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2021 Dodge Durango R/T: The Brotherhood Of Muscle is Strong, But Thirsty

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2021 Dodge Durango R/T: The Brotherhood Of Muscle is Strong, But Thirsty
2021 Dodge Durango R/T parked

Cameron Aubernon/SlashGear

EDITORS’ RATING: 8/10

Pros
  • Yep, it’s got a Hemi
  • Rear DVD entertainment center a big plus for keeping the kids entertained on all trips
  • Android-based Uconnect 5 a sight for sore eyes
  • Surprisingly roomy third row
  • Made for highways and quarter-miles
Cons
  • Destroyer Gray paint not for everyone
  • That Hemi is thirsty, even with cylinder deactivation
  • No front camera to help guide the driver into tight parking lots

SUVs, crossovers and SUVs are available in a variety of flavors. While utility is still one of the main draws to any given model, just what consumers seek beyond the obvious is as varied as the 31 flavors of a Baskin-Robbins. Some desire the most luxury and technology possible, such as that of the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV. Some prefer to leave all that behind and go with a basic Ford Explorer.

There are also customers who require muscle of a different kind. The Durango is the perfect vehicle for them. The SXT, GT, and GT Plus trims have Stellantis’ Pentastar, 3.5-liter V6 as their only option. However, it is not something to be ashamed of. Citadel is a trim level that offers both the Pentastar V6 and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. It combines luxury with brute strength.

2021 Dodge Durango R/T parkedCameron Aubernon/SlashGear

Meanwhile, the heaviest hitters in the Durango family (for the 2021 model year, at least) — the 392 and the SRT Hellcat — ram it down the quarter-mile and the open road with over six liters of raw Hemi V8 power: 6.4 liters for the 392, 6.2 liters plus a 2. 83-liter supercharger for the SRT Hellcat.

Alas, the SRT Hellcat was a one-year-only machine, leaving the 392 as the top dog for 2022. There is still plenty of V8 goodness within the Durango family. It starts with the DurangoR/T like the one that spent the week with us in the Old Dominion of Virginia.

Yep, it’s got a Hemi!

2021 Dodge Durango R/T engine bay

Cameron Aubernon/SlashGear

The 2021 Dodge Durango R/T is one of four models to offer a Hemi V8 under the hood, and one of three to have no other engine options aside from said-Hemi. Unlike the 392’s aforementioned 6.4-liter naturally aspirated version with 485 stallions in the stable, or the wild SRT Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged iron fist with 710 buff thunderhorses ready to beast all over the backstretch at Talladega, the R/T and R/T Plus make do with the 5.7-liter naturally aspirated engine. With 360 ponies and 390 lb.-ft. of torque at the ready, though, this muscle SUV can still go, dropping the hammer to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, and tripping the lights at the end of the quarter-mile in 15 seconds.

2021 Dodge Durango R/T engine bayCameron Aubernon/SlashGear

Like all 2021 Durangos bar the SRT Hellcat (which is rear-drive only), the R/T can be had with rear- or all-wheel drive, with this particular Destroyer Gray example adopting the latter. Guiding the herd of muscle to all four 20×10-inch Hyperblack aluminum wheels — wrapped in Pirelli Verde Zeros — is an eight-speed automatic, while Stellantis’ Multi-Displacement System does its best to keep fuel use down on the open road.

Alas. With rising fuel prices in the news, horses are still thirsty. In-town, the EPA estimates 14 miles will be logged per gallon, while 22 miles per gallon (mpg) can be expected on the highway; combined mpg is 17. As most of my driving was in-town, though, the best I managed was 13.4 mpg. Adding to the pain, my mom likely wasn’t expecting to face $45 to fill half of the 24.6-gallon fuel tank when she offered to pay for gas after taking her to work on the final morning the Durango R/T was with me. Even with the $1 off she got from her employees, it was still a significant amount. 05, and fuel prices back then being $4. 36/gallon before the discount, it still hurt to see that on the receipt; it likely hurts even more now with regular approaching, if already crossing into, $5/gallon.

A Durango R/T movie theatre

2021 Dodge Durango R/T rear entertainment center

Cameron Aubernon/SlashGear

Sometimes, the view outside the 2021 Durango R/T (or the sound of the Hemi V8) isn’t enough to keep the kids in the back entertained. For $1,995, though, there can be another option to prevent potential fights in the second and third rows: the Rear DVD Entertainment Center. The Durango receives a Blu-Ray-compatible DVD Player in the front console, along with a set video and audio ports on the sides and small flip-up screens in the rear. This entertainment system also includes a remote control and two pairs Uconnect-branded wireless headphones. Unfortunately, I was unable to test it out in my driveway as I did not have any DVDs. Rival family haulers from Dodge’s Stellantis siblings are already embracing baked-in streaming services like Amazon Video.

