Jeep Cherokee road test
(TOP) Brembo brakes
do a great job of not
only stopping the
from high speed, but
doing so repeatedly.
(ABOVE) No squeaks
or rattles in luxurious
interior; carbon fiber
strips are genuine.
far forward as it can go. Also in its favor
are the 20in. tires’ huge collective contact
patch and the limited slip rear diff, which
together produce a huge amount of grip.
“If you’re on a track you’ll find that,
like most all-wheel-drive cars, it’s natural
tendency is eventual understeer. But
with the settings turned to Sport or, in
particular, Track, the stability safeguards
are dialed way back, so you can provoke
it into neutrality or even tail-out.
But…the road-holding is so good with
the SRT, you have to be going very
quick to reach those limits.”
On its Auto setting, the suspension
returns to “the stiff side of comfortable,”
as Kendall puts it, and though you’ll hear
it at work over bigger pavement scars,
the crucial thing is that it doesn’t transmit
that to the cabin beyond twitching the
steering-wheel. This insulatory quality to
the damping heightens the upscale feel
of the car’s cabin, above and beyond
the plethora of gadgets such as a
forward-collision warning system and the
highly impressive 8.4-in screen satnav/
radio/wifi control. With heated/ventilated
leather/suede front seats, a complete
absence of rattles and very low wind
noise at speed, the Grand Cherokee SRT
feels cohesive and complete as a luxury
vehicle. Knowing you can also hit the
right pedal and have huge speed and
remarkable cornering ability more
than doubles its appeal.
“I’m not surprised so much work went
into it,” shrugs Kendall. “SRT – and Chrysler in
general – is populated by enthusiasts. That
sounds like a given, but I assure you it’s not!
Everyone who works for a motorcycle
brand loves motorcycles but car companies
aren’t necessarily a direct equivalent.
“But SRT truly is full of car lovers. And
the Jeep Grand Cherokee may be the
ultimate expression of that, because it
checks so many boxes.”
•RACER thanks Adam Matthews at
Adams Motorsport Park, Riverside, Calif.,
for loan of the track.
Mid-size 4x4 SUV
Chassis and body unibody, steel
Engine 6.4-liter water-cooled V8
Hemi; 470hp 6,000rpm; 465lb.ft
2014 JEEP GRAND
Transmission 8-speed automatic
with paddle shifters
Driveline Quadra-Trac full-time 4WD
variable torque split: front/rear -
40/60 in Auto mode, 50/50 in
Snow & Tow mode, 35/65 in Sport
mode; 30/70 in Track mode
Front suspension Independent
double wishbones, coil springs,
stabilizer bar, active damping
Rear Suspension Independent
multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar,
Steering Rack and pinion
Brakes, f/r six-piston calipers,15in.
discs/four-piston calipers, 13.78in. discs
Wheels, f/r 20in. x 10in.
Tires, f/r 295/45/ZR20
Width (inc. mirrors) 84.9in.
Curb weight 5,150lbs
PERFORMANCE (SRT figures)
Top Speed 160mph
Choice of modes and torque split is useful
and fun, but launch control is just fun…
Hemi has a rich history but is brought
up to date with Fuel Saver Technology