It is always a treat for me to have a Chrysler SRT8 product, now officially just called SRT. This week, I have the hot 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT that on paper makes no sense at all, but in real life, is a marvel of sorts.
Let’s start with the obvious; the powertrain. Under the hood, you get a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that is pumping out 470-horses with 465 lb-ft of torque. Note that unlike most vehicles pushing 500-horses, this beast is naturally aspirated with no turbos or superchargers under the hood. It is just pure, raw power. It runs like it sounds…bad to the bone. This Jeep engine hooks to a new and very intelligent 8-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted with paddles on the steering wheel for maximum performance.
My Deep Cherry Red test vehicle comes with an intense list of standard equipment including leather and suede seats. The front buckets are incredibly comfortable and they hug you nicely, which you’ll need when going into a hard turn too fast. In the early development of the new Grand Cherokee that debuted in 2011, Mercedes Benz, that previously owned Jeep, certainly influenced styling cues of the interior.
Also standard is 4-wheel drive with adaptive suspension and an electronic limited-slip rear suspension and electronic stability control. Those items provide superb handling and ride quality whether you are pushing the Jeep or driving normally. Like all Hemi engines, this vehicle has Chrysler’s cylinder-displacement system that reduces you to 4 cylinders when cruising on the highway.
It also comes with rearview camera, parking sensors, pushbutton start, and it will unlock itself with keyless enter-and-go. You never need to pull the key out of your pocket. Other no-charge items are a heated steering wheel, air conditioned and heated front seats, automatic temperature controlled air, navigation system, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, voice controls for the Bluetooth, even heated second row seat and power lift gate.
Then we move on to options, which I find to be priced very well. This SUV has a dual-paned panoramic sunroof, a 825-watt Harman Kardon stereo that rocks 19-speakers, 20” tires and aluminum wheels. If you plan to tow something with the Jeep, trailer towing package will get you completely ready including the hitch for $995. This Jeep is rated to tow a hefty 7200 pounds.
New for 2014, the SRT Grand Cherokee features a restyled front bumper that slopes upward towards the front corners, and Jeep's familiar seven-slot grille is surrounded by a new body panel that extends under the headlights. Around back are new LED taillights and a mildly refreshed tailgate. Aggressive front and rear fascias, and blacked-out trim set the SRT apart from the rest of the Grand Cherokee lineup.
Finally available in the Grand Cherokee SRT is Uconnect, regarded as one of the more user-friendly infotainment systems on the market. Uconnect integrates most of the SUV’s audio, navigation and climate control functions into one unit. An 8.4-inch touchscreen mounted on the dashboard is the central component of the system, but redundant buttons and knobs for climate and audio volume and tuning are also included.
Uconnect Access features a voice command system that allows the driver to place phone calls, use the sound system, and input navigation destinations without taking your hands off the wheel. Other notable features of the system include the ability to function as a Wi-Fi hotspot over a 3G network - for an additional monthly fee - and downloadable applications such as Bing search.
Here’s what you have: a luxury SUV that looks hot, handles great, and performs like a Corvette. What’s not to love? For upper income couples, this may be the perfect mix of Mom’s SUV Monday through Friday, and Dad’s play toy on the weekends.
The price may seem high at first glance, but look at the performance numbers. It performs equal to or better than, the Porsche Cayenne S, Supercharged Range Rover Sport, and BMW X5. Using the track experience mode on the dash, this 5200-pound mass of metal did 0-to-60 in 4.6 seconds, and with the 15” Brembo brakes, shut itself back down to a dead stop quickly and easily.
If you want a sports car, but need an SUV, this is the one.
What I liked most: Power, handling, and interior/exterior looks.
What I would change: Honestly, nothing now that it has an 8-speed.
MSRP: Base price $62,995, as equipped $69,665.
Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 13 City/19 Highway.
2014 Grand Cherokee SRT8 in a few words: Aggressive and elegant.
Warranty: 3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance.
Dealers: If you want a Jeep of any kind, we have dealers in DFW, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Lubbock, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Phoenix. Click here for Jeep dealers in any of these cities: Click Here to Find A Despreporno Certified Dealer Near You
Photo Credit: Jeep