By on August 27, 2015

Dodge Durango Sex Panther Edition

Dodge may drop a 6.4-liter V-8 into a Durango before the current generation model goes away, executives told dealers in Las Vegas this week, several media sources are reporting.

The Durango was last redesigned in 2011, so a SRT version could be a victory lap for the three-row SUV. Jeep may take over three-row crossover duty with its Grand Wagoneer.

If you’re pressed between a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or a Durango SRT — there is a third option, this Kia Sorento with an LS engine swap.

Let’s ponder the possibilities for a moment on the last one.

According to the hero man who stuffed a 2009 LSX engine into his wife’s 2007 Sorento, it was a family operation. Autoevolution said the man’s 7-year-old son was amazed at the size of the Kia’s engine bay — we’re amazed at everything:

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29 Comments on “Durango SRT Could Be The Best Damn Family Wagon Ever...”


  • avatar
    pb35

    Oh my, that would look smashing in the garage next to my 392 Charger…

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Holding out for Hellcat.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Better than a 1968 Plymouth Suburban wagon with a 440 6 pack?

    I think not.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’d like to know just how much money FCA left on the table by not badging the Durango as a Jeep last time around. It’s gotta be huge.

    My wife, my best connection to normal-person car tastes, has no problem with Jeeps (and likes the looks of both Grand and non-Grand Cherokees) but thinks the Durango is for rednecks and wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I honestly think there is room in the marketplace for both the Durango and the Grand Wagoneer. It saddens me that FCA thinks the Durango must die so that the Grand Wagoneer will live.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Hate to say it, but I agree. While the B&B here may disagree, brands and brand associations are going to become increasingly important in a crowded automotive world.

      The Durango looks fine, but where I live if you’re going big, it’s X5, Q7, ML or Rover; If you prefer domestics (and want to downplay your wealth) you better be cruising in a Tahoe, Yukon or Suburban; Maybe a Land Cruiser. On the fringe you’ll find some new XC90s and the oddball Infiniti that someone picked up on lease clearance.

      Durango? Nope – we know what side of the tracks you’re from if you pull up in one of those…

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        Hmmm, perhaps that is why my neighbors in my upscaled, one street subdivision, seldom ever looked my way when I came home with my new Hemi, AWD, Citadel back in 2011. Truly one of the best SUVs I have ever had, and that includes suburbans, Lincoln Navigator, two previous gen Limited Hemi AWD Durangos, GMC Yukon, and a Honda Pilot. Kidding about the neighbors though. I had several of them stop when I was out in the driveway washing the black beast and since they were a new design most had no clue it was the new Durango. Sure, it didn’t cost as much as their cars, ranging from Mercedes GLs to BMW X 5, among others, but it looked as good in my opinion. Of course, we all know looks are in the eyes of the beholder. I hauled my autocross car on an aluminum trailer behind mine and cover many, many miles around Texas and beyond, and it towed extremely well. When not towing, on trips, I could pull as much as 24mpg, wind and terrain dependent…Overall a great vehicle, but when I went to trade it for a 2015, the one I wanted was almost non existent without having it brought in from Oklahoma or some other area. Found a deal on the Ram Long Horn edition AWD truck, loaded, and purchased it. Love the truck, not sure I would go back to any SUV, although the new Suburban/Yukon is the best looking of all SUVs in 2015 in my opinion…but the 65K plus price tag would certainly keep me from purchasing one…

  • avatar
    Andy

    I know I’m supposed to love the Durango. RWD, Pentastar or Hemi, three rows of badassery. But we test drove one last year and didn’t care for it. It’s just not as roomy as most 3-row CUV competitors. The interior is far better than Dodges of yore, but everything else is pretty decent now. The ride was very harsh. We were testing a Citadel, which we had no intention of buying, maybe it’s better on lesser trims with more sidewall. But mostly the space. Maybe it specs out competitively on paper, but it it had that high floor/low ceiling/trapped in a submarine kind of feeling. Much preferred several of the competitors. Also, my wife just cannot get used to the rear end looking too much like a minivan. They’re none of them beautiful in this class, but it was a sticking point for her…

  • avatar
    210delray

    Cueing BTSR in 3, 2, 1 …

  • avatar

    LS makes everything better.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Re: The Sorento. Talk about making delicious lemonade out of a lemon, he nailed it. Just add the sugar (LS powertrain), stir and enjoy.

