If you want a muscle car, but your family requires more room than a Dodge Charger, there is only one solution. Get a Dodge Durango SRT 392. The 392 is a muscle car wrapped around a roomy SUV body. It is one vehicle that can satisfy many needs. It is a fun car to drive, and it is pretty affordable as well, and can do things that no muscle car can do.
The Durango tries to offer something for everyone. There are a full eight trim levels starting with the SXT, GT, GT Plus, R/T, Citadel. R/T Hemi Orange, R/T Plus and the SRT 392. The Hellcat powered version is no longer available, making the 392 as the most powerful version. Our test vehicle was the 392, which is our favorite version with more than enough power to make things interesting.
The exterior of the Durango has not been changed much since it was introduced in 2011. Amazingly, it still looks good today, with small improvements and updates here and there. The 392 has some more aggressive touches with Dodge Charger styling cues that really show off the muscle car roots. Interestingly, the 392’s body kit can be had as an option on the lower level models. So you can order a base SXT but make it look very similar to the 392. That may not make 392 owners happy if suddenly their vehicle looks like more common models.
The exterior looks bold and aggressive in our opinion, and Dodge has done an amazing job with the interior as well. Despite being a fairly old design, it still looks modern and interesting. The seats are comfortable and are great for even the longest trips. The only negative about the seats is that they are a bit too wide and lack lateral support for such a great performance vehicle.
In the center of the dash is a huge 10 inch screen that controls most functions. The Dodge system is awesome because it is easy to figure out, and simple, yet powerful. The performance page is our favorite section and that is where you can configure everything from exhaust sound to suspension and throttle sensitivity.
You need to be careful with the throttle because of what is under the hood. The 392 has a 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8 under the hood, which makes this one of the fastest and most powerful three-row SUVs you can buy. The 6.4 liter V8 packs a solid punch with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Pushrod-operated sodium-filled exhaust valves and hollow-stem intake valves with roller tip hydraulic lifters work with a 10.9:1 compression ratio to make the power available to the driver. To improve fuel economy, there is a cylinder deactivation system that cuts out four of the eight cylinders when there is low demand on the engine.
When you want to haul stuff, you can use the 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row seat. Fold down the third row and you will have 43.3 cubic feet of space, or fold everything, and you will have a huge 85.1 cubic feet of space available. You can also haul a trailer behind you and the 392 is a serious hauler with a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds. That is more than almost any other SUV short of the huge land yachts. We tried towing a 5,000 pound trailer and found that the 475-horse engine was more than capable to do the job. The eight-speed automatic 8HP70 transmission shifted perfectly and made it look easy.
Detach the trailer and unload the kids and attack a windy canyon road. The Durango is a surprising partner and can really play like a sports car. In fact, you can really embarrass some sports cars on windy roads with this SUV. There are some videos of drivers taking the Durango 392 on race tracks and running around at some crazy speeds. The Durango 392 offers standard launch control that allows 0-60 runs of 4.4 seconds and NHRA certified 12.9-second quarter-mile times. Those are some serious times for a 5,300 pound SUV.
To make it happen, the 392 comes with 295/45-20 Pirelli P Zero tires that really stick, yet ride very comfortably. Behind the huge 20-inch tires are brakes that are big enough to stop the big SUV from high speeds. The 15-inch vented rotors are up front with six-piston calipers while the rear has 13.8 inch rotors and four piston calipers.
The Durango SRT 392 is not inexpensive, starting at just over $70,000. However, when you compare the features and capabilities to its competition, you will find the Durango to be a bargain.
|392 c.i.d. 90-degree OHV V8
|475 @ 6,000 rpm
|470 @ 4,300 rpm
|8HP70 TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic