Unsurprisingly, the Grand Cherokee SRT’s performance is as muscle-clad as the exterior styling.
The prodigious torque and power does mean that low-speed driving can be a slightly awkward, lumpen affair unless you’re blessed with the deft, delicate footwork of a Bolshoi Ballet graduate.
Find a more open, flowing stretch of countryside and things change dramatically. The engine sounds muted and feels distantly insulated until you proffer a substantial stab of throttle, at which point it turns into such a raging beast that you question the wisdom of waking it up in the first place.
It sprints from a standstill to 62mph in 5.0sec, and offers that pleasing, heart-fluttering push in your midriff as you press the loud pedal. SRT focused on ironing out any flat-spots in the Hemi’s power delivery; the result is a consistent wave of thrust that doesn’t show any signs of tailing off if you’re trying to stay the right side of the speed limit. Which takes some doing, because the SUV really does shift.
The five-speed auto box is adequate, although not as sharp as the products of some German rivals. The transmission can be flipped to manually operated paddle shifts, they’re only really a major benefit if you’re in the mood for pointing the Jeep’s nose down a twisty road.
When you’re barreling along, the Grand Cherokee SRT feels impressively fleet of foot for a vehicle that weighs 2360kg and is 4846mm long and more than two metres wide wing-mirror-to-wing-mirror.
Although the ‘Auto’ mode on the Selec-Track system continually adjusts the car’s set-up to suit the terrain, our test drive suggested that ‘Sport’ mode is better for all-round driving. True, you get a little less bump absorption, but the handling feels more direct and the Grand Cherokee SRT seems to wallow less. ‘Track’ mode, meanwhile, feels far too firm for most road conditions.
The vast cabin is appointed, with easy-to-read dials and screens and a no-nonsense, faff-free approach to major controls. It perhaps lacks the veneer of quality you get in, say, a BMW, but you do get a generous level of standard kit. Naturally you sit high, with a good straight-ahead view, although drivers who have to sit closer to the wheel and pedals might find that the chunky A-pillar severely restricts their view of oncoming traffic at junctions and roundabouts.
The sports seats offer good support during press-on driving, although that seems to come at the expense of cushioning, something that becomes apparent during longer motorway cruises.
A pair of enormous air ducts exaggerates the continent-sized feel of the bonnet, which dips steeply away from your eye-line in a way that leaves you always guessing precisely how wide the front flanks are.
Overall though, the Grand Cherokee SRT hides its size pretty well when you’re on the move.