Home » It’s Time To Start Saying Goodbye To The Dodge Durango, Finally

It’s Time To Start Saying Goodbye To The Dodge Durango, Finally

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With over 800,000-plus Durangos produced over fourteen years on sale, the chances are good that you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, who owns a third generation Dodge Durango. (One of my friends is on his second. My brother still has a first-year 2011 Citadel 5.7-liter Hemi with 208,000 miles at last count). But the era is now coming to an end, as the death knell has officially been rung for the Durango with a higher cylinder count. As with the Ram Classic, it’s a long goodbye, as Dodge has announced a ‘Last Call’ run to bow out the Hemis.

The company’s CEO Tim Kuniskis shouted out the beloved, recently-departed LX platform when he outlined plans:

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Just as we did with the Dodge Charger and Challenger, it’s time to celebrate the V-8 HEMI engine that has powered Dodge domination of the performance SUV segment. Special-edition ‘Last Call’ models of the Durango will roll out during 2024 as we honor the most powerful SUV ever.

The first edition to commemorate the last HEMI-powered Durango is named the AlcHEMI. This will be based on the SRT 392 and loaded with several cues to tell it apart. The highlights include Satin Black forged 20-inch wheels, yellow-painted Brembo brakes, yellow-accented dual stripes with a honeycomb texture, Midnight Metallic grille, Midnight Metallic liftgate badges, forged carbon fiber interior trimmings, a leather and suede steering wheel with an SRT emblem that glows, yellow and silver stitching, and 392 decals with yellow accents sprinkled throughout.

2024 Dodge Durango SRT 392 AlcHEMI Special Edition

2024 Dodge Durango SRT 392 AlcHEMI Special Edition

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2024 Dodge Durango SRT 392 AlcHEMI Special Edition

The AlcHEMI is limited to just 1000 Durangos, with 250 painted in four colors; Diamond Black, Destroyer Gray, Vapor Gray, and White Knuckle. Starting in February, Dodge will make it easier to allocate one to dealers through here. If it slips through the cracks, there are more Last Calls coming.

For 2024, the AlcHEMI joins a lineup offering no fewer than 15 trim packages according to the live configurator. With the biggest array of V8 offerings, the Dodge people-hauler spoils you for choice between an SRT 392 equipped with a 6.4-liter Hemi, the R/T 5.7 Hemi, and the Hellcat with the supercharged 6.2 Hemi. That’s right, the Hellcat is back for one more bang after originally committing to a limited-production run in 2021 to offer the most exciting Durango field ever.

Riding on the WD chassis, the platform shares quite a few commonalities with the fourth generation Jeep Grand Cherokee (which was replaced by the WL-generation a couple of years ago), which itself had some ties to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class from the last days of DaimlerChrysler, an era with a place in my steel-rusted heart.

2024 Dodge Durango Citadel

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In its lifetime, the Durango has seen several changes. At launch in 2010, it was available with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that made its way into many Chrysler products after the acquisition by Fiat. For a lot of the early years, the 5.7 Hemi V8 was the premium engine option. These saw 5- and 6-speed automatics before adapting a ZF 8-speed setup for all motors in 2014. Models equipped with the Hemi were rated to tow up to 7,400 pounds until 2018, when further refinements and the addition of the SRT 392 bumped that figure up to 8,700. The Durango saw many trim levels get new names before settling on SXT and GT to signify the lower part of the lineup. The R/T is the cheapest way to get a Hemi. Eventually, Dodge unlocked the high tow rating in AWD R/T variants to create the Tow N Go Package that includes its own slew of upgrades. This package just reached the Citadel trim for the first time.

For its first major refresh in 2014, the Durango received new lighting elements including that full-length LED taillight bar, and a revamped interior that saw new controls supporting the acclaimed Uconnect system. The last meaningful updates came in 2021, when the Durango received an adjusted front end, new wheel options, a revised interior that with a new Uconnect display, and more physical switchgear to go with it. Over time, small improvements like new shift levers and an integrated trailer brake controller to the Tow Group package (less extreme than Tow N Go) were included to keep the Durango fresh.

