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Jeep Grand Cherokee 2006 Review

This is probably the only photograph you will ever see of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 in the wild.

This is no bush basher. It's a pavement poseur.

After all, SRT stands for "street and racing technology" and the 8 stands for the 6.1-litre Hemi V8 under the bonnet.

Street, not fire trail. Racing, not mudlarking.

This is the sort of 4WD you have when you really want to stick it up the nose of Harold Scruby the self-appointed president of the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

This is the sort of car you drive past the local Greens candidate's house and spin the tyres.

You get the picture. It's socially unacceptable, it's a menace to society, it's the biggest, baddest mutha of the lot.

And I love it.

Just like I love eating too much pizza and drinking too much beer. I know I shouldn't do it, but it's absolutely addictive.

Those huge dollops of power right off the line. That grunting double-barrel exhaust system. Those fat and low tyres.

Just don't go thinking it's an off-roading 4WD, because it isn't. It does have active full-time four-wheel-drive capability.

However, if you go charging off into the dunes, there is such low clearance in the front air dam that you will simply turn it into a grader and plough a path.

The Jeep technical specifications tell us that the ground clearance at the front axle is 190.5mm. However, the plastic front air dam sits just 150mm off the deck and is going to come clean off well before the axle bottoms out.

Besides, the 245mm wide tyres are so low profile (45 per cent) that you won't be able to let them down for extra sand grip anyway.

Don't go rock hopping either, because the SRT suspension uses Bilstein monotube dampers that make it so stiff the 20-inch wheels don't have the articulation to crawl over some shopping centre speed bumps, let alone craggy bush rocks.

And leave the fire trails alone, because the lack of clearance will have you picking up the plastic and chrome bits of bodywork as you break them off through the forest.

Instead, enjoy the Hemi's 313kW of stonking power and 569Nm of stump-pulling torque in its natural environment — tarmac.

Here the five-speed auto responds immediately to right-foot provocation with a rapid-fire kick-down through the gears. No delay, just instantaneous go.

The SRT8 also features a stack of extras that give it macho looks, power and performance.

Apart from the suspension, exhaust system, five-spoke alloys and Hemi heart, the SRT8 also has creature comforts such as dual-zone airconditioning, rear park assist, rain-sensing wipers and electric memory seats, radio presets and mirrors.

On the safety side, there is electronic stability program, all speed traction control and electronic roll mitigation that adjust the brakes and throttle to help prevent you from rolling or sliding off the road.

Inside, the SRT8 is more accommodating than the standard Grand Cherokee with plenty of leather trim replacing acres of cheap and nasty hard plastic, and plush leather seats replacing the cloth upholstery.

However, the steering wheel is still only tilt adjustable, some of the controls feel a little brittle and there is no room for your left foot beside the pedals.

Handling is greatly improved for the road with a positive, if heavy, feel at the wheel and reasonable handling for a two-tonne beast with a modicum of pitch and roll.

The brake pedal requires a firm push, but the Brembo units respond with plenty of feel and progression.

The 4WD capability may not get a good hit-out in the bush, but it provides a safe and sure feel on wet roads — that's if it ever rains again.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 $85,990

ENGINE: 4/5 stars

It deserves the legendary name "Hemi" with its neck-snapping power and grunty roar.

TRANSMISSION: 4/5 stars

Only five speeds, but with this much torque, it doesn't need any more.

ECONOMY: 1/5 stars

Forget about it. I got 20litres/100km on weekly duties.

HANDLING: 3/5 stars

Not bad for a two-tonne-plus beast with a high centre of gravity.

SAFETY: 3/5 stars

Very good for occupants, but I wouldn't want to be hit by one.

VALUE: 3/5 stars

The cheapest and biggest luxury V8 4WD on the market, but has limited use.

Verdict

FOR: Power and macho looks

AGAINST: Pedestrian Council of Australia

FINAL: 4/5 stars. Makes a bold statement

Tech Specs

ENGINE: 6.1-litre petrol pushrod V8, 10.3:1 compression, bore x stroke 103 x 90.9mm, 2-valve head.

POWER: 313kW @ 6000rpm

TORQUE: 513Nm @ 4800rpm

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed auto with sequential shift

DRIVE: Electric on-demand 4 x 4SUSPENSION: Bilstein monotube dampers

KERB WEIGHT: 2171kgTOWING: 1587kg (braked), 750kg (unbraked)

WHEELS/TYRES: five-spoke 20 inch alloy x 8, 245/45 R 20

BRAKES: BRAKES: 360x32mm ventilated discs (front), 350x28mm discs (rear),

SAFETY FEATURES: ABS, electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability programme

FUEL: Tank 77 litres, 98 RON PULP, 20L/100km (tested)

TURNING CIRCLE: 11.3m

HOW IT COMPARES

Audi Q7 qattro

4.2L, 257kW/440Nm

$116,800

Toyota LandCruiser Sahara

4.7L, 170kW/410Nm

$84,200

Mercedes-Benz ML500

5L, 225kW/460NM

$116,900

Volvo XC90

4.4L, 232kW/440Nm

$84,950

Pricing Guides

$8,995
Based on 12 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,800
Highest Price
$11,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Laredo (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $6,800 – 11,999 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2006 Laredo (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Limited (4x4) 5.7L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $6,999 – 10,990 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2006 Limited (4x4) Pricing and Specs
SRT 8 6.1L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $12,980 – 17,380 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2006 SRT 8 Pricing and Specs