The Dodge Durango Blazes Past the Toyota Highlander

We have a battle of the three-row family SUVs today. The underdog known as the 2020 Dodge Durango is taking on the 2020 Toyota Highlander. Even though the Dodge Durango has more awards, the Toyota Highlander is a more popular option, so let’s learn why. 

Dodge Durango vs. Toyota Highlander 

The 2020 Dodge Durango is a three-row SUV that starts around $30k. The price is a little steep but not as high as the Chevy Tahoe and other rivals. Also, the 2020 Toyota Highlander starts around $34k, so what makes it worth an extra four grand? 

A gray Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat on a turn.
The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat | FCA

Well, for one thing, the Toyota Highlander has a better fuel economy. It gets up to 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the Dodge Durango only gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Also, if you want to save even more on gas, you can check out the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 

Toyota Highlander and Dodge Durango performance 

Under the hood of the Toyota Highlander, you’ll find a 3.5-liter V6 engine that pumps out 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. This is the only engine option, aside from the hybrid transmission. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid driving down dirt road
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

When properly equipped, the Toyota Highlander can tow up to 5,000 lb. It can also accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, creating a sporty drive for a three-row SUV. The Hybrid Highlander takes about 8.2 seconds to reach 60 mph. 

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The Dodge Durango has a 3.6-liter V6 base model engine that provides 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. So, for $4k less, you can have just about the same amount of power as the Highlander has. 

Also, the Dodge Durango offers two V8 engines. The beefiest option is a 6.4-liter V8 HEMI with 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The Dodge Durango can tow between 6,200 to 8,700 lb. So the base model can tow up to 1,200 lb more than the Toyota Highlander. Plus, the Durango offers trailer sway control. 

With the V6 engine, the Dodge Durango can accelerate from 0 to 60 mpg in 6.2 seconds, creating a sportier ride. If you really feel the need for speed with your family, the 2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat is expected to reach 60 mph in 3 seconds. 

2019 Dodge Durango SRT towing a boat down a country road
2019 Dodge Durango SRT | Dodge

Both the Dodge Durango and Toyota Highlander have optional all-wheel-drive available. So both of these SUVs can handle snow and other slippery conditions. The Highlander offers driving modes for various conditions, but the Durango provides ultimate control. 

Dodge Durango and Toyota Highlander features 

The Dodge Durango has slightly more cargo space with up to 85.1 cubic feet. The Toyota Highlander has up to 84.3 cubic feet of cargo space. While the Dodge Durango is noted for having space seats in each row, the Toyota Highlander is known for having a cramped third row. 

2019 Toyota Highlander driving down the highway
2019 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

However, the Toyota Highlander has more standard safety features included with the base model. Before getting into tech and convenience features, the Dodge Durango seems like a better deal. With AWD, the Dodge Durango starts at $33k, which is still less than the Toyota Highlander base model.