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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review

Sep 29, 2017

The city churns out a trail of burned-out brains, dopamine domination, social lives sculpted by pure image, and furious individuals screaming into the blinking blue echo chamber as a defense against their own impotence.

Engine: 6.4L HEMI V8

Output: 475 hp, 470 lb-ft

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Weight: 5,104 lbs (2,315 kg)

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.8 seconds

Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 4.9 seconds

EPA Fuel Economy (MPG): 13 city, 19 hwy

CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km): 18.3 city, 12.6 hwy

US Price: $67,990 starting, $83,345 as tested

CAN Price: $72,195 starting, $91,235 as tested

(all prices include destination)

Well then, what are the optics of a 5,000-pound shoe box happy to dispatch asphalt with sadistic laughter at speeds best measured in felonies?

On the surface, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT looks like the vehicular embodiment of a schizotypal state: one foot planted in the reality of responsible family transportation with seven airbags, a suite of standard active safety features, and compulsory all-wheel drive. The other lives in a fantasy land of launch control, smoky slip angles, and an atavistic engine note normally reserved for professional use.

From there the adjectives get worse, especially when you realize the SRT’s $67,990 MSRP ($72,000 in Canada) is actually just cover charge for the privilege of guzzling more gas than a Ferrari 488. But that’s only true if you trap yourself in the generational short circuit of valuing the image over the object.

A Jeep packing 392 cubic inches of hot explosions may look like mere mid-life braggadocio, but in practice, the SRT proves itself as the best bug-out buddy you could wish for, ready and willing to lay down the law of “leave me alone” on the way to deliverance.

Powerful Urges

It starts with propulsion — there’s plenty — it comes from a prodigious 6.4-liter V8 cracking out 475 horsepower and 470 pounding feet of twist which baugh-baugh-baughs out through twin black chrome tips in a low-frequency mechanical frenzy capable of caving in chests. The HEMI is hooked to a ZF-derived eight-speed automatic transmission which feeds motion to a squared set of 295-section Pirelli Run Flats wrapped around 20-inch Carbon Black Forged wheels ($995 US and CAN) via an SRT tweaked version of Jeep’s Quadra-Trac full-time-four-wheel-drive system and an Electronic Limited-Slip Differential.

A Bilstein active suspension system, lowered ride height, aluminum control arms, increased camber, stiffer roll bars and revised steering calibration transform the trail-rated Grand Cherokee into a tarmac terrorizer capable of 0.9 g on the skidpad. Equip it with the $1,295 (US and CAN) High-Performance Brake package and you’ll get a set of big fire-engine red Brembos which will come in handy if you decide to stretch for the stratosphere somewhere in the middle of nowhere—six-piston calipers bite 15-inch (381 millimeters) rotors in the front, with four-pistons grabbing 13.8-inch (351 mm) rotors out back. When used properly they’ll bring the SRT to a complete stop from highway speeds in 116 feet (35 meters).

The entire orchestra is conducted through a performance-oriented version of Jeep’s Selec-Trac system which offers seven pre-programmed personalities: Auto, Eco, Sport, Track, Tow, Snow, and Valet. For the anoraks, there’s a Custom button which lets you tweak drivetrain, suspension, stability control, and steering calibration through the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen.

All of the SRT’s specific components coalesce into a machine capable of accelerating to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.8 seconds on its way to a 160 mph (257 km/h) top end, which absurdly, isn’t even the fastest a Jeep will go anymore. For an extra $995 ($825 CAN), this hot-rod rhinoceros could lug a 7,200-lb trailer (3,266 kg), but I was more interested in escaping Toronto’s walking skyscrapers for a reprieve in the woods outside Otter Lake, Quebec.

Operation GTFO

Besides distance, the hardest part of our journey would be getting out of the city among the crazed congestion on Highway 401 as it runs east-west through the Greater Toronto Area. Theoretically, this is where the Grand Cherokee’s active highway aids should shine; in particular, I was counting on Adaptive Cruise Control to handle most of the heavy lifting as we moved east, engulfed by mid-day volume.

With the ACC set to 75 mph (120 km/h) and the SRT lumbering along in the middle lane, things were perfect for about 20 minutes. Like most adaptive cruise control systems, the Grand Cherokee uses a front-mounted sensor array to maintain a predetermined following distance at a set speed. However, if the speed you want is too fast for the spacing you’ve set, the SRT’s brain will apply the brakes in order to create the desired gap, or come to a full stop if need be.

