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If you are looking for a powerful SUV that can haul the entire family, the Dodge Durango is one of the most powerful SUVs on the market. Its payload and towing capacity are among the best for SUVs in the same class. 

One feature that sets the Durango apart from its competitors is the option of a V8 Hemi engine. While the V8 Hemi engine comes standard on some Durango trims, it is available as an optional upgrade with the other trims. Here we will look into the differences between the two engine options offered for the Durango and discuss why, for some potential owners, the V8 Hemi is unquestionably worth the extra money.

What engine comes standard in the Dodge Durango?

For those who opt for the lower-tier Durango trims, the standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6. According to the Dodge website, this powertrain delivers 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is very respectable for a family hauler. The V6 engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It provides ample power for daily commutes, family outings, and occasional light towing, making it a practical choice for many drivers who don’t plan on doing a lot of hauling.

The Durango comes in an astounding 16 different trims, and there are a number of different configurations to choose from, including some that offer the V8 Hemi. The models range from a very affordable $39,050 for the base trim up to $102,640 for the SRT Hellcat Premium.

How much is the Hemi upgrade?

For thrill-seekers or those that plan to use their Durango for some heavy-duty hauling, the Dodge offers a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine as an optional add-on for $3,995 or standard on some higher-tier Durango trims.

It can produce up to 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, turning the Durango from a family hauler to a heavy-duty workhorse. The additional power allows for quicker acceleration and enhanced towing capabilities.

Advantages of the V8 Hemi

  • Towing Capability: For those who need an SUV that can handle heavy towing and the ability to take the family along for the adventure, the V8 Hemi is a game-changer. It seats 7 and it has a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,400 pounds when equipped with the V8 engine. When equipped with the Hellcat package, the towing goes up to 8,700 pounds.
  • Performance and Thrill: For some, there is simply no other engine that will do. The surge of power from the Hemi, the deep exhaust sound, and the exhilarating handling are all factors that can make driving the Durango with the Hemi an unforgettable experience.
  • Resale Value: Vehicles equipped with a V8 engine often hold their value better over time on the used car market. For those who plan to upgrade or sell their Durango in the future, the V8 will offer better resale value when it comes time to trade it in.
  • Status and Prestige: The Hemi engine is synonymous with power, and it has a certain prestige and heritage that appeals to brand enthusiasts and those who appreciate the legacy of performance that comes with it. Owning a vehicle with a V8 Hemi under the hood is a source of pride for many owners.

While the standard V6 engine on the Dodge Durango is more than capable of meeting the needs of most drivers, the optional V8 Hemi engine takes the driving experience to a whole new level. The added power, towing capacity, and performance make it the ideal choice for towing or just for the added thrill of the powerful V8 engine.

For those who value power, capability, and prestige, the $3,995 investment in the V8 Hemi upgrade is unquestionably worth it, and it can transform the already impressive Dodge Durango into a heavy-duty powerhouse.


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