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Old 10-21-2011, 09:12 AM
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Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

*my opinion, my $0.02*

As I stated in another thread last week, my dealer had a Deep Cherry Red Pearlcoat SRT8 ready to drop at any moment. Identical options as mine, built Oct 5, ordered after me, but there first. The truck has been sitting in the rail yard 20 minutes away from the dealer. I emailed my dealer when I saw it on the schedule and asked if I could come in to see it before the owner picked it up so that I could get a first glimpse of it...not many people have seen them yet. He said no problem. The truck dropped yesterday at 1:45pm and he emailed me immediately, I got over there around 3:30pm. I told my sales guy why I was there and he went looking to see where it was, came back and got me, and then led me out back to the enclosed area where it was secluded. I was not able to drive it, obviously.

First Impression/Exterior:
As I saw it across the way as we walked through the gate (sun shining) I immediately was indifferent. First thing that caught me was the color. Once again, I apologize to those who ordered it and do not want to be a Debbie Downer, but the color was an immediate "blahhh" to me. It's not "red" at all. It is a metallic maroon. With sun directly on it and a bit of dirt it does sparkle, but it is still not a red, it's a maroon or wine color. Add to that the competition gray color to the wheels and I found it very non-aggressive/non-sporty. I was hoping for something closer to my Spice Red GTO. They had a new 300S out front in the same color, and I didn't find it any different on that vehicle either.

OK, I'll stop with the color and move on to the exterior. My next impression was....hmmm, that's a "big" vehicle. Almost as if I felt someone should open the release valve for a second and let a little air out. I have to agree with the many review articles that said it is a bit bloated looking/feeling. It seems much taller and rounder than the WK (technical it is, but I'm going on pure visual perception here), whereas the WK seemed/is flattened down and raked forward. IMO, the wheels are the same in person as they are in pictures...they are OK, have grown a bit on me, but still could be better. The wheels/tires are definitely a change from the WK, once again, bigger and more "puffy." They are definitely high-quality products though. The brakes are exactly as advertised though, big and beautiful. As I walked around the vehicle the fit and finish seemed very good. The hood is very cool and well done, as is the entire front end. Both look very good and clean in person if you are one who is on the fence when looking at pics. The rear is very tight and clean, but I have to agree, the chrome strip across the back is terrible. A little gaudy. Painting it would be better, but if you want the Jeep emblem to stay chrome (IMO, way to go) then you will need to find a really good paint masker. It's molded into the strip. I did notice a bit of orange peel in the paint here and there along the sides of the truck.

I peaked under the hood, all seems clean and equal to the pics and a typical engine bay. Peaked under the rear and the undercarriage is spotless and clean, as should be. As for those crying about the exhaust tips; the tips are approx. 3" in diameter, the horn section then flares out and I'd guess reach 4.5-5". I fail to see the complaining here...exhaust diameter alone means nothing and could actually hurt performance by making it bigger. Not to mention, there is only about 3" or less of pipe from the exit of the mufflers to the beginning of the horns. Overall, the exterior seemed very well done from a manufacturing standpoint. From a perceptual standpoint, it definitely did not give off the same attitude of the WK. It looks like another higher level trim model, not necessarily the “street racing technology” trim model.

Interior:
Not much to say here. Interior is very nice and I found it comparable to what every person has said so far about it. Seats are very nice, slightly different than the WK, but still just as nice. Steering wheel was cool and the real carbon fiber trim was exquisite. IMO, MORE MORE MORE was needed inside. Which brings me to my main gripe for the interior….the center console. Yes, knew it was there, but the long piece of bright plastic silver from the nav to the cup holders is too much. IMO, they should have done more carbon fiber. Not that whole thing, but accent the center with CF or do smaller sections in CF with the silver there as the trim around it. Sitting in the driver seat looking out the front, the vehicle does seem bigger and bulkier than the WK. The instrument and cluster is much better than the EVIC from the WK that looks like it is from the ‘80s movie “War Games”, but I can’t stop wondering…..how awesome would the new nav and EVIC performance pages look on here???

Startup/Running:
Fired her up to hear the 6.4L. Err…………all I can say is the active exhaust or new engine/exhaust components must be in effect here. No rumble, no gurgle, nothing. It was like starting a normal vehicle. I blipped the gas a little (once again, I’m being courteous to the rightful buyer) and did here a bit of rumble, but our stock exhaust WK sounds much better IMO. When I remote start our WK in the garage it makes the house rumble, when outside the garage you can still here the faint rumble. With the doors closed it is very quiet inside. All in all a little uneventful, I’m going to chalk it up to being new I guess (or hope).

Conclusions:
I understand I did not drive the truck, but a majority of a purchase for me is looks, value, fit and finish. I can get an idea of performance by reviews and specs and why I am looking at that vehicle. With everything said, the Jeep SRT8 is a very nice truck. It looks clean, seemed to be well put together, nice brakes and interior, definitely more refined than the WK. However……..you knew it was probably coming by my write-up so far considering I have not been praising it like the second coming like most have……..it’s not a $60k+ vehicle IMO. Those paying mark-ups are insane. $60-70k is where serious automobile action comes in to play. When you buy something there, it better be bringing it. Seeing the total package I like it, much better overall than the WK, but I can’t say I “love it.” It doesn’t give off the bad ass persona like the WK. It seems (I know it technically is) puffy, tame, TOO REFINED, for a model suppose to be a high-performance vehicle. I think Jeep definitely succeeded in making the WK2 more of an everyday vehicle, but IMO, that’s the problem. This doesn’t lend to the price reflecting a hi-po vehicle engineered for super enthusiasts, like the Z06/CTS-V/Viper/GTR/AMGs/X5m/Cayenne Turbo/etc. On the flip side, although nice and comfy, it doesn’t lend itself to ultra luxury in that price category either.