But as other cars cut in and out of the middle lane from both the left and right, the Grand Cherokee began to vacillate between slowing down and speeding up. Pitching forward as it slowed to create a gap to the new car in front, before squatting slightly as it accelerated back to our predetermined speed, only to pitch forward again as it began to encroach on the safe following distance, which brought on another round of acceleration.

That’s when my foot went back in charge—robots and computers may operate more efficiently than people but they sorely lack the fluidity and foresight of a human brain when dealing with other erratic individuals. An attentive driver registers different information than a car’s sensors and algorithms, detecting and using the subtle movements of other drivers, like a shoulder check or creeping towards the line, to anticipate movement. That’s not a knock on Jeep’s application of ACC, but my own lack of enthusiasm for the technology.

Even Lane Keep Assist earned itself a timeout after spending too much time squabbling with me as we danced through knots of slower-moving traffic. Despite a few false freak outs, Forward Collision Warning was the only active safety feature to survive the 600-mile (1,000-km) round trip intact, because, why not?

Steady-state highway cruising brings out one of the SRT’s biggest quirks, cylinder deactivation. Software tweaks in 2015 expanded the range of the technology, allowing for the big HEMI to spend more time operating with only half its holes firing when the Eco setting is activated. The 6.4’s attempt at efficiency happens with a conspicuously bassy gurgle that penetrates the serene cabin even though you’re only operating with 196 cubes. It’s rated for 15 mpg combined (15.7 L/100 km) which I turned into 16 mpg (14.6 L/100 km) despite deliberate disobedience of posted limits.

Jeep also gave the SRT standard Active Noise Cancelling technology, which uses four microphones and the Grand Cherokee’s sound system to counteract road noises coming from the gargantuan 11-inch-wide run-flat tires beating on the pavement. Unfortunately, it also somewhat suppresses the HEMI’s aural ruckus.

Speaking of sound systems, ours was equipped with the $1,995 (US and CAN) High-Performance Audio Package which adds 19 Harman Kardon speakers plus a subwoofer, along with an 825-watt amp. There was also a $2,150 (US and CAN) Rear Entertainment Center which never saw use.

Two-Lane Blacktop

We pulled off the 401 at Belleville and headed across ON-37 towards Tweed where we’d stop for a sip of the SRT’s favorite fluid before hooking up with the 41 and then the 132 before crossing into Quebec just east of Renfrew. Unfortunately, progress was held hostage by a lackadaisical Volvo stumbling along at ten under the limit, followed by a tractor-trailer that would make gauging oncoming traffic dubious at best.

My interior monologue is jangled. “Oy, I thought you said this thing was fast. I’m bored. Are we there yet?” Don’t answer, crank the tunes, shut the voice off, there seems to be space.

The first time you pull out to pass with your foot to the firewall it’s like unwrapping all of your Christmas gifts at once. Most of the HEMI’s 470 pounding feet of torque are available as low as idle speed, and all of them kick you in the gut at 4,300 rpm before all 475 horses hit their stride around 6,000 rpm, launching you forward much faster than a two-and-a-half ton brick should be allowed from a moral standpoint.

The stability and silence mean the sensation of speed is non-existent until deep triple-digit territory, and even so, you only notice because the scenery’s melted into a liquid smear silently hissing by your window.

Breaking the Border

We cross into Quebec over the Chenaux Generating Station for the last leg of our trek, a 45-minute bomb up the twisty and dippy QC-301, followed by a short dirt road sprint around two lakes before crawling down a single track through the trees to a clearing with a yurt that would be home for the next few days.

For the time being, I was still cosseted by the Grand Cherokee’s $4,995 ($6,995 CAN) Laguna Leather seats, which trade the Grand Cherokee’s standard Nappa leather for the hides from ethically raised, baptized, and virtuously slaughtered Scandinavian cows. In reality total option cost is more like $9,085 ($10,685 CAN) because Jeep won’t let you have the top-shelf leather without first equipping the $1,995 High-Performance Audio pack (US and CAN) and the $2,095 Dual-Pane Sunroof ($1,695 CAN)—but I digress.

In an effort to save fuel I had left the SRT to manage its own affairs in full auto mode—but there’s something about La Belle Province that always makes me frisky and I felt like playing.

Rotating between the performance modes changes the Jeep’s vibrations instantly as it tenses and tightens between Auto, Sport and Track. The steering gets heavier but doesn’t provide extra information, the dampening tosses comfort for corner speed, and when cranked in Track mode there’s a real urgency in its belly as the transmission starts to fire off aggressive upshifts with a sharp spit.