With the Last Call announced, the V8 will see its last calendar year in production. This goes for all Hemi-backed trims including the Hellcat. Special editions will stretch out to the 2025 model year, implicating lots of life left in the Durango. Reports suggest that this generation of Durango will likely bow out after the 2025 model year, so this will be a slow goodbye.

2024 Dodge Durango Citadel

Pricing for the V8 starts in the mid-50s. Can’t afford the Hemi? The Pentastar is still the potent base engine, rated at 295 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque. Even with old bones, the V6 Durango is still competitive with a modern Kia Telluride, with a tow rating of 6,200 pounds that’s more than sufficient. Interior room is comparable thanks to Daimler roots, if not a hair smaller dimensionally. For what it lacks (slightly) in overall refinement, it oozes charisma to the gills.

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The R/T ups the power to 360 horses and 390 lb-ft of torque. The 392 SRT churns 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft out of the 6.4 Hemi. On the highest end, the Durango Hellcat will continue to produce 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. That’s good for a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds and an NHRA-certified time of 11.5 seconds to blast through the quarter-mile.

In the end, the Dodge Durango is a family truck available in the most configurations, is a standout in a world that leans evermore into electrification, and has its sight on an epic farewell to close out the three-row SUV saga. As with the new Charger, it’s possible we won’t see the last of the Durango name, but certainly never in this form again.

All Images: Dodge

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D-Dog
D-Dog
2 months ago

In its lifetime, the Durango has seen several changes. At launch in 2010…” uhhh – is this the same Durango that launched in 1998?

“For its first major refresh in 2014…” Look, I totally get why we want to forget the actual first major refresh in 2004, but the ugly adolescent years are a vital part of the Durango’s life. After the ugly years, Chrysler nailed it with the look if the 3rd gen Durango and the various trim packages. It will be tough to say goodbye, but I’m sure it will be replaced with something.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  D-Dog

After the ugly years, Chrysler nailed it with the look if the 3rd gen Durango


I guess they ‘nailed it’, but by replacing it with something entirely different like Nissan’s flip-flopping Pathfinder. It’s basically just a tall three-row Magnum, no relation to the Dakota like it used to have.

World24
World24
2 months ago

It’s Time To Start Saying Goodbye To The Dodge Durango, Finally

As with the new Charger, it’s possible we won’t see the last of the Durango name, but certainly never in this form again.

I hope you just mean it’s done in its “current Hemi form”? Because Stellantis already told its fleet customers (like police and fire departments) about the 2025 & 2026 Durango SSV’s, and how starting in 2025, the WD Durango will be using the Hurricane I6’s to replace the Hemi’s.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
2 months ago
Reply to  World24
World24
World24
2 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Yeah, the article was written after a user posted it on Allpar, of whom still has connections to the fleet-side of Stellantis.

William Searle
William Searle
2 months ago
Reply to  World24

The V8 IS its form. No need to specify “Hemi form”. The engine defines the vehicle. Without the V8, it’s nothing. That’s its form, 8-cylinders. No 8-cylinders, no form.

When shopping or building a vehicle, you start from the middle, & work your way out from there. The engine is the core, the heart of the beast. With no heart, it is dead. And no, a monkey heart I6 will not suffice for the full V8 heart.

World24
World24
2 months ago
Reply to  William Searle

If only people bought the WD Durango because it had a Hemi. Just like the Grand Cherokee, people bought more V6’s then V8’s.
It’s sold because people want something that’s been around for a while, not dealing with brand new tech. They want something that works, and the Hemi suffices until it eats its cam, it’s lifters, its water pump, or its breaks manifolds and the bolts for it because the motor is JUNK.
Hemi’s never made a product. If a Chrysler motor made the car, it was the Viper and its V10.
End of story. Cry about some junk iron block V8 and its $360 spark plug service someplace else, if you want to replace its 16 spark plugs.

