Car of the Year 2012: No. 9 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

SPORT, UTILITY, AND VALUE  
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 seems poised to intimidate the proliferation of luxury SUVs from Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Range Rover. At half the price of its competitors, the Jeep is not just a great value but also a marvel of efficient platform engineering. It compromises little and delivers large in terms of power, amenities, and build quality.

 

While no SUV can claim stunningly good looks (with all due respect to Range Rover, which leads the style brigade), the Jeep is handsome, not ungainly; it appears purposeful. Its interior offers ample room and comfort, and under the hood, all hell breaks loose when drivers tap the full power of the 6.4-liter V-8. —Robert Ross

 

 

 

MORE POWER THAN PRESTIGE
Jeep’s plushest and most powerful SUV has never quite been able to catch its primary rival, the regal Range Rover, or the hard-hauling competition from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche. This fourth-generation Grand Cherokee is certainly big enough to carry five people and their steamer trunks. It holds its own when it comes to horsepower and torque. It does not flinch at wilderness terrain. On-road, it offers sports-sedan acceleration and speed. And at a little more than half the price of the top-end Cayenne and ML63, the Grand Cherokee is a better bargain than a Beverly Hills short sale. But the intangibles are missing. It lacks that European elegance of exterior design and interior comforts; it looks like just another hunk from Detroit, but with touches of Mayfair. There is no hint of heritage, no panache from being the SUV of royalty or the glacier and desert crawler of choice among serious global explorers. This Cherokee is very good, but not grand. —Paul Dean

SPECIFICATIONS Configuration Front-engine, all-wheel-drive SUV Engine 6.4-liter V-8 Transmission 5-speed automatic Power 470 hp at 6,000 rpm Torque 465 ft lbs at 4,300 rpm Curb weight 5,150 pounds Zero to 60 mph 4.8 seconds Top speed 160 mph (limited) Base price $54,000 Jeep, www.jeep.com

Celebrating over 50 years with James Bond, the marque will make 150 examples of the special-edition...
Ferraris steal the show, with three 1960s examples each selling for more than $16 million…
The 1972 Maserati Boomerang and 1950 Bugatti Type 101C Coupé Antem are pieces of automotive mastery…
Concepts from Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, and others stole some limelight from Pebble’s historic cars…
Of the 219 cars that competed at Pebble from 16 countries and 29 states, here are our favorites…
The five-seat performance vehicle, scheduled for release in 2016, is Jaguar’s first-ever SUV…
The September 6 event near Paris on will feature an abundance of classic cars and culture…
Guests high-tail it through the desert in a Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche…
Crafted from aerospace billet aluminum, the explosive motorcycle boasts 200-plus horsepower…
A Red 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale Wins the Quail’s Highest Honor…