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2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/5/2007


So you like the high seating position and versatile cargo capacity of an SUV, but at heart you're a true-blue driving enthusiast craving speed, speed and more speed? Thanks to Jeep, you can now get both at a price that will send the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo scampering home with their tails between their axles. Equipped with a 420-horsepower HEMI V8, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is one of the fastest, best-handling SUVs on the planet. Some might argue the SRT8's lowered suspension and street tires render it little more than a jacked-up Dodge Magnum SRT8 wagon, but the Grand Cherokee's four-wheel drive can still pull it through loose sand and deep snow, a claim the Magnum can't make.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the ultimate in on- and off-road SUV performance, and the capability to humiliate owners of much more expensive high-image European four-wheel-drive vehicles, then this is the SUV for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you think you'll need greater ground clearance and more off-road-oriented tires for serious off-road rambling, not to mention a more affordable price and better fuel economy, then you may want to look elsewhere.

What's New for 2007

The 2007 Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers two new options: A rear camera and remote start.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The Grand Cherokee SRT8's muscular HEMI V8 and advanced heavy-duty four-wheel-drive system work impressively well on- and off-road. Driving through a five-speed AutoStick automatic, it can launch this mid-size SUV from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds on dry or wet pavement. With the big engine and big brakes the Grand Cherokee SRT8 can accomplish zero to 100 miles per hour and back to zero in about 19 seconds.

For a nearly 4,800-pound four-wheel-drive vehicle, the ride and handling balance is surprisingly good, thanks to SRT-tuned springs and shock absorbers, large anti-roll bars and Goodyear all-season tires on 20-inch wheels. Steering is fairly crisp and precise, and braking is linear, stable and powerful, thanks to big four-piston Brembo brakes at all four corners.

Favorite Features

SRT-Enhanced HEMI V8
A performance enthusiast's dream, this muscular V8 sounds, performs and feels terrific. Just don't expect frugal fuel efficiency.

Special High-Torque Four-Wheel Drive System
The front of a lightweight Jeep transfer case mated to the rear of a heavy-duty case with an upgraded output shaft provides the necessary torque-handling capability, but weighs 60 pounds less than a heavy-duty case. Under normal conditions, 95 to 100 percent of available torque goes to the rear wheels, through a heavy-duty driveshaft and an upgraded rear axle. When additional traction or stability is required, some of that torque can be re-directed forward to the front wheels.

Vehicle Details Interior

Inside the Grand Cherokee SRT8's cabin are deeply sculpted power-adjustable "performance" front bucket seats with patterned suede inserts that help hold occupants in place during aggressive cornering. Accents include a "carbon-fiber technical" finish on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, instrument-panel brow and shift knob and "refined" aluminum-look trim on the center stack, shifter and door-switch bezels. Instrument dials (speedometer, tachometer and engine temperature) are blue-trimmed, and oil pressure and temperature are positioned in a central display. The only Grand Cherokee SRT8 interior color for 2007 is Medium Slate.

Exterior

The SRT8's specific front fascia reduces aerodynamic lift and drag and increases cooling airflow to both the engine and brakes, the latter through integrated lower air ducts. The special rear fascia sports a large center cutout for impressive-looking four-inch dual exhausts, and side-sill extensions add visual muscle. The four available exterior colors are "Bright Silver," "Brilliant Black,"
"Steel Blue Metallic" and "Inferno Red."

Notable Standard Equipment

The SRT8 adds to the base Grand Cherokee Laredo a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive, and such performance equipment as W-rated 255/45 front and 285/40 rear tires on 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, Brembo brakes, Bilstein shock absorbers, SRT-unique fascia, grille, sill extensions, center chrome-tipped dual exhausts, high-bolstered performance seats with leather/suede inserts and a leather-covered performance steering wheel. Major standard safety and security features include advanced multi-stage front airbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Brake Assist, SmartBeam Headlamps and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Notable Optional Equipment

Available options include a six-disc CD player, premium speakers, fog lamps, power-adjustable pedals, DVD-based navigation with rear backup camera, remote start, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, ParkSense Rear Park Assist System and UConnect hands-free communications system with Bluetooth technology.

Under the Hood

Compared to its applications in other Chrysler Group vehicles, SRT engineers boosted the HEMI V8's output from 330 to 420 horsepower and its torque from 375 to 420 pound-feet by boring out the cylinders 0.5 mm to increase displacement from 5.7 to 6.1 liters, upping its compression ratio from 9.6:1 to 10.3:1, redesigning its aluminum cylinder heads and intake and exhaust systems for better flow and increasing rpm capability. A higher-performance camshaft allows more air in and out of the cylinders while managing higher engine speeds. The engine block is painted classic HEMI orange with black valve covers. All that's missing is the regular 330-horsepower HEMI V8's economy-enhancing Multi-Displacement System (MDS).

6.1-liter V8 HEMI
420 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
420 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/15

Pricing Notes

The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $40,800, and should sell for that or above, as some dealers may ask more until initial demand is satisfied. Check the Fair Purchase Price to find out what consumers are actually paying in your area. As for resale, Kelley Blue Book expects the Grand Cherokee SRT8 to hold its value well, though its five-year residual and resale figures cannot compare to those of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, BMW X5 or Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

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