Believe it or not, America wasn't the first country to shove a ton of power into a three-row SUV. That honor goes to the Germans; When Mercedes-Benz was in its muscle car era, it put 600 horsepower into a first-generation GLS. But as with most things, America perfected the form—or at least made it way cooler.

The Dodge Durango Hellcat debuted in 2021 and it's still the most powerful gas-powered three-row SUV on the planet (eagle screeches in the distance). It has 710 horsepower and 645-pound-foot of torque, and it'll race to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds with your horrified children in the back seats and their luggage pinned against the trunk.

But like the Challenger and (gas-powered) Charger before it, the Durango Hellcat isn't long for this world. Dodge's corporate overlords are moving the brand away from gas power into electrification, which means the V-8 Durango and the entirety of the Hellcat line will soon be a distant memory. But they're worth remembering.

Quick Specs 2024 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Engine Supercharged 6.2-Liter V-8
Output 710 Horsepower / 645 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH 3.6 Seconds
Weight 5,710 Pounds
Price / As Tested $97,590 / $110,685

The Hellcat experience starts from the moment you press that red ignition button. The sumptuous supercharged V-8 roars to life; My neighbors probably weren't happy hearing it each morning, but I was, and that's all that matters. This is the same 6.2-liter engine used in everything from the Charger sedan to the TRX truck. It's more powerful here than in any other application, necessary to move the 5,710 pounds of mass on top of it.

And move the Durango does. This thing goes like stink when you get hard on the throttle. A delicious supercharger whine fills the cabin and a deep exhaust note bellows out of the back of the quad exhaust tips as you watch the old-school physical tachometer climb quickly to illegal speeds. It's fast—and not just for a three-row SUV.

The throttle responds quickly and smoothly. It's a bit twitchy (even in the tamest drive modes), which makes peddling around a parking lot a pain. But that also means you can rip from a stop sign or red light without thinking. I was constantly "testing" the Durango's 0-60 capabilities.

Pop it into Sport or Track mode and the Durango’s even more eager. The throttle response is quicker, the suspension is stiffer, and the ZF eight-speed shifts with a pleasant brutality—and it's excellent with or without yanking at the paddles.

Pros: Ridiculously Powerful Engine, Comfortable Ride, Two Tons Of Fun

Granted, the Durango Hellcat definitely isn't a sports car, but I was genuinely surprised at how well the hulking, 17-foot SUV handled corners. The suspension is soft but doesn't give way too much in turns, while the steering—even with a generous amount of electronically assisted boost—is nicely weighted. The rubber–band–thin Pirelli P Zero summer tires also offer a ton of grip.

The biggest issue with the Durango Hellcat is its size; It takes up nearly the entire lane when you're trying to corner hard. And the brakes aren't exactly up to snuff. Not that the massive 15.7-inch, six-piston Brembo rotors don't do their jobs, but the pedal itself feels mushy and inconsistent. It goes from no pressure to too much pressure in an instant. The kiddos better have their seatbelts on if you're coming to a hard stop.

2024 Dodge Durango Hellcat Review

The Durango shows signs of age in its cabin. This is basically a warmed-over 10-year-old platform, after all. The fit and finish are questionable and some of the materials feel flimsy. There are too many hard plastic pieces and cheap faux aluminum fixtures for a $97,590 SUV. Compare the Durango's cabin to a BMW X7 or Cadillac Escalade—hell, even a Kia Telluride—and the Dodge leaves a lot to be desired.

There is some reprieve in the front seats, which are stellar. The front chairs are wrapped in red Nappa leather and have the Hellcat logo stamped into the seatback. They're heated and cooled, too, and that leather extends onto the center console, door panels, and dash.

The 10.1-inch touchscreen looks sleek. The Durango Hellcat has the latest UConnect 5 infotainment system with a nice, clean layout and quick responsiveness. You also get standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The gauges are still physical, as opposed to a second screen with a fully digital display, but that's part of the Hellcat charm.

2024 Dodge Durango Hellcat Review
Cons: Outdated Interior, Mushy Brake Pedal, Will Be Gone Soon

The second-row captain’s chairs have the same Nappa leather as the front buckets, and they are comfy as heck. There’s a ton of legroom, ample headroom, and enough support for your butt and back. But putting adults in the third row is a tough ask; The two chairs (as opposed to a traditional bench) only offer 33.5 inches of legroom, which is on the lower end for the class. And with the third row in use, the Durango has a measly 17.5 cubic feet of space. At least that number grows to 85.1 cubes with the second and third rows folded flat.

Some sacrifices must be made in the name of a 710-hp three-row. For $97,950 to start—or $110,685 as tested—it isn’t the fanciest, prettiest, or most premium SUV to drive. But the Durango Hellcat does exactly what it was designed to do: Go fast in a straight line.

As Dodge closes the door on its Hellcat line and its iconic supercharged engine goes with it, the Durango is the last holdout of V-8 performance in the Dodge lineup until it too is discontinued. And when it’s gone, it’ll be missed.


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Gallery: 2024 Dodge Durango Hellcat Review

2024 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Engine Supercharged 6.2-Liter V-8
Output 710 Horsepower / 645 Pound-Feet
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Drive Type All-Wheel Drive
Speed 0-60 MPH 3.5 Seconds
Maximum speed 180 Miles Per Hour
Weight 5,710 Pounds
Efficiency 12 City / 17 Highway / 14 Combined
Seating Capacity 6
Towing 8,700 Pounds
Cargo Volume 17.2 / 43.4 / 85.1 Cubic Feet
Base Price $97,590
As-Tested Price $110,685
On Sale Now
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