2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Ramp Travel Index
June 07, 2012
Yeah, I know. Among other things, SRT8 is code for "not exactly trail rated." This is kind of silly.
Or is it? How much Jeepiness does a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee actually lose on the way to becoming an SRT8 hot rod?
Our handy-dandy RTI ramp is one way to put a number on that.
I decided to back this one onto the ramp. Two reasons: 1) it doesn't make any difference to the end result and; 2) the rear bumper looked less threatened by the cheese grater that is our ramp's decking.
Twelve-and-a-half inches of lift was all she wrote. This picture was taken before I adjusted its final position downramp slightly to get rid of the small air gap seen here under the left rear.
That amount of lift and a 114.8-inch wheelbase worked out to an RTI of 318, just slightly less than the 322-point score earned by our long-term 2012 BMW X3.
It's basically a tie. Based on this number, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 should do about as well as the BMW X3 did on my little soft-roading adventure.
Not so fast, pardner. The tread pattern of the X3's all-season mud-and-snow tires and its more compliant suspension do represent an off-pavement advantage, particularly on snow, where the SRT8's 295/45R20 Pirelli P-Zero summer rubber will be a distinct liability.
And no, I don't have the RTI of a standard 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee handy. My buddy just bought one; maybe he'll let me borrow it. In any case a regular Jeep Grand Cherokee like his ought to do better than our X3. I'm guessing low 400s.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 3,615 miles