What's the Difference: Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer


Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer near Pembroke Pines, FL

Midsize family SUVs really took off in the 1990s and the two vehicles that lead the charge of the SUV revolution are the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer.

Today, each of these vehicles is not only capable off-road, but has morphed into luxurious, three-row SUVs with plenty of performance and cargo space. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is unique because it is offered in both two-row and extended-wheelbase, three-row (Jeep Grand Cherokee L) body styles. Fold down the third row and the second row, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a staggering 84.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which makes taking a camping trip to Big Cypress National Preserve with the whole family a breeze. Jeep has knocked the interior design out of the park with luxurious touches all around, including massaging front seats, McIntosh® sound systems, and multiple infotainment screens.

The Ford Explorer is also a legend in its own right and packs in the same expansive legroom for the second row, along with a third row that's perfect for kids. New trims like the Timberline keep the Explorer fresh by offering an all-new look on the outside and additional off-road capability.

So, which family SUV is better? Read on to learn more.

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer

Features Jeep Grand Cherokee Ford Explorer
Fuel Economy 21 MPG City - 23 MPG Highway 20 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway
  • V6, VVT, 3.6 Liter
  • 4-Cyl, EcoBoost, Turbo, 2.3 Liter
  • V6, EcoBoost, Twin Turbo, 3.0 Liter
  • V6, Hybrid, 3.3 Liter
Drivetrain 4WD 4WD
Cargo Space 70.80 cu ft 87.80 cu ft
Seating Capacity 5 7
Towing Capacity 6,200 lbs 5,300 lbs

What's the Difference: Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer
Reliability and Quality

Each of these SUVs offers high levels of quality and a reputation for reliability.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee earns a "Great" rating from J. D. Power, which is a testament to overall quality and focus on providing a great customer experience for Jeep owners. Quality details abound throughout the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup, with some trims offering real wood, fine leather, and a bevy of touchscreens for both driver and passengers. Once you crack the door and take a seat, you won't believe you're in a Jeep.

Ford also comes in strong with a "Great" rating from J. D. Power for the Explorer. While the interior is well built and solidly assembled, they take a more avant-garde approach to design with minimal flourishes. While the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a warm interior look, the Ford Explorer can seem a little cold. Overall, a great place to spend time, but not quite as good as the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Off-Road Capability

Ford and Jeep are both known for building off-road focused vehicles that can make trips up the toughest trails to find that ideal camping spot. Power in the Grand Cherokee comes courtesy of three unique powertrain offerings:
  • 3.6L Pentastar® V-6 engine featuring Electronic Stop/Start Technology with 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque
  • 5.7L HEMI® V-8 with 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque
  • 2.0L PHEV turbo engine featuring two electric motors and a 17-kilowatt-hour battery pack with 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque

Great power is at the core of every capable off-road vehicle and the Jeep Grand Cherokee has the goods to get it done. When properly equipped, the Grand Cherokee has a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds.* 4xe models are especially unique since they can travel up to 25 miles on pure electric power and crank out class-leading horsepower and torque ratings to boot. Since this is a true electric hybrid, it enjoys a stellar MPG rating of 52 MPGe.**

Every Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a "Trail Rated" badge that is more than just for show. One of three 4x4 systems comes standard on the Jeep Grand Cherokee: Quadra-Trac I®, Quadra-Trac II ®, and Quadra-Drive® II. Each rolls in a rear electronic limited slip differential as standard equipment. Jeep's Quadra-Lift® Air Suspension automatically lowers the Grand Cherokee at speed and can raise the Grand Cherokee up to chug right over obstacles in your way. Those looking for the ultimate off-road Grand Cherokee will want to check out the electrified 4xe Trailhawk®, which offers a staggering 10.9 inches of ground clearance.

Ford offers two turbocharged EcoBoost® motors on the Explorer: a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® turbo four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque or a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Limited models get a brand-new 3.3L V-6 hybrid powertrain. All engines mate up to a quick shiting 10-speed automatic transmission. Instead of standard four-wheel drive, the Explorer rolls with a standard rear-wheel drive drivetrain, but intelligent all-wheel drive is optional.