Like I said, very nice vehicle, I could own it and drive it and be happy. I just really came away from the visit with an ehhhhhh feeling. I want a new vehicle (don’t need one), I’d be happy with this Jeep, but the price tag/performance reviews/difference from the WK (which we are keeping)/size/looks, just didn’t knock me off my feet and make me want more more more. I am not naive, I will not dismiss the fact that the price gouging and scheduling delays could taint my feelings a bit. But at $60k+, I’m debating with myself that you should probably have desirable feeling unless you have money to throw away. I’m going to keep an open mind and not rush to a decision yet, plus keep an eye on the mechanical issues and how long these continue to sit in storage. Longer they sit, more it tells me there is a problem. If that occurs, I will definitely be backing out. Next phase, if I plan to go on, will be what my dealer wants me to pay. I will pay no more than my price protected invoice + tax/title because that is the lowest I realistically expect they could sell for. This vehicle's price point to me should be no more than $55k when loaded with all options. It is not a $10-15k better trim model than the Overland.

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  #2  
Old 10-21-2011, 10:16 AM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schleprock View Post
*my opinion, my $0.02*

I will pay no more than my price protected invoice + tax/title because that is the lowest I realistically expect they could sell for. This vehicles price point to me should be no more than $55k vehicle when loaded with all options. It is not a $10-15k better trim model than the Overland.
Thanks for the write-up, Schlep.

I am in full agreement about the price.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:57 AM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

I have the same feelings as you. Although I haven't seen it in person, I am on the fence. I am holding my cards for another 2 years and taking a job in Afghanistan. Hopefully something will catch my eye by then. It would be nice to see a factor supercharged version, but that would only mean it is going to be another 10K-15K more. That is getting into house price money and I just can't see dropping that amount of coin for something I don't completely love.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:27 AM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

Great write up and pretty much how I feel, 55k I would probably get one. For a comparison an SVT Ford Raptor is about 1-2000$ over a similar loaded F150 and there are different body panels including fenders, bumpers, grille, hood and steps, engine, suspension, wheels/tires, steering wheel, seats and some trim. I know it's less than the competition of sporty SUV's but I just think Jeep is trying to get into a price point they don't belong. As for reliability I hope it's better than my Overland which is currently in the shop for a steering column replacement and I'm driving my Brother's Raptor that has been flawless since he bought it almost 2 years ago.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:05 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

There's no question SRT is price gouging. The only argument is whether it's worth it.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:05 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schleprock View Post
This vehicles price point to me should be no more than $55k vehicle when loaded with all options. It is not a $10-15k better trim model than the Overland.
+1 and I have been saying this all along. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you also that the SRT truly is a beautiful vehicle, but just not that much better than the Overland to warrant the steep increase in price.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:10 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

thanks for the review.

for ME, the price doesnt bother me THAT much.........but the price and dealing with JEEP service dept. and TSBs instead of fixing anything.......


go visit the competitions service area and SEE what i am talking about.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:16 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

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Originally Posted by robpp View Post
thanks for the review.

for ME, the price doesnt bother me THAT much.........but the price and dealing with JEEP service dept. and TSBs instead of fixing anything.......


go visit the competitions service area and SEE what i am talking about.
5yr/50,000 mile no cost maint. would certainly be nice
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:37 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

I think you guys will change your minds after test driving one.....
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:59 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

A guy on the red site picked his new 2012 SRT up yesterday and he's got an issue with it. He was complaining about when he takes turns it sounds like it was binding up. He took it back to the dealer today and they said they need to place the TCase in it. They said the rear end wasn't unlocking. Apparently, the TCase and rear end talk to each other. I guess the electronics in the TCase wasn't letting the rear end unlock.

So..... looks like Jeep STILL has electrical gremlins. Was kinda hoping they'd fix all their electrical crap.

Soooo.... if you pick up your Jeep, and it sounds like it's got a spool in the rear end, take it back. From what the OP said, his Jeep isn't the only one.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:11 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison@Stage6 View Post
A guy on the red site picked his new 2012 SRT up yesterday and he's got an issue with it. He was complaining about when he takes turns it sounds like it was binding up. He took it back to the dealer today and they said they need to place the TCase in it. They said the rear end wasn't unlocking. Apparently, the TCase and rear end talk to each other. I guess the electronics in the TCase wasn't letting the rear end unlock.

So..... looks like Jeep STILL has electrical gremlins. Was kinda hoping they'd fix all their electrical crap.

Soooo.... if you pick up your Jeep, and it sounds like it's got a spool in the rear end, take it back. From what the OP said, his Jeep isn't the only one.
I wonder if this goes back to the "wrong oil" that was put in. Wonder if something went into the T-case that wasn't supposed to and now it's causing this issue.
Sucks, cause you would think the "fine tooth comb" that was the extra QC would have caught this stuff. I also saw that he was missing a radio button behind the steering wheel.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:39 PM
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Re: Saw red WK2 SRT8 in person, no test drive (long review)

ever thought it may be karma with that guy
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