You might be wondering which is better off the line, the Dodge Durango SRT or the Ford Explorer ST. And you wouldn’t be alone in imagining such a face-off. MotorTrend took the next step and commandeered both beefy powerhouse SUVs and put them to the ultimate head-to-head test.
According to their findings, there is one clear winner here. So does the Dodge Durango SRT have enough guts to topple the Ford Explorer ST?
Impressive specs on the Dodge Durango SRT
Dodge clearly spent quality time in engineering the Durango SRT. The rumble from under the hood, and the Hemi V8, will make you forget you’re driving a three-row seating SUV. Being able to harness 475 horses may overshadow the various customizable driving experience options.
You can choose from Track, Sport, Auto, Custom, Tow, and Snow settings to embrace whatever mood and terrain you’re in at the moment. The Durango SRT’s displays are tracking fun details like g-force circles, might have you momentarily forget about the comfortable leather seats or the three-zone climate control features.
It’s as if the Dodge Durango SRT remembers that it serves two masters, one who needs an intuitive daily driver and another who wants on-demand fun and performance.
How the Ford Explorer ST measures up in this challenge
In this MotorTrend face-off, the critics sized up the Explorer ST. And it certainly measures up to the hype. Both the ST and Platinum trims load up the 3.0-liter V6 engine with an output of 400-hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.
According to The Car Connection, Ford offers driving modes, much like the Durango, and all of them will work great with the AWD standard for this model. Choose from Tow/Haul, Eco, Sport, Normal, Trail, Slippery, or Deep Snow/Sand to customize your driving dynamics. And the screens track fun stats like individual wheel torque as well as pitch and roll angles. Ford says this beast can reach top speeds of 143 mph and achieve 60 mph in under six seconds, too.
Head to head, which is better off the line?
There are plenty of similarities between the Dodge Durango SRT and the Ford Explorer ST. But the Durango is heavier, by more than 600 pounds, so the beefier engine does have more work to do. But when the MotorTrend drivers took to the pavement, the Durango beat the Explorer at the 30 mph mark by 0.3 seconds.
The Durango continued the surge, and by the time it reached 100 mph, it was 1.7-seconds faster than the Explorer. In this quarter-mile stomp, the Dodge hit 60 mph in 4.6-seconds while the Ford clocked 5.3-seconds. It was a close race, although a clear win for the Durango SRT.
What the Dodge Durango SRT does differently
Considering much of the equipment lines up between these two comparably, there are a few things Dodge does differently. For example, in the brakes department, the Durango halted in a 60-0 brake test, in 110 feet.
The Explorer came to rest at 114 feet. But the feel is drastically different because of the Durango’s Brembo monobloc calipers, with 10 overall pistons. The Explorer resorts to the sliding-caliper design. And another key difference is the price.
The Ford Explorer ST hits $65,000 at the high-end while the Dodge Durango SRT, fully loaded, can cost more than $80,000. But the Dodge incentives and rebates are just as monstrous as this SUV, leveling the cost playing field in a hurry.
The Dodge Durango SRT gets the nod in this vehicle comparison. But it’s clear that the margin between the Durango and the Ford Explorer ST is slim. Both are quick performers, and both offer much of what you’d expect from a three-row SUV contender with chops.