Four-Wheel-Drive System [ ]

To create the first SRT vehicle with full-time four-wheel drive, SRT engineers developed a drive system that was lightweight, yet robust and reliable enough to handle massive amounts of horsepower and torque from the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8’s powertrain. One part of the equation was to create a new transfer case, combining housing components from two existing units with the upgrades needed to make it SRT-capable.

SRT engineers opted to use the front half of a Jeep transfer case chosen for its capability and light weight. It was mated to the rear half of a heavier-duty case, chosen for its ruggedness and ability to house the electronic full-time four-wheel drive system components. The transfer case output shaft was upgraded to handle high torque generated by the SRT 6.1-liter HEMI.

The result is the all-new 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8’s unique transfer case, which provides the necessary power-handling capabilities for the Grand Cherokee SRT8 while weighing 60 pounds less than a Jeep heavy-duty case.

Under normal driving conditions, from 5 percent to 10 percent of torque is directed to the front wheels, but as much of the 6.1-liter HEMI’s torque as needed can be directed forward when additional traction or stability is required. Remaining torque is sent via a heavy-duty driveshaft designed for the European Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel model, to a Dana 44 rear differential upgraded with a larger ring gear within a new axle housing.

“We wanted the acceleration that only four-wheel-drive can provide,” said Knott. “Our goal for the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 was to have a well-balanced vehicle with a high fun-to-drive quotient. The SRT-developed electronic four-wheel drive system is perfectly suited to this.”

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Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Those who care even a little bit about fuel economy should avoid the Grand Cherokee SRT. This gas guzzler has low EPA estimates and some of the worst real-world results among its competitors. Unsurprisingly, the SRT does have better EPA estimates than the 707-hp Trackhawk—but barely. No matter how you slice it, the SRT is one of the least efficient vehicles in this segment. It missed its 19-mpg highway estimate by 1 mpg during our real-world testing, and similar rivals were between 3 and 5 mpg better.

Conclusion

For most vehicle manufacturers, achieving luxury like this, without being outrageous, is not achievable. Regardless, Stellantis’ (previously Fiat Chrysler) Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 represents a true performance SUV that doesn’t sacrifice luxury, all done flawlessly. The SRT8 version Grand Cherokee has aerodynamic curves making the vehicle strikingly beautiful, retaining a forceful presence on roadways with immense amounts of power, yet somehow gives a luxurious feel as soon as you step inside.

Photos copyright and courtesy of FCA Group (Stellantis North America).

Grand Cherokee SRT Exterior

The regular Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t an ugly thing, nor is it considered beautiful, but with some SRT flavor, its exterior is certainly improved. Gloss black accents give a sporty edge to the front grille while vents in the bumper and a unique set of intake grilles with LED fog lights give the SUV an aggressive demeanor. 20-inch wheels are standard while the rear boasts a subtle roof spoiler and a faux diffuser housing single-exit exhaust tips on either end. The taillights are smoked too, for that menacing look. A dual-pane panoramic sunroof is optional.

The Interior

The interior of the Jeep has a combination of detail and style. The steering wheel is flat for easy handling. Additionally, the steering wheel has a distinctive case, which was inspired by previous generations’ racing models, that gives the driver the experience of adrenaline and speed; all from the inside.

The central screen features the UConnect 5 system, which is five times faster than the previous version and can also have wireless updates to improve its use without taking it to the local dealership. The instrument cluster is 7 inches wide with driver-selectable menus for personal optimization. The Jeep also features options such as adaptive cruise control, night vision cameras, fatigue detector, and even traffic warning signs.

The 8.4-inch control panel provides the driver with navigation details, but also specs to improve vehicle performance. For the first time in a car, especially in the Summit Reserve version, you have a McIntosh audio system with a 17-channel amplifier, 19 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer and a total power of 950 watts. All-in-all, the cabin is quite impressive with a design that offers the driver the ultimate driving experience of a race car but in an SUV.

Grand Cherokee SRT Gas Mileage

Good gas mileage and great fuel economy are not terms regularly associated with the likes of SRT, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee is no different. According to the EPA’s review of the Grand Cherokee SRT, the SUV will do just 13/19/15 mpg on the agency’s city/highway/combined cycles. With a 24.6-gallon gas tank, this equates to a mixed range of around 369 miles. Still, the Trackhawk is even worse, with official figures of 11/17/13 mpg on the same cycles.

Exterior [ ]

SRT’s credo demands functional exterior enhancements that contribute to performance and resonate with the brand character. The all-new 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8’s lowered, aggressive stance shows its unmistakable Jeep identity endowed with SRT DNA.

An all-new front fascia makes use of aero improvements to reduce lift and drag, while providing sufficient air flow to cool the 6.1-liter HEMI engine. The front fascia also helps increase brake-system cooling through integrated air ducts. In the rear, an all-new fascia incorporates an aggressive center cutout to accommodate dual 4-inch exhaust tips.

Another functional enhancement is sill extensions to help create downforce. The roof rack available on the Jeep Grand Cherokee is not available on the all-new 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Three exterior colors are available: Bright Silver, Brilliant Black and Inferno Red.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior Features

As far as the exterior design goes, the differences between the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT vs. Trackhawk are far from obvious. But, if you take a close look, you will quickly notice that the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is slightly different than the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Take the wheels, for example. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT comes standard with 20-inch Carbon Split 5-spoke wheels, and the Trackhawk comes standard with 20-inch Forged Polished Face Wheels. You’ll also notice that the Jeep Grand Cherokee also comes standard with Bright Quad Exhaust Tips, a supercharged sill plate, a Trackhawk Badge, and a Supercharged Badge. All in all, both of these SUVs share semi-similar exterior features. Therefore, it all comes down to preference.

Performance Features for each trim

The all-new 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is, no doubt, a capable and power-driven SUV. Jeep drivers near Cincinnati, OH, will find the SRT and Trackhawk models carry on that excellence through their engine specs as well as other impressive performance features.

The SRT’s V8 engine comes paired with an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission and five Drive Modes, including Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow and a custom setting. The Trackhawk, driven by its 707-hp engine, features high-performance Brembo brakes with 15.75-inch slotted rotors, 15-inch vented front rotors and six-piston front brake calipers. The advanced Quadra-Trac Active On-Demand 4×4 System on both models allows drivers to have better handling in any driving condition due to its impressive amounts of horsepower and torque.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT vs. Trackhawk Safety Features

Last but not least, let’s take a look at the safety features. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk are both reliable sport utility vehicles. Whether you’re driving through the rain, sleet, or snow, you can always count on both of these Jeep Grand Cherokee models to help you reach your next destination. Some of the top safety features that come standard in the Jeep Trackhawk and Grand Cherokee SRT are:

  • Electronic Roll Mitigation
  • Blind-Spot and Cross-Path Detection
  • Enhanced Accident Response System
  • Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Parkview Rear Back-Up Camera
  • 4-Wheel Traction Control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

While Jeep has an unimpressive limited warranty versus similar rivals, it delivers the top powertrain coverage. The company also provides all 2021 models with three years of free maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • Three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance is included

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