Grand Cherokee Review: Compare 2020 Grand Cherokee to the Ford Explorer

Grand Cherokee Review: Compare 2020 Grand Cherokee to the Ford Explorer

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer are both mid-size SUVs with a rare combination of comfort, performance, and value. But despite having these qualities in common, in other ways they couldn't be more different.
Which of the two models is right for you? Read our 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee review to find out.
Target Market
Not all mid-size SUVs are built the same. The Ford Explorer has a three-row design, making it suitable for larger families, or drivers with large cargo needs. In contrast, the Grand Cherokee has only two rows, which may seem a drawback.
However, the Grand Cherokee really isn't aimed at everyday family driving. Its real strength is its off-road ability, with a body designed to handle rugged wilderness coupled with engine options that can produce amazing power. That's not to say that the Jeep can't be used on the highway in total comfort, but its heart lies in the off-road arena.

Engine and Performance
This emphasis shows in the engine options which are available. Choose the right Explorer configuration and you can get a 3.0L four-cylinder engine pumping out 400 horsepower and 415lb-ft of torque.
This is a powerful SUV by any standard, but it's completely outshone by the higher-end Jeep models. If you're looking for raw performance, the Grand Cherokee's Trackhawk trim offers a 6.2L supercharged V8 mill cranking out 707 horsepower and a jaw-dropping 645lb-ft of torque.
If you want an SUV with plenty in reserve under the hood, the Grand Cherokee certainly delivers.

Trim Choice and Versatility
However, there's plenty of choice in the Grand Cherokee range if rugged off-road adventures aren't your only priority. With fully seven trims to choose from, plus many optional upgrades and additions, it's possible to put together a Grand Cherokee configuration with exactly the right blend of luxury and performance.
The Explorer has four available trims, but each one is mostly a variation on the family SUV theme, with little of the raw off-road capability offered by the best Grand Cherokee options.
Passenger and Cargo Space
There's one area where the Explorer wins hands down, and that's in the amount of cargo and passenger space it provides. Seating up to seven in comfort and offering up to 2,486L of cargo space, the Explorer is one of the most spacious SUVs on the market.
The Grand Cherokee isn't exactly cramped, but its smaller frame seats only five and provides 1,934L of cargo space.
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2020 Ford Explorer: The Verdict
For everyday city and highway driving, the Jeep's excellent off-road capabilities are perhaps unexpecting, and the Explorer might make a better daily option. But if you want an SUV with the power and ruggedness to handle any terrain you take it across, the Grand Cherokee is the undisputed winner.
Check out our selection of Jeep Grand Cherokee

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