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A Used Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 Is a Cheap, Fun, Really Fast SUV

If you’re looking for a high-performance SUV, you probably already know they’re big money. New high-performance SUVs can easily crest the $100,000 mark, and used ones aren’t exactly cheap, since the “high-performance SUV” trend has mostly come on in recent years — meaning used examples are typically only a few years old.

But there’s (at least) one situation where you can get a high-performance SUV without spending a fortune: the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8. Although new Grand Cherokee SRT models are very expensive, the Grand Cherokee SRT-8 was one of the first mass-market high-performance SUVs when it came out back in 2006. The result is some early models are cheap.

Just how cheap? Right now, there are about 80 different first-generation Grand Cherokee SRT-8 models listed for sale on Autotrader, and the cheapest ones are under $15,000, with the bulk of them listed between $15,000 and $20,000. That’s not too cheap for a 10-plus-year-old Jeep, but it’s a good bargain when you consider all that you’re getting: not just a Jeep, which is desirable on the used market in its own right, but also a really fast Jeep, with a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 that touted 420 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Zero-to-60 mph was 4.6 seconds, and it was surprisingly well equipped.

Admittedly, a used Jeep isn’t exactly a BMW X5M or a Mercedes-AMG GLS63. But if you don’t have X5M or GLS63 budget, a Jeep might be worth checking out — especially since it will hang with those cars in terms of performance for a fraction of the cost. Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

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  1. Almost forgot about these, so thanks for the reminder.  I’d like to drive one and see how they are, but on paper, killer.

  2. Preceding the Grand Cherokee SRT8 was the 5.9 Limited.  Exactly as named is what it is.  A high performance (for the time) Grand Cherokee that had a big V8 stuffed in the front with an all-time AWD system, sturdier front and rear suspension with anti-sway bars and stabilizer bars front and rear and an ultra comfortable (again, for the year…) interior.  I had the fortune to review a pristine, one-owner and low mile 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited that was almost like new!  Even the undercarriage was pristine with absolutely NO rust whatsoever!  Gas mileage is horrible with the full-time AWD always engaged, off-the-line performance is so so for today’s standards and with the 4-speed automatic, it’s sluggish at best with numb steering and lazy shift schedules.  BUT, it paved the way of putting the SPORT in Sport Utility!  

    • Back in the day (early 90’s) a friend had a 5.9 GC as well as a fixed-roof coupe 1999 Corvette (the only year for the FRC Corvette that wasn’t a ZO6).  Definitely two unicorns.

  3. I worked for Enterprise back in ’08-’09 and had to create a MPG spreadsheet for any car we leased (pretty much all cars made). I vividly remember the 2 worst ineffective vehicles of the time – a Mercedes AMG V-12 was one, the other was this. These things just gulp gas. 

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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