The (Almost) 80 Grand Grand Cherokee: The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
Apart from the Fiat end of things, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has turned into the toy shop for folks who like their cars speedy.  The new Alfas certainly fill that bill, Chrysler will sell you a 363-horsepower full-size sedan in the 300C, Dodge is giving us 485-horsepower hot rods like the Challenger R/T Scat Pack (to say nothing of the 707-horsepower Hellcat and the coming 808-horsepower Demon) and the Charger R/T as well as its beefier brothers Charger Daytona and Charger R/T Scat Pack.

And Jeep is not left out of the high horsepower fun, either.

The basic formula:  Take a garden-variety Jeep Grand Cherokee, drop in a slightly detuned 475-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 (it makes 485 in the Challenger), add an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, Brembo brakes, advanced brake assist, an active damping suspension, an electronic rear limited-slip differential, launch control and 20-inch wheels and you have a track-ready SUV.

But those are just the go-fast pieces.  The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT also comes with parallel and perpendicular parking assist, lane departure warning, active on-demand four-wheel drive, full speed forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control with stop, blind spot and cross-path detection, a rear-view camera, keyless entry and keyless go, remote start, electronic stability control , a power liftgate, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, premium LED foglamps, LED taillamps, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, headlamp washers and a security alarm.

Interior view of 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT interior.
But wait! There's more!  Also standard: black velour floor mats with the SRT logo, silver anodized interior accents, 8-way power driver and passenger seats with memory, a power tilting and telescoping steering column, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a 506-watt, nine-speaker with subwoofer audio system, Uconnect 8.4 navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link.

The price for all that?  $66.795.  So what's the (Almost) 80 Grand reference in the headline about?  It's about $10,500 in optional equipment.  Despite all the ultimate-ness of this ultimate Jeep Grand Cherokee, you can still go higher, and the folks in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles press fleet office did, adding:

  • Rear seat dual-screen Blu-Ray/DVD player ($1,995).
  • Trailer towing group with a full-size spare wheel and compact spare tire, a 7-pin and 4-pin wiring harness and a Class IV receiver hitch ($995).
  • A further upgrade to the audio system, in the form of the SRT high-performance audio package which boosts the wattage to 825 and the speaker count to 19 ($1,995).
  • The stock Brembos are mighty fine brakes, but our tester was treated to a high-performance brake upgrade ($1,295).
  • A dual-pane panoramic sunroof with suede-like premium headliner ($2,095).
  • Run-flat tires ($895).
  • Upgraded 20-inch by 10-inch lightweight forged wheels ($1,295).
Tack on the $995 destination charge and the bottom line becomes a fairly staggering $78,355.  But what you get for that is the ultimate compromise vehicle for those who can afford it.  The man who wants a Challenger R/T Scat Pack but whose wife insists on a family-friendly SUV can have the best of both worlds.  Yes, the Jeep is heavier and thus slower than the Challenger...but it's faster than most other SUVs in suburbia.  

You won't make friends with the Sierra Club (EPA fuel economy estimate is 13 city/19 highway), but that's so not the point.  

If you have any doubt that we are living in the platinum age of the automobile, the fact that something like the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT exists should erase that doubt.  If not, drive one.