April 5, 2013
Our long-term 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8's final trip was a thousand-mile voyage to tow my crappy race car to Sonoma Raceway and back. This time, I also had to pack all the spares and tools and supplies in the cabin. Big time Tetris exercise, since I had a passenger, our gear and a 50-pound dog to fit as well.
March 29, 2013
It's time to put summer tires back on our 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. For the past several months we've rolled around on all-seasons. But our time with the SRT8 is coming to an end. We need to restore it to original condition before returning the car to Jeep.
December 06, 2012
So it's that time of year when chatter raises about some guy in a red suit, reindeer and trees inside houses. In the spirit of the season we picked ourselves up a tree and strapped it to the roof of our 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I felt a little guilty subjecting the Jeep to such tedium, but it didn't complain.
For those of you wondering, yes, the picture quality does leave something to be desired. It turns out you need light to take a clear picture. There wasn't much of that at the time. And no, the paint was not harmed during transport.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 13,825 miles
August 31, 2012
The word nursery seems to be in direct contradiction with everything the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 represents. Yet here it is. Our Jeep was relegated to shuttling plants from the nursery recently because, well, sometimes you still just need an SUV.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager
August 30, 2012
The interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a favorite. It's well appointed, nice detailed and built with care. I might even go as far as to say it's the finest interior in an American car or truck on the market today.
But beauty can have a price.
The four chrome strips on the Jeep's cargo floor are a perfect example. They look great. But not for long. After only 9,000 miles of use ours are heavily scratched and looking beat.
August 10, 2012
It was an emergency. I needed to borrow a car that could haul a coffee table asap and the Craigslist seller I contacted was expecting me to swing by in an hour. So I asked keeper of car keys Mike Schmidt if there was a long-termer up to the task.
"What cars would be appropriate?" he emailed me back.
"Whatever would fit these dimensions: 56 by 21 by 15. The Explorer or the Quest?"
"Sorry. I don't know the dimensions on these cars. I'm going to have to ask you to do the legwork. As for the Explorer or Quest, both are spoken for today," he replied.
I scanned the signout sheet and saw that our 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was still available. Then looked through long-term blog posts (I was too lazy to go allll the way downstairs to the garage to check the Jeep out myself). I know, you'd think it would be obvious that a car like the Grand Cherokee could haul furniture. But I had read in its Edmunds review that one of its cons was "somewhat limited cargo space."
However, scanning through the long-term blog I found a post about when Editor JayKav slept in its cargo area during a 24-hour race. Sweet!
As you can see from the photo, the coffee table fit in the cargo area with ample room to spare. We just had to pop out the cargo cover spool to make room for the table. Otherwise, easy breezy. Pfew!
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
July 23, 2012
The Above Amazing Photo Brought To You By Josh Jacquot
Since a few folks around here have complained that the Grand Cherokee SRT8's ride is too stiff, I was wondering if maybe it would prove to be a poor choice to haul me, three friends and all our gear north of Sacramento for a weekend of river rafting.
Would my friends hate the GC SRT8, and me by association? And could the cargo area hold our tents, sleeping bags, water guns, coolers and clothes needed for the two-day trip down the river, along with a few extra items we'd haul up for some friends who were flying?
Good questions, all.
July 10, 2012
It only took a week in my new place for me to embrace suburban living .
I eat doughnuts now instead of going to the farmers market, and I almost need an SUV because I've been visiting the hardware store every day. Bought some patio chairs last week, and although our Camry could have handled them, they went right into the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 without a second thought. (I do wish the power liftgate would respond to a long press on the keyless remote button, rather than requiring a double-tap, but a quick yank on the gate itself will also activate the power mechanism.) It's a nice size, our Jeep... large enough to look serious, roomy enough to be useful and compact enough to park almost anywhere.
Some days I also have a longer commute (about 30 miles), and the Jeep's torque keeps flared tempers at bay, because I almost never miss a hole in traffic. The cabin's quiet, too. Maybe you'd like more of an exhaust note, but at least you're not hearing a whole bunch of noise from the 20-inch wheel/tire package.
Those tires do affect the ride, though. After driving the Grand Cherokee on a few more freeways, I have to agree with some others that it's overly stiff on the slabbier roads. (See? Suburbia has already softened me.) At least its excellent seats insulate you from some of the impact.
July 05, 2012
One thing about 24 hour-long races - they're 24 hours long. You gotta catch some Zs at some point during the race. For me the best bet was in the cargo area of our longterm 2012 Jeep GC SRT8. I folded down the backseats and threw down a Thermarest and some blankets.
I had to lay kittycorner to fit all 6'1" of me, and those backseats don't fold completely flat. But when it's 3:30am and you've been awake for 22.5 hours - five of which entailed wheel to wheel racing - even this suboptimal slumber zone is a little slice of heaven.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
May 29, 2012
This weekend the Oldhams used nearly every bit of the Cherokee SRT8's people and cargo room. With four aboard, including two in rather bulky child seats, we drove the Jeep up to Santa Barbara for a family wedding and a few days of fun.
As you can see the Grand's 35.1 cubic feet of cargo space was sufficient, but didn't leave much space to haul home any new found works at SB's many art galleries.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 2,612 miles