I used to not “get” the concept of road-going SUVs. Yes, I enjoyed driving the BMW X5 M on the track and thrilled at playing with a Ranger Rover Sport on mountain roads – but I still shrugged at the relevance of these types of vehicles. Surly, a lower-slung sports car would be a better platform – right?
Even the amusing original Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 made me question its relevance. I mean, this was an SUV that can’t tow due to its center exiting, dual exhaust. It was a bit flexi on corners. It wasn’t much more to me than a low SUV packing a V8 with all wheel drive that was slightly better at cornering.
Things have changed – halleluiah!
Here are 10 things that make the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee praise worthy of this review:
10. to 60 mph disappears in 4.8 seconds and the ¼ mile disappears in the mid 13 second range. Top speed is 160 mph! Can I get a “halleluiah!?”
9. The MASSIVE 6.4 liter HEMI V8 puts out 470 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 465 lbs-feet of torque at a very useable 4,300 rpm. A-MEN brothers and sisters!
8. There is still that 5-speed automatic transmission… boo… BUT, it has been significantly updated, shifts beautifully and has track friendly paddle shifters. Lord be praised!
7. EPA estimated mileage is 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. On the highway, my friend noticed 20 mpg – which ain’t too shabby. Close your eyes and say, “Thank you lord!”
6. Traction goes from a 50/50 split on the road to 35/65 (front/rear) when placed on its sport or track setting. The amazing looking, 20 inch wheels are clad in sticky 4-season Pirelli Scorpions or optional Pirelli P-Zero three season tires. A-MEN to that!
5. Cornering is remarkable with the potential of up to .90 g’s on the skid-pad. ADS (adaptive dampening system) can change the suspension settings from on-road comfortable to track-ready solid at a push of the button. Amazing grace ya’ll!
4. When the time comes to stop – this baby is packing 6-piston Brembo brake calipers up front with (get this) 15-inch discs! Rear brakes are smaller with 4-piston brakes. This all translates to hauling this well over 2 ton sinner from 60 to 0 mph in 116 feet. That’s better than many sport cars my brothers and sisters!
3. Not only can it tow up to 5,000 lbs, it can do it in inclement weather in “snow” mode. Roman and I will test one of these bad boys in snow soon. Praise the HEMI!
2. The interior feels more German than American, and that’s a good thing. Seats are comfortable front and rear with a nifty double stitched theme to everything leather. Legroom is superior to the old Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Harmon Kardon 19 speaker sound system is friggin’ amazing! The only issue I had was the goofy looking shifter gate. It’s just like the old one and the devil likes the old stogy shifter. Boo to the devil!
1. Pricing. At an as tested MSRP, at $54,470… That’s over $30K South of the price of a BMW X5 M with nearly the same performance.
PRAISE THE LORD!
So, as you can tell from our video and coverage of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, we like it… A LOT. That’s not to say we think it’s perfect and we definitely need to test it at high altitude in the Rocky Mountains. As things stand, we must tip our hats and agree that the Chrysler Group LLC has done something incredible.
I now know pious bliss; I now know what a true sport SUV can be. I must tell my Rabbi. I’ve found all wheel drive/4WD spirituality on pavement.
Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com page HERE.