Photography and video by: ©2016 Toni Avery

The performance SUV market is hotter than ever. From BMW to Porsche to Audi and even Jeep, each automaker has its own take on what makes an SUV high-performance. The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT really stands out as one of the only American performance SUVs currently in production.

This SRT is equipped with a 6.4 L HEMI V8 engine producing 475 HP and 470 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with stopping power provided by six-piston Brembo brakes front and four-piston rear.

After my first encounter with the Jeep SRT about two years ago at the SRT Track Experience, I couldn’t get its impressive performance out of my head. Finally able to pilot one for a week was a pleasure.

Performance is insane, to say the least. For an SUV of its size (5150 lb curb weight) it really gets up and goes, especially when in Sport Mode. Shifts are completed via the standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Because shifts are achieved quickly, depending on how all-out you’re going, you can get that jarring effect (as seen in the video). This isn’t a hindrance, rather it just further proves its high-performance capabilities. It’s amazing how little lean you feel in this SUV even when going all out through corners. It’s incredibly well-balanced with just the right amount of power, function and fun.

Drive modes include Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow. Sport is obviously the most fun you can have on the street in this SUV. These modes adjust such functions as suspension, torque distribution, shift schedule, stability control, and engine mapping. Then there’s Launch Control. This comes in the form of a cool button neighboring the drive mode selector that enables the driver to achieve maximum acceleration off the line. The Jeep will even tell you how to achieve this in the digital display located in the gauge cluster.

While the brake size on this Jeep is substantial, I felt that the braking performance isn’t what I’m used to in other press cars also equipped with Brembo brakes. This is possibly due to the cars size and the fact that previous Journalists may have over used them.

The exterior of this Jeep features optional 20-inch x 10-inch Light-Weight Forged Wheels wrapped in optional 295/45ZR20 BSW 3-Season Tires surrounding massive six-piston Brembo brakes front and four-piston rear, with SRT exclusive blacked-out accents, all finished in Billet Silver Metallic.

The overall stance of the SRT Jeep is quite aggressive and looks track ready. The blacked out front grille and lower mouth area appears as though it wants to swallow you whole. I especially liked the mean looking exhaust tips, functional hood vents and trailer tow hook delete featuring a black SRT logo (part of the Trailer Tow Group option).

Inside the Jeep SRT is an all black space with Suede-like seat inserts, Carbon-Fiber accents throughout, optional Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof with Premium Headliner, optional Harmon Kardon stereo (SRT High Performance Audio package option) and optional Rear Seat Dual Screen Blu-Ray/DVD Player.

While the outside exudes performance, the inside is dripping in luxury. The seats are ultra comfortable, the sunroof helps to brighten up the interior and the Carbon-Fiber accents hint at the car’s performance attributes. There is no shortage of fine materials, textures and technology throughout the inside of the Jeep. The rear even provides passengers endless entertainment thanks to the DVD screens. And trunk space is in no shortage either with a massive area for luggage or whatever you need to haul.

With a base price of $65,495 and a total MSRP of $75,760 with all of the must-have options may look scary, this Jeep is well worth it. It’s not just an SUV to take the kids to school in or go on the occasional off-road adventure, this SRT Jeep lives for the track and on your local canyon road.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT:

Base Price: $65,495


Rear Seat Dual Screen Blu-Ray/DVD Player, Trailer Tow Group, 

SRT High Performance Audio, Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof,

295/45ZR20 BSW 3-Season Tires, 20-inch x 10-inch Light-Weight Forged Wheels

Price with Options: $74,765

Destination Charge: $995

Total Price: $75,760

Fuel Economy: 13 City, 19 Highway, 15 Combined 

 GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT an overall rating of (out of 5 total):