If you are a V8 or muscle car fan, but love the practicality of a SUV, then step this way, I have found a car you might want to check out: The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
Since I was a kid, I was brought up in a Holden-dominant family, which was what sparked my love for HSV. So as soon as I turned 18, I bought my first HSV; a ‘98 VT GTS. From there I went to the faithful VZ Clubsport R8, but being a country boy and living on a farm (with typical Aussie conditions), I found these cars an absolute nightmare to drive and look after. I would always have to own a 4x4 as my daily for practicality.
But over the years I was becoming bored of my old turbo-diesel Pajero and its extreme lack of power, so I thought to myself, “Wouldnt it be nice to have an SUV that actually had a decent-powered engine in it? Particularly a V8?” So I decided to do some research and the car that came to my attention was the Jeep SRT.
I bit the bullet and purchased a 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT and what can I say? What a machine!
With its monstrous 6.4-litre Hemi engine producing 344kW of power and 624Nm of torque, with a ZF 8-speed auto transmission, it's certainly no slouch, able to produce 0 to 100 times under 5 seconds, which will embarrass many Falcon and Commodore drivers at the lights in town. It has massive 6-pot Brembo brakes up front and four pot at the rear. It has Bilstein adaptive suspension that will tighten up when in Track and Sport mode.
It drives very well for a 2.5 tonne all-wheel drive, with very good handling and minimal body roll, which sometimes makes you forget you are actually driving a car this big. Fuel economy is not too bad when cruising on the freeway due to its active cylinder deactivation, averaging around 14 litres per 100 kilometres, but when you put the foot down it is a different story, jumping upwards of 20L/100km. However, I think it is worth it for the amazing sound of its Hemi engine when woken up.
Inside the cabin is quite nice too; the seat are nice and supportive and fully adjustable. The front seats are heated and ventilated and the rear seats are just heated. The dash is nice overall but I have heard of a lot of issues with the carbon fibre trim falling off and lifting, which would be quite frustrating for owners. The only two other things I dislike inside are the T-bar shifter, which is quite awkward to use, but this was changed to a better, more conventional one in 2016. I'm also not a massive fan of the foot-operated park brake, as it can sometimes get in the way when resting your leg on longer trips.
All in all, I think the Jeep Grand Cherokee is very impressive for the money, compared to its Euro rivals at around $100k drive away, and it has everything you want and more in a new SUV these days. But the main reason I love them is that they look and sound incredible and that Hemi engine is certainly a gem.
They certainly have some flaws with their questionable reliability and build quality, but I honestly challenge anyone after a powerful V8 SUV to find a better one for the money.
NOTE: With no photo provided, we have used a CarAdvice image.