In the nutty world of muscle-bound SUVs, the 475-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4×4 is a bit of a girly-man.
What??? You talkin’ to me?
Sorry, dude. Until Uncle Sergio drops that supercharged 707-hp Hellcat Hemi under your hood (and you just KNOW he will), those pressurized hunks from BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz will be opening a can of whoop-ass on your American flanks at every turn.
Read More Hellcat: Test Drive: 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
But let’s forget about those costly Teutonic terrors for the time being. With a starting price of $65,995, this well-sorted and well-endowed SUV does its American thing very well. It delivers big-bore V8 performance and decent value.
And the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT’s talents go deeper than that.
Back in the day, I tested a 2012 edition and found it exciting, brutish and surprisingly good at unwinding a twisty road. Since then, the GC SRT8 has ditched its five-speed auto for the ubiquitous ZF eight-speed unit. (It’s also gone up in price by ten grand.) For 2015 power is up (5 horses to 475 and 5 torques to 470) and they’ve added a noise-cancelling system to quiet the cabin.
While you probably won’t notice the marginal power increase, the new tranny and noise cancelling go a long way in lending an extra layer of refinement and civility to this big Jeep.
Far from coming across as a dumb brute, the 2015 GC SRT proves to be a mighty swift and luxurious SUV that needs to make no apologies to anyone. The seats are terrific, it handles better than any 2,420 kg SUV has a right to, and gussied up to $77,920, it sports all the safety and sybaritic bits you could expect in this segment.
Looks pretty sweet too in Bright White riding on optional 20-inch “black vapor” forged aluminum wheels ($995). Sure, the 567-hp 553 lb-ft BMW X5M or X6M has a higher quality interior and will beat you around a race track, but choosing this Jeep leaves an extra fifty grand in your Dockers, give or take.
And nobody in their right mind will argue with the basso profundo 6.4L Hemi V8 and a five-second dash to 100 km/h.
Standard issue in the SRT Jeep includes real carbon-fibre accents, navigation, heated multi-function steering wheel, satellite radio, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. All stuff that would have a Porsche salesperson wringing his/her hands in glee.
Layered on in this tester is a 19-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system ($1,995), dual pane sunroof ($1,695), rear DVD entertainment system ($2,150) and the $3,295 Luxury Group II that adds more interior leather and a bunch of safety kit (blind spot and cross traffic detection, adaptive cruise and forward collision warning).
The $795 tow package means you can haul up to 3,266 kg (7,200 lb).