The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a mad mad SUV. SUV’s were supposed to be a family driven, kids hauling to football matches, grocery shopping and the occasional excursions to the beach sort of vehicle. But no, we wanted power and this is Jeep’s version of pure American muscle SUV eating up hot hatches and some performance oriented Japanese coupes on its way from grocery runs with kids in tow. It’s beefier in every proportion and looks sexy as hell.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review
Just look at it!! Ever sinew of its extra muscular bulge is pronounced on its hood. The sculpted and bulging rims and its red-painted calipers adds visual nirvana to its stance and hints at its performance capabilities. It sits lower than the V6 and the V8 variant of its lesser-endowed siblings. And in case one’s eyes fail to notice these differences, there are “SRT” badges, which stands for “Street Racing Technology”. Yup, you read right.
For 2014, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT receives an all-new 8 speed automatic gearbox, a jump in three extra gear ratios, in an effort to be frugal in its octane consumption. The “ECO” button located below the A/C controls works at optimizing transmission shift points and de-activates 4 cylinders while cruising, and no, having the cruise control set at 200 kmph is not called cruising. An 8.4 inch touch-sceen shows the SRT’s exclusive Performance pages, we can see the G-Forces, lap times, 0-100 kmph score cards and the power that the engine is laying out much like some of the stats that are shown in the Nissan GT-R’s interface.
Once you open the door you realize immediately the purpose of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. The seats are well padded for a snug fit and lined with alcantara in the center and leather on the side. There is carbon fiber trim that runs from the door and all around the center console but the biggest and most significant sight is its steering wheel. It’s the only device in any car, which we tend to touch at all times. The SRT’s steering wheel is beefy all around. Just touch it and you would understand why Jeep has spent time on this.
The tachometers are sandwiched between a very communicative 7-inch multi-view gauge cluster. It even records 0-100 kmph times and quarter miles for you. We tried it out and got 4.7 seconds to 100 kmph from a standing start,thats recorded in our picture gallery below the specs list.
A knob to select 5 driving modes is present and switches from “Track – Sport – Normal – Snow – Tow” depending on the driving requirements. We had kept the ECU setting to “Normal” under everyday driving conditions and the 6.4Litre HEMI V8 provided an unprecedented surge of torque every time we stepped on the gas. Why would one need “Sport” or the rather the “Track” setting? Why not? Once the knob is dialed all the way counter-clockwise to “Track” setting and the gas pedal is flat against the footboard, one experiences the full 630Nm as the tacho climbs fast to 4300 rpm. The surge is relentless and constant and leaves the driver literally pinned against the alcantara lined seats. The character of the Jeep SRT changes to that of a certain AWD German Sports Car and essentially becomes a rear wheel drive rocket as 70% of the torque is directed to the rear wheels.
Firing up the HEMI releases a muted growl than the previous generations SRT. It’s not a loud “waking up the neighborhood” type but still deep much like an deep snort of a lion waking up from its sleep. The SRT is all about speed and thrust. A “Launch Control” button whose logo resembles a drag light Christmas tree resides next to the ECU knob. Switch it “ON”, press the brakes with the left leg while holding the accelerator and then let go. The SRT hauls like a bat out of hell and it doesn’t end there, the push is unabated way past a cop’s comfort zone.
The springs and dampening of the suspension are pretty taught. Rightfully so, the SRT is not an out and about SUV. The minor flaws on Sh. Zayed Road are felt but not to the point that it would irritate the driver or the passengers. The Grand Cherokee SRT rides over the bumps with a lot of feel while it tries to smoothen out the major rough edges. It does a good job. We felt that the ride was a great balance of comfort and sportiness. But truth be told, parading around town and at highways, the suspension is comfortable enough for a relaxed family drive experience.
The handling of the Grand Cherokee SRT is predictable and reassuring when pushed hard. It’s also predictable in running wide under hard acceleration into a tight bend but then again this is the feel we get from BMW’s X5M. The Jeep SRT is composed and roars though the highways at speeds and ploughs through the bends that belie its weight. Pirelli’s Scorpion tires support the SRT’s superior handling characteristics with a 295 section all around. This also results in a firm and weighty feel from the steering wheel.
Guiding the Jeep SRT in stop and go traffic and into mall parks feels like any other medium sized SUV. Inside, the visibility is un-obtrusive while the blind spot beeps alerts are a great everyday driving aid.
The interior of the Jeep SRT feels European and comes with an abundance of leather all around. The stitchings and different leather trims are a welcome sight each time we got into it. Gone are the days when American SUV’s relied heavily on plastics, the new SRT is an American SUV HOT ROD with European taste.
This is an SUV that pleases the eyes. We got all the visual delights checked. Bulging hood (check), dark rims (check), red painted Brembo six piston calipers (check) and lastly the two large satin finished exhausts at the back (check). I have always said before that a car should look great too, the Jeep SRT not only looks awesome but at the same time provide performance and daily drivability in a neat and now easy on the gas package.
|2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT|
|Displacement||6.4 Litre HEMI V8 w/fuel saver technology|
|Rated Output||470 hp @ 6000 rpm|
|Rated Torque||630Nm @ 4300 rpm|
|Transmission – type of gearshift||8 speed automatic AWD|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||5.0 secs (as tested 4.7 secs)|
|Max Speed||260 kmph|
|Towing Capacity||2,269 kgs|
Images by Brian Donegan :