What will happen to the Dodge Durango?

The fact that the Dodge Durango Hellcat is a one-year phenomenon should tell you something about how long we can expect these trucks to last.

The Durango started out on a truck platform and stayed there for years before becoming a longer, less off-road-tuned version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rumors at Allpar and Mopar Insiders now peg the Durango as moving over to the Ram platform, just like the Jeep Wagoneer, with production of this new version starting perhaps in calendar-year 2023. This would replace the (speculated, never rumored) Ramcharger theory.

hellcat durango

The Durango’s main differentiation in the segment is towing, which is unlikely to be best-in-class if they stick to the Giorgio-Global-based Grand Cherokee platform; besides, the Grand Cherokee has that end of the market sewn up as far as Stellantis is concerned. The Grand Cherokee L replaces the Durango quite easily.

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So why bother keeping the Durango name at all? Well, if they were going to make a crossover version of the Charger, the Durango name would be an easy choice; but that doesn’t seem to be happening, at least with the Durango. The main reason for keeping the Durango around is to allow for a Wagoneer-type vehicle, a competitor to the Chevy Suburban and its pals, which doesn’t break the bank. The Wagoneer can stay high-end, and stick to one size, while the Durango takes the other size and stays relatively inexpensive. Then all the work put into the Wagoneer will be amortized across a second vehicle, and Stellantis will be able to share a great deal under the skin while taking part in another market segment.

David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create StellPower.com, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.

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