Price (as tested) 💲: $106,420
Powertrain ⚙️: 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8
Output 💪: 710 hp/645 lb-ft of torque
Transmission 🕹: 8-speed automatic
0-60 MPH 🚦: 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 💥: 180 mph
MPG (as tested) ⛽️: 12 city/17 hwy/13 combined
Curb weight ⚖️: 5,334 lbs
There’s no shortage of people movers. Minivans champion practicality over form, and SUVs weigh appeal more heavily than volume, but among their ranks, buyers can find a solution for just about any need.
And herein lies the trouble: Every “need” may be covered, but outside the luxury sector, little accommodation is made for “wants”.
Dodge, the mainstream brand with an effectively marketed identity, targets desire more acutely than any of its competitors. So of course a 710-horsepower, 3-row SUV, would be its remedy for such a dreadfully pragmatic automotive niche.
The Durango Hellcat isn’t the most spacious, or luxurious, or cost effective full-size SUV, but it does introduce an emotion no rival can match. Excitement originates at the hood scoop and bulging hood, strengthens within the forged carbon fiber and Laguna leather interior, and crescendos with every stab of the throttle.
Guttural V8 belches overwhelm sonnets of supercharger whine. Four driven wheels convert a bevy of power and torque into blistering acceleration. Seven passengers perform simultaneous death grips on whatever surface is closest, while the Hellcat directs its 5,300 pounds through bends with remarkable composure.
When fear subsides, cackling laughter bursts from every occupant. The reaction is so joyfully deranged that nearby vehicles wonder if they’ve come across an asylum shuttle.
With its $93,000 price tag, the Durango Hellcat isn’t for every family, but those of means and enthusiasm will delight in Dodge’s sense of humor.