2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Episode 3707
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

By just about any measure, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most capable of all utilities. But there’s never been a Grand Cherokee quite like the Trackhawk. Think of it as the Challenger Hellcat’s outdoorsy uncle. You know, the one with Army Ranger skills that everyone’s a little bit afraid of. Get the picture? Well maybe this will help.  

High performance Grand Cherokees are nothing new of course, and even high performance SUVs in general are a dime a dozen these days. But there’s never been anything quite like this 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

It’s the answer to the question, “what happens when you stuff a Hellcat engine into one of the most-in-demand SUVs of all time.”

And if you don’t know what a Hellcat engine is, allow us to introduce you to 707-horsepower of HEMI awesomeness, from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that spins up 645 lb-ft. of torque. 

Yes, that’s a lot of power; and yes it does move this GC around like its 5,300-lbs are not subjected to earth’s normal laws of gravity. 

Indeed, straight-line is where it’s at for this 4X4. After dialing the launch control to 1,900 RPM; we just let the GC monitor power, as we just floored it, released the brake, and held on; hitting 60 in 3.5-seconds on our first try. 

There’s plenty of traction for making that leap, planting you firmly into the seat. And with Torque Reserve constantly feeding more and more power in; that feeling never lets up until you back off the throttle.

On the road, there’s plenty of typical Grand Cherokee comfort, but with pleasant sounds of Hellcat creeping in; though supercharger whine seems more subdued here than in the Challenger and Charger. Plus, it can trailer tow a hefty 7,200 pounds.

It’s not the softest of highway rides, as the suspension has been stiffened, and wheels are 20’s. 

Of course the transmission, an 8–speed automatic, as well as all driveline components have been beefed up to handle the middle-management stress of delivering that much power to the pavement.  

With distinctive yellow calipers, the Brembo brakes are bigger than those on Hellcat cars, and do a tremendous job of quickly stopping this beast.

All-wheel-drive management deploys power differently, whether you’re accelerating in a straight-line or towing; even defaulting to rear bias in Track mode for road course work. And yes, you can haul this thing around a race track, which we did at New Hampshire’s Club Motorsports. 

Clicking the steering wheel–mounted paddles shifters results in immediate gear changes; and all of that power from under the hood, basically negated all of this track’s elevation changes. 

It does take a while to feel truly comfortable stuffing a heavy SUV into a corner; but once you get used to it, the Trackhawk is great fun; not quite a Porsche Cayenne, as it could use more steering feel, but way more than you expect from a vehicle that in its heart wants to be off pavement more than clinging to it at high speeds. 

There’s very little roll; and while it’s fairly responsive to inputs, planning ahead and keeping those inputs smooth will give you the best results; as stability control will still cut in even in Track mode.

Updates to the front end allow more air to come in, and there’s more going out as well…

GREG CARLOSS: “There’s also a quad exhaust system out back. There’s a bit of refinement to it. It’s not as brutal and aggressive as the Charger and Challenger, but still really nice. You get a lot of sound there (engine growls). Bang the throttle (engine growls) I mean it’s everything you want maybe just a little bit more refined than those other cars”

JOHN DAVIS: Things are dressed up inside, but it’s not as if build quality has been supercharged as well. There’s a nice, thick steering wheel, and great seats.

Bearing the double burden of being an SUV and a performance machine, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are pretty dismal at 11-City, 17-Highway, and only 13-Combined. 

Still, no matter how bad-to-the bone it is, at the end of the day, it remains a Grand Cherokee, and a pricy one at that; $86,995. However, something comparable from Europe would require a 6-figure investment. 

So whether you look at the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk as a family truckster built for track days, or a performance car that you can haul with; it’s a far-out piece of performance machinery, made with a formula that Fiat-Chrysler seems to have perfected. 


  • Engine: 6.2 liter
  • Horsepower: 707
  • Torque: 645 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
  • EPA: 11 mpg city / 17 mpg highway
2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Front

2024 Polestar 2

More Range And More Power For The Polestar 2

Episode 4333
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Volvo is well on their way to making the transition to an all-electric brand, but their sister-brand Polestar is already there. Now, we’ve spent lots of time in their all-wheel drive, five-door Polestar 2, having tested it in 2021, and a year later when a two-wheel drive version arrived. But, EV updates are coming quickly. So, let us be your guide for all that’s new with the Polestar 2.

While we are driving more EVs than ever, we’ve also been spending a lot of time recently circling back to ones we’ve previously tested. As in this new era of electrified vehicles, significant updates are arriving quickly, with R&D investments increasing and retrofitting them easier than ever. This is often done through software updates that can even be accomplished over the air. For 2024, the Polestar 2 has indeed gotten some software updates, but some physical ones as well.

