2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Seat Comfort After 2,400 Miles
January 11, 2013
Lately, I've been a tough customer in the seat comfort department, at least on road trips of more than 300 miles. I always liked our long-term 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee's driver seat during my commutes, though, so I wasn't dreading driving to Colorado in it. That is, until I seriously wrenched my back five days before we were due to leave on the trip.
Due to poor planning and procrastination, we hit the road just in time for evening traffic in Los Angeles. If it hadn't been for the comforting voice of Steve Inskeep on All Things Considered, I might have flown into my first rage of the holiday season right then and there. However, thanks to Steve, the Jeep's four-way power lumbar and the mostly toasty seat heaters (only two settings, though), I made it to our first fuel stop on the north side of Las Vegas without complaint.
My back healed over the course of our trip, and the front seats in the Jeep proved supportive enough for some really long stints behind the wheel (the SRT8 has a big gas tank, it turns out). The shaping of the seats is excellent. The seat-bottom cushion is long enough to support your thighs, and the heavily bolstered seat-back really wraps around your shoulders — it's great for driving and sleeping (haha, passenger seat only) alike.
The cabin space is also good. The foot wells have plenty of room whether you're driving or stretching out as a passenger. There was ample shoulder room, too, so that my husband and I weren't continually bumping elbows, yet it didn't feel like we were sitting in a huge cavern of an SUV either.
After nearly 2,400 miles, there was only one thing we didn't like.
The head restraints really aren't that great for resting your head. They're mounted toward the rear of what's really a very thick seat-back. No matter how you have the seat positioned, they don't come out to meet your head. Worse, when you do make a deliberate effort to rest your head on them, they turn out to be firm and unyielding.
Maybe they'd do a decent job of preventing whiplash in the event we got rear-ended, but for this kind of money, they should also be more comfortable for day-to-day use as headrests.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 18,094 miles
Read the previous installments from the Grand Cherokee SRT8's Colorado road trip:
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Auto High-Beams Work Great
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Colorado Road Trip Fuel Economy
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: We Finally Drove It In Snow
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: Climbing Vail Pass
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Long-Term Test: The Ride to Colorado