Originally Posted by MikeBoom
Thanks for all the responses. For me, the SRT is not a viable choice. Among other things, the vehicle will be used for back and forth trip to our Wisconsin cabin. Snow and gravel-laden switchbacks are among things we'll encounter regularly, as well as a bit of light off-roading
I do those very things (Chicago to WI and MI plus cabin-trails) monthly and have zip, zero, nada, NO regrets getting the Hemi. The acceleration is decent (~6.8-7.2 secs 0-60) but should not be the primary reason to buy a Grand Cherokee anyway. The fuel economy we get ranges from ~10mpg pure field/trail use to 14mpg serious Chicago-bumper-crawling traffic to 21+mpg (typical) and 24mpg (best) on the interstate. By my gas receipt math we have a bit over 17+mpg overall in our 10,000 miles of ownership. Yes, lots of highway mixed with lots of "other". A Honda Accord I had one summer gave me an overall 19mpg average which really is trivial given what the Grand can do vs, say, the Accord.
I've never been a Mopar fan and shrugged whenever the Hemi name was brought into conversation because I was a Ford 427SC and Chevy 427/454 Rat guy, but the Hemi is an excellent fit to the current Grand Cherokee and a very solid design. If you want to keep the vehicle for 200,000 miles like I do or just want dependability with power to spare for hauling cargo or towing, the Hemi is pretty darn awesome for what it brings to this 5000lb package.