The JEEP SRT makes no sense whatsoever. With loaded trims of the Grand Cherokee and Durango going for less than $60,000 - and a Pentastar V6/ 8-speed combination that's not slow while getting decent MPG... why should you spend $70,000 on a truck that gets less than 11 MPG and rides on $400-a-piece tires it will soon chew through?
It's hard for me to answer that.
All I can say is that: this is a very high profile vehicle whom every internet drag-race junky will recognize. It won't get you as many looks and shouts as a Lamborghini or Veyron, but every enthusiast will recognize you right away and you'll feel like Mario Andretti driving it.
Controls and instruments
The 2014JGCSRT includes Chrysler's UCONNECT TOUCH, just like my 2012 300 SRT. UT, might be the most intuitive system on the entire market. Unlike the German $100,000 luxury cars, it includes a touchscreen and a high speed processor which makes entering nav coordinates lightning fast. Unlike Ford's outgoing SYNC systems, UT has enough redundant hard buttons and knobs to make using it simpler whilst driving at highway speeds. The 2014's software improves on the map's look with higher res, higher detail images - while my 300SRT's software maps resemble crayon-drawn images.
The audio system in the SRT is a 19 speaker Harmon Kardon which sounds considerably good. BASS reproduction is tremendous through the 10" subwoofer and the tweeters produce excellent highs.
The only complaint I can lodge is at the ZF-sourced 8-speed transmission which includes an electronic monostatic shifter with detents too soft for an experienced driver to shift intuitively. This is the same shifter system used in the big Audi A8. While it would look good in an EV or German car, it doesn't fit the charater of the Jeep.
The 2014 JGCSRT includes an "ECO" button to force the car to enter 4 cylinder mode in an attempt to save fuel. Even with the 8-speed, the most you'll gain in conservative driving is 1 - 2 MPG. The new Jeep is simply too heavy. 5250 pounds without me in it!!!
The nicest addition to the JEEP SRT is the Uconnect SRT track apps. These apps are intuitive, simple to set and give you all types of info from 0-60, 60-0, quarter miles, 1/8 miles, G-force and cornerning ability. There's also engine performance info which gives you instant horsepower and instant torque.
All buttons and switches feel high in quality. Nothing to complain about. As they are all plastic - there's nothing to get too excited about either. The German cars with chrome buttons demand much more green.
The 2014 Jeep SRT is an animal.
With the new "LAUNCH" system, you can set the truck to propel itself at drag strip speeds with a few simple button presses. Due to the AWD system literally clawing for traction, a good "launch" of the Jeep 2014 will give you a 0-60 speed of 3.9 seconds. A weaker launch still gives you times well under 5 seconds.
Step #1 - come to a stop on flat terrain.
Step #2 - turn the drivetrain dial to "TRACK"
Step #3 - press "LAUNCH" and the yellow light lights up.
Step #4 - step on brake and then step on throttle.
Step #5 - release brake.
Step #6 - scream in joy as you rocket off!!!
It's very simple...even simpler than launch control systems on cars like the Nissan GT-R.
The 8-speed gives the Jeep's 6.4-Liter HEMI as many gears as it needs to properly adapt to just about any driving situation. The old 5-speed needed to be driven in "SPORT MODE" to make the truck feel "fast". The 8-speed outperforms the 5 in just about every way. Unfortunately, as mentioned, MPG is still poor. On a 400 mile trip I managed just 17mpg. In city driving I see no higher than 11 MPG. Stop lights and traffic take a high toll on MPG and all of the HEMI engines lack a start/stop feature.
What's worse is that the SRT vehicles DEMAND that you drive them fast. The hypnotic *vroom* of the HEMI and the racing of sights past the windows create a constant sense of awe which might as well be measured in "smiles per gallon". You do not buy this vehicle to save fuel or money.
I've participated in SRT track experiences where I got to experiment with the extreme handling of the SRT vehicles. The Jeep, despite its intimidating size and power is actually a very civilized vehicle when driven in a civilized manner. Ride smoothness has improved considerably over the outgoing WK1 model even though wheel size has remained at 20" and the ride height has grown.
The Jeep will magically hug the road, even on extremely tight highway corners. This truck constantly challenges you to drive it faster and drive it harder, but only people completely comfortable with it will be able to do so without the fear of rollover.
Part of the reason its grip and stability is so good are its 295/45/20 Pirelli P-Zeros. At around $410 per tire, you aren't likely to find another all-season performance rubber to properly complement this vehicle - unless you're running drag slicks. The ride is quiet, smooth and enjoyable even over long distances.
Price or payments
This truck will run you around $70,000 when purchased brand new. Many dealers in my area dropped $5000 (or more) to move them off lots. financing payments or lease payments will be as high as you'd expect a $70,000 vehicle to be. (We are paying about $1000 per month).
The Jeep's price, however, becomes a bargain when you look at the German competition. Whether is's a BMW X6M, Mercedes AMG, Porsche Cayenne or Audi... all of them cost WAY more. Their interior quality is more refined (obviously), but in my experience the new 6.4-L HEMI (as well as the 6.1 before it) is a solid, no hassle vehicle to maintain so long as you properly change oil and air filters at regularly scheduled intervals. Same goes for distribution fluid.
Obviously, the fuel economy is poor. You'll have to compare the Jeep SRT with the German equivalents to figure out just how poor, but suffice to say, you'll be getting less than 12 MPG everywhere you go and buying Super Premium Unleaded on every fill.
Considering I'm a 3 time SRT owner, it's hard for me to tell you not to consider buying this truck. all I can say is that it's a gas guzzler, a tire grinder and an absolute blast to drive on open roads - as well as the track. It's a Jeep for people with deep pockets who just wanna go really fast in a Jeep.