While the 8-speed ZF sourced gearbox that made its recent debut in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was big news, we actually got a preview of how this gearbox might behave when hooked to a Mopar motor by way of this Grand Cherokee, which was the first of the Hemi-powered Chrysler vehicles to benefit from the new gearbox.
At first blush, the 2014 Grand Cherokee isn’t a tremendous departure from the model that debuted for 2012. Subtle styling tweaks are apparent, but it’s what’s in the cabin and under the hood that are cause for excitement.
The folks at Gear Patrol have a new series called “Want This, Get This” where they find more reasonable alternatives to expensive, “lust-worthy” purchases. This week’s article focuses on the BMW X5M, and it’s more wallet-friendly stand-in, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
This is the Master Landing Page for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
Even with the SRT8 in its tamest setting, there’s no denying that this 6.4-liter V-8 is a real charmer. In low-rpm, light-throttle situations, it’s quiet while still feeling willing and able to get to speed quickly. Giving it more boot results in effortless acceleration and a deep, meaningful exhaust note that is as American as apple pie. Despite its raciness, though, the throttle response is very manageable around town. It doesn’t feel overly sharp in Auto, and were it not for the sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel and heavily bolstered seats, we may have mistaken our SRT for a more mundane Grand Cherokee.
Called the Trailhawk, it debuted as a concept at the Moab Easter jeep Safari last spring. We’re happy to announce this isn’t just some badge-and-sticker job. Its eighteen-inch wheels are wrapped in Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear tires, for extra durability. It’s built to last as well, with a solid-steel rock guard protecting the underbody (on top of the Grand Cherokee’s standard protections). Power comes from either Chrysler’s award-winning Pentastar V-6 or the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
On one hand the Grand Cherokee offers plenty of utility to back up its SUV credentials. It is a deceptively big vehicle (larger than it looks in photographs) that provides generous space for five full-size adults, plus a capacious cargo area. Some manufacturers would probably try to make an SUV this size into a somewhat compressed-feeling 7-seater, but Jeep has taken the wiser path of sticking with five seats, while giving each passenger (and said passenger’s luggage and gear) a just-right amount of room. This would be a fine vehicle for longer road trips—especially for those who like to take occasional off-road excursions along the way.
It is rare that we find a road test summarized by a switch. But when we climbed into the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, we looked down and sure enough, there it was: The Knob.
We’ll put the question to you then, to ponder and then answer in the comments section below: what two vehicles would make an ideal work/play combo for you?
We’ve assumed a generally rational budget to frame this question—close your eyes and assume that you’re not Jay Leno—but you can feel free to let fantasy rule if you must.
The Angeles Crest Highway was a beautiful way to get from Los Angeles to Willow Springs raceway, and a great venue to display the handling prowess of the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. The scenic mountain curves tested the grip of the P295 Pirellis, and no matter how hard we pushed it, the rubber never broke loose at any corner. Tossing the wheel back and forth, the Jeep responded quickly, with easy transitions and amazingly little body roll. Having those comfortable bolstered seats to hold our torso in place didn’t hurt either. In the tighter corners (and, later, navigating the paddock area of the big track at Willow), the Grand Cherokee felt a lot smaller than expected, thanks to a decent 37.1-foot turning circle. On top of all this, the steering wheel (shared across the 2012 SRT lineup) is thick and nicely shaped for aggressive driving, and wrapped in nice leather—the cherry on top of a good steering experience.
Frankly, we like the 2011 Volvo S60. It’s easily powerful, with its 300 horsepower and 325 pound feet of torque supplying ample amount of remarkably smooth thrust. We like the design, and the car’s interior is a particularly comfortable and aesthetically pleasing space for the driver and passengers. We appreciate all Volvo’s technology that keeps us, our loved ones, and nearby strangers safe. From a driver’s standpoint, this is a rewarding car. But from that same standpoint, one part of the driving dynamics of the S60 stands out as an area that could stand some improvement: turning. And with our most recent loan of the stylish Swede, we took the time to sort out the ways in which the act of steering falls short of perfect.
“Smooth.” That’s the one word that kept creeping into my mind during my time with the LX. Something as simple as pulling away from a stoplight, regardless of throttle input, is a relaxed, comfortable experience. By relaxed, I certainly don’t mean slow, as the 5.7-liter V-8 provides more than enough power to get you going.
The organizers of the North American Car And Truck Of The Year Awards have announced the three finalists for each category. The winners will be announced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
If there is one vehicle that is key to Chrysler’s survival, there is a good chance that it is the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee has always been a popular choice, especially in the Snow Belt, due to its off-road ability, large but easy-to-handle size, and general coolness. For 2011, the resilient GC gets some new sheet metal, and importantly, an all-new 3.6-liter V-6 motor. Jeep offered us a week behind the wheel, and during that time, we pushed it to the max both on- and off-road.
The Chrysler group has released a couple of commercials, one for the Dodge Challenger, and one for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both tugs at the patriot’s heartstrings, though the anachronistic Dodge ad, we think, is particularly clever. It gave us a chuckle, too, when we caught the deadly serious look on George Washington’s face. And, we always love to see a Jeep get tossed around in the mud.
Today, Jeep released photos and video of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee ahead of its production launch this Friday.