    Although if I were to do an engine swap on a first gen Sorento, my first thought would be to go with the diesel engine offered in other markets. Kudos that he made it 4wd still, instead of what Im sure wouldve been much easier 2wd.

    I like(d) Kia’s truck-based SUVs, like the early Sportage and the short-lived-in-the-US Borrego/Mojave. The first gen Sorento doesnt look like one, though. For years, I assumed it was car-based with FWD, until I looked it up one day after reading something about one in another country being modified for off-road use.

    The only Borrego Ive ever found on a lot was a 2wd, so I didnt bother test driving it. Handsome in its own way, like the last truck-based Pathfinder was.

    I hate 2wd SUVs. Doesnt bother me as much when its a car-based crossover, but if youre going to put up with truck-ride, truck-handling, truck-MPG and truck-weight, why not get the 4wd capability so that someday, it might be all worth it? Even if the idea is that its just a family hauler or tow vehicle, 4wd will make it desirable and easier to get rid of when its old, beat up and has high mileage (if nothing else). Soneone will buy it for off road use, and the worse condition its in, the further you can push it off road without feeling guilty that youre ruining a nice vehicle.

    Case in point, I see trashed first and second gen Explorers being jacked up, manual hubs installed, and even solid front axle swaps. Theyre so cheap and cheap/easy to get parts for, why not?

    I just think of old 2wd SUVs as parts rigs for use in a more worthy vehicle. (Navigator-sourced) 5.4L Intec in an old Lincoln sedan/coupe? Sounds sweet.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Ignorant comment from a Ford-slobbering kool aid drinker such as yourself, as usual.

      The Durango (2014+) is an excellent vehicle, driving better (more quietly, smoothly & solidly, with incredibly refined suspension and robust structural rigidity) than any vehicle in its segment, and many that are priced 25k more than the Durango.

      Many of the other comments here are equally ignorant and beg the question as to how many people making such comments have actually driven or been driven in a 2014+ Durango.

      The current Durango is Consumer Reports Top Pick, and I don’t always agree with CR, but they’re road test remarks are spot on, and consistent with mine.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Since most SUVs are just truck-based station wagons, why add the cost and weight of 4wd? The Chevrolet Suburban is the National Car of Texas and I can’t remember ever seeing a 4wd Suburban.
      http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/the-national-car-of-texas/

      I like the Dodge Durango and think it’s a relative bargain, but think it would look less down market if it didn’t share taillights with the Dodge Dart and Charger. The rest of the exterior is classy and restrained bargain Benz before FCA adds Dodge styling touches.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey man, thanks for the props! Its always nice to see someone enjoy all the hard work you do on something! I love the fantastic analogy you used too!
      I should point out to you too, since you mentioned liking the “truck based” Kias…. The Sorento was actually truck based as well, at least until 2010. Mine (a 2007) has a fully boxed frame made from some pretty thick steel. It also has a bunch of cross-members. 2 thick walled large diameter tube ones in front of and one behind the rear axle, one under the rear output shaft of the transfer case, one that is removable and used for the trans/transfer case mount, one where the power steering rack is that also ties the frame rails together right near the rear bushing for the lower control arm, one that is under the front of the engine that doubles as the mount for the front differential/axle tube assembly (the front differential has bolted on unequal length tubes that end at the frame rails then turn into equal length CV joints), lastly are the front bumpers (not really a cross-member but they are pretty freakin’ heavy duty and do serve a similar purpose lol.
      Although the diesel would have been REALLY cool, we don’t have any access whatsoever here for the diesel Kia family engines. I would be surprised if you could even get maintenance parts here for the engines either… I picked up the GM engine and transmission cheaper then I could even replace the 3.8L stock v6 for (it imploded due to timing chain failure at 80k miles)
      Well, thanks again for the compliments!
      You can check out my FaceBook page for the swap with tons more pictures and videos too at… http://www.facebook.com/LSxSorento

  • avatar

    The Dodge Durango…if it got SRT’d..would rise significantly in price – maybe past the Jeep SRT’s price.

    The Brembo brake kit is $5000.

    the Goliath wheels on my truck – with the Pirellis are another $5000+ dollars.

    The Engine and equipment is about $10,000.

    when all is said and done…you’re looking at about $80,000- $90,000 (escalade money)

    And the funny thing is…

    CHRYSLER WOULD SELL EVERY GOTDAMNNNED ONE OF THEM.

