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The 2021 Dodge Durango is a three-row SUV that shares a platform with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s a popular choice this year, but it has a few abysmal crash test ratings. Let’s look at whether the 2021 Dodge Durango is safe, and why you might want to shop for something else. 

A red Dodge Durango is smashed in the front during an IIHS crash test.
Dodge Durango being crash tested | IIHS

The IIHS tested the Dodge Durango in a variety of real-world crash scenarios

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent organization whose focus is limiting the loss of life and/or property. Each year they test a variety of vehicles to see how well each of them holds up in different types of accidents. These are measured in small overlap tests for the driver and passenger side, moderate overlap tests, as well as side crash, roof strength, and head restraints and seats tests. 

How are the 2021 Dodge Durango’s crash test ratings?

The 2021 Dodge Durango didn’t do well in the IIHS crash tests. While not all of their crash test results are bad, some of them are. Let’s look at the small overlap front: driver side test first. This test measures how well the front left side of the SUV does when it strikes a five-foot rigid barrier. 

The overall evaluation of the small overlap frontal: driver side is only marginal. Ratings could have been good, acceptable, marginal or poor, so a marginal rating isn’t great. The Dodge Durango received a poor rating for its structure and safety cage in this category, which means that the safety cage doesn’t hold up well when the front left side of the Durango strikes a barrier. 

Driver injury measures for the head/neck and chest are good, but the hip/thigh is only acceptable, and the lower leg/foot is poor. The driver restraints and dummy kinematics rating is acceptable. The IIHS noted that the airbag deployed but didn’t provide enough coverage.

The moderate overlap and side crash test ratings were somewhat better 

The IIHS didn’t test a Durango to measure how well the Durango’s moderate overlap test results would be. Instead, it tested a 2011 Jeep Cherokee Laredo 4-door 4WD, which has a similar frontal structure. The 2021 Dodge Durango is longer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, among other differences, but this is how they verified these results. All of the moderate overlap crash test results were good, including all of the subcategories. 

Side crash testing was done on a 2011 Dodge Durango Express 4-door 4WD with standard head curtain airbags for all three rows and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags. Most of these test results were good, including subcategories such as structure and safety cage and driver injury measures. However, within driver injury measures, the Dodge Durango had an acceptable torso rating. Everything else in the side crash tests was good.

Roof strength was good though child seat anchors were acceptable

Dodge Durango in a crash test | Dodge

Again, roof strength tests were done on a 2011 Dodge Durango with a similar structure. The roof strength on the Durango was good, with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.67. To be considered good, a vehicle must have a strength-to-weight ratio of at least 4. 

Child seat anchors in the Dodge Durango received an acceptable rating. The IIHS noted that other hardware could be confused for the child seat anchors, and in some seats there weren’t any anchors available. If you’ll be installing car seats in your Durango, you’ll want to pay close attention to this. 

Overall, the 2021 Dodge Durango is a less than stellar midsize SUV. With so many safer choices out there, it makes sense to keep shopping rather than taking your chances on the Durango.