Mode changes also affect the all-wheel-drive system’s torque distribution; in Auto mode 60 percent of available torque goes rearward, Sport ups that to 65 percent, while Track gets 70 percent sent to the back.

Despite Jeep’s major league performance promise, the Grand Cherokee SRT isn’t exactly the happiest apex chaser. When really cooking, the height and mass underfoot trigger warning bells inside your brain despite pulling less than 1.0 g laterally, while aggressive driveline lash and suspension dampening in Track mode can make it feel squirmy on the street.

Paradoxically, it’s dirt where the Grand Cherokee still remains the most comfortable, especially when you dial it in using SRT’s à la carte matrix of go-fast features available through the Custom Performance Page. Setting AWD and stability control to Track with suspension and steering left in their most comfortable settings, the bruiser becomes a venerable V8 rally wagon. Fat rubbers floating over the loose surface in lithe four-wheel slides, hooking from ditch to ditch, front tires clawing forward, the rears spinning and spitting a wake of sand and stone under a coniferous canopy.

Even at its most liberal, the factory stability control wasn’t totally comfortable with the yaw angles we were pulling through the desolate dirt esses, but truthfully, I don’t really want to know how the SRT would behave completely unchained.

Mobile phone reception had been obliterated for well over an hour before we reached the single track to the yurt, the wonderfully incurable sanity of speed and solitude.

Verdict: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review

It would be mean to call the Grand Cherokee SRT ostentatious. The truck isn’t vulgar, pretentious, or in your face, the only thing giving away the secret the SRT stows below its bonnet is a new set of intakes which underline the traditional seven-slot Jeep grille. It’s sneaky fast, a special brand of quick that leaves people bitter after the fact because they fell hook, line, and sinker for a sucker bet.

As the only vehicle in FCA’s family to join the company’s 6.4-liter V8 with full-time all-wheel-drive, the sleeper Jeep basically embarrasses everything else on the road short of high-end performance machinery. However, that brings notoriously awful fuel consumption in stop-and-go city driving, which spikes lifetime running costs on a Grand Cherokee that already carries a significant price premium over the next closest trim.

Realistically though, you don’t buy an ESSS-ARGH-TEED Jeep by accident, anyone even remotely toying with the idea of buying one will be well aware of the life of consumption they’re signing up for—they’ll also know that they’re saving a fistful of dollars compared to similar products with German labeling.

But who cares, even moderation should only be enjoyed in moderate doses—sometimes you get what you want, it just depends on what you need.


Inappropriately Powerful
Tastefully Aggressive
Rally Wagon


Run Flats
Superfluous Steering Weight
Brembos Should be Standard

Super Moderator
23,433 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
2018 Jeep Grand SRT Cherokee Fact Sheet

2018 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Fact Sheet

September 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Celebrating 25 years, Jeep® Grand Cherokee is the most-awarded SUV ever and the vehicle that has long defined what a premium SUV should be. Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of four available 4x4 systems, Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension system and class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. Grand Cherokee boasts best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds and a crawl ratio of 44.1:1. For 2018, the Jeep brand expands its Grand Cherokee lineup with the introduction of the new Trackhawk model – the most powerful and quickest SUV ever – that already includes the most capable factory-produced and most luxurious Grand Cherokee models ever with the Trailhawk and Summit.

A refined exterior design — complete with available bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL) — provides a premium appearance. Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk models feature an aggressive, functional exterior design that optimizes airflow and cooling with the signature seven-slot upper front grille flanked by adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps. The headlamps on the Trackhawk model feature a unique Gloss Black background to accent their jewel-like appearance. Interior luxury is achieved with premium amenities, including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and unique color offerings.

