2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8Posted on March 31st, 2010
Full-sized sport-utility vehicle tuned for performance
By Nina Russin
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the fastest vehicle in the Jeep lineup: a different kind of animal than what the brand is known for. Chrysler’s street racing engineers utilized four-wheel drive to enhance power as opposed to off-road handling, delivering a zero-to-sixty time under five seconds.
Special ground effects limit the SRT8 model to paved roads. I had difficulty backing out of my driveway without hitting the front fascia, designed to enhance airflow, on the apron. Twenty-inch forged aluminum wheels come with run-flat tires can run up to fifty miles with no air pressure on the highway. The tires eliminate weight from a spare, but are completely impractical off-road.
Having said that, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 fits most of the other squares active buyers need to fill. It can hold up to five passengers, has a large enough cargo area to hold a bicycle, and tows up to 3500 pounds, meeting our minimum ALV standards.
Best of all, the hot rod Grand Cherokee is a hoot to drive. While Jeep enthusiasts will immediately see differences in appearance between the stock Grand Cherokee and its SRT cousin, most drivers cannot. There’s nothing more fun than pulling up next to a pony car at a stoplight, and blowing it away off the line. I found the stunt so entertaining that I had to repeat it half a dozen times during my test drive.
Base price on the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is $43,325, not including a $780 destination charge.
Four hundred twenty horses smelling the barn
At the heart of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is a 420-horsepower hemi engine. The engine produces peak torque of 420 foot pounds at 4800 rpm, giving it excellent acceleration off the line. A five-speed automatic transmission includes manual gear selection to add some fun on twisting roads.
A cat-back exhaust system that includes two, four-inch exhaust pipes helps to push air through the engine. The exhaust lets out a pleasing belch during hard acceleration: the car’s way of saying “thank you” for the 91-octane gasoline it requires.
Since the Grand Cherokee is engineered strictly for on-road use, the four-wheel drive system utilizes a single-speed transfer case. Four-wheel drive enhances vehicle performance on slippery roads by automatically sending engine power to the wheels with the best traction. The twenty-inch wheels and low-profile tires give the Grand Cherokee an exceptionally large, stable footprint.
The suspension is surprisingly refined, considering that the Grand Cherokee’s live rear axle. Monotube shock absorbers and large stabilizer bars on both axles keep the chassis flat in the corners. I took some decreasing radius turns at highway speeds, as well as on a two-lane road outside of town, and was impressed by how well the Grand Cherokee responded.
Steering feedback from the rack-and-pinion system is excellent. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 maintains positive on-center response at speed, while providing plenty of low-speed assist for maneuvering around parking lots. Its 37.1-foot turning radius is pretty good, considering the car’s long wheelbase.
Visibility is quite good to the front and sides. Over-the-shoulder visibility, in particular, is excellent. A rearview camera eliminates blind spots to the back of the vehicle, making it easier to parallel park. The rearview camera is part of an option package that also adds navigation, remote start, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a special instrument cluster with performance pages and adjustable pedals ($2045).
Seating for five passengers
The Grand Cherokee can hold up to five passengers, though legroom in the second-row center position is limited due to the center console. The SRT team installed heavily bolstered seats up front to keep the driver and passenger in place. Unfortunately, the seats have terrible lower lumbar support. I found it uncomfortable to sit in the car for more than an hour.
Adjustable pedals and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allow smaller drivers to maintain a safe distance from the front airbag and a clear forward view. Two-position seat memory makes it easier for multiple drivers to share the car. The driver can access performance pages using steering wheel controls. They include quarter mile time, zero-to-sixty acceleration, and average fuel economy. I averaged 13.7 miles-per-gallon on the test drive: slightly higher than the EPA estimate.
Overhead reading lamps for both rows of passengers and a dome light in the cargo area illuminate the interior at night. All passengers have ample access to map pockets and cupholders. There are two, 12-volt power points in the center stack, and one in the cargo area. A 115-volt outlet behind the center console allows rear passengers to plug in games or a computer.
Second-row seats have enough head, leg and hip room for smaller adults, though legroom in the middle position is fairly limited. Passengers with limited mobility may have a hard time climbing in back, since the rear wheel arches impinge on the door opening.
An option on the test car adds an audio upgrade with a large subwoofer in the cargo area. The sound is great, but the component makes it harder to load in large cargo, especially bicycles.
Without the upgrade, the cargo area functions well for active lifestyles. The driver can open the rear glass separately for loading in smaller items. Lift-over height is pretty good for a SUV, making easier to load in large cargo. A small storage area under the cargo floor keeps valuables hidden from sight.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 comes standard with front, side and side curtain airbags, traction and electronic stability control. Four-piston Brembo brakes with four-channel antilock braking stop the car on a dime.
Chrysler’s five year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty includes 24-hour roadside assistance. Chrysler builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee at its Detroit, Michigan assembly plant.
