Track Tested: 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 vs. 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 vs. 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

The whole idea of a high-performance sport-utility vehicle is a little tough for us to swallow. It's a totally nonsensical concept, yet it continues to thrive even in the face of expensive gas and even more expensive vehicles.

That said, who wouldn't appreciate driving a 2-ton, four-wheel-drive vehicle that can run 13s in the quarter-mile? There aren't many that can, but we've tested two that impressed us.

Most recently, it was the 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S that rolled through the garage and blew us away with its 550-horsepower V8. Then again, it should for $139,000. If your budget doesn't allow for such extravagance, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the next best thing. For a mere $45K, it offers a similar experience. How similar? See for yourself in our latest head-to-head match-up straight from the test track.

  Grand Cherokee SRT8 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
0 - 30 (sec): 1.6 1.9
0 - 45 (sec): 3.0 3.3
0 - 60 (sec): 4.7 5
0 - 75 (sec): 7.3 7.2
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.4 @ 102.3 13.2 @ 105.2
0-60 With 1 Foot of Rollout (sec): N/A 4.7
30 - 0 (ft): 33 28
60 - 0 (ft): 128 111
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.84 0.89
Slalom (mph): 61.9 66.2

Vehicle: 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Odometer: N/A
Date: 9/10/2007
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $45,465

Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Five-speed automatic
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6.1 (6,059/370)
Redline (rpm): 6,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 420 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 420 @ 4,800
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Disc
Steering System: Power rack-and-pinion
Suspension Type (front): Double wishbone
Suspension Type (rear): Solid live axle
Tire Size (front): 255/45R20Z
Tire Size (rear): 285/40R20Z
Tire Brand:  Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle RS-A
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 20-by-9.0 inches front/20-by-10.0 inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Forged aluminum
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,819

Test Results:
0-30 (sec):  1.6
0-45 (sec): 3.0
0-60 (sec):  4.7
0-75 (sec):  7.3
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.4 @ 102.3
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): N/A
30-0 (ft):  33
60-0 (ft): 128
Braking Rating: Good
Slalom (mph): 61.9
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.84
Handling Rating: Good
Db @ Idle:  50.9
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.4
Db @ 70 mph Cruise:  69.7

Acceleration Comments: An unreal launch that fels like a freeway rear-ender! Zero slop of delay as I let off the brake. Upshifts are very quick yet not particularly harsh. The size of the Jeep and how quickly it accelerates felt at odds. It shouldn't do this, but it does.

Braking Comments: Good, not great brakes. I was expecting more bite, more power and less fade from SRT. Some dive but no change of direction.

Handling Comments: Skid pad: Mild understeer with throttle-modulated oversteer at the ready, but non-defeat ESP puts an end to it just as it begins.

Slalom: The SRT8 feels taller and tippier than it once did. Suspension winds up and releases, exaggerating that tall feeling. Non-defeat ESP applies brakes just as useful rotation begins. Frustrating and difficult to get a rhythm in the slalom.

Vehicle: 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
Odometer: 882
Date: 7/7/2009
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $139,070

Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4.8 (4,806/293.3)  
Redline (rpm): 6,700
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 550 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 553 @ 2,250
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): Double wishbone
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 295/35R21 107Y
Tire Size (rear): 295/35R21 107Y
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Latitude Sport
Tire Type: Summer
Wheel Size: 21-by-10 inches front/rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,483

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 1.9
0-45 (sec): 3.3
0-60 (sec): 5.0
0-75 (sec): 7.2
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph):13.2 @ 105.2
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.7
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 111
Braking Rating: Excellent
Slalom (mph): 66.2
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.89  
Handling Rating: Excellent
Db @ Idle: 47.7
Db @ Full Throttle: 70.4
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 65.9

Acceleration Comments: Glad to see they got rid of the 2nd-gear start in anything but Manual mode. Responds exceedingly well to brake torque up to around 3,000 rpm. Most of the power lives above 4,000 rpm, though. Shifts are both fast and smooth. Runs 2-5 were made in sport/sport.

Braking Comments: Not entirely convinced that the brakes were bedded properly (only 900 miles on the odometer) as they smoked quite a bit after acceleration and braking runs. Still, they displayed tremendous power and effectiveness -- especially for a 5,500-pound SUV.  

Handling Comments: Skid pad: Subtle but stubborn understeer, good steering information and load-up. Only needs a little throttle to adjust line. Very little difference or intervention with the stability control on and off.

Slalom: Crazy-quick turn-in, laser precise, only a little strangeness from active roll bars that keep it totally flat. Eventually it oversteers, but only if provoked. Expected a better exit with more front-end bite. Otherwise this is a total physics rule-breaker.