For some SUV buyers, size and space are most important when shopping. But for others, power and performance are a must. And today, you’re more likely to find an efficient SUV than a powerful one. For those people who value a powerful V8 engine in their SUVs, buying a good SUV usually means spending top-dollar. But it turns out, one of the most powerful V8 SUVs for 2020 may also be one of the cheapest.
The cheapest, powerful V8 2020 SUV
The experts at U.S. News evaluated all current, new SUVs with available V8 engines and compiled the “Best V8 SUVs on the Market in 2020” list. Though a few models remain unranked, the top 12 were named based on quality, power, performance, and ratings.
Known for being more on the affordable and economical end of SUV-shopping, the Dodge Durango surprisingly tied for fifth-best V8 SUV on the list. But what’s even better is that the V8 Durango is also the cheapest option on the same list. This makes the 2020 Dodge Durango the cheapest new SUV with a V8.
And the Durango’s price point is definitely something to talk about. According to U.S. News, the V8 Durango costs around $44,000. To put that price in perspective, some V8 SUVs on U.S. News’ list, like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, can cost more than $130,000. Even its top-choice, the Mercedes-Benz GLE, costs more than $77,000.
Reasons why the cheaper 2020 Dodge Durango is still a good value
But does a cheaper V8 make the 2020 Dodge Durango a true value? The 2020 Dodge Durango isn’t just a good choice if you’re searching for the cheapest V8 available. It received its fifth-place rankings with an overall score of 8.1 (out of 10) by U.S. News, even taking fifth-place overall in the midsize SUV segment.
According to U.S. News, the 2020 Dodge Durango’s “powerful optional V8 engines” may be one of the biggest reasons behind its awesomeness, but it’s not the only one.
New buyers can choose between not one, but two V8 engines in the Dodge Durango. While both V8s are Hemis, the 5.7-liter option makes 360 hp and the larger, 6.4-liter engine makes 475 hp. Inspired by Dodge’s muscle car heritage, the 6.4-liter V8 can “launch from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds.” So Dodge didn’t just make the V8 available in the Durango, it made the SUV truly great.
According to Consumer Reports, the 2020 Dodge Durango is “a luxurious, refined, and functional SUV that rates near the top of its category.” Not just home to a powerful V8 engine, the Durango is loaded with all the expected creature comforts, plenty of cargo and passenger space, and is coupled with a super-smooth transmission. The V8 choice also provides ample towing capabilities, as well as better off-road capabilities than competitors.
What would make the Dodge Durango a better SUV
It’s clear that the V8 Dodge Durango is experts’ top choice. Unfortunately, the V8 is only available as standard equipment on upgraded trim levels, like the R/T and SRT. Most variants, including the base Durango, come standard with a V6 engine that the same U.S. News expert call “underwhelming.” If you want the better V8 engine, you’ll have to pay extra.
And although most owners would say the Durango’s size is one of the reasons they purchased it, the 2020 Dodge Durango can feel large on the road, and experts don’t enjoy its relatively-slow steering response. Though new owners will get a powerful, high-performing V8 engine for a good bargain, you’ll have to also deal with so-so, average safety ratings for its class.