Likes: A full-sized sport-utility vehicle with the handling and performance of a sport sedan, plus a spacious cargo area. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is bicycle friendly and can tow up to 3500 pounds, meeting our ALV minimum standards.
Dislikes: No off-road capability. Limited legroom in the middle, second-row seat.
Model: Grand Cherokee SRT8
Base price: $43,325
As tested: $49,295
Horsepower: 420 Hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 420 lbs.-ft. @ 4800 rpm
Zero-to-sixty: Under 5 seconds
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Fuel economy: 12/16 mpg city/highway
Comments: The manufacturer recommends the use of 91 octane fuel.
15 responses to “2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8”
The 2010 Grand Cherokee has an amazing interior, and a strong engine, but the exterior styling seems to be lacking. The Grand Cherokee once had a distinctive look, but now it’s hard to tell the difference from a GC and a Dodge Journey.
The GC is a great suv, but Jeep needs to do more to make it stand out visually.
Future SRT8 Owner October 15th, 2010 at 10:37
Can anyone confirm that the rear DVD entertainment package has been omitted for 2010? What a bummer (for my son). I love the ability to plug devices into the 115V outlet though. And as with most Brembo brakes on other cars, are the SRT8 brakes expected to squeal?
I can’t answer your question about the power outlet. As far as the brakes go, I didn’t notice squealing when I test drove the car. However, it’s always hard to tell about that kind of performance problem in a brand new vehicle. Those types of things typically show up later. Thanks for writing.
Rami (Dubai) December 26th, 2010 at 22:04
I went to test drive the SRT8 last night and I fell in love with the car. However I have one concern.
I live in Dubai and my house is around a 30 minute drive on a highway to the office.
How is the fuel consumption?
I love the car but I wouldn’t want to spend a big amount of my salary over petrol.
There is certainly a trade-off between fuel economy and performance, although engineers do what they can to keep gas mileage as good as possible. There should be fuel economy specs in the information box at the end of the story. If you are driving on the highway, you will be at the high end, since stop-and-go driving consumes a lot more gas than cruising at a steady speed. You can also maximize your gas mileage by trying to keep your tach readings at or below 2000 rpm, including during acceleration. You might want to look into a technique called “eco-driving.” I did a story on it for this web site awhile back. Basically, it’s a method of maximizing your gas mileage by modifying your driving techniques. Hope this helps.
Danjhs00 February 11th, 2011 at 10:30
i get 13-14 mpg’s…. love my jgc srt8, currently thinking about putting a super charger into it just to make it even fast/quicker 😉 right now though im having problems finding the right tire for it. anybody have any suggestions?
The Tire Rack web site has a lot of good, unbiased information (the company does all of its own tire testing on a dedicated track in South Bend. The web site is tirerack.com. Good luck!
Jeep SRT 2010- I own, have had the car for over a year, it is my weekend/winter car, my other car is a BMW 5-series. This is my 6th Jeep, first SRT. I live in New England and my driveway is long and steep, with a right turn that makes many cars unable to get up from that point on. I was warned that the SRT might not be a great winter car given the HP/tires, etc…. This SRT goes right up, no problem, even in this winter of 2011 in the NorthEast! I depend on this car in the winter and it shines; I kept the original tires on it, too. As for the speed of it- nobody knows what you are driving and you just blow people off the road. I cannot endorse this car enough- it puts the FUN in functional. And at ~$40k??? A bargain!
I am in the process of purchasing my first JGC SRT8. I would like to know what the SRT stands for?
Great vehicle and looking forward to just cruising around in it…
P.S. If it is possible to send a reply to my e-mail, I’ed appreciate it a lot…
SRT stands for Street Racing Technology. Basically, it’s the division of Chrysler responsible for high-performance variants of their models.
BILL KREBS July 9th, 2011 at 14:50
Hi Guys, i have a 2010 SRT-8 G.C. I HAD A WAY COOL sound system installed. It’s sweet. Just drive her once every 30 days. Ride my bikes all the time live in San Diego. Have Fun Life is short. I Love my SRT-8!!
Travis August 31st, 2011 at 21:07
I am looking at getting an SRT8 and wondering if anyone has had any problems with the transmission or other parts on this vehicle as they get more miles on them?
Since I drive the cars new, I’m probably not your best source of information on that. I would definitely go on the NHTSA web site and check safety ratings and see if there were any federal recalls. FYI federal recalls only happen if there is a safety risk. A simple mechanical failure does not qualify for a government-mandated recall. You should also check out the IIHS web site. My final suggestion is to google the model followed by “service history” and see what you find there. Thanks for writing in.
Have any 2010 SRT8 owner experiance problems with the brake pad grinding groove into the front rotors?
Excuse me I left the l out on the email address, the current adress is correct.
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