Would I Buy One? - 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Would I Buy One?

January 25, 2013

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

It has been a month since I took a road trip across the Rockies in our long-term 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Fitted with all-season tires we bought on the aftermarket, it was a great vehicle to have on a wintertime adventure, since we drove through snow and subfreezing temperatures. Plus, there was the unexpected off-road drive through Monument Valley.

Since my return, I've reflected on the drive and considered whether I'd actually want to own a Grand Cherokee SRT8. You know, really own own it, as in my very own, and not have to share it with the other editors. And the answer is probably not.

The reason is I'm way too practical and way too cheap when it comes to buying my own stuff. And when driving at high elevations in Colorado, the Jeep's ordinarily potent 6.4-liter V8 simply didn't feel that powerful, yet it still consumed just as much if not more 91 octane. I totally expected that (the engine is naturally aspirated after all) and wasn't surprised or disappointed. I just know that if I owned a JGC, I would take it on road trips and I'd want it to feel great all the time.

And that's why I'd get the 2014 Grand Cherokee with the turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6.

That diesel is going to be rated at 420 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. And that's really not much short of our SRT8's 465 lb-ft, which hit at 4,300 rpm. And it's projected to have a 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway rating even with four-wheel drive. Diesels are great, aren't they? Although, the new eight-speed automatic for 2014 likely helps in the efficiency department as well.

Thing is, even though I'm not ordinarily an SUV person, I like the size of this Jeep. It had good space for my husband and me up front during our 2,400-mile trip. It's roomy enough that we weren't bumping elbows yet not so huge that we couldn't see out of it. And there would have been plenty of room for another couple of people (adults or kids) in back. I could totally see using a diesel Grand Cherokee as a family vehicle. Well, that is assuming the price lands comfortably south of $50,000.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Erin Riches, Senior Editor

Read the previous installments from the Grand Cherokee SRT8's Colorado road trip:
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Seat Comfort After 2,400 Miles
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Auto High-Beams Work Great
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Colorado Road Trip Fuel Economy
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: We Finally Drove It In Snow
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Climbing Vail Pass
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Long-Term Test: The Ride to Colorado


  • jeepsrt jeepsrt Posts:

    I owned the first gen SRT8 and live in Colorado Springs at 6700 ft above sea level, and while it felt less powerful than at sea level it still broke the tires loose off the line. As for the new one I would get the 2014 with new Nav and 8spd trans but not for $70k+ it's just not worth it for a Jeep. Also this new site is just a mess, I have to log in numerous times and can't comment on the Grand National as it's not available. When is Edmunds going to get a clue and fix this "upgrade"??? P.S- What's hot is probably the worst name ever, sound's like my Grandma came up with it.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    The main downers for the diesel: you need to refill the pee (urea) tank with oil changes and you will also need to pony up $4,500 for the privilege of that engine. It's definitely not as expensive as the SRT, but something to be aware of. In this application (bigass truck) a diesel makes the most sense because of power at low revs and better fuel economy, but keep in mind that ultimate horsepower is also lower, should you need to wind your massive SUV out to attack an on-ramp =)

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    A very wise conclusion. 13 mpg worth of (in SoCal) $5/gallon gas? So with my 250-mile/week driving, that's $96 on gas? $400 a month...for gas? NFW.

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