New for 2018

New Grand Cherokee Trackhawk model expands lineup with most powerful and quickest SUV ever featuring a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers 707 horsepower, 645 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.5 seconds, quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds and top speed of 180 mph
Grand Cherokee models are equipped with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through the latest version of Uconnect’s 8.4-inch touchscreen radio system that features higher resolution and pinch-and-zoom capability
Higher-resolution 7-inch screen replaces the standard 5-inch Uconnect radio system
Grand Cherokee Sterling Edition debuts, available on Limited models, marking Grand Cherokee’s 25th anniversary and features Platinum Chrome badging, lower fascia applique, grille rings, roof rails and fog lamp bezels, 20-inch Heritage wheels, available Sangria exterior color, platinum tow hooks and a “25th Anniversary” badge. Inside, a new Real Metal package, leather-trimmed instrument panel and center console, and unique Heritage perforated seats that feature decorative stitching is standard. Uconnect’s 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a nine-speaker audio system with active noise cancellation and Blind Spot monitoring with Cross Path Detection are also standard
Grand Cherokee High Altitude Edition returns for the 2018 model year, available on Overland models, and includes Low Gloss Granite Crystal badging, grille bezels, step pad, tail lamps, and 20-inch wheels, Gloss Black grille, Black Nappa perforated leather seats with Black accent stitching, Anodized Gun Metal interior accents, Black instrument panel accent stitching, Jeep Active Safety Group, Blind Spot Monitoring and a dual pane sunroof
Grand Cherokee Summit, SRT and Trackhawk receive a new Premium Metal package that enhances the interior with various upscale real metal accents
Grand Cherokee SRT with the available Signature Leather Wrapped interior package now features matte carbon fiber spears, black exterior badging and new standard 20-inch Satin Carbon Spider Monkey wheels. Low Gloss Black 20-inch lightweight wheels are optional
Grand Cherokee Overland models now offer Brown interior color option with Light Diesel Gray accent stitching
Grand Cherokee Laredo models now feature new cloth patterned seats available in Black or Light Frost Beige and new 17-inch aluminum wheels
Active Noise Cancellation is now standard with the available nine-speaker Alpine audio system


The standard Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6-powered Grand Cherokee, rated up to 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, tows up to 6,200 pounds while the available 5.7-liter V-8 packs 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with best-in-class towing capacity of 7,400 lbs.
Grand Cherokee SRT returns with its proven and powerful 6.4-liter V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Performance includes 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.3 seconds, quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph
New Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the most-powerful and quickest SUV ever, relies on a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine rated at 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Performance includes 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.5 seconds, quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds and top speed of 180 mph
Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk models feature five dynamic drive modes that allow owners the ability to personalize their drive experience whether its on road or on track. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, stability control, suspension and steering. Drive modes are pre-configured for Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow settings via a switch on the center console, while the Custom setting lets the driver customize the drive experience to their favorite settings
Auto — Automatically adapts to any condition; uses a 40 percent front/60 percent rear torque split
Sport — Transmission shift times are reduced by 50 percent versus Auto Mode; stability control, four-wheel drive and steering systems are set for typical enthusiast driving style; paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is tightened up without increasing impact harshness to deliver increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode; uses 35/65 torque split
Track — Transmission shift times are reduced 68 percent versus Auto Mode to 160 milliseconds; stability control, four-wheel drive and steering systems are set for ultimate track performance; paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is set to full firm to deliver maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces; uses 30/70 torque split
Tow — Alters torque delivery off the line for greater smoothness and adjusts suspension to combat pitch and yaw to deliver maximum towing performance: uses 60/40 torque split
Snow — Maximizes traction to deliver optimized performance on snow and ice with reduced engine horsepower; uses 50/50 torque split
Standard launch control mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk’s performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension in line for a textbook launch. Controlled by a button on the center console, the result is improved and more consistent straight-line acceleration
All Jeep Grand Cherokee engines are mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. In addition to enhancing fuel economy, the robust and durable eight-speed transmission delivers quick acceleration and precise, smooth shifting, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels
All Grand Cherokee models equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine features Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology to improve fuel efficiency by shutting the engine off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Amenities (radio, gauges, heating or air conditioning, etc.) continue to operate and the engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake, allowing seamless acceleration
Quadra-Drive II, with a rear Electronic Limited-slip Differential (ELSD), delivers industry-leading tractive capability. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip
Selec-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Grand Cherokee’s speed both up and down steep, rugged grades with the steering wheel paddle shifters – without the need for throttle or brake input. Unique to its segment, Grand Cherokee Hill-descent Control also works when the vehicle is in Reverse
The Jeep Grand Cherokee includes more than 70 safety and security features as well as an array of advanced user-friendly technology features, such as the latest version of the award-winning Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen radio with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and integrated climate and infotainment controls and a 7-inch customer configurable multiview display cluster

Model Lineup
For 2018, the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup consists of seven models:


Exterior Colors

Diamond Black
Walnut Brown
Velvet Red
Redline (Trailhawk, SRT and Trackhawk only)
True Blue
Granite Crystal
Billet Silver
Ivory Pearl Tri-Coat
Bright White
Sangria (Sterling Edition and High Altitude only)

Interior Colors

Black/Light Frost Beige
Black/Ruby Red (Trailhawk and Trackhawk)
Brown/Light Gray (Overland)
Indigo Blue/Brown (Overland)
Dark Sienna Brown/Black
Indigo/Ski Gray (Summit)
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