2021 Dodge Durango SRT 392 AWD Review

Not a Hellcat but still more than enough


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: More than enough power for most folks, green paint actually looks great on this performance SUV, quite practical as a family hauler.
Negatives: Not especially smooth at low speeds, dash is too bulky, thirsty.
Bottom Line: We love the Durango SRT 392 for its everyday comfort and balls out performance that makes us grin. So what if the interior is getting a little bit old? It's fast, comfortable, and hulkishly awesome with F8 Green paint.
Rumors have gone back and forth about the 2022 Durango redesign, but nothing's been confirmed on whether or not it will happen. For the 2021 model year, not much has changed. Some mild changes to the front fascia and interior upgrades show up, but that's about it. The muscle car of SUVs still has the 475-hp Hemi V8 under the hood, and it's a capable mill, for sure. It gets overshadowed by the 710-hp supercharged Durango Hellcat, but the 392 still has gobs of on-demand power. The 392 can also still tow a healthy 8,700 pounds, too. We drove the Durango SRT 392 in the middle of a brutal Chicago winter to see how it's holding up near the end of its life. Read on for our detailed review.
 

Driving Experience

9

 

The Durango SRT 392 packs a real punch in terms of performance, but it's still manageable enough to drive on the daily commute. We continue to enjoy helming this dinosaur because it's just such a rolling irony.

Ride Quality: The ride errs on firm due to the suspension setup and the big wheels and tires. It won't rattle your teeth, but this is no Lexus. The adaptive suspension works well, but it's never cushy.

Acceleration: 0 to 60 mph arrives in a scant 4.4 seconds. Throttle response is quick, and the transmission does its work without issue.

Braking: The beefy Brembo brakes bring it to a stop quickly and with good pedal progression.

Steering: The SRT 392's steering has heft and good precision. There's not much feedback, but it's still a good system for this performance SUV.

Handling: The SRT 392 weighs in at a hefty 5,378 pounds, but it can take turns very well. The limited slip differential, performance suspension, and the fat rubber certainly come in handy to keep the 392's mass in check.

Technology

8.8

 

We're glad Uconnect in the 392 doesn't relegate all controls to the screen. That said, it is a very good system that's easy to understand, even though some functions are buried in layers. The upgraded screen size also helps matters.

Infotainment System: The larger 10.1" screen is a serious improvement over the 8.4" unit from our last tester. Uconnect 4C is responsive and pretty easy to use, and pairing with our smartphone was quick. Although we don't like all on-screen controls, this is a good system that's easy to navigate.

Controls: Physical controls are great. Physical knobs for audio and climate are excellent. We just wish the seat heat/ventilation did not operate solely on the touchscreen.

Styling

8.6

 

The average bystander might not be able to point out the changes to the Durango 392's front fascia, but it's been modified to look more cohesive. We like the change, in spite of the subtlety of it.

Front: The headlights have been given framing at the top, as well as the bottom, and the slit below the main grille is now gone. Foglights and the lower fascia have also been tweaked. It looks a tad meaner, but the changes are minor.

Rear: Other than the SRT badging and the black lower portion, the rear looks the same as other Durango trims. It definitely looks taller from the back than it does from the front.

Profile: The green paint gives it a distinct look among SUVs, and the black wheels look great. The overall coloring makes the 392 badge and the red brake calipers pop nicely.

Cabin: The bigger screen certainly helps update the interior, but it's still quite dark and bulky, making the 392 look a bit dated compared to the Explorer ST.

Comfort

8.8

 

There's a solid amount of legroom and headroom, bolstered by the excellent captain's chairs in row two. The seats are also large and accommodating. Family members will have no problem spending hours in here, unless you decide to drive it hard and nauseate everyone.

Front Seats: The front seats are supportive, well-cushioned, and grippy with the faux suede. The texture also adds some character to the cabin.

Rear Seats: The Captain's Chairs are a great place to pass the time. While not as large as the front row seats, they are great for passengers even though you lose capacity.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The SRT 392 feels solid, and no errant noises were apparent. The most instrusive (and welcomed) noise was the huge V8 rumble.

Visibility: The tall front and hood scoop make it tough to negotiate tight spaces. The sides are rear views, however, were pretty good.

Climate: The HVAC system worked quickly and powerfully, and the heated/cooled seats are also responsive.

Safety

6

 

The Durango has some solid safety features, but the overall safety ratings are not at the top of the segment.

IIHS Rating: The Durango misses top ratings due to a "marginal" score for the driver small overlap crash, an important detail. It also nets "marginal" for headlights but nails "superior" for front crash prevention tech.

NHTSA Rating: The Durango scores 4-stars in government crash testing.

Standard Tech: There's a standard backup camera but nothing in the way of accident avoidance tech.

Optional Tech: Our tester came with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Advanced Brake Assist, Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection, Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus, and Lane Departure Warning Plus.

Storage/Cargo

9

 

We imagine a redesign to eliminate some of the interior bulk would result in better storage for front-row occupants. Still, the Durango has a lot to offer in terms of reachable cubbies and compartments. The cargo section is similarly capacious.

Storage Space: The front armrest is large, and there are two convenient open cubbies in the center console. Door pockets and seatback net pockets for row two also provide good storage options.

Cargo Room: The Durango has 17.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 47.7 cubic feet with the third row folded flat, and a big and wide 84.5 cubic feet all-in.

Fuel Economy

5.2

 

The big V8 isn't a miser when it comes to fuel consumption, and it also begs to be driven hard. Our low numbers were based on local driving only and a somewhat heavy foot.

Observed: 11.2 mpg.

Distance Driven: 74 miles.

Audio

9

 

The premium Harman Kardon system is excellent, but it is optional. The stock Alpine system is still very good, but the booming 19 speakers, amplifier, and subwoofer from the HK are superb. It's totally worth the $995 upgrade



Final Thoughts

The Durango SRT 392 got dethroned by its own Hellcat sibling, but that doesn't mean it's no longer desirable. The 392 is crazy fast for something this big and heavy, and it's more than enough power for most mortals. The fact that it can tow 8,700 pounds, transport seven people in comfort, and also track its own performance on the infotainment system means it can please just about everyone in the family. We're guessing the brand won't redesign for 2022 because of the slight improvements made for 2021, but we're okay with that because the Durango SRT 392 is still a mindblowing vehicle.

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