If your kids are never on time getting their butts in car seats, I have the solution for you, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, $100,000 of guaranteed pre-teen car travel approval. Just ask Auntie Lyn. 

Not long ago a good friend asked if I’d stay with her kids while she whisked her husband away on a 50th birthday weekend. No problem, I’ve known these kids, aged 16, 13 and 10 all their lives, and they love me. They also know that Auntie Lyn drives cool cars for a living, so the pressure was on. How do you impress three savvy young people? Might I suggest 707 horses.

Mild-mannered beast

The 2019 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the perfect wolf in lamb’s clothing. With its 20-inch black satin aluminum wheels, quad exhaust and bright yellow Brembo six-piston stoppers if you know what you’re looking for you can tell that behind its Clark Kent glasses this is Superman. Mostly, the Trackhawk looks to be mild mannered while it cruises down the leafy green streets in tony Atherton, California, home to Silicon Valley’s tech elite. But shift into Sport mode and floor the gas pedal, and you’ll hear a precious chortle from even the most unimpressed of teens. Even cranking the engine’s soundtrack with remote start gets the neighborhood cats jumping. I’m telling you, this thing works on everyone.

“What’s launch control?” Legitimate question for a 10-year old girl, her jazz shoes in hand. “First tell me where you left your sweatshirt”, I replied. Upon her return from the dance studio you explain to her in terms she can understand. Turn the drive mode dial to Track. Go into the vehicle’s settings on the screen and pick the rpm you’d like the car to rev to. She looks confused, and that’s okay. Then press this launch control button. Depress the brakes and floor the gas. “At the same time?” Oh, yes, young lady, at the same time. Then lift off the brake. Suddenly, she gets it. I wish there was no law stating a person under 80 pounds cannot sit in the front seat, because I would have liked to see the look on her face when we shot down her street as if a clown out of a cannon. (Do clowns still do that? Are there even circuses anymore?)

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If you thought adults enjoyed rocketing a 5,300-pound sled with a 6.2-liter V8 that’s so angry it’s called a Hellcat, then you should try it out on teenaged boys. Don’t ever be afraid again that your 13-year old wants you to be invisible and drop them off a block away. Just reassure your child you’re still in Track mode and make sure to rev it hard before putting it into gear. Your surly kid will smile as they walk away, even if it’s just on the inside.

Plenty of safety assists

Yes, you’re still safe. The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk comes with safety features that makes a single, childfree 40-something with a penchant for tracking supercars a safe bet with someone else’s kids. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection and warnings, automatic emergency warning and braking systems come standard on the Trackhawk. Safety second.

Need space for basketball gear, water polo stuff, grocery shopping, ski weekends in Lake Tahoe? No problem, the Trackhawk’s got you covered. This is still a Grand Cherokee with all its 36.3 cu. ft. behind the second row. You can even tow up to 7,200 pounds with the trailer hitch installed, but that’s too much work for Auntie Lyn.

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Tech and connectivity abound, though I’m happy to report the only time iPhones came out was when we drove from tennis practice to all-you-can-shove-in-your-pie-hole Mongolian BBQ, and the newly-licensed 16-year-old snapped some pics of Track mode settings for his buddies. Can I drive? He asked sheepishly. The eldest is my godson and as the fourth person on the planet to hold him, I feel a special bond with this kid. But no. Auntie Lyn is super cool and doesn’t care if you’re not supposed to watch The Family Guy, but she’s got her limits. Thanks to the crazy Bilstein suspension and electronic rear limited-slip differential, he still had plenty of stories to report on to friends. Hands always at nine and three.

Alas, all good things come to an end. A relaxed Mom and Dad returned, and it was time for magical Auntie Lyn to depart, leaving her charges with Dad’s plain old 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I had now ruined for them all. Like a modern-day Mary Poppins, I swooped in to impart some 700-horsepower wisdom, these impressionable minds forever longing for launch control. Want your kids to get in the car? Get a Trackhawk. They’ll never want to get to school faster.

Want another perspective on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk? Read this quick take

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