Clearly aimed directly at Tesla’s Model 3 when it arrived; the Polestar 2’s build quality was vastly better, but range definitely came up short. So, addressing that was priority No. 1; and for ’24 the Polestar can travel up to 20% farther than before while consuming 9% less energy, and when it comes time to charge it back up, it can do that 34% faster too.

2024 Polestar 2 Dead Front
2024 Polestar 2 Profile
2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Rear
2024 Polestar 2 Dead Rear
2024 Polestar 2 Charge Port
2024 Polestar 2 Wheel
2024 Polestar 2 Badge
2024 Polestar 2 Badge 2
2024 Polestar 2 Dead Front2024 Polestar 2 Profile2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Rear2024 Polestar 2 Dead Rear2024 Polestar 2 Charge Port2024 Polestar 2 Wheel2024 Polestar 2 Badge2024 Polestar 2 Badge 2

Range in the Single Motor version increases from a max of 270 to 320 miles thanks to a larger 82-kWh battery pack, and that solitary motor now powers the rear wheels, not the front wheels. It’s also bigger, coming in at 220 kW compared to the previous 170 kW front-wheel drive version, going from 231 to 299 horsepower.

Dual Motors keep the same 78-kWh battery, but still sees a boost from 260 to 276 miles and takes advantage of the larger rear motor for a new combined 310-kW output with 421 horsepower. Our test car has the added Performance Pack, which uses an additional 35 kW to deliver 455 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque, though max range drops to just 247 miles.

The new battery in rear-drive 2s will also charge faster, now accepting up to 205 kW for an 80% charge in 20 minutes; max for dual-motors stays at 155 kW, which puts an 80% charge at 34 minutes. Using 32 kWh of electricity per 100 miles, the Dual Motor earns a good efficiency rating.

The [Polestar] 2 has always been one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive, even more so now with that additional power coming from the rear motor.

Unfortunately, extremely cold temperatures kept us from seeing that increased range, as we were only on pace for about 194 miles in our test.

The 2 has always been one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive, even more so now with that additional power coming from the rear motor. And especially when equipped with the Performance Pack as it not only includes more power, but adds 20-inch forged wheels, upgraded brakes, and adjustable Ohlins Dual Flow Valve performance dampers. It greatly improves handling prowess without affecting ride quality, and is easily worth the $5,500 charge if you at all enjoy driving.

Even on a 20-degree track day there was plenty of grip through our handling course. No understeer or oversteer, and lots of feedback through the wheel. There was a nice, strong launch off the line that properly planted us firmly in the seat, and rocketed us to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Power delivery stayed pretty intense up until about 80 mph when there was a definite tapering off. Still, it was a 13.4-second quarter-mile at 102 mph; smooth, quiet, and stable the whole way.

2024 Polestar 2 Driver Side Dash
2024 Polestar 2 Passenger Side Dash
2024 Polestar 2 Front Seats
2024 Polestar 2 Steering Wheel
2024 Polestar 2 Instrument Cluster
2024 Polestar 2 Center Display
2024 Polestar 2 Shifter
2024 Polestar 2 Rear Seats
2024 Polestar 2 Front Trunk
2024 Polestar 2 Trunk
2024 Polestar 2 Driver Side Dash2024 Polestar 2 Passenger Side Dash2024 Polestar 2 Front Seats2024 Polestar 2 Steering Wheel2024 Polestar 2 Instrument Cluster2024 Polestar 2 Center Display2024 Polestar 2 Shifter2024 Polestar 2 Rear Seats2024 Polestar 2 Front Trunk2024 Polestar 2 Trunk

When this car debuted, its Google-based infotainment setup was a novelty, but since then, more and more manufacturers are just “Googling it” so it doesn’t seem out of place at all. The wireless phone charger is easy to access, and there’s a great Harmon/Kardon sound system and panoramic sunroof to enhance the in-cabin experience. Exteriors have also been enhanced with a smooth grille insert and new wheel choices.

Hatchback practicality means 14.3 cu-ft of easy to access cargo space with split-folding seatbacks for longer items and expanding the space to 38.7 cu-ft. Plus, there’s even a sizeable storage bin up front under the hood.

Single Motor Polestar 2 pricing now starts at $51,300, with Dual Motors starting at $56,700; topping out at $64,400.

For a car manufacturer that hasn’t even been around for a decade yet, Polestar has kept itself busy, totally transforming their latest model in just a few years, making the 2024 Polestar 2 even more appealing. They are certainly off to a good start, and with a host of Polestars just over the horizon, including some all-important utility vehicles, this star will be shining even brighter.


As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Horsepower: 455
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • EPA Range: 247 miles
  • Efficiency : 32 kWh / 100 miles
  • Battery Size: 78-kWh
  • Torque: 546 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.4 seconds at 102 mph
  • MW Test Loop: ~ 194 miles
  • Peak Charging Rate: 155 kW