Test Driving the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

“2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Best performing Jeep SRT ever”


Austin, Texas – Should you happen to be looking for a Jeep that’s capable of doing more than climb hills and crawl over rocks at slow speeds, how about one that can rip around a race track at high speed with surprising control, agility and stability? The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is just such a beast.

Okay, perhaps “beast” is not really a proper or appropriate term for a rapid transit vehicle that displays a new level of luxury and performance not experienced before in a Jeep. This, my friends, is no ordinary Jeep. It is totally at home on a rural country road, on a freeway, or more especially, on what may well be the premiere race track in the country today – the new Circuit of the Americas raceway not far from Austin’s airport in Texas Hill Country.

The highly technical and challenging track is an ideal site for Formula One racing at its finest. COTA is 3.4 miles from start to finish, with 20 turns (11 left and 9 right) and with several elevation changes. Awesome and incredible are words that come to mind in describing the driving experience that the track serves up.


Had someone casually mentioned to me that it would be possible to “haul the mail” over such a course in an SUV with a curb weight of 5,150 pounds at triple digit speeds in the rain, I would certainly have questioned their sanity or at least challenged their judgment. And guess what, I would have been seriously off base in such an assessment.

Such an undertaking would have proven sheer folly in any ordinary vehicle, but the newest Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is definitely no ordinary vehicle. Its 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee stable mates are no slouches either in terms of performance, but the SRT version is special – it is the best performing Jeep SRT vehicle produced thus far.


Powering the SRT Grand Cherokee Jeep is a big, honking, longitudinally, forward mounted, 6.4-liter HEMI? OHV, 16-valve 90-degree V-8 engine with fuel saver technology and electronic sequential, multi-port, returnless fuel injection. It makes 470 horses at 6,000 rpm while also generating a whopping 465 pound feet of torque at 4,300 rpm.

Motive energy is geared through an 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission featuring paddle shift driver interactive manual control and an electronically modulated torque converter clutch and Eco Mode to Jeep’s Full-time 4WD with single speed, electronic proportioning, MP 3010 transfer case and variable 40/60 Auto, 50/50 Snow and Tow, 35/65 Sport and 30/70 Track front/rear percent torque split.


Impressive? You bet. And, if you want more get up and go, The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT comes equipped with a Launch Control feature, for rapid off-the-line starts. Track exercises may be done in fully automatic mode or by utilizing the wheel mounted paddle shifters. Downshift rev-matching is a delight, both in terms of function and sound.

My test preproduction 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT sported a Bright White Clear Coat exterior finish and came with a Black interior. The base sticker was set at $62,995 while the as tested price tag totaled $70,065. Options included the SRT high performance audio system, Trailer Tow Group IV and a Dual Pane Panoramic sunroof. The only option not included was a rear seat entertainment package.


SUMMARY: The only possible downside to be found in the SRT Jeep is the limited rear seat legroom behind tall front seat occupants. That having been said, the performance level is stellar. Acceleration comes quickly and coupled with the melodious engine and exhaust notes is enough to bring a broad grin across any driving enthusiast’s countenance.

The handling characteristics are remarkable, with precise steering feedback through the meaty and substantial semi-flat-bottomed steering wheel, and balanced road holding properties, all with a flat, stable posture even through severe hairpin turns. The COTA track includes two substantially long straights along with its 20 turns. On secondary runs in the rain, I finally had the nerve to glance at my speed on each of the straight legs and noted a speed of 122 mph on the longest and 112 mph on the shorter leg. Staying on track with the proper line, maintaining accurate apex and braking points constituted a full time and focused effort – fun but taxing.


The interior provides luxurious surroundings and the seats are highly supportive and comfortable – cause for appreciation and confidence building during spirited driving maneuvers.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT earns a feather in the caps of every Street and Racing Technology team member for the development of a truly remarkable SUV. It may not be Trail Rated, but who cares – Track Rated seems like a worthwhile alternative. The SRT Grand Cherokee is truly the best performing Jeep ever. Kudos to the SRT staff.


SPECIFICATIONS: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-2014

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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $62,995
Price as Tested: $70,065
Engine Type and Size: 6.4-liter HEMI® OHV, 16-valve 90-degree V-8 with fuel saver technology and electronic sequential, multi-port, returnees fuel injection
Horsepower (bhp):
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 465 @ 4,300 rpm
Transmission: 8HP70 Eight-speed automatic with paddle shift driver interactive manual control and electronically modulated torque converter clutch and Eco Mode
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Full- time 4WD with single speed, electronic proportioning, MP 3010 transfer case and variable 40/60 Auto, 50/50 Snow and Tow, 35/65 Sport and 30/70 Track front/rear % torque split
Suspension: Front – Independent Short and long-arm, coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping, upper and lower-control(“A”) arms and stabilizer bar.Rear – Multi-link, coil spring, Bilstein adaptive damping, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber) plus a separate toe link and stabilizer bar
Brakes: Power-assisted, single-rate, tandem diaphragm vacuum four-wheel vented discs – 15.0x 1.34 vented front disc with Brembo six-piston caliper and ABS / 13.78 x 1.10 rear disc with Brembo four piston caliper and single-channel ABS
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero P295/45 ZR20 mounted on three-season run flats mounted on forged aluminum split 5-spoke – Black Vapor Chrome “Spider Monkey” alloy wheels – 20×10-inch
Wheelbase: 114.8 inches
Length Overall: 191.3 inches
Width: 84.9 inches with mirrors
Height: 76.9 inches with roof rails
Curb Weight: 5,150 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 24.6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 13-mpg city / 19-mpg highway Drag Coefficient: .39 0 – 60 mph: 4.8 seconds


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