2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Attempting to Sing Its Virtues
August 20, 2012
I shuttled my family to a friend's house yesterday in the JGC SRT8. My friend's a lawyer and has been thinking about replacing his 2009 Mercedes CLK350, which is coming off lease. Occasionally he asks me what I think about certain cars. I knew crossover SUVs were on his radar (GLK, Q5, X3), but so far all he was talking about were import brands. So I figured I'd show him the SRT8 and wave the American flag a little.
I knew it'd be a long shot, so I figured the best way to stoke the fire would be to show off the SRT8's best attributes. So I took him out, then launched from a stop, ran through a few gears full throttle, then utilized the stout Brembo brakes. See, it's like catapulting and landing your own F-14 on a carrier deck.
My friend liked the fireworks display. Then I showed him the back seat and cargo area once we were back at his house. Plenty of room for the kids and dog, I told him. And we did a tour of the exterior. Understated but aggressive, I said. Perfect for today's man. Even his wife liked the look of it. Bonus.
Then, the $20 question. "How much does it cost?" he asked. Me: "Ummm about $60 grand but really, that's not much more than those luxury crossovers you were looking at," I said, looking to soften the blow. Still, I could sense the interest sinking. Then: "What kind of fuel economy does it get?" Oh boy. "Well, we're averaging 13.8 mpg with it right now." Sunk.
It just wasn't his kind of vehicle. (Or maybe I'm just not a good enough salesperson.) But it was fun to show off anyway.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 8,025 miles