Bites - 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Bites

July 04, 2012

Whatever this thing is, it's not a Jeep. Its chrome badges say Jeep sure, although at a distance, a friend mistook the small "Jeep" badge on the liftgate for Audi's four rings. But the JGCSRT8 is a Jeep only because Chrysler says it is, and because there's some concession to all-terrain four-wheel-drive, although the approach and departure angles limit you to maybe a snowy run to the Christmas tree lot or some postcard magic drive along Daytona Beach.

Alright, maybe that's an exaggeration. But the SRT8 offers less approach (18.4 degrees) and departure angle (21.9 degrees) than the standard Grand Cherokee Laredo (26.3; 26.5 degrees, respectively), and 0.3 inches less ground clearance than the Laredo.

No matter. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 is awesome in 17 languages. Its brakes are part of its grandness. The Brembos stop the damn thing from 60 mph in 109 feet. Test driver Walton noted the brakes like some heat for optimal performance, exhibit minimal dive and are essentially fade-free. "Remarkable for a 5,000-plus pound SUV," he added.

My only gripe with the SRT8's brakes is their grabby nature when just navigating around town. Pedal feels fine, but they are quick to clamp and send you surging forward into your belts, just requiring some mental re-calibration if you're carrying wimpy passengers to places where they can spend their money on stuff.

But on the way home, with an open highway lane...payoff.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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