2020 Dodge Durango SRT 392
Class: Large SUV
Miles driven: 288
Fuel used: 19.8 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||A|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||475-hp 6.4-liter|
|Engine Type||Hemi V8|
Real-world fuel economy: 14.5
Driving mix: 45% city, 55% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 13/19/15 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas recommended
Base price: $62,995 (not including $1495 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Technology Group ($2395), Trailer Tow Group IV ($1195), Premium Interior Group ($2495) 19 Harman Kardon amplified speakers w/ subwoofer ($995), 20-inch Brass Monkey Bronze wheels ($995), Blind-Spot and Cross-Path Detection ($495)
Price as tested: $73,060
The great: Muscular acceleration; impressive stopping power and crisp handling for a big SUV
The good: Comfortable, spacious interior
The not so good: Lousy fuel economy; performance suspension makes for a choppy ride; macho exhaust note can grow tiresome on long drives; basic Durango design is showing its age
A lot can happen to a vehicle in two years’ time—unless it’s a Dodge Durango SRT 392.
Dodge initially placed this 475-horsepower job atop its long-serving range of large SUVs for 2018. Consumer Guide drove one then and now again for 2020, and, aside from colors and options, they would be impossible to tell apart. Even the base vehicle price is the same: $62,995. However, the destination charge has crept up by $400 in the interim, so the delivered starting price is now $64,490.
In price and performance, the SRT sits a considerable distance beyond the rest of the Durango family (which is pretty much left alone for 2020 as well, save for a new standard 5.7-liter V8 in the all-wheel-drive version of the Citadel Anodized Platinum.) What the starting price buys is a chesty 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with high-performance exhaust, 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, all-wheel drive, Brembo high-performance brakes, adaptive damping suspension, electronic limited-slip rear differential, and 10-inch-wide 20-inch-diameter alloy wheels within expansive 295/45ZR20 Pirelli rubber. A “performance” front fascia with a black mesh grille and a scooped hood give it a mean look. The mood continues inside with nice Nappa-leather-and-suede seats—black with silver accent stitching—and SRT Performance Pages that record track times and vehicle dynamics on the 8.4-inch display screen of the Uconnect 4C infotainment system.
Back in ’18, CG praised the Durango as a “smartly sized crossover/SUV” that “deftly splits the size gap between midsize crossovers and large SUVs.” In addition, it was “a refined vehicle, boasting smooth power delivery, luxury-level ride quality and cabin quietness, and a classy interior with plenty of space for people and cargo.” However, we noted, some of that doesn’t apply to the SRT 392. The exhaust note that proclaims the truck’s performance potential—according to Dodge, the SRT is capable of going 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds—is always present, even in highway-speed cruising, so quiet suffers. So does ride quality that’s sacrificed in pursuit of improved handling. Relative to other Durangos, which handle rough road surfaces well, the SRT pounds aggressively over similar ground, with a choppy ride and heightened road noise.
There’s no change in our appreciation of the fine stopping power of the massive brakes, and the 6.4 Hemi’s quick and deep accelerative capabilities. The SRT’s big V8 makes the vehicle useful for something other than wearing out tires, too—towing capacity is 8700 pounds. Just don’t expect frugal operation. Our 2020 tester returned 14.49 mpg with 46-percent city-type driving, and wouldn’t have gone too much more than 300 miles on a single tank of premium. The “good” news is that was better than the 11 mpg CG saw in ’18, when travel was 80 percent city.
While perhaps not as roomy overall as other large SUVs, the Durango has ample headroom in the front two rows. The comfortable front bucket seats have lots of side bolstering for secure grip in hard cornering. The SRT has standard second-row captain’s chairs that fold and tilt to give access to the third row, which has acceptable adult leg room and cushion height—though seats are hard and headroom is restricted.
Personal-item storage up front consists of a glove box, large covered console box, open console bin with device inputs, and two covered cup holders. Middle-row storage is net pouches on the backs of the front seats, and cup holders and a shallow tray in a low consolette between the seats. Individual cup holders are inset in the sidewalls for third-row passengers. Small pockets with bottle holders are found in all four doors.
An underfloor bin and left-side cubby optimize the storage space aft of the 50/50-split rear seats. When they and the captain’s chairs are folded, there is a large cargo space, but on an uneven load surface.
Some other standard features are Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility; a Wi-Fi hotspot; heated and ventilated front seats; heated second-row seats; a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel; tri-zone automatic climate system; navigation; and satellite radio. As the $73,060 test vehicle showed, there’s plenty more that can be had, like electronic safety assists, towing equipment, and a better sound system.
Yes, you may have seen the Durango SRT 392 before, but you won’t see anything else exactly like it.
2020 Dodge Durango SRT