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The 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Dodge Durango both make for solid options if you’re shopping for a midsize 3-row SUV. But, when it really comes down to it, there are a number of reasons to choose the Dodge Durango over its Ford competition.

2021 Dodge Durango driving down a sunny road
2021 Dodge Durango | FCA

The 2021 Dodge Durango offers more high-performance engine options

Standard with a 293-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine, the 2021 Dodge Durango can also be had with a few other, more powerful engines under the hood. Consider the Durango’s optional 360-hp V8 for some added power. And if that’s still not enough for you? The 2021 Dodge Durango is also available with a 475-hp 6.4-liter V8 engine. Oh, and a 710-hp supercharged V8 engine. So, yes, when it comes to the Dodge Durango, it offers no shortage of engine options.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same story for the 2021 Ford Explorer. Standard with a 300-hp 2.3-liter turbocharged engine, this year’s Explorer is also available with a 365-hp 3.0-liter V6, or a 400-hp 3.0-liter V6. The Ford Explorer is also available as a hybrid. But, as you might imagine, it doesn’t have that much power to offer. Especially when you consider that the Dodge Durango is available with a 710-hp supercharged V8 engine. 

This year’s model offers some pretty serious towing power

We’ve already established that the Dodge Durango is available with a selection of pretty powerful engines. Those engines don’t just offer plenty of horsepower, though. Opt for the Durango’s 3.6-liter V6, and you can expect to tow up to 6,200 pounds. Upgrade to the 5.7-liter V8 to tow up to 7,400 pounds. And if you need to tow over 8,000 pounds? Opt for the Durango’s 6.2-liter V8 engine, which Car and Driver reports can tow up to 8,700 pounds.

As for the 2021 Ford Explorer? When properly equipped, this year’s model can tow up to 5600 pounds. While that’s certainly nothing to scoff at, it’s not quite as impressive as the Dodge Durango’s max tow rating.

The 2021 Dodge Durango won’t make your wallet scream

At its least expensive, the Ford Explorer will cost you about $32,225. Opt for the Ford Explorer XLT, and that price jumps up to $34,000. The Explorer rises in price pretty quickly after that. A Ford Explorer Limited will run you just over $45,000, while an Explorer ST will cost you nearly $53,000. And at its most expensive? The Ford Explorer can cost about $54,480. 

Fortunately, offers a number of trim levels that aren’t quite as expensive. Its base price sits just under the Explorer’s and will have you spending approximately $31,765. Choose the Durango SXT Plus, and you’ll be spending $35,760. The Durango GT? That’ll cost you $35,965. The Durango is also available in three additional trim levels, all of which cost less than $50,000. 


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Is the 2021 Dodge Durango a good SUV?

If you’re in the market for a performance-oriented SUV, you can’t go wrong with the 2021 Dodge Durango. The same goes for if you’re in need of an SUV that boasts some pretty serious towing power. And even if it’s just the base model that you’re after? Choosing it instead of the Ford Explorer will have you saving, rather than spending.