Last edited 2 months ago by World24
William Searle
William Searle
2 months ago
Reply to  World24

Exactly, the V10 is what made the Viper what it is. Without that, it’s nothing.

The Hemi does have its faults, which is why I opted for the Magnum engine toting 1st Gen.

But, the new Hemi is what made each Dodge vehicle what it is today, regardless of reliability.

JDM is big on reliability. American market is big on displacement & performance. That’s why the Tundra is reliable but, boring, and the Ram is still king of the headlines, despite its mechanical issues.

They also sell more automatics than manuals. That’s doesn’t make it right or even better. We just have lots of dumb people in this world who fail to execute their decisions in the proper full form. They are weak and half-assed their life, as well as their car buying decisions. Don’t be that guy.

All or nothing. Anything worth doing, is worth doing right, and nothing worth doing is easy.

Each auto manufacturer needs to make only one version of each vehicle, the full version. Anything less is sacrilege, & an affront to the engineers, designers, artists, and enthusiasts alike.

Come correct, or don’t come at all, needs to be the attitude of any vehicle.

Matthew McConaughey made a profound comment in an interview stating to never half-ass anything in your life. Words to live by… and car buy.

World24
World24
2 months ago
Reply to  William Searle

There hasn’t been a brand-new Hemi since 2011: and that was the SRT 392. 2009+ 5.7’s only have different heads/cams, nothing else changed. BGE 392’s are re-worked SRT 392’s, the Hellcat is a 392 with a custom 5.7L-based crank, the Redeye/Demon & Demon 170 engines are just reenforced Hellcat engines, and the Hellphant is an aluminum Hellcat.
Those engines, and not the 2nd generation Mangum engines in your first-generation Durango you replaced 8 spark plugs on in the comment you posted below, are old and antiquated even by the 2nd generation Magnum engines standards. People buy it for the name or some numbers. People don’t buy it for the LS/LT reasons, people don’t buy it for the Modular or Godzilla reasons, they buy it on name for the cheap vehicles and the numbers on the expensive ones. They weren’t done right to begin with, and they never will be.

All or nothing. Anything worth doing, is worth doing right, and nothing worth doing is easy.

The only motor they did that with, was the Viper engine. Even the Demon motors will show themselves to just be another Chrysler V8 they cheapened out at some point, that they didn’t do right the first time. Quit arguing without logic. The 5.7 isn’t better than a GM 5.3, the 392 isn’t better than any of GM’s N/A 6 liters, the Hellcat ain’t much to the Predator, or the LT4’s. Just because it’s a V8, doesn’t mean it’s good. Olds 350 Diesel? The ol’ Rover 3.5L? Yeah, the Hemi is closer to them then you think.

Last edited 2 months ago by World24
William Searle
William Searle
2 months ago
Reply to  World24

I chose the 1st Gen Durango for its body on frame, fully boxed chassis, that can support off-road & towing performance, as well as, for its long run, tried and true, final iteration, cast iron block Magnum V8, which has a reputation of going 400k miles with no issues. I’ve seen them myself.

Also, it’s a Dodge; so, ya stick with Dodge parts. The Magnum is the engine that came with the truck; so, that’s your starting point. If I were to swap the engine, it would just be another cast iron Magnum, maybe just a little larger displacement but, not quite a big block as this is a road trip truck, not a 1/4 mile dragster.

It doesn’t make sense to own a ton of Chevy’s with Chevy V8’s, and then get a Dodge, and put yet another Chevy V8 in it. That’s boring. Mix it up, & stay loyal to the brand for its own vehicle. Chevys get Chevy parts, Dodges get Dodge parts. IMO, if you put Chevy parts in a Dodge, you don’t really like Dodge, and therefore have no business getting a Dodge to just put a Chevy engine in it.

Plus, for someone who is gunning to own a good sized car collection, the collection will have variety; so, I’ve got enough plans for Chevy V8’s with all the Chevy’s I plan on getting but, I do not plan on getting many Dodges, only a handful; so, in order to not put the same engine in 35 different vehicles, keeping things interesting, and brand loyal, as well as period correct, in the best version of the Durango, with the final run of a tried and true workhorse engine, in its best version, the Magnum engine fits the bill perfectly.