Most models are street-focused, especially the racy Ford Explorer ST, but the new Timberline trim offers features like a 3.58 TORSEN® Limited-Slip Rear Axle, Hill Descent Control, Multi-Terrain control, and Off-Road Front Struts and Rear Shocks to help handle the rough stuff.

Safety and Driving Assistance

Since both of these SUVs are family rigs, owners should expect to see the latest and greatest driving tech on board. Jeep claims that the Grand Cherokee has over 110 standard and available safety features on board, which places it at the top of the class.

Standard features include:
  • Available Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Active Lane Management System Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking and Pedestrian/Cyclist Detection
  • ParkView® Rear Backup Camera
  • ParkSense® Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection

In addition to the standard suite of safety features, the Grand Cherokee is available with a clever 360-degree surround-view camera system, night vision, Intersection Collision Assist, Drowsy Driver Alert, and a Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist system. Simply put, you and your family will be safe when inside the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Ford offers a similar level of equipment, including features like Pre-Collision Assist® with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane-Keep System, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS). Opt for the Ford Co-Pilot360™ and you'll get advanced automatic cruise control, driver distraction monitor, and more. Other highlights include Active Park Assist 2.0, which helps park your Explorer in tight spots, and a 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display for a good view all around the vehicle. Post-collison braking is also standard which keeps the Explorer from rolling away after a collison. Overall, the Explorer offers a comprehensive set of equipment that is not quite as complete as the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Infotainment and Technology

One of the most enthralling parts of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the advanced levels of technology that are present in the cabin.

Front and center, you'll find an available Uconnect® 5 system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen and TomTom® Navigation. Not only is this screen a beautiful design, but it's snappy and intuitive to use. Drivers also get a 10.25-inch Driver Information Digital Cluster Display that shows everything from miles to empty to navigation information and more. Some trims also come with a large passenger screen that allows a front seat passenger to do everything from sending directions to the navigation system to accessing music on their own smartphone. Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™is standard, along with a wireless charging pad.

There's plenty more technology on board the Jeep Grand Cherokee. A stunning McIntosh® sound system with a 17-channel amplifier delivering 950 watts of power through 19 custom-designed speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer is available, along with an incredibly useful fully digital rearview mirror and an optional heads-up display. Opt for the rear seat entertainment package and rear seat passengers can access Amazon Fire TV with their own separate screens and audio.

Inside the Explorer, you'll find either an 8-inch screen or a portrait-oriented, 10.1-inch vertical screen loaded up with Ford's latest version of Sync 3. Upper trims get a 12.3-inch Digital Productivity Screen for the gauge cluster and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. Audiophiles will enjoy the B&O® Sound System by Bang & Olufsen® which includes 12 Speakers and a booming subwoofer. FordPass Connect™ is also on board and allows drivers to access their vehicle remotely to start it up, schedule maintenance, or find where it's parked.

There's plenty of tech onboard the Ford Explorer, but it still lacks the overall impact of the advanced technology found in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Shop Jeep Cherokee near Pembroke Pines, FL

Adventurers looking for the ultimate midsize SUV near Pembroke Pines, Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, and Miami should make AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Pembroke Pines their first choice. Our dealership carries a large selection of the best new Jeep vehicles and quality pre-owned vehicles that meet our stringent 125-point inspection process. From Wranglers to Cherokees, we have it all.

Once you slide behind the wheel for a test drive and feel the beautifully crafted interior, we know you'll be in love. Whether you want to lease or finance a Jeep Grand Cherokee, our in-house finance center is here to help get you a monthly payment that fits your budget. If you're looking to trade in, we accept vehicles from every manufacturer, paid off or not.

From accessories for your new Jeep Grand Cherokee to service or support in our advanced service center, AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Pembroke Pines is here to serve Pembroke Pines Jeep enthusiasts.

*Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up and loaded properly and that you have any necessary additional equipment. The maximum you can tow depends on base curb weight plus the total weight of any cargo, occupants, and added vehicle equipment.

**Based on 2022 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.