Automotive choices often mirror our progression through various life stages. Case and point, sporty coupes and hatchbacks are frequently traded in for SUVs and minivans. But family-hauling doesn’t have to mean frumpy and unrefined. Recently, MSN Auto ranked the top great-handling family cars, and it was no surprise to us that more than one Jim Shorkey vehicle made the list. Specifically, the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat were called out for their handling, smooth ride, and capacity for a crowd. See below what MSN Autos says about each vehicle.
Detroit created the muscle car in the 1960s and that tradition continues today. The difference is that today’s cars go around corners just as well as they accelerate in a straight line. The full-size Chrysler 300 SRT8 seats five comfortably and boasts 470 horsepower from its 6.4-liter V8 engine. Performance-tuned suspension and large-diameter Brembo brakes bring its power and mass under control while still delivering a smooth ride. A base 300 SRT8 runs $48,900 plus a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax.
Fine-handling vehicles aren’t limited to cars. Some of today’s crossover utility vehicles do a great job of combining room for the family with canyon-carving handling. Few do that better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. It is motivated by the same 6.4-liter 470-horsepower V8 engine as other SRT models, but it has even bigger brakes and offers a commanding view of the road typical of a crossover. Plus it has room for five passengers and all the hockey equipment they can carry. A base Grand Cherokee SRT costs $64,380.
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is due later in 2014, and like its younger sibling Challenger SRT Hellcat, the heart of this beast will be a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces a ludicrous 707 horsepower. But power won’t be the Charger Hellcat’s only calling card. Dodge hasn’t released technical specifications, but the Charger Hellcat will certainly get the adjustable performance suspension and big brakes from the Challenger Hellcat, which will allow this big 5-seater to corner and stop almost as well as it blasts down a quarter-mile.