At $17,500, Is This 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 A Grand Bargain?

Illustration for article titled At $17,500, Is This 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 A Grand Bargain?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe hot rod Grand Cherokee says he’s offering it at a discount because it needs a gas cap. Let’s see if that’s to be believed, and if that fuel-filler discount caps this truck’s bona fides.

There was a good bit of discussion last Friday over who exactly our candidate 1999 Mercedes SLK230 was for. These cars are too heavy and underpowered to really serve as an engaging sports car, but with a rare stickshift, Friday’s example wasn’t really for the grand touring—to Applebee’scrowd either.

As has been said, however, there’s an ass for every seat, and at $5,800, a narrow 55 percent of you felt the ass that ended up in that SLK230’s driver’s seat would do so knowing they got a good deal.


With that Nice Price win out of the way, let’s head back to Phoenix for another contender, albeit one from the opposite end of the spectrum from that two-seater Benz.

This 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 was the marque’s attempt at pulling off a Porsche Cayenne. That’s a high-performance SUV with no pretension of serious off-road capability. With its massive 420-horsepower 6.2-litre Hemi V8, Mercedes-sourced five-speed automatic, and Brembo brakes, the SRT-8 certainly had the hardware. A lowered and stiffened suspension aided handling on-road but both that and open diffs at each end meant the SRT-8’s off-road capabilities were practically non-existent. I can vouch that the WK SRT-8 can still handle dirt roads with ease since I tested one for Hooniverse in that manner back in that day. It did just fine.

Illustration for article titled At $17,500, Is This 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 A Grand Bargain?

This 124,000-mile example is seeming not doing just fine. The Jeep’s seller notes that, for whatever reason, its siren song hasn’t been on their playlist of late. Due to that, it’s been relegated to a lonely existence in a parking garage.


At least, that’s the seller’s claim for why it’s up for grabs. The sale is apparently totally unrelated to the CEL the truck presently is throwing. The ad says that’s an emissions error which will be solved by the replacement of the gas cap. Unfortunately, a completely full day planner has prevented the seller from taking the truck in for this repair, and hence it’s being offered with the glaring instrument panel fault intact.

Now, loathe be it for me to question such a diagnosis. I do, however, have a good bit of experience with evaporative emissions system issues and have found that the gas cap is almost invariably not the problem. Most often it’s a break in one of the myriads of hoses in the closed-loop system that carries fuel vapor from the tank to the charcoal canister, and eventually to the engine.

Illustration for article titled At $17,500, Is This 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 A Grand Bargain?

That typically required a smoke test to suss out and then a good bit of disassembly/reassembly to repair. On the other hand, it could be just the gas cap.


The truck otherwise looks to be in great shape. The black paint presents well, as do the 20-inch SRT-8 alloys. The four-pot Brembos peek out from behind those up front as do smaller editions in the rear.

Inside all that is a fully-loaded interior with leather and Alcantara sport seats up front and a matching bench behind those. You get a fat steering wheel to grab and that’s also wrapped in dead cow. The rest of the interior is typical plasticky Jeep, but there are a lot of buttons and a fancy Nav stereo to make up for that.


Okay, so there’s that issue with the CEL and I noted at the outset that the seller was discounting the price because of that. According to the description in the ad, these trucks should go for between “$19K and $24K,” claiming the average price on AutoTrader to be “$20K.” The asking for this one is $17,500 and that’s a clean title price. Of course, you’d need to (A) believe the seller as to those comp values and (B) think that the CEL repair would cost a lot less than that disparity. Let’s see what you think.

Illustration for article titled At $17,500, Is This 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 A Grand Bargain?

Could this SRT-8 Jeep be worth that $17,500 asking with the CEL? Or, does that dashboard light make this a not so bright idea?

You decide!


Phoenix, AZ Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to David G. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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Shane Morris

A check engine light with a flimsy excuse is the “don’t worry, it’s only a minor rash” of the car world. I’m totally sure you could treat your minor rash with a $6 cream from CVS, and if you’re able to diagnose a rash on your own bits and bobs, good for you.

However, you’re going to need to get that checked out before we proceed, because in my experience, that minor rash can get expensive, and sometimes cause a mild burning sensation.