    If they built a Durango Hellcat, people would sell their entire neighborhoods into alien slavery to afford one.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      They’d sell every last one, because they’d think carefully about how many they could possibly sell, and then build less than half that many.

      Hellcat scarcity is a completely manufactured thing.

  • avatar
    Jim Broniec

    I’ve been driving a 2015 Limited all week.. The steel is pretty, the handling isn’t confidence inspiring, the pleather is already peeling on the driver side.

    The rubber is the worst I’ve seen since the 2011 Impala, visibly hanging from the drivers side and the top of the rear window. My rentals only got 19k miles on it but she looks horrible. The sound system is too bassy to the point I had to mod the sound to center in the rear to prevent headaches.

    It could have been an amazing truck.. But I’d by a Chevy Captiva over this.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The current Durango SHAMES ANYTHING Guangzhou Motors (GM) produces, whether in terms of ride quality, structural rigidity, interior room (in all three rows), fit/finish, overall refinement, etc., including the hapless Acadia, Enclave, Traverse, and even the more expensive Tahoe or Escalade, by a wide margin.

      And the Chevy Captiva is a complete POS that should wear a Chinese badge, but even then would only be mediocre (at 1/2 price).

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Sounds like the poster you’re responding to experienced typical FCA (and Chrysler before it) fit and finish. Chrysler is a company that for two decades now has been coming up with cars that are great in concept and not being able to execute them consistently.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I wish somebody would man up and put sliding doors on as SUV or CUV.

    Once you try living without swinging doors for a few months, nothing else qualifies as a “family vehicle” anymore. There are sorts of “passenger vehicles” with three rows, but loading children and stuff into the vehicle while walking complicated paths round the vehicle just sounds like a bad idea, after you’ve already tried a minivan.

    This Dodge thing may me the ultimate 3-row drag racer. But, if you’re going to properly drag race a family car, you have have to start loading it when the light turns gneen (several young children and their stuff), and THEN run the quarter mile.

    P.S. I’m going to be very interested to look at the Model X. Its doors might not have the same compromises as swinging doors, but I’ll have to see it to believe it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I owned a first gen 2004 Sorento, the one with leather, moon roof and for it’s time much bling.

    The vehicle had a full ladder frame chassis and was relatively capable off road. It’s build quality surprised me since it came from Korea (circa 2004 don’t forget).

    The vehicle proved extremely reliable and I sold it to my friend when I bought my BT50.

    The best way to describe the build quality of the Korean Sorento is like a comparison between the Grand Cherokee and the current Japanese proper 4×4 wagons, ie, 4hi and 4lo, etc. The Sorento was a bargin priced machine, as well similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, not quite the quality of the Japanese, but not the price either. A bargain and budget machine.

    I considered the Sorento that good I kept it and continued to drive it for around 18 months after I bought my pickup.

    The first gen Sorento was actually 4×4 of the year in Europe.

    My gripe was the abysmal FE from the Mitsubishi based V6 built by Hyundai. The engine’s performance reminded me of the Buick based 3.8 litre V6’s fitted to the Holden Commodore, not like the in line 4 litre 6 that was fitted to my XJ Sports, which was similar to a in line 6 Ford engine in the Falcon, much low down grunt.

    I do see the benefit of fitting a V8 into a Sorento, as the vehicle weighed in at 2.2 tonnes and the V6 needed to be prodded to get the vehicle mobile.

    We did have the 2.7 CRD powered Sorento in the first gen models, I do see quite a few owned by the Grey Nomads here in Australia pulling 20-22 foot caravans.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah man, you are spot on. I almost laughed in the dealers face when he suggested I give the Sorento a try when I FIRST bought it. That was when she only had 7,000 miles. After looking at it top to bottom and giving it hell with the loud pedal I returned to the dealership absolutely stunned!! After owning it since 2008 I also have to say that they did some seriously SMART things when it came to maintenance too! Well…. not the spark plug changing part… however, you have to pull the upper intake to service some Ford vehicles too (still asinine regardless).

  • avatar
    shaker

    It looks like we’re setting up to become reliant on Iranian and Russian oil again.
    Or, drilling a million more holes in domestic ground, maybe some likely running under our own homes.
    “I have to buy my drinking water at the store, but hey, I drive a 5,000 lb. SUV with a V8!”

    Great.

    HELLCAT

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      Where I’m from we don’t call that stuff that comes out of the tap water, we just refer to it as the fluid that’s used to deliver atrazine, nitrates and sometimes chloramine. Mmm, farm fresh!

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