2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Long Term Road Test


2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Second Row Surprise

February 19, 2013

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Here's an unexpected JGC surprise: rear seat heaters. I've never had cause to use them and haven't driven with anyone who has. But shows how much I know. The Grand Cherokee Limited, starting at around $37,000 comes standard with a heated second row. Our SRT8 would cost nearly $63,000 new off the lot. Still, heated rear seats aren't a given, even in this exclusive space.

If you're buying in this exclusive space, you'd need to equip a Range Rover HSE with the Luxury package (a $4,700 option) to get heated rears, for an MSRP of around $64,700. A BMW xDrive50i starts at $64,200 and you'll have to add the $750 Cold Weather package to get heated second row (although they are three-stage heated, not the two-stage like our SRT). Finally, the Mercedes-Benz ML550 comes off like a bargain here: a $620 option that brings the sticker up to about $59,400.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 20,085 miles

Comments

  • joelill2 joelill2 Posts:

    Or you could buy two or three Hyundai Elantras that have rear heated seats for the same price! I am of the thought process that if an Elantra offers them, every luxury auto manufacturer should. Like how I feel Xenons should be standard on many more luxury models.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @joelill2: I have never had any desire to own a Hyundai/Kia, mainly because some of their products seem to be copies (especially earlier models), and I have always felt that they overrate their engine specifications. The latter somewhat proved rather rece

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Your Optima turbo should have had heated rear seats. For, what, $30 grand?

  • snazziest snazziest Posts:

    It's true that what defines luxury and exclusivity is becoming less and less content driven and more a matter of brand management. the $600 option of a push button start in a Mercedes is standard in many non luxury cars with an MSRP under $20,000. As someone who has owned a fully equipped luxury sedan, it rankles to load a series of expensive options that are 100 percent profit to the manufacturer, and standard on a non-luxury vehicle. Whether it's double length roof windows, ultra sound deadening, heated and ventilated seats, and any number of other "luxury" features, they're all available from non luxury brands as either standard features or options at a much lower cost than their luxury counterparts. It's true that luxury makers will introduce new technology or styling innovations, but what used to take years to trickle down to mainstream companies now get incorporated in one design cycle. While most - not all - luxury brands are more refined and techinically advanced than their mainstream counterparts, the gap between quality and content has been getting increasingly narrow over the past five years. Luxury car marketing is already becoming increasingly like the fragrance business. It's more about the packaging and fuzzy prestige,and less about tangible superior content and material quality.

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