Oh So Grand Jeep Cherokee SRT

Blending in is not something you do when you drive the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, especially when it is blacked-out like the one that I recently drove. At almost 4.9 metres long and weighing just under 2.3 tonnes, this five seat SUV has plenty of space to carry your family in comfort and power to get them to their destination quickly.

Under the bonnet you will find a 6.4 litre naturally aspirated HEMI V8 that puts out 344kW of power and 624Nm of torque. The SRT has a top speed of 258km/hr and will do the 0-100km/h dash in an eye watering 4.9 seconds. There may be quicker SUVs out there, but not many that sound as good as this V8 does. Of course being a V8 means that fuel economy is not great; the official combined fuel use is 14L/100km and I used 17.6L/100km of RON98 for my week with the SRT.

The Diamond Black metallic paint of the my SRT was paired with black 20-inch light weight forged alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero 3 season tyres (a $3,250 optional extra) and dark window tint to complete the menacing look of this SRT. The black wheels were nicely contrasted with the red Brembo brake callipers, but my favourite design element was the front radar, which looked like a missile ready to be launched.

The SRT tuned adaptive damping suspension provided a comfortable ride whether I was in Auto, Sport or Track drive mode. You also get Tow, Snow plus a Custom drive mode that enables you to tune the transmission, stability, AWD, suspension and steering between Track, Sport or Street to your individual liking. The SRT, which stands for Street and Racing Technology, also has launch control and it was easy to use, just hit the launch control button, put your left foot hard on the brake, then your right foot on the accelerator and release the brake to blast off down the road, with an anti-social level of noise coming from the twin exhausts.

The cabin design reflects the blacked out exterior; black Nappa leather seats with suede insets are paired with the real carbon fibre trim, both of which I really liked. The front seats are comfortable and suitable for a larger framed person, with power adjustment in every direction. They are also heated and cooled and like many other manufacturers the cooled seats do not work very well, but the heated seats are adequate.

The steering wheel is leather wrapped and flat bottomed to continue the sporty look of the SRT. The wheel is also heated and this is something you will really love in winter. The wheel-mounted controls include voice control that is designated with a masculine facial outline, something that is common with many car makers. The voice control functionality worked well for me to set a destination on the sat nav, but it was a bit hit and miss for making phone calls.

I liked the mesh-look centre console and under the cover at the front there is two USB ports, one 12V and one AUX inlet to connect to the 8.4” infotainment touchscreen and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. My SRT was fitted with optional Premium Package ($4,650) and this includes the dual pane panoramic sunroof and a 19-speaker harman/kardon audio system to enjoy media from AM/FM, DAB, Bluetooth, AUX or USB. The only cabin feature I didn’t like was the foot brake, which was located on the left hand side of the foot well and ‘above’ the foot rest, so it got in the way a bit when I was resting my left foot.

The rear seats have ample head and leg room for two adults to sit in the back and there are two ISOFIX/three tether child seat restraint points. Annoying though the rear tether anchor points are behind a flap of material in the boot, which would make it difficult to attach the clip for the rear tether. The two outer seats are heated and the central seat folds down as an arm rest with two rigid cup holders plus additional drink bottle storage in the door cubbies.

Rear passengers get air vents behind the centre console and under the front seats, with manual mode control, but the vents can’t be closed off and there is no temperature control. There are also two USB points for device charging.

Like the rest of the SRT the boot is also large, with enough room for a pram and the weekly shop. But my favourite feature was the location of the boot close button low down where a child could reach it on the passenger side of the boot. You get a space saver tyre under the boot floor plus four hooks, four tie down points and one 12V outlet in the boot and the rear seats have 60/40 split folding mechanism should you need even more storage room.

The Grand Cherokee has a 5-star ANCAP (2014) rating, with active safety features on the SRT including Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning Plus with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning Plus, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection. The SRT has a standard rear view camera with front and rear parking sensors plus seven air bags including dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags (curtains) and a driver knee airbag.

All new Jeep vehicles come with a 5 years’ or 100,000km (whichever comes first) factory warranty that includes 24/7 roadside assistance. The service interval for petrol Jeep vehicles is every 12 months or 12,000 km, whichever comes first and from 1 January 2020 Jeep Australia introduced Capped Price Servicing for the first five services based on the standard service intervals for your Jeep. For the Grand Cherokee SRT this amount is capped at $399 per service.

If you are after an SUV that stands out from crowd then the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is the one for you; with its vocal V8 engine and aggressive exterior styling you will definitely turn heads. Priced from $92,450 plus on road costs and as tested $101,245 plus on-roads, it also very well priced considering all of the inclusions that come as standard. Visit your preferred Jeep dealer for more information on the entire Grand Cherokee range.

ProsCons
The HEMI V8 engineHigh fuel use
The exterior and interior stylingLocation of the foot brake
Location of the close button in the bootLocation of the rear tether anchor points

 Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.