearance packages and options for R/T and SRT trims
  • 2021: Durango SRT Hellcat model debuts; interior and exterior receive design refresh; larger standard and available infotainment displays; wireless device charging now available

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Durango, 2019 Durango, and 2020 Durango reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Dodge Durango Cost?

The 2021 Dodge Durango starts at $31,765, which is right in the middle of the midsize SUV class. Midlineup trims start at $35,965, $45,305, and $47,805. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is a $2,600 option.

The two high-performance SRT trims are a lot pricier: The SRT 392 retails for $62,995, and the new Durango SRT Hellcat costs $80,995. Both come standard with all-wheel drive.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives and great deals on our Dodge deals page.

Dodge Durango Versus the Competition

Dodge Durango vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee are both products of Fiat Chrysler. As such, they share several positives: the user-friendly Uconnect infotainment system, a lineup of powerful engines, and formidable towing ability. For the Jeep, its lineup tops out with the Trackhawk trim and its 707-horsepower Hellcat engine. These are both good choices for an SUV, but their differences will likely guide your decision. The Jeep only seats five people, and it has less cargo space than the Dodge, but it also delivers awesome off-road capability and better on-road handling. If you want more seating or cargo space, a higher tow rating, or more modern infotainment features – like a 10.1-inch touch screen – the Durango is the better choice.

Compare the Durango and Grand Cherokee »

Dodge Durango vs. Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 ranks highly in the midsize SUV class on the strength of its agile car-like handling, a high-end cabin, and great fuel economy. The CX-9 is only available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but it still has spry acceleration. The Mazda also has great crash test results, a long list of standard driver assistance features, and a lower range of prices across its trims than the Dodge. The Durango has advantages in towing capacity and cargo space, and its third row is roomier than the CX-9's. Picking between these two depends on what you prioritize in a three-row SUV.

Compare the Durango and CX-9 »

Compare the Durango, Grand Cherokee, and CX-9 »

Durango Interior: Well-Rounded Cabin

Durango Cargo Space

Compared to most other midsize SUVs, the 2021 Dodge Durango has an average amount of cargo space. Behind the third-row seats is 17.2 cubic feet of space, which is comparable to the trunk of a large sedan and sufficient for stashing several suitcases. You’ll get 43.3 cubic feet when you fold down the third row, and there’s a maximum of 85.1 cubic feet when you fold down both the second and third rows.

How Many People Does the Durango Seat?

The Durango base model seats five people across two rows, while a two-seat third row is optional; all other trims come standard with three rows. You can also replace the middle-row bench seat with two captain's chairs. For those keeping score at home, that reduces seating capacity to six.

The front seats are comfortable and offer a good amount of available power adjustments. Likewise, adult passengers will find good accommodations in the second row, with plenty of head- and legroom. Both the second-row bench seat and optional captain's chairs can fold and tumble forward to grant easy access to the third row.

Durango and Child Car Seats

The Durango has a complete set of LATCH connectors for each second-row outboard seat. There are also tether anchors for the second-row middle seat (if equipped) and both third-row seats. The lower anchors are easy to find and access, but you might confuse the tether anchors for other hardware.

Durango Interior Quality

This Dodge's interior quality is merely adequate in the base model and becomes more upscale in some higher trims. This is the 11th model year of the Durango's current generation, meaning many rivals have more modern and sleeker cabin designs.

However, the light design refresh for the 2021 model does improve things. There are more soft-wrapped surfaces and better stitching on touch points such as the instrument panel, and you can opt for upgrades including a leather center console and armrests, carbon fiber accents, and a unique headliner.

Durango Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Durango takes a big leap forward in tech for 2021. Previously, a 7-inch touch screen was standard and an 8.4-inch touch screen was optional. Now the 8.4-inch version is standard and a 10.1-inch touch screen is optional.

The larger setup runs Fiat Chrysler's new Uconnect 5 software, which the company claims to be five times faster than Uconnect 4 (which is still used with the 8.4-inch display). The Durango's optional infotainment system provides wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as introducing Amazon Alexa to the SUV for the first time.

