Review update: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is in a class of one

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2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is in a class of one.

With all its power, torque, fire, and fury, this three-row, six-seat family hauler is among the fastest ways to get the entire family to the vacation cottage. But it’s going to be rare, it’s real thirsty, and it’s borderline laughably expensive.

I spent a week running errands, shuttling the kids to activities, and hauling the family up to northern Minnesota for some lake time to find where the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat hits and misses.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Hit: This thing rips

The Durango Hellcat uses the familiar 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine producing 710 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque, and Dodge says it can rip from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. I made several 0-60 mph runs, without futzing with launch control, and posted a multiple 3.6-second times. Is this kind of speed necessary in a three-row family hauler? Not even a little, but, oh, it’s satisfying.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Miss: Doesn’t drink responsibly

The Durango Hellcat drinks like a college kid at a party after finals week. It’s weighed down by EPA fuel economy ratings of 12 mpg city, 17 highway, and 13 combined. Those figures are optimistic, given the temptation to mash the throttle. I averaged 12.5 mpg in about 100 miles of mixed suburban and highway driving, then averaged 15.5 mpg on a 444-mile highway trip. That’s bad, and it will cost even more because the Durango Hellcat requires 91 octane.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Hit and Miss: Boisterous

The Dodge Durango SRT is loud. The Durango Hellcat’s even louder thanks to a 10.2-inch X-pipe leading into resonators the size of bean cans. From a cold start to full throttle and everything in between the Durango Hellcat wants the neighborhood to know it’s in the vicinity.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

On one hand, that sound is great. The all-American exhaust note is deep and burbly. The 2.4-liter supercharger whines loudly under moderate acceleration, always alerting you of its presence.

On the other hand, a family road trip became a game of, “Who’s going to complain about the exhaust noise first.” The winner was my wife and it took a mere 45 minutes. During partial throttle application from 1,500 rpm to about 1,800 rpm, the V-8 emits a resonance that can, admittedly, be annoying. It can also vibrate things in the cupholder, which is especially annoying when they’re keys Your family and neighbors might not appreciate the Durango Hellcat.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Hit: If you know you know

The Durango Hellcat looks angry with its vented hood, front lip spoiler, big wheels, and wide tires. My tester’s Gunmetal racing stripes made it look even racier. But all V-8-powered Durangos have a similar look. The four exterior Hellcat badges—one in the grille, one on the tailgate, and one on each front fender—are hard to spot while blasting down the highway, so this thing just looks like another Destroyer Gray Durango when on the move. It’s somewhat of a sleeper.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Hit: Comfortable for the whole family

The SRT-specific front seats are much more supportive than the firm seats found in standard-line models thanks to thick bolsters. The second-row captain’s chairs and fold-flat third row aren’t modified for SRT Hellcat duty aside from synthetic suede inserts, but they are comfortable and keep occupants from sliding around thanks to that suede. Despite the Durango’s age—the current model was introduced for the 2011 model year—the third-row is adult friendly. At 5-foot-10, I fit comfortably

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Miss: It costs how much?

The 2021 Dodge Durango costs $33,260. The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat costs almost three times as much at $82,490. My tester’s sticker price was $89,665 thanks to a $2,395 Technology Group package that added active safety features including automatic emergency braking (which should be standard on the base model, let alone the top model), a $2,495 Premium Interior Group package with a synthetic suede headliner and a leather-wrapped dashboard with forged-carbon trim, and those $1,195 racing stripes. At nearly $90,000, the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is astonishingly expensive. Then again, only 3,000 will be made—which is 1,000 more than originally stated—and that will make the 710-hp crossover rarer than the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Rarity doesn’t come cheap.

The supercharged Durango can haul six people in surprising comfort and sinister style. It’s the most practical Hellcat, but the insatiable thirst for premium fuel and a luxury vehicle price mean it’s not practical for most families. However, it’s exceedingly rare, blazingly fast, has useful space, and delivers numbers that no other vehicle can match. What a shame it won’t return for 2022.

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2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Base price: $82.490
Price as tested: $89,665
EPA fuel economy: 12/17/13 mpg
The hits: Blazingly fast, flies under the radar, comfortable for the entire family, loud
The misses: Guzzles gas, almost three time the price of a base Durango, loud

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