Thursday, April 20, 2017

Opulent Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT drops jaws

A menu of Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California – I’m starting to wonder if I’ve completely lost touch with automotive reality.

I blame this on the recently tested 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

OK, we all know that it’s a king-size sport-utility vehicle, and it doesn’t take deep motor vehicle knowledge to guess that the fuel mileage is pretty awful (13 miles per gallon in the city and 19 mpg on the highway, for the record).

But beyond this, the Grand Cherokee SRT bends my brain like it was a soft rubber cigar.

One glance at the bottom line on the sticker pretty much put me in shock: $78,355. Holy house payment, Batman!

From my new position flat on my back next to the vehicle, my eyes were drawn to the bright-red brakes.  Are those Brembo high-performance brakes, as in the kind of brakes built into top-flight race cars?

Yes, indeed.

Oh, I’m just getting started.

The tester’s audio system had NINETEEN Harman Kardon speakers on board, boosted with an 825-watt amplifier. The system produced the kind of sound you expect to get in the front row of a 1970s-metal rock concert.  What?  I can’t hear you, but I assure you it’s true.

The list of interior comfort, convenience and technology features is Rolls-Royce lengthy and just as impressive – LED lights all around, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, power liftgate and power everything else.

How does it drive?  Well, with a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 dishing up 475 horsepower, it drives quite well, thank you very much.  I lost count of how many times I unintentionally lurched the SUV forward from a stop in a week’s time, but there was great satisfaction derived from pressing the accelerator on such a large vehicle and blowing away sports cars and other nimble automobiles on my freeway commutes.

The power package does the zero-to-60 miles per hour run in an advertised 4.8 seconds, and I can personally testify that there is solid-gold accuracy in that claim.

Also in the mix are eight drive modes that enable drivers to “personalize” their driving experience.  For 2017, Jeep nicely tweaked the front end for a more-sporty appearance.

I could go on and on, but it should be obvious, even to those who are concerned about their grip on reality regarding everything on four wheels:  This is an ultra-SUV that stacks up with anything being produced by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or Volvo.

If you have the cash and a desire for a rolling five-star luxury suite, your dream vehicle is wearing a Jeep badge.

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