Whichever touch screen and interface you end up with, you'll enjoy a simple and straightforward menu and easy-to-use controls. As part of the Durango's 2021 design refresh, Dodge made some changes that provide for a more driver-oriented cockpit, including relocating some switches and angling the infotainment display toward the driver.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch instrument cluster display, an 8.4-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, voice recognition, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, and four USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: a 10.1-inch touch screen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, navigation, Amazon Alexa, a nine-speaker Alpine premium stereo, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo, a rear-seat entertainment system, wireless device charging, and two additional USB ports
  • Additional standard features: proximity keyless entry
  • Other available features: a sunroof, a household-style power outlet, remote start, and a universal garage door opener

Read more about interior »

Durango Performance: Insane Power but Not Much Else

Durango Engine

The Dodge Durango comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 293 horsepower via a single exhaust or 295 horses with an available dual exhaust. It's also rated at 260 pound-feet of torque. Most drivers who aren't overly concerned with performance will probably find the V6 perfectly adequate. It can feel underpowered during heavy acceleration or when you have a full load of people or cargo onboard, but the standard eight-speed automatic transmission delivers smart and timely shifts that make the most of the engine's power.

Anyone who wants more than a milquetoast everyday drive should consider one of the Durango's optional V8 engines. A nice compromise in the middle of the lineup is a 5.7-liter Hemi putting out 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. You'll find this under the hood of every Durango R/T and certain Durango Citadels.

Next up is a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 good for 475 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Its role as the heart of the SRT 392 trim is a reference to the engine's size in cubic centimeters and also a callback to classic Dodge 392 engines. The Durango SRT offers blistering acceleration and has performance upgrades like launch control and special drive modes. According to Dodge, the Durango SRT 392 can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

The absolute king of the Durango lineup is the SRT Hellcat, which Dodge has announced will only be produced for the 2021 model year. It features the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine originally introduced in Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger Hellcat models. This engine also debuts in a truck for the first time for 2021, in the form of the Ram 1500 TRX.

In the Durango Hellcat, power output is rated at 710 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. This makes the Durango Hellcat the most powerful production SUV ever. This model is capable of a 3.5-second zero-to-60 sprint and has a top speed of 180 miles per hour.

Durango Gas Mileage

The Durango gets its best fuel economy with the standard V6 engine: With rear-wheel drive, it's estimated at 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel drive reduces the estimates to 18/25 mpg city/highway. Those figures are average for a midsize SUV.

Models with the 5.7-liter V8 get 14 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, while Durangos with the 6.4-liter Hemi return 13/19 mpg city/highway. At the time of writing, fuel economy estimates are not available for the Durango Hellcat.

Durango Ride and Handling

The Durango is a big vehicle, and it generally drives like one. There's not a lot of steering response or feedback from the road. Furthermore, it can feel a bit unwieldy going around turns. Handling in the R/T and SRT models is a little more dialed-in, thanks to performance-oriented steering and suspensions.

The flip side of unimpressive handling is a soft and comfortable ride. The Durango travels smoothly over bumps and shields its occupants from outside noise. Notably, the sporty upper-trim models will ride a little stiffer.

Durango Towing Capacity

This Dodge has the highest towing capacities in the class. Models with the base V6 engine can tow up to 6,200 pounds, which is about 1,000 pounds more than most other midsize SUVs. Impressively, the Durango’s towing capacity improves in higher trims.

The 5.7-liter V8 helps the Durango tow up to 7,200 or 7,400 pounds (with all- and rear-wheel drive, respectively). New for 2021, there's an optional Tow N Go package that increases the 5.7-liter R/T's capacity to a best-in-class 8,700 pounds. That amount is equal to the maximum trailering capability of the SRT 392 and Dodge Durango Hellcat models as well.

The Durango offers a better maximum towing capacity than all compact pickup trucks. It can also pull more poundage than lower trims of many full-size pickup trucks.

Read more about performance »

Durango Reliability

Is the Dodge Durango Reliable?

The 2021 Dodge Durango has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Dodge Durango Warranty

Dodge covers the Durango with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Durango Safety

Durango Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Dodge Durango five out of five stars in the side crash test. Rear-wheel-drive models received four out of five stars in the rollover test, and all-wheel-drive models earned three stars. The Durango did not receive an overall safety rating.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Dodge Durango. However, the similar 2020 model received the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver’s side small overlap front test. The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The Durango earned the top rating of Superior for its available vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system.

