Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

14 Oct, 2011 11:55am

Our verdict on monster HEMI V8 that gives SUV a supercar punch


The Grand Cherokee SRT8 has all the appeal of an American muscle car in a practical, flexible SUV body. It’s not for the shy or retiring and it will cost a lot to run, but it’s fast and handles very well. What’s more, it’s loaded with standard equipment. Sales will be tiny compared to its excellent diesel sister car and models like the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne, but the SRT8 is sure to put a smile on your face.
This is the fastest and most powerful Jeep Grand Cherokee ever – the new SRT8.

With a 470bhp 6.4-litre HEMI V8, the flagship performance SUV has even more muscle than the old 414bhp 6.1-litre model.

It posts remarkable figures, such as 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 158mph.

It looks the part, too, with a deep front chin spoiler, huge 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels hiding bright red Brembo brake calipers and enormous exhausts.

On the move, it’s no shrinking violet. The V8’s roar is loud and addictive, but the surprise is that the SRT8 handles well, feeling secure with lots of grip. It would benefit from more steering feel and an extra ratio or two in the five-speed automatic gearbox, but despite the very large tyres, the ride is quite comfortable.

Interior quality is better than ever – although still behind BMW and Porsche – and there’s lots of equipment, with carbon-look trim, leather and Alcantara seats, plus a panoramic sunroof and electrically opening tailgate.

We’re fans of the latest Grand Cherokee, and while the SRT8 will have a limited audience, it has a certain appeal if you can afford the enormous fuel bills.

Disqus - noscript

The Carbon fiber in the new Grand Cherokee SRT8 is authentic carbon that is hand laid and clear coated for UV protection. They are using the same suppliers that supply the Germans you speak of. New for 2012 the "monster" V8 also features a 4 cylinder deactivation strategy that is actually very aggressive in it's calibration, when cruising at highway speeds and extra urban motoring. The one I tested was able to beat the stated mileage
claim buy 3-4mpg with some right foot control! You also fail to mention the 5mode suspension that has a very comfortable auto setting, an entertaining sport mode and an outrageously stiff Race mode which also changes the torque split to a fun enducing rear bias set up. This jeep has some engaging depth and is much more useable and provocative than the primitive predecessor. My favorite feature is the mono block 6 piston Brembo's acting on 385mm monster discs....great work SRT 5stars in my book!

The prices we paid where the same as the Americans it would be OK ($62000 in America or about £39000), its not worth £20k more, irrespective of the improvements, its still lacking in genuine interior quality, the fake metal trim is still so obviously constructed of recycled lego, the leather has never seen a cow and the UK dealers are shocking. Like I said at £40k its just about acceptable at £60K it isnt.

Bit of a lemon really!! for this country anyway (uk), why would you want a track setting for a 4/4?

Key specs

* Price: £59,000 (est)
* Engine: 6.4-litre V8 petrol
* Power/torque: 470bhp/630Nm
* Transmission: Five-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
* 0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
* Top speed: 158mph
* Econ/CO2: 16.8mpg/300g/km (est)
* Equipment: Leather upholstery, air-conditioning, reversing camera, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof
* On sale: Early 2012