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Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 2014 review

We turn the spotlight on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and ask the crucial questions, including the biggest -- would you buy one?

We turn the spotlight on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and ask the crucial questions, including the biggest -- would you buy one?

What is it?

The HSV of Jeeps. Looks menacing and comes with a stonking great 6.4-litre V8 that delivers amazing performance and plenty of aural fireworks. The company describes it as the most powerful and technologically advanced Jeep ever built.

How much?

Deep breath . . . $77,000 (but it's a relative bargain in performance terms compared with the German competition which costs up to twice as much).

What are competitors?

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Explore the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee range

Audi no longer offers the V12 Q7, but BMW's X5 M50d is $148K, the Benz ML63 AMG is $180K, Ranger Rover Sport 5.8 Autobiography $182K and the Porsche Cayenne GTS is $150K (the Turbo even more).

What's under the bonnet?

The 6.4-litre hemi V8 features multi-point injection, variable valve timing and cylinder shutdown technology for better fuel economy. It delivers a gob-smacking 344kW of power at 6250 revs and 624Nm of torque at 4100 revs. It's hooked up to a new 8-speed auto with power fed to all four wheels through an on-demand four wheel drive system. The driver can change gears manually the shifter or via the wheel mounted paddle shifts.

How does it go?

Quick. In a word. We've actually driven this car on a race track and it handles too. You've gotta love the Americans because the trip computer system includes politically questionable features like a timer for the dash from 0-100km/h (which incidentally showed a best time in our car of 4.9 seconds).

Is it economical?

Sorry. Not in a pink fit. It's rated at 14.0 litres/100km (a tenth of a litre better than the five speed auto) and we were getting 15.0 on the knocker after about 400km. On a brighter note it takes standard 91 RON unleaded and has a largish 93 litre fuel tank.

Is it green?

Hardly. Gets 3 out of 5 stars from the Government's Green Vehicle Guide, with an air pollution rating of 7.5 out of 10 (actually not bad) and produces 327g/km of CO2 (very bad) – but that's not why you'd buy this car . . . right?

Is it safe?

Despite the fact it comes with seven airbags and a full complement of driver assistance systems the Grand Cherokee scores four out of five stars for safety from ANCAP. Includes advanced safety features such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW)), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross-Path Detection (RCP).

Is it comfortable?

Yes and no. With the drive mode in auto the traction/all-wheel drive system is really twitchy. Putting the car into sport mode smooths everything out. Rides on 20 inch wheels with 295/45Pirelli all-season run-flats.

What's it like to drive?

A blast. You can laze around the suburbs or bury the right foot on the motorway and listen to the roar from the big V8 as it picks up the 2.3 tonne vehicle and hurls it forward at an alarming rate. Features an Adaptive damping system with Track, Sport, Auto, Snow, and Tow modes.

Is it value for money?

This baby gets it all, with leather, eight-way power adjust driver and passenger front seats, that are heated and cooled, heated second row seats, front and rear park assist plus a reverse camera, and a power tailgate. Also comes with a 19-speaker killer sound system.

Would we buy one?

Where do we sign? The SRT will put a smile on your dial and is a daily driver for many well heeled owners.

Pricing Guides

Based on 644 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Blackhawk 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $21,999 – 41,888 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Blackhawk Pricing and Specs
Laredo (4x2) 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $16,989 – 26,990 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Laredo (4x2) Pricing and Specs
Laredo (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $14,750 – 39,990 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Laredo (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Limited (4x4) 5.7L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $16,999 – 41,990 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Limited (4x4) Pricing and Specs