Durango Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

Read more about safety »

Durango Dimensions and Weight

The Durango is 16.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,689 to 5,710 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight rating is between 6,500 and 7,100 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Dodge Durango Built?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) builds the 2021 Dodge Durango in Michigan.

Which Dodge Durango Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Dodge Durango comes in six trims: SXT, GT, R/T, Citadel, SRT 392, and SRT Hellcat. There are four engine options across the lineup, which we detail below.

Those looking for the best combination of price and performance should consider the R/T and its Hemi V8 engine. The R/T also comes standard with plenty of comfort and convenience features such as a larger infotainment system and leather seats, but you can find many of those amenities as options in a GT model.

Dodge Durango SXT

The 2021 Dodge Durango SXT starts at $31,765. A 3.6-liter V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive is optional for $2,600. Standard features include seating for five, cloth upholstery, proximity keyless entry, LED headlights and fog lights, a 7-inch instrument cluster display, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. An 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, voice recognition, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, and four USB ports are also standard.

Optional features in the base SXT include a power liftgate, a sunroof, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, three-row seating, partial leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Dodge Durango GT

The Durango GT retails for $35,965 and features third-row seating, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and rear parking sensors. This model is available with a long list of optional features, including those from the base trim.

Other options include a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver's seat memory settings, a six-way or eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated second-row seats, leather and suede upholstery, a household-style power outlet, remote start, and performance tires.

The GT is available with active safety features such as automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. It's also available with a 10.1-inch touch screen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, navigation, Amazon Alexa, a nine-speaker Alpine premium stereo, a rear-seat entertainment system, wireless device charging, and two additional USB ports.

Dodge Durango R/T

The Dodge Durango R/T ($45,305) features a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, performance-tuned steering, a sport suspension, leather and suede upholstery, heated and eight-way power-adjustable front seats, driver's seat memory settings, heated second-row seats, a heated power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power liftgate, remote start, a household-style power outlet, and a universal garage door opener. The R/T also includes a 10.1-inch touch screen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, navigation, Amazon Alexa, a nine-speaker Alpine premium stereo, two additional USB ports, rain-sensing windshield wipers, front parking sensors, and automatic high-beam headlights.

The R/T is available with most of the driver assistance aids mentioned above, along with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and leather-wrapped front armrests and center console.

Dodge Durango Citadel

With a base price of $47,805, the Durango Citadel comes standard with the base V6 engine, but the Hemi V8 is optional. The Citadel also includes Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a sunroof, second-row captain's chairs, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

Dodge Durango SRT 392

The Dodge Durango SRT 392 features a 6.4-liter V8 engine, standard performance all-wheel drive, Brembo performance brakes, SRT performance-tuned steering, an adaptive performance suspension, launch control, and performance tracking apps. All that comes at a price of $62,995.

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

The range-topping Durango SRT Hellcat ($80,995) comes with a supercharged V8 engine. Dodge has announced that the Hellcat trim will only be produced for the 2021 model year.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

See 2021 Dodge Durango specs and trims » 

The Final Call

The Dodge Durango boasts the most powerful engine options in the midsize SUV class, three rows of roomy seats, and an intuitive infotainment system. A solid predicted reliability rating and excellent towing abilities round out this Dodge's positives.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "There are several perfectly good reasons to buy a 2021 Dodge Durango. It’s a roomy midsize crossover that offers three seating rows with comfortable accommodation for up to seven adults — not just five grown-ups and two little ones. It also has stout towing abilities." -- Autotrader
  • "Among mid-size three-row crossovers, there's only one muscle-ute: the 2021 Dodge Durango. … The family can all pile in thanks to the optional third row of seats, and those up front get treated to comfortable chairs and an intuitive infotainment system. The Durango is perhaps the best choice in its class for towing tasks, especially when equipped with the V-8." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2021 Dodge Durango is a midsize SUV capable of seating up to seven occupants. But that’s just one aspect of a range that runs from practical — with a maximum tow rating of 8,700 pounds and 8.1 inches of ground clearance — to practically insane, thanks to a supercharged V8 in the latest addition." -- Kelley Blue Book
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