Sunday, February 4, 2018

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk 4x4: The Fastest SUV In The Segment

Highlight: The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the fastest mass-produced Jeep the automaker has ever built, pumping out 707-horsepower.

Test Vehicles MSRP: $90,880 (Base MSRP: $31,690)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a rearview camera; rear park assist with stop; fog lamps; a hillstart assist system; a stability control system; trailer sway dampening; daytime running lights; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Laredo Model): 17-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; rear wheel drive; power heated fold-away mirrors; manually adjustable front seats; cloth seats; a rearview day/night mirror; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a leather wrapped shift knob; a/c with automatic dual zone temperature control; cargo trim panel with storage net; a 7-inch touchscreen display; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and Jeep’s signature Uconnect infotainment system

Standard Equipment Trackhawk: 20-inch wheels; Pirelli all-season tires;
an 8-speed automatic transmission; 6.2-liter, 8-cylinder/707-hp high torque capacity; a security alarm; a new low temperature cooling system; driving mode configurations: auto, sport, track, tow or snow; bi-xenon headlamps; a unique Gloss Black background; no foglights; unique light black chrome finishes and black grille; 200-mph speedometer is on the left side of the cluster; a 7-inch driver information display instrument cluster; premium soft-touch features throughout the interior; a premium headliner; a leather stitched instrument panel; Berber floormats; three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom; a rearview electronic day/night mirror; a navigation system; a dynamometer screen that offers a snapshot function to save their readouts on the USB; Nappa leather and suede seats; a heated steering wheel; heated front and rear seats; ventilated front seats; a track-ready SRT tuned Bilstein competition; a remote starter system; a 4WD system; premium accent cladding; a power liftgate; a parallel and perpendicular park assist system; a monotone exterior paint; a lane departure warning plus system; Bembro brakes; an electronic stability control; a traction control system; Ruby Red seatbelts; a radar-activated cruise control system; advanced brake assist; a blind spot monitor with rear cross path detection; full speed forward collision warning with crash mitigation; front and rear park assist system; lane departure warning plus; ready alert braking; AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM radio; and 7,200 towing capacity

Options: High Performance Audio Group, which includes 19 speakers and an 825-watt amplifier

Other Trim Levels:

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AppleCarPlay/Android Auto

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder/295-hp

Towing Capacity: 6,200 lbs

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: The road running Trackhawk is the latest addition to the Jeep Grand Cherokee treasured portfolio. Jeep has managed to up the ante on the midsize SUV, keeping it fresh and relevant.

Why: Since the last Jeep Grand Cherokee we reviewed, the engineers decided to drop the confusing electronic shifter for the traditional gear shift indicator.

The all-new track running Trackhawk is designed for thrill seekers looking for the ultimate Grand Cherokee, in terms of both power and luxury amenities. Jeep’s powerhouse SUV, which zooms from 0 to 60-mph in under 4 seconds, is designed exclusively for those are yearning to make a statement in something other than a sports car. The distinctive Jeep, which stands out from the crowd, especially when one hears the rumble from the engine.

In terms of price, this Jeep plays in the same lane, as Porsche Cayenne’s turbo model. Shockingly, the Jeep out performs the Porsche, which is known for its racing prowess, in terms of horsepower. To put this in perspective, the fastest Cayenne spurts out 590-horsepower, while the hot rod Grand Cherokee, which tops out at a speed of 180-mph, spews out over 100 more ponies. With number such as this, it should be no surprise that the Trackhawk also out performs the Grand Cherokee SRT, which only puts out a puny 475-horsepower. Well, up until the Trackhawk joined Grand Cherokee’s portfolio, we would have never made such a claim.

Besides the power underneath the hood, the Trackhawk is outfitted with such exclusive features as wall-to-wall leather and suede, a premium headliner, a flat bottom steering wheel and a dynamometer screen. This racing screen offers a snapshot function to save their readouts on the USB.

Moreover, like in other Grand Cherokees, this upscale sports utility has the latest safety driving aids, too. Some of those driving aids consist of a radar-activated to a parallel parking system.

Lastly, for those who may find the Trackhawk out of their scope, the Grand Cherokee is available in a variety of trims and price points.

But: As opposed to being an option, a power sunroof should be standard at this price. And, due to bragging rights, we welcomed the thought of having access to over 700 plus horsepower on-demand, conversely, when reality sets in, besides the race track, where else can we maximize the full potential of this monster? If speed is a necessity, consider the more economical and more practical SRT, which pushes out 475-horsepower. Quite frankly this seems more than adequate in terms of power for speed demons.

Moreover, fuel efficiency should not be top of mind, with a SUV that puts out this type of power. Eleven miles in the city and 17 miles on the highway is as about as much one should expect to inch out of Jeep’s fastest SUV.

Lastly, this is the first factory built Grand Cherokee that can top off at $100,000, when optioned out. Whew, that’s quite expensive! The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, like with its Mopar cars, is playing in an all-new lane.

Verdict: For those seeking the ultimate midsize SUV in terms of performance, handling capabilities and luxury amenities, this is the vehicle to consider. Power is the name of the game for those who opt for the fastest midsize SUV on the market.

Competition: Hmm, can’t think of any…not even the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S 

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