Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine / Transmission: 6.4 litre – 8 Speed automatic
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 14L/100km combined
Price: From $100,873 drive away
This week, the EFTM Garage is host to Jeep’s dated, but still impressive Grand Cherokee SRT. The 6.4 litre ‘hemi’ fitted to the SRT is the absolute star of the show and worth the price of admission alone.
Interestingly, the SRT’s brother, the Trackhawk, sports a slightly smaller V8 (6.2 litre), but pumps out a monstrous 522kw thanks to supercharging. Despite the SRT’s lack of forced induction, power is never lacking (344kw/624nm). Progress is silky smooth and characterful. This is one Jeep that can seriously hustle!
The Grand Cherokee SRT is loaded with adaptive damping, adaptive headlights, active noise cancelling and a full suite of driver aides. Combined, these features produce a really comfortable and capable ride all backed up with a sonorous soundtrack. Some things jar – Americanisms, really.
The foot operated parking brake is just stupid and robs space needed for a foot rest. The stereo is a quality system and includes Apple CarPlay, but the dashboard interface is dated and at least a generation behind the competition.
Still, this much performance in a family SUV for a smidge over $100k is going to result in some compromises. For example, you can almost buy two Grand Cherokee SRTs for the price of one Mercedes GLC 63 S.
The way the SRT combines a big, thumping V8 and a sense of ‘last generation’ is actually kind of alluring. It’s a simple car and none the worse for it. The Americanisms certainly give it character and remind you that no one else does things quite like the U.S of A.
Not So Impressive:
Keeping this much mass under control at this much speed means the SRT needs some serious engineering. Massive 20” rims are needed to accommodate the equally massive Brembo branded calipers.
Unfortunately, Jeep has felt that the SRT’s performance demands massively wide rims at the front. While this looks fantastic, the resulting tramlining is disconcerting at first, but you get used to it. It’s another reminder of the retro, hotrod feel that is the SRT.
Trev took this beast on a 1500km drive through regional NSW, here’s what he thought:
“You don’t realise how many Jeeps there are on the road till you’re in one – they are quite popular, and this one is a head turner. Plus, loads of people have swooned over it on social media, so it’s got appeal. But, out on the Aussie B Roads, it’s not a winner, really does show up the roads imperfection which a car tuned for Australia would not. Turning off lane guideance on the freeway helped a bit with that tramlining effect, and around town it was nice.
Fuel economy was actually excellent on the open road because it drops back to four cylinders, and there’s ample space so no complaints from the kids. I really didn’t mind it overall, but it wouldn’t be my first pick for this level of coin.”
WHEN ON A TEST DRIVE:
If you’re happy being in the hole for $100k for the Grand Cherokee SRT, you just have to try the Trackhawk and hear that supercharger wail. Another alternative is RAM’s excellent range of dual cab mega utes.