There’s a lot of great stuff being done to the Magnums. And they’re more of a work horse than putting up impressive numbers, which is my goal with this build, something to last forever, as well as 4-wheel & tow (low end torque, without the heavy weight of a diesel).

My Mopars will get Mopar engines.
My Chevys will get GM engines.
If I can ever get a Ferrari, it’s gonna be a Ferrari engine.
It’s no fun putting the same engine in all the cars.
My older Dodges are getting Magnums.
My newer Dodges are getting 426 Hellephant Hemis.
Some of my Chevys will have the old 80’s tuned port,
Some of my Chevy’s will have a classic big block,
Some of my Chevy’s will have a new LT.
It all depends on the build and your goals.

My racecars can be the ones putting up high HP numbers.

I want my trucks to have torque and durability.

And variety is the spice of life. I want my Dodges to be Dodges and my Chevys to be Chevys, otherwise, what’s the point of building a Dodge if you’re gonna out Chevy parts in it. I know some people like to do that but, I like to stay on brand.

So, for a Dodge workhorse, a cast iron block V8 from Dodge is your best bet, especially if you do your own work, even more especially if you factor the fact that even the current day Top Fuel dragsters (the benchmark for performance) use engine blocks based on the classic Chrysler V8. So, while the Durango has dirt cred, the engine has Top Fuel cred.

Just because it’s a V8 doesn’t make it good, indeed but, being less than a V8 does make it bad.

William Searle
William Searle
2 months ago
Reply to  World24

I fully enjoyed doing my first tune-up. It was on my iron block V8. 1999 Durango, 8 spark plugs, all relatively easy to reach, even for a first timer. I even replaced the distributor, ignition coil, and spark plug wires, as well as, the spark plugs themselves. It was so cheap, I do not even remember what I spent. You got me curious now; so, I just checked my email for the invoices from Summit & RockAuto, only $115, including the dialectic grease. No crying here. I do the work myself and it’s exactly the reason why I wake up every day. The sheer joy of vehicles and self sufficiency. Another reason to stick to old big V8’s, serviceability.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago

Only person I knew with a Durango just got rid of it after spending thousands on repairs in the last year.

Palmetto Ranger
Palmetto Ranger
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

We bought a 2015 Citadel edition in early 2016 for a great price as the dealer wanted it off the lot. It was fine. I did not like the seats, and the entertainment system gave up the ghost around the time our kids were more interested in their phones than watching DVDs. But we had no issues with the engine and it was a good family hauler. Traded it in in mid 2022 right around the time we started getting some weird electrical gremlins.

MegaVan
MegaVan
2 months ago

My only issue was with an airbag wire. Electrical and wiring would be my concern. The Hemi w/ 8 speed was a really good combo. 2014 Citadel.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
2 months ago

~6 years and multiple electrical gremlins doesn’t fall under ‘fine’ to me.

Palmetto Ranger
Palmetto Ranger
2 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

It was not anything that required a visit to the shop. More like the hatch button not working until you turned the car off and turned it back on. Or the seat not going to the correct position on one of the saved settings for a day or two. Those issues started in the last 6 months, and that was part of why we got rid of it.

William Searle
William Searle
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

LMAO, love the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reference, Vic Vinegar, of Honey & Vinegar Realty.

William Searle
William Searle
2 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Was probably the 2nd gen. I have a friend who hates Durangos and bashes them, just because she doesn’t know her stuff, and bought the wrong version/year/generation, (2nd gen.) &; therefore, dealt with problems.

As with any vehicle, the are good years, and not so good years, and even some bad years. Even the mighty Camaro had its questionable versions, ehem, 4th gen.

Just don’t disregard an entire marque based on one person’s, possibly erroneous, viewpoints.

An executive chef mentor of mine taught me, and I will pass it on, “Consider your sources.”

If a non-truck person says something about the wrong version of a truck, take what they say with a grain of salt.

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