WR TV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

By Winding Road Staff

August 25, 2014

photos by Felix Salazar
While the 8-speed ZF sourced transmission that made its recent debut in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was big news and garnered a lot of well-deserved praise, we actually got a preview of how this gearbox might behave when hooked to a Mopar V8 motor by way of this Grand Cherokee, which was the first of the Hemi equipped Chrysler vehicles to benefit from the new unit.
Powered by a 6.4-liter V8 making 470 horsepower and 465lb-ft of torque, the burliest Grand Cherokee in Chrysler's arsenal gets a substantial upgrade in towing capacity for 2014 to 7200 pounds, up from 5000 pounds in 2013. Mainly due to the new transmission, the SRT Cherokee now gets to 60mph from a standstill in 4.8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 160mph.
Our tester is also fitted with the optional Trailer Tow Group IV, which includes 7 and 4 pin wiring harnesses and a Class IV receiver hitch.
While we've established that this Grand Cherokee has upped its game in terms of its ability to do truck-related tasks, SRT has always been a division focused on street and track performance, so this SUV is really required to be a jack of all trades.
To that end, the Grand Cherokee SRT also features two-way adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes and Pirelli performance rubber at all four corners. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and "performance tuned" steering also add to the sense of sportiness behind the wheel. The result is a performance SUV that goes well, stops well, and performs reasonably well in the bends, too. That said, you're probably not likely to confuse it with a 911 in a blindfolded taste test.
To make sure this performance oriented Grand Cherokee looked the part, SRT also fitted fender flares, a pair of heat extractors on the hood, and front and rear facias unique to the SRT model. Inside, the SUV gets Chrysler's acclaimed 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, which includes the SRT Performance Pages seen on in other recent SRT models like the outgoing Chrysler 300 SRT and the aforementioned Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT carries a base price of $63,660, and an as-tested price of $72,725, which includes high-buck options like the $1,995 Laguna Leather sport seats, the $1995 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and the $1595 dual-pane panoramic sunroof. 
So what's it like behind the wheel? Check out the videos below to find out what this hot-blooded SUV is like around town and up in the hills:


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