2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review
I have had my Jeep for three days and think it is great! I can’t imagine a better vehicle choice for me right now. When driving it, it feels like what it is, a powerful performance machine in a refined everyday package.
I will post more as I gain more experience with it, but I wanted to get this out there for those considering or waiting on a 2014.
My intended uses:
· Everyday use for a couple of years
· Primarily winter use and towing after that
· Towing aluminum enclosed car trailer loaded with muscle car or sports car
· Power and handling, especially for an SUV
· Good looking exterior, particularly the front
· Great interior – materials, fit and finish, ergonomics, electronics, etc. This is the first vehicle that I have had that I like the interior better than the exterior
· Wonderful feeling steering wheel
· Great balance between ride and handling in “Auto” mode
· Outstanding performance feel in “Sport” and “Track” mode and simplicity in switching between them
· Nice relaxed shifting in “D” and mildly aggressive shifting in “S” built in, rather than having to modify it later with a Diablo tuner
· Visceral growl to the exhaust that you can hear and feel while in the vehicle and yet subdued enough to not be obnoxious to non-performance oriented passengers
· Quiet overall inside with minimal wind, road, tire, and suspension noise
· Performance, features and refinement of higher end brands without the price and stigma associated – I like BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, and Porsche but I don’t really want to drive one right now. I like driving American cars and feel more comfortable with the image conveyed. I just like pulling up to my kid’s baseball practice a lot in my Jeep and don’t think I would feel that way in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.
· It will be easy to modify and service in years to come, as I plan on keeping it for a long time
· The size is great. Big enough to carry people and cargo for what I need. Long enough and heavy enough to safely tow up to 7,200 pounds. Short enough wheelbase to be easily maneuverable in congested areas, such as tight city parking lots.
· All wheel drive for all weather capability and rear bias for better performance and feel
· Brembo brakes with great sizes for the weight of the vehicle
· Nice forged aluminum “Goliath” wheels
· It has a lot of convenience features that I really like. Some of these are relatively minor features, but I notice them when I rent a car and they are not there:
o Rain sensing wipers
o Memory seats
o Easy exit seat and steering wheel motion on shut off
o Passive entry and keyless ignition
o Heated and cooled seats
o Remote start
o Speed sensitive volume control
o Overhead bin for sunglasses
o Plenty of power and USB ports, including 110V
o Performance pages
o Tire pressure monitoring with pressure readout rather than just “low”
o Backup camera
o Great phone connectivity
Areas for improvement
· Wish it had even more power. A supercharger from the factory would be great as then I would feel confident that it was a well sorted package with a transmission, transfer case, differentials, fuel systems, and cooling to handle the power for the long term. Maybe it will feel quicker as it gets broken in. It is powerful and quick now, but it would be nice with even more
· I would have liked to get a Sepia like interior, but I didn’t want to wait for it and didn’t feel that it was thoroughly integrated enough. The interior colors should be a more comprehensive package, like on the Overland and Summit models
· It would be nice to up the tow rating, the GCVWR, and the trailer frontal area limit
· Would be nice to have upholstered, padded pockets on the backs of the front seats rather than just nets. Nice spot to put an iPad, but can’t put it in the nets as it is not hidden from thieves and rattles against the seat back while driving
· Add an electronically engaged limited slip front differential for drag racing and snow conditions
· The new shifter is a huge step backward ergonomically. What is so wrong with being able to tell what gear you are in by the physical position of the handle? With the new one, the only way to tell is with your eyes.
· Could improve the look of the gauge pod. It could be a little more upscale looking. The resolution of the TFT screen is good, but the gauge faces for the rest are a little plain.
As a reference point for the above, my other vehicles are:
· 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 – My daily driver until now
· 2010 Ford Flex Limited Ecoboost V6 – My wife’s daily driver and our family hauler
· 1999 Dodge Viper RT/10 – Used for fun drives and occasionally track days, autocross, and drag racing
· 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Hemi car – currently under construction
· 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee – traded in on the 2014 Jeep SRT
Re: 2014 Review
You can slip your iPad between the pages of a magazine or newspaper. That will stop it from rattling and a potential thief won't wonder what the bulge is in a covered pocket. They'll see the newspaper and keep on walking.
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