By Dodge’s own admittance, this new version of the Durango is for “Muscle Car People With Families.” The Hellcat features some awesome new exterior styling, a new driver-centric interior and, of course, let us not forget the 710 horsepower that comes with it.
To be honest, who would not want an SUV that can produce the kind of power that the new Durango has? As we found after a week behind the wheel, it is a whole lot of fun and excitement to motor around in, not to mention the looks we got having a Hellcat in the family for the week!
Sad thing is that Dodge is set to build the SRT version of the Durango for one year only in 2021. So if an over-the-top SUV is anywhere in your wheelhouse, now it the time to act as they will go fast at the dealers. In fact, we had the opportunity to stop in at Doug Smith in Spanish Fork and they have two on order that were actually sold before they have even arrived.
Even through the new SRT Durango is the most powerful SUV ever, it was still very sophisticated and a great everyday driver. We even had the chance to take a ride out to Delta on the Saturday of our test week to attend the Snow Geese Festival, taking along Pat, Craig’s mother, and our daughter Sadie in the back seats.
They were perfectly comfortable in the rear seats, and with the added rear seat heaters made the 90-minute drive even better. Sadie was even able to take advantage of the kid-friendly DVD player and watch a movie on her screen on the way home.
This ride turned out to be very unique, attending a festival we didn’t even know existed. It was something we had found out about from the Department of Wildlife Services, and we figured it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
There were literally thousands of snow geese on Gunnison Reservoir about 5 miles west of Delta that come every year on their annual trek northward to Canada for the summer. It was worth the trip to see them all, especially when they all took off and moved to the top of the reservoir in the afternoon.
They actually looked like a small snow island in the middle of the reservoir that afternoon. The chamber of commerce even had a trailer there selling hamburgers and one selling T-shirts for those who braved the drive to Delta.
Our rear seat folks were more than happy to enjoy the ride, except the time that Craig may have accelerated too quickly onto the freeway on our way home.
Beyond the fact that this was a really fast ride, there are many other reasons to look at the new Durango, as it proved after a week to be a great family ride and even a wonderful everyday driver.
The amount of space is perfect in the back, as we found on a trip to Costco. With the rear seats down, it was super easy to load and unload everything we picked up. The third row would be great for kids, but adults would struggle over the long haul.
Having captain’s chairs in the back proved to be a bonus, as we found with two adults on our outing. They seemed to fit them very nicely and made accessing the third row easier. A larger family, however, may want to go for a bench seat on the second row, adding an extra space to sit.
The new 10.1-inch screen that sat front and center on the dashboard now includes the new Uconnect 5 system that features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We loved this new feature as it connected to our phones automatically every time we got in to go for a drive.
The screen appears almost exactly as our home screen would on our iPhones and was super easy to use, with Siri even reading our texts and taking voice commands to run things. We were even able to hook up two phones at the same time, receiving calls on either.
Of course, being the Hellcat version of the Durango, there were also all kinds of performance pages and apps included in the new system which proved to be very entertaining, especially the timers that would keep track of any sprints to 60, 100 or even our top speed if we wanted.
On the safety side, our test ride came fully equipped with all the great features we love. These include blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, front and rear parking assist, forward emergency braking and our favorite, adaptive cruise control with a lane keep assist.
Gas mileage, however, should not be a real consideration with this Durango, as we managed only 12.3 mpg for the week. But we did get that up from the 10.9 it was getting when it arrived; the long trip to Delta really helped with that.
For the ultimate family hauler that every dad and maybe even mom is going to love, the new 2021 Durango Hellcat really should fit the bill. Most importantly, everyone will recognize you as having what is most likely the fastest vehicle in the neighborhood!
Base price: $80,995
Price as driven: $93,150