Though rumors swirl about a 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee "Trackhawk" being developed, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is still for now the top dog of the Grand Cherokee lineup. As has been the case for a while, the SRT packs a thumping V8 (good for 475 horsepower) and a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system that helps it accelerate nearly as quick as the latest batch of V8 muscle cars.
One thing you won't get with the Grand Cherokee SRT is the off-road prowess for which Jeep is renowned. The SRT's suspension is tuned for road and track use. It's not like the original Porsche Cayenne, in other words, which could memorably go from racetrack to sand dunes with just a change in tire pressures. But if you know you'll be sticking to paved surfaces, the Grand Cherokee SRT will reward you with surprisingly responsive steering and flat, agile cornering.
High-performance SUVs aren't exactly common, but there are alternatives. The latest entry is the new Maserati Levante, a corporate cousin of the Jeep that offers broadly comparable acceleration plus Italian luxury and cachet. Hailing from England is the handsome-looking Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged, while the BMW X5 M, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S and Porsche Cayenne Turbo hold court as the German royalty of the group. All of these have more brand cachet, but given that the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will cost you many thousands less, it remains a compelling proposition among high-performance SUVs.
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT comes with performance-grade antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and a self-parking system (perpendicular and parallel) are also standard. Additionally, the SRT comes standard with a handful of advanced safety technologies that are optional on other Grand Cherokees, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a five-passenger midsize SUV that comes in a single trim level.
Standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels with performance tires, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, sport-tuned steering and brakes, a sport body kit, a limited-slip rear differential, selectable performance modes, xenon headlights with auto high beams and washers, automatic wipers, LED running lights and foglights, auto-dimming mirrors with exterior power-folding, a power liftgate, a cargo cover, remote engine start, keyless ignition and entry, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather and suede upholstery, heated and ventilated eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), driver memory settings, heated rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen display with voice controls, a navigation system, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a self-parking system, and a nine-speaker sound system with a USB input, dual USB charge ports, satellite radio, HD radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
Also standard are a few advanced safety features, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking.
Options include a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, two different 20-inch wheel styles (carbon black or lightweight), upgraded brakes, extended and upgraded leather upholstery, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a dual-screen rear entertainment system with Blu-ray capability and a towing package.
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT comes exclusively with a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is a specialized all-wheel-drive system tuned more for high-performance driving than off-road use.
In Edmunds testing, the current-generation Grand Cherokee SRT with the old five-speed automatic consistently launched from zero to 60 mph in about 5 seconds flat. We have not tested one with the eight-speed automatic, which was introduced for 2014.
Fuel economy, as you might expect, is rather poor at 15 mpg combined (13 city/19 highway). Other high-performance SUV are in the same range, though.
If fuel economy and budget are not of particular concern, you'll love the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. It accelerates, stops and corners capably enough to impress even the most seasoned sports car driver. The SRT is a sleeper performance vehicle if ever there was one. The eight-speed automatic transmission works great, keeping the big V8 in the meat of its powerband on a winding road or shifting imperceptibly in traffic.
A stiff ride quality is the main trade-off for the SRT's performance. But if the idea of a bonkers JGC appeals to you, we doubt you'll find the ride all that objectionable. Off-road, don't expect Jeep's usual greatness from the Grand Cherokee SRT. It's built primarily for paved-road performance.
The Grand Cherokee SRT's interior boasts impressive fit and finish by regular SUV standards, though its materials and build quality pale a bit in comparison to more prestigious (and pricier) super-SUV rivals. We're especially fond of the 8.4-inch touchscreen. It features an easy-to-use interface and includes a Wi-Fi hot spot and smartphone app integration, also housing the navigation system. Sometimes it takes a few too many touch inputs to make climate control adjustments through the touchscreen, but overall we think you'll like it.
There's ample room inside the Grand Cherokee SRT for four adults (the rear center position is compromised by the prominent driveline "hump" on the floor), and they'll appreciate the variety of luxury accoutrements, including ventilated front seats, heated seats all around and an available dual-screen, Blu-ray-capable rear entertainment system with an HDMI input. With the rear seatbacks in place, the cargo bay measures 36.3 cubic feet. Fold those seatbacks down and the SRT has 68.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.