Jeep is probably one of the most iconic American car brands around. Their mid-size SUV flagship, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, has been with us since 1992. It was created to replace the Jeep Cherokee XJ compact SUV. The first generation was introduced as part of the 1993 model year and built until the 1998 model year. The second generation lasted from the 1999 model year until the 2004 model year, while the third generation covered everything between the 2005 and 2010 model year. The fourth generation lasted from the 2011 model year until the 2021 model year. Today, the 2022 model marks the start of the fifth generation, and the entire history of the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been one of excellence.
But how about an SUV for those who need the practicality of a larger vehicle but aren’t as interested in off-road driving as they are in belting around a race track at really high speed? Well, there’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with its monster 707 horsepower engine, but the Trackhawk is out of most people’s price range. Fortunately, there’s a performance variant of the Jeep Grand Cherokee that’s a bit more reasonable: the SRT. While some may dismiss it as less impressive than its Trackhawk cousin, the fact is that the SRT is a truly impressive track SUV in its own right.
That said, we love the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, and that’s because it’s just as at home on the track as it is picking up the kids from school.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT offers some serious performance
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is equipped with a naturally aspirated 6.4 liter V8 engine that produces 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. As a result, it has a top speed of 180 miles per hour and an acceleration time from zero to sixty miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. All that power isn’t just for acceleration, either, as the SRT’s track focus doesn’t make it any less adept at being a sports utility vehicle. The vehicle’s maximum towing capacity maxes out at 7,200 lbs, so the 2021 Cherokee SRT could tow about seven medium-sized cows without breaking a sweat.
That power goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission with overdrive to exactly the drivetrain you’d expect in an SUV: four-wheel drive. The suspension is stiffer than most trim models of the Grand Cherokee, giving it better handling than the standard models. Despite the SUV’s massive weight (a curb weight of over 2 and a half tons), the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is much more nimble through the curves than you might expect. But comfort is not sacrificed for performance, as the ride is still quite smooth on normal roads.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is incredibly practical
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT has a passenger capacity of five, including the driver. It’s also a fairly roomy fit, with 40.3 inches of legroom in the two front seats and 38.6 inches of legroom in the three-seat rear bench. As you would expect from an SUV, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT also has a good cargo capacity. With all seats up, cargo space measures 36.3 cubic feet, but if you fold down the rear row of seats, that increases to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
While the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is both fun and practical, fuel efficiency isn’t its main selling point. It averages about 13 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway for a combined fuel efficiency of 15 miles per gallon. This isn’t great, but it’s a natural consequence of an SUV designed for the track, and anyone in the market for one is probably well aware of it. A 24.6-gallon fuel tank gives it good range, but trains to 320 miles in the city and 467 miles on the highway.
Unlike many performance vehicles, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT isn’t stripped down and lacks gadgets offered on other trim levels. Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system is considered one of the more well-designed infotainment systems on the market today, with menus that are both ergonomic and pleasing to the eye. You’ll find just as much comfort inside the Grand Cherokee SRT as in most luxury SUVs.