What can you say about the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT other than it has prodigious power, luxury interior and true 4WD ability. The truly impressive thing about the Grand Cherokee SRT is its balance between power, luxury and price.
Driving the Grand Cherokee SRT is both an aural and tactile delight. It always attracts attention from people passing by. The exhaust tone also evokes memories of the older pre catalytic converter V8 burble. It is just awesome and I have been known to just sit in the driveway starting and stopping the SRT simply to listen to the burble. Previously I have been approached by a total stranger who does the same with his SRT. It’s great to know there are other enthusiasts out there that makes my idiosyncrasies seem normal.
Externally the SRT presents an imposing muscular frame, especially in black and features include a brawnier black front grill with chrome inserts, black background adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and exclusive bonnet bulge.
Internally the Grand Cherokee SRT exudes luxury and comfort. There is a choice of an exclusive leather interior in two distinctive colours combinations – Black Nappa leather with perforated suede and light slate grey accent stitching as standard and all-new Laguna leather with perforated suede in Sepia with Silver accent stitching as an option. Both leather trim combinations are matched with carbon fibre trim adorning the instrument panel and doors.
The SRT interior is further distinguished by a unique heated three-spoke steering wheel with a race-inspired flat bottom and more pronounced, ergonomically efficient paddle shifters that I have to say work well given my hatred of these adornments.
The high performance Nappa leather SRT monogrammed front seats are heated and ventilated and exceptionally comfortable. Combine the electronic seat controls with the height and reach adjustable steering wheel and it’s easy to find a perfect driving position.
Luxury features include the Uconnect system with 8.4-inch touchscreen and the new 7.0-inch TFT colour customer configurable instrument cluster display. The SRT is available with command view roof and a state-of-the-art 19-speaker, 825-watt Harman Kardon surround sound audio system as an option package.
The true four wheel drive ability that Jeep is legendary for comes from an exclusive-to-SRT, Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel-drive system. The Grand Cherokee SRT also features Brake Traction Control System (BTCS) on the front differential and a rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD).
The Selec-Track system is fitted exclusively to the Grand Cherokee SRT model. This system interacts with several different systems (stability control, active damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation) to automatically tune the dynamics of the vehicle according to the drivers’ habits and current driving conditions.
The driver can manually choose between the following dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Track, Tow and Snow – for specific driving performances. On the new SRT model, software improvements to Selec-Track further distinguish the five dynamic modes, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that more closely meets their requirements and ambient conditions. Drivers will find the torque split change in Track Mode provides a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit and one that delivers faster lap times at their favourite track.
The Grand Cherokee SRT is fitted with the proven and powerful 6.4-litre Hemi V8 engine equipped with Fuel Saver Technology, which produces 344 kW of power at 6,250 rpm and 624 Nm of torque at 4,100 rpm to deliver benchmark SRT performance through an 8 speed Tiptronic transmission. It sounds AWESOME! I must admit to sitting in the driveway continually starting the engine just to hear the V8 burble. I must have been deprived as a child.
This powerplant will propel the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT from 0-100kmh in 4.9 seconds, has a maximum speed of 255kmh and again, if driven sensibly, will consume fuel at an ADR rate of 14.0l/100k. That will raise substantially with enthusiastic driving.
Fuel Saver Technology on the Hemi V8 engine optimises fuel efficiency and reduces emissions by alternating between a four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and a V8 mode when more power is in demand. However while it may sip frugally on the highway, if you bury the right foot the fuel disappears at an alarming rate.
Also for Grand Cherokee and exclusive to the SRT model is the Launch Control system, which has been paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Launch Control mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimise the SRT’s performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension in line for a textbook launch. Controlled by a button located behind the new T-handle shifter on the centre console, it delivers enhanced and more consistent straight-line acceleration.
In addition to its standard safety equipment, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Electronic Rollover Mitigation (ERM), ABS with off-road calibration, Brake Traction Control System (BTCS) and seven airbags (advanced multi-stage driver and front passenger, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants, driver knee airbag). The Grand Cherokee SRT offers upgraded Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, Blind Spot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, ParkView rear back up camera with dynamic grid, ParkSense park assist system and new Selec-Speed Control with Hill Ascent Control and Hill Descent Control, assisting the driver climbing and descending steep grades.
The Grand Cherokee SRT is one of the few vehicles that I would go for a drive 2 or 3 times a day simply for the fun of it. The SRT is hypnotic. It entices you to experience its pleasures and embraces you like a lover when you do.
Driving the SRT is an experience right from sitting in the Nappa leather seats and hearing that exhaust burble upon start up, through to powering through a series of bends where the agility and dynamics of the suspension belie its bulky proportions. Do yourself a favour and visit a dealer, start up the engine and you will fall in lust with the beast; drive one and you will fall in love.
At a RDAP of $91,984 it is starting to become a little expensive but still represents reasonable value. As mentioned, what you have here is a sports SUV that has true 4WD ability, prodigious power, and luxury, with a comfortable interior at a reasonable price. Not to mention the aural delights of that melodic 6.4L Hemi V8. Nothing comes close for the now arguably growing price.