Giving In to the Dark Side? - 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Giving In to the Dark Side?

May 18, 2012


I am not an SUV-type-of-guy. I rarely have the need to haul people or cargo and most SUVs won't fit down the driveway at Casahashi. But this...this is a little different.

Before the JGCSRT8 came along, the only other SUV that did anything for me was the Lamborghini LM002 and LM/A. The Rambo Lambo was developed as a military vehicle, but it never got past the trials stage. Only 300 were built and they sported a V12 Countach engine up front. I was a senior in high school when I first laid eyes on this beast in car magazines and was instantly smitten.


I've seen a few in person, and I must admit, I still want one. But I also know they're a mechanical nightmare, so I doubt I'll be getting one unless I come into an obscene amount of money (one can hope).

Back to the Jeep.

On my drive into the office, I was wondering how these two monsters stacked up. The SRT8 makes 470 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, while the Lambo puts out 444 hp and 368 lb-ft. The Jeep weighs 5,150 (how fitting, it's the police code for a complete wacko on the loose) and the LM002 weighs 5,720. The Jeep obviously won't fare that well in rugged off-road terrain, but the Lamborghini should be fine (at least until the engine goes "non-funciona").\

But our long-termer bugs me, and for the most mundane of reasons: I hate the color. Silver? I think our Jeep should have been painted in something a bit more sinister. A deep, dark red, perhaps? Maybe black with matte black accents or olive drab? This is one of those times when I wish I could give a car the full vinyl wrap treatment. In any case, the SRT8 has made it into my very short list of SUVs I would consider (if I had to).

What SUV makes you go "hmmmm?"

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 964 miles

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