WHOA, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam). A menacing stance, aggressive looks and an engine note to match; this is the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Intimidating yet sexy, it attracts attention like nothing else.
You’ll be the envy of all the dads (and maybe some of the mums) when you rock up with the fam to the next BBQ, soccer game or shopping expedition in what’s basically your own monster truck.
The SRT puts on an awesome display, vented bonnet bulging, pumped guards flexing and red Brembo brakes boasting their reason for existence. You can even scare young children or send a carpark into a frenzy using the remote start to fire it up.
Here’s a handy hint too, if you can’t find your car, hit the button and wait for the 344kW 6.4-litre V8 engine to roar to life. If you don’t hear the HEMI rumbling, just locate it via the numerous onlookers.
Once you’ve finished indulging your new fans, climb into the Jeep and introduce your rear end to the SRT’s sporty yet comfortable leather and suede seats.
Remember where you left the audio volume last though, as the 19, yes 19, high-performance speakers, including a 10-inch sub-woofer, will have you drawing even more attention with your *cough ‘kids’ favourite Bieber track pumping.
Connect your IOS or Android device to Jeep’s Uconnect system, presented on a large 8.4 touch screen display, and thanks to Apple Carplay and Android Auto you can immediately switch to more age appropriate tunes, which should deter potential bystander ridicule.
We’d suggest some Acca Dacca – maybe Back in Black, as a good place to start. Now if the music doesn’t have you feeling like Tony Stark (Iron Man’s alter ego for our confused readers), then simply choose your driving mode (we enjoyed Track the best).
Shift the SRT’s 8-speed transmission into gear and listen to the stampede of 461.312 horses. Have no fear though, Brembo’s are here too, delivering plenty of stopping power to pull you up if you get a bit carried away with the accelerator pedal.
With a claimed performance of 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and claimed fuel consumption of 14.0-litres/100km, we don’t recommend you do a Daryl Braithwaite and ride ‘The Horses’ for too long, unless you have some deep fuel money pockets.
In our possession and under stringent testing on NSW roads, we managed an average of 16.0-litres/100km. Don’t let that put you off though, the Grand Cherokee SRT still has plenty of space and features you can enjoy, even in your driveway.
The angry Jeep’s flat-bottomed steering wheel complements the 8-way adjustable front seats, and the additional ability to heat them is especially delightful for those crisper drive days.
Auto climate controls with dual temperature zones will have you and your first mate in custom comfort. The good people at Jeep haven’t forgotten about those back seats either. They’re heated too, and there’s dual USB ports as well.
Apart from all the standard features, you also get air suspension, adaptive damping control, adaptive headlights, intelligent/active cruise control, rear and exterior auto dimming mirrors, a power adjustable steering column and power tailgate.
But we aren’t here to tell you what you can look up once we’ve peaked your interest. We’re here to share feelings, like the one you get when you push the driver memory button, and the seating, mirrors and steering position align, just for you.
Even though the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT feels like a road legal M1 Abrams, safety is always a priority. In this case, it boasts plenty of protection for you and your family, including blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning and cross traffic recognition.
There’s also lane change and lane departure warning, rear parking distance control, seven airbags, ABS, active park assist, rollover mitigation, a reversing camera, and tyre pressure monitoring. It boasts a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
The standard 20-inch Granite Crystal alloy wheels seem dwarfed under the SRT’s massive girth, but it’s not just show pony. While it rolls around on Michelin Pilot Sports tyres and has a launch button, it is actually plenty capable off-road.
The Selec-Terrain traction management systems distributes 4×4 power to front and rear wheels with ease, and the Jeep’s off-road display shows real time diagnostics and stats for your vehicle, including suspension height, wheel articulation and transmission temps.
The SRT is also ‘Trail Rated’ like many of the other vehicles in the Jeep lineup. Cabin road noise isn’t really noticeable either, on or off road. But let’s face it, you don’t buy the Grand Cherokee SRT to go un-noticed.
An impressive dual-pane panoramic roof serves up more visual stimulation for passengers. Cabin space is ample and gives upscale six-figure competitors a good run for their money.
For a big car, handling is smooth, but the drive can be slightly shaken up or jerky, depending on the driver’s fondness for putting pedal to the floor. Weighing in at 2,315kg, the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is priced from $92,450 plus on-roads.
It sits below the insane 6.2-litre supercharged Hellcat V8 powered Trackhawk in the nine strong model range. Our test vehicle came in Diamond Black Crystal, but you can choose Bright White, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver or Redline.
It’s also available in Slate Blue, Velvet Red, Ivory, Sting Grey and Green Metallic. Inside, you can opt for Nappa leather trim, with suede inserts and ventilated front, in black or sepia, with tungsten accent stitching, or Laguna leather, in the same combination.
For those who haven’t spent enough coin buying their SRT, there’s a bunch of optional accessories. But if we could add anything, some flash slotted or drilled rotors would look great, and a handle for the vertically challenged to climb in the driver’s seat.
Service intervals are every 12,000km or 12 months. The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT comes with a 5-year 100,000km warranty, and roadside assist for life (providing you service through Jeep).
Our test vehicle was provided by Jeep Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, contact your local Jeep dealership. Images courtesy of J_Hui Design/Photography.