|Reviewed By||Jim Pickering|
|Price as Tested||$71,830: 6.4L 470-hp Hemi V8, 8-speed automatic transmission, Quadra-Trac active on-demand 4x4, active damping suspension, performance-tuned steering, forward collision warning with crash mitigation, active Bi-Xenon HID headlamps|
Everything you’d expect in a new SRT-developed street monster: Explosive Hemi power coupled to an intelligent quick-shifting transmission, tight steering and very little body roll through the curves. Sport mode and track mode crank up both the throttle response and transmission shift points, making this a track machine as well as a family hauler. Brembo brakes offer a solid pedal feel and excellent grip. Launch control is easy to use, with drama-free 2,000-rpm starts. Chrysler NAV / Satellite radio interface continues to be among the best in the industry, with a simple and effective interface that just makes sense.
Mufflers are not raspy enough, considering the power on tap. And it looks too tame, too — while the red calipers, black wheels, and muscular body cladding might give the secret away to Mopar fanatics, it flies under the radar more than the rest of the SRT line, and for over $70k, I’d want to stand out. Other small items irritate, like metal runners in cargo area that cause items placed in the rear to slide around, and wind buffeting from the sunroof at freeway speeds. The computer’s torque management program feels a little heavy-handed, too, coming in early and often to protect the drivetrain from your right foot as it prods that Hemi.
Want both a muscle car and an SUV? This Jeep’s for you. Since the days of competition with the now discontinued Chevrolet Trailblazer SS, the SRT has become even nastier and moved further upmarket into a price point typically dominated by European SUVs, and it’s a real competitor there. For 2014, it’s a fantastic overall package with a lot of performance and usability. The only real down side? Its capabilities make all the daily commuters around you seem like little old ladies cruising at ten under the limit. But hey, when some space opens up and you lean on the loud pedal, you’ll be flying under the radar.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|