With three rows of seats and 710 horsepower on tap, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is a rollercoaster ride the entire family can enjoy—or fear. As its name suggests, there’s an almighty, unholy supercharged V-8 engine hidden within its intimidating bodywork, and its standard all-wheel-drive system is only too eager to assist its breathtaking acceleration. The howl of its supercharger and the rumble of its exhaust can go from background music to auditory assault at the press of a pedal. And when Dodge’s supreme SUV isn’t making its passengers squirm and regret their lunches, it can tow up to 8700 pounds and haul plenty of groceries. The 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat might seem like an excessive and expensive mid-size SUV, but not to those who appreciate its outrageousness.
What’s New for 2021?
The Hellcat-powered Durango is all-new for 2021. However, the hugely powerful SUV is only scheduled for a single year of production. While the company pulled a similar move with the highly hyped and limited-edition Challenger SRT Demon, we hope strong sales and enthusiast interest will prolong this devilish Durango’s life.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
There’s a monster of an engine hiding underneath the bulging and vented hood. It’s a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that summons 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. This earth-shattering power is directed to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Hellcat engine exhales through an enhanced exhaust system that amplifies its thunder. That soundtrack mixes with the whine of its massive supercharger, but we wish the blower didn’t also squeal at low rpm. The version we tested launched to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds (matching a 797-hp Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye we tested) and cleared the quarter-mile in 12.0 seconds at 115 mph. Plus, it’s capable of towing 8700 pounds, which is more than any other mid-size crossover SUV. The Hellcat Durango rides on a specially tuned suspension with adaptive dampers and 20-inch-by-10-inch wheels with standard Pirelli all-season tires or optional Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Equipped with the latter, our example demonstrated surprisingly taut body control and 0.87 g of cornering grip. The top-dog Durango also employs a powerful Brembo brake system that clamps its 15.75-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers and its 13.8-inch rear discs with four-piston binders. These stoppers hauled the 5334-pound down from 70 mph in just 165 feet.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Hellcat Durango has a driver-centric layout that looks similar to the dashboard on the Dodge Charger and Challenger. The super SUV’s gauge cluster features exclusive red accents, and its flat-bottom steering wheel hosts a pair of paddle shifters as well as an SRT logo that has red backlighting. The Hellcat model also comes standard with heated and ventilated seats and Nappa leather upholstery, which includes microsuede inserts on the front cushions. The cabin can also be upgraded with Laguna leather that comes in a black and Demonic Red color scheme with embossed Hellcat logos. The center console contains a pair of cupholders, a prominent T-handle shifter, a capacious storage bin, and space for a wireless charging pad. The Durango provides comfortable accommodations and a foldaway third row. Models we’ve tested in the past have also held an impressive amount of carry-on suitcases, too, with the ability to swallow four bags behind the backmost row and up to 26 with the second and third rows stowed.