2021 Dodge Durango R/T third rowCameron Aubernon/SlashGear

I did have the opportunity to test the third-row seating and was pleasantly surprised at how spacious it was with the second row seats up. The seats cannot be folded forward to make it easier for cargo access/easy access to the third row. This means that third-row passengers are not restricted. Despite being 5-foot-6 and with very short legs, your mileage may vary. The Durango R/T’s third row is mainly for children, pets, and short adults.

Room for all of the groceries, and more

2021 Dodge Durango R/T rear full of groceries

Cameron Aubernon/SlashGear

Whether you’re driving through town to get groceries, or traveling across the country to Disneyland with your family, you need to have enough space for all your belongings. With all of the seats up, 17.5 cubic feet of cargo room is available for daily errands. The space can be used for a weekly shopping trip, as shown above. Although the automatic tailgate is very nice, there isn’t an option to lower it.

Speaking of, the tailgate can detect when something is likely to damage it, preventing it from closing or opening. This was something I noticed while photographing the Durango R/T at Draper Valley Overlook, Pulaski County in Virginia. The sensors detected “something” even though nothing was nearby. It could have been that the sensors thought the bench was closer to the tailgate than it actually was.

2021 Dodge Durango R/T second and third row seats foldedCameron Aubernon/SlashGear

With the third row down, that 17.5 cubic feet grows to 43.4 cubic feet, which I made use of to haul away some things from my home that no longer sparked joy to my life. If I needed even more room, though, I could’ve dropped the second row seating to gain a total of 85.1 cubic feet. This is enough space to fit a Hellephant V8 engine, drag radials and any other tools needed for your eight-second Challenger R/T Widebody dragcar project. You might also need several bags to take on a long trip.

Uconnect 5 takes OEM infotainment to the next level

2021 Dodge Durango R/T dashboard

Cameron Aubernon/SlashGear

The 2021 Dodge Durango R/T comes with a lot of tech goodies as standard, including a rear back-up camera, front and rear parking assist, automatic headlight levelling, and keyless entry. The $2,395 Technology Group package includes advanced braking assist, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control among its additions. A handsome seven-inch cluster display and 10.1-inch touchscreen provide all the infotainment anyone needs. The touchscreen also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with a trial of SiriusXM Guardian safety system and security system to protect your phone and you whenever necessary.

Unfortunately, the Durango was lacking a few features that I wanted, such as a heads-up display or a front camera to help guide the beast around tight parking spaces. The front clip of this SUV is short enough to allow me to see through it, but not enough.

2021 Dodge Durango R/T Uconnect 5 touchscreen

However, you might not want to always have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the 10.1-inch screen. Not after giving Uconnect 5 a try. Uconnect 5, based on Android Oreo is easy to use. Although it looks a lot alike Android Auto, it is still distinct enough to be able to stand alone from Big Daddy Google. It was a simple task to convince consumers to use OEM infotainment systems, but who knew that it could be as easy as dropping BlackBerry for Android. It also helps that the Atlantis architecture running Uconnect 5 is as buff as the stallions pulling this wagon down the road, thanks to the Samsung 50K MIPS processor with 64 GB of solid-state storage and 6 GB of RAM holding it down under the Ultra HD display. I know I will be using the new OEM system in all Stellantis products going forward.

Durango looks good at 25

2021 Dodge Durango R/T parked

Just 25 years ago, Dodge introduced its first Durango models. The first Durango models were delivered to the world by Dodge just 25 years ago. They were based on the Dodge Dakota and used bits from Chrysler Corporation’s minivan parts box. Though a handsome child in its first iteration, the Durango would go through its awkward phase early in its second generation between 2004 and 2006, before a facelift fixed things somewhat for the 2007 model year into the final year in 2009.

After a year-long break, the third and current-gen Durango emerged in late 2010 for the 2011 model year, casting off its Dakota past by sharing its present with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 2014 model year introduced a refreshed face and sportier looks to an already potent package.

2021 Dodge Durango R/T parked at WalmartCameron Aubernon/SlashGear

It’s taken 25 years, then, before you can have a Durango R/T like this one, which came with the $4,995 Tow N Go towing package (which I never made use of, since I didn’t have anything to tow), for a total sticker of $67,142; base price for the R/T is $48,927. Some may love the Destroyer Gray paint (a $395 option), but most owners won’t be thrilled visiting gas stations for this SUV’s fuel habits, especially in the days of rising prices at the pump. Throw in the push for electrification on all sides, and there will come a day when the last of the V8s roars out of the assembly line, followed by the silence of absurd electric power (which Dodge is definitely down for starting in 2024).

Perhaps the Durango will see a fourth, completely electric, generation by the end of the 2020s. Perhaps this is the end of the line for this muscle SUV. We should raise a glass to this member of “Brotherhood of Muscle”, for we will never again see such a machine.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


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As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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