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Which $135,000 supercharged V8 SUV should you buy?

By Cameron Kirby, 18 Jun 2019 Advice

Which $135,000 supercharged V8 SUV should you buy?

Throw common sense out the window and supercharge the family SUV with these two hulking super V8s

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

There is no reason that the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk needed to be built. But we wanted it, and we sure are glad FCA went and built it.

Packing a 522kW/868Nm punch from a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 heart, the Trackhawk is not only the most powerful SUV you can buy but one of the most powerful vehicles you can add to your garage in Australia, full stop. But unlike its 500-kilowatt club rivals that come from the likes of McLaren and Lamborghini, the Jeep won’t cost almost one million dollars to add to your garage. Instead, this family-hauling brute costs just $134,900 brand new.

For that cash you get more power than you’ll ever need, along with a very generous equipment specification that would require significant box-ticking from European rivals to match it.

Owning the Trackhawk would be a never-ending game of looking for the nearest set of traffic lights, with the Jeep’s straight-line performance having to be experienced to be believed – it’s an intoxicating drug.

While some might balk at the six-figure sum for a Jeep, just know you’ll be able to shame supercar owners while taking your kids to school - that’s worth the price of admission alone.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR

Remember those European rivals we mentioned earlier? Well, only one is also fitted with a supercharged V8 - the Range Rover Sport SVR. As 2015-vintage models are now hitting the used market for bang-on what it would cost to buy a Trackhawk, the comparison makes for an interesting proposition.

Priced at $218,500 when new, the SVR’s significant depreciation is a curse for new owners and a blessing for used car buyers who can now own a relatively new luxury SUV at a significant discount.

While it lacks considerable power compared to the monstrous Trackhawk’s output, it’s important to remember the wider context when talking about the Range Rover Sport SVR’s performance. It’s still quick enough shame some serious performance cars, and the 5.0-litre unit sounds utterly fantastic.

Where the Ranger Rover has an advantage over the Trackhawk is its ability to remain poised in the corners, while also retaining proper off-road chops - not that you’d be taking either far from the blacktop.

When looking at the tale of the tape, this looks like a very even match. Both have a supercharged V8 pumping eye-watering power levels to all four treads via an eight-speed automatic transmission, each is generously equipped inside for luxurious cruising capabilities, drink fuel at an exorbitant rate, weigh in at over two tonnes, can break the speed limit fast enough to make your license an endangered species, and will set you back in the region of $135,000.

So then, which would you be spending your cash on?


Specs comparison

 

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR

Price (new)

$134,900

$218,500

Engine

6.2-litre supercharged V8

5.0-litre supercharged V8

Output

522kW/868Nm

405kW/680Nm

Transmission

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

0-100km/h

3.7 second

4.7 second

Efficiency (combined)

16.8L/100km

12.8L/100km

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

Doors

5

5

Seats

5

5

Wheel size

295/45R20

275/45R21

Weight

2433kg

2335kg

Country of origin

United States of America

England

Wheels staff picks


Cameron Kirby
Staff Journalist
This was a tough decision to make, and my choice only won out by the narrowest of margins, but it is the SVR for me. It would require careful trawling of the classifieds to find one in a spec that matched my tastes, but for everyday duties, I prefer the civility of the Range Rover. Driving the Trackhawk can be a bit shouty all of the time, while the Range Rover has a duality of character that can be equal parts polo by the sea, and bar brawler. Plus, with the price of fuel at the moment, my hip pocket will be thanking me in the long term.

Alex Rae
Online Editor
I took a moment to ponder this one, but realise the Trackhawk will get me to the service department in the least amount of time. There’s no mechanical sympathy in shoving over 500kW and near 900Nm through an almost 2.5-tonne lump of metal. So I’d take that five-year warranty offered on the Jeep and enjoy 1825 days of burning rubber and melting supercar-owner smiles before the hair-raising thought of costly repairs becomes a reality. If my pockets were deep enough, though, I’d opt for the Rangie with its better cornering ability and nicer cabin.

Trent Giunco
Staff Journalist
Yes, it might be a bit ham-fisted and it doesn’t have the brand cachet of the Range Rover, but one full-throttle application in the Trackhawk gets you hooked. It’s pure, unadulterated hilarity – the big Jeep makes you chortle like a kid every time that supercharged Hemi pounces and the four 20-inch hoops savage the tarmac beneath them. Of course, it has horrendous fuel economy when driven hard and you’ll be thankful there’s a warranty, but you just have to marvel at the 2.4-tonne missile.

 

Reckon we’ve got it right? Or are we way off the money (literally)? Find your best and let us know in the comments what you’d buy.