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.
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.
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.
In Winding Road Issue 72, we will be announcing the winners of the 2011 Involvement Index Awards, where we select the most deserving, engaging vehicles from a range of categories. In anticipation of honoring the winners in about a month’s time, we’d like to take a look at the most involving American cars from our Index.
Vacations aren’t always just about the destination, especially when you’ve got a great car as a companion. When we asked our Facebook followers what vehicles they take a shine to for the long haul, we gave a few stipulations: it has to be big enough for kids/friends/pets, as well as all of their luggage, and, most importantly, it has to be good to drive. We got some wonderful answers, and we have narrowed the field to our ten picks, here.
High-performance sport utility vehicles are a lot like veggie burgers. Yes, they can be tasty, but the whole time there’s this sense that the meal is trying to be something it’s not, which of course, is the exact truth. That doesn’t automatically mean the feast is destined to be a bad experience, just don’t take a bite expecting it to taste like a medium-rare hamburger.
Dodge has just given its 2011 Charger a very large shot of adrenaline in the form of the SRT8 version. The already rapid 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 from the 2010 SRT8 has been swapped for a 6.4-liter powerplant, with numbers jumping from 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, up to a matching 465 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque.
We took a look around, and put together this list of used vehicles in the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep SRT family, and what one can expect to pay for them. There’s no need to break the bank for a car that’s going to depreciate, when you could buy one slightly used for much, much less.
We have previously, and will likely continue to use various overwhelmingly positive descriptors to paint a proper picture of Chrysler’s 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 engine—brutal, tuneful, torquey, furious, tire-melting, and train-like are all applicable here. Such is the motor that powers the 2010 300C SRT8, and duly, we love the car more than a little bit.