Used Jeep Grand Cherokee Buying Guide: SRT & Trackhawk Edition

September 10th, 2021 by

A white 2020 used Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is shown driving past a guard rail.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV in history and, when you start looking at models like the SRT and Trackhawk, it’s easy to see why. Jeep answered the growing demand for a more powerful and capable Grand Cherokee with the debut of the SRT, which stands for “Street and Racing Technology,” in the new millennium and followed up with the even more powerful Trackhawk a few years later. With the models still fairly new and loaded with Jeep’s legendary capability, you can easily find a used Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT or Trackhawk at an affordable price on the used lot. So, how do you know which one to buy?

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Can you imagine a Jeep that’s not only rugged and adventure-ready but incredibly powerful and capable of satisfying any need for speed? Jeep brought this vision to life in the new millennium with the introduction of the Grand Cherokee SRT to the lineup. Known as the SRT8 when first introduced in 2012, this performance model was rebranded as simply the SRT in 2014. This is a great place to start in your search for a used Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The most powerful and technologically advanced Jeep ever made at the time, the SRT shocked the industry with its jaw-dropping launch from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. It’s hard to imagine a Jeep accelerating this quickly and responding so well both on and off the road, but the SRT does both without breaking a sweat. This power and capability (along with the SRT8’s name) come from the Grand Cherokee’s performance-focused 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque for maximum acceleration.

As the best handling Jeep ever made, the SRT continues the legendary capability of the Jeep brand and introduces new features like the Selec-Track system. The system features five drive modes that you can manually select based on the driving condition or terrain. Depending on the mode (Auto, Sport, Tow, Track, and Snow), the SRT finetunes the suspension, throttle response, shift patterns, and other components to optimize the SUV’s performance and ready it for the road ahead.

These features continue to see improvements with subsequent SRT models and make the SRT a great value because you’re getting the best of both worlds – an SUV that can seamlessly transition from the highway or the track to the trail. When you add in the SRT’s long list of features, such as Brembo brakes, an electronic limited-slip differential, and Jeep’s signature four-wheel-drive systems, then there’s no question that it is your best bet if you’re looking for raw capability in an SUV.

A white 2020 used Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is shown parked in a driveway.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Just when you thought the Jeep lineup couldn’t get any more powerful, Jeep proved otherwise with the debut of the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in 2018. Replacing the SRT as the most powerful SUV ever made, the Trackhawk had some big shoes to fill and, unsurprisingly, managed to exceed every expectation of performance and capability. It is a Jeep, after all.

The Trackhawk is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Hellcat engine that’s paired with a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. It’s the fastest SUV in history, with a launch from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. But speed isn’t the only remarkable feature about the Trackhawk. Like the SRT, the Trackhawk isn’t meant solely for the pavement.

Aggressive, rugged, and capable, the Trackhawk is everything you want and need in an SUV if you’re heading down the trail. Its five-mode Selec-Track system gives you the same customization found on the SRT, while its four-wheel-drive system continues to offer legendary capability whether you’re blazing a new trail, fording a water crossing, or climbing boulders. On top of this, the Trackhawk offers even more in terms of intuitive technology and conveniences through an array of digital displays, smartphone integration, and navigational tools that put everything you need right within reach. You can even add a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment center to keep your backseat passengers entertained whether you’re on the highway, navigating a busy city street, or getting a little mud on the tires.

Decisions, Decisions

How do you decide between two powerhouses like the SRT and the Trackhawk? It all comes down to your priorities and what you want and need from an SUV. Is price your top priority, or are you willing to spend more for newer technology and more luxury features? Here’s a quick breakdown of what to consider as you shop for a used Grand Cherokee SRT or Trackhawk.

Price: The SRT has a lower price and a longer run in the Jeep lineup, which means you can find older models at a much lower price than the relatively new Trackhawk.

Performance: There’s no question that the Trackhawk is faster and more capable than the SRT, thanks to its 707-horsepower supercharged engine and a launch from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds that will leave you breathless.

Technology: Since both these models share the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform, you can expect to find comparable connectivity and safety features. Depending on the year model, you’ll enjoy features like blind spot monitoring, forward collision alert, hill descent control, and electronic roll mitigation.

Luxury: The Trackhawk offers top-quality leather seating and accents, but you’ll find the SRT delivers plenty of luxury of its own with massaging seats, a leather interior, and faux-suede accents throughout the cabin.

Off-Road Capability: With both models coming off the Jeep lineup, you can expect to find Jeep’s legendary four-wheel-drive systems and off-road components that ready both the SRT and the Trackhawk for the trail. However, if backwoods adventure is your goal, the less powerful Trailhawk trim with its special off-roading features may be your best bet.

A red 2020 used Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is shown on the race track.

Adventure Awaits

Now that you know more about the Grand Cherokee SRT and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which one will you choose? These models are the two top-tier trims in the Jeep lineup and boast relatively high sticker prices when purchased new, which makes them an even better value and a great find on the used lot. Of course, there are a few other things to consider once you find the SRT or the Trackhawk of your dreams.

Jeeps are designed for rugged adventures, and many owners opt to add aftermarket accessories or make modifications to their rigs, the SRT and Trackhawk included. If you find an SRT or Trackhawk that’s been modified, make sure you test the modifications to ensure they don’t impede the SUV’s performance. It’s also important to know that aftermarket modifications usually void the manufacturer’s warranty, which is another thing to consider as you start your search.

When you find an SRT or Trackhawk that you love, take a few test drives to see how it handles. This is a great way to decide between the models and see if the SRT offers the power you’re looking for or if you need to upgrade to the Trackhawk to satisfy your need for speed. During the test drive, be sure to check other features like the air conditioner, entertainment system, and heater are in proper working order. From there, ask for the vehicle history report to get a better understanding of the vehicle’s ownership history as well as any accidents it might have been in. Once you’re confident in the SUV, go ahead and sign on the dotted line so that you’re one step closer to your next adventure in the most awarded SUV ever made!