2022 Ford Explorer vs Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee are both full-size SUVs with an available third row of seats. The Explorer can seat up to seven or eight people while the Grand Cherokee has room for five. The Explorer is a bit bigger, though Jeep offers a larger model that they call the Grand Cherokee L. An Explorer measures in at 199-inches long, 79-inches wide and 70-inches high. The Grand Cherokee is 194-inches long, 78-inches wide and 71-inches high.
One of the great things about owning a large SUV is all of the extra cargo space. Ford's Explorer has 18.2 cubic-feet of storage space behind the last row of seats. This can be expanded up to a maximum volume of 87.8 cubic-feet by folding down the rear seats. Jeep's Grand Cherokee has 37.7 cubic-feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 70.8 cubic-feet of space when the seats are folded down.
Both of these SUVs have a similar 5-door body style. Both offer All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and good off-road performance, though the Jeep is superior in this category. The Ford offers a more comfortable on-road ride. Both have comfortable and well-equipped interiors. Ford and Jeep have also put a lot of safety features and modern tech into these two vehicles.
Here's a closer look at how the 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee stack up when comparing their powertrains, drivability and safety features. We will also try to discover which SUV offers more value and which is simply the better overall vehicle.
The 2022 Ford Explorer has three different powertrains including an hybrid model. The first three trim levels are powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower. The top three trim levels get a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine. The V-6 can crank out 400 horsepower with 415 pound-feet of torque. Hybrid models combine a 3.3-liter V-6 engine with electric motors to produce up to 318 horsepower.
With the right engine and equipment, the Ford Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds. The hybrid models offer the best fuel-economy numbers. They should get up to 27 miles-per-gallon in the city and 29 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Most trim levels are available in either Front-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive variations. Choosing All-wheel Drive makes the fuel-economy numbers go down a bit.
All models of the Explorer get a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 4-wheel anti-locking brakes prevent lockups and can stop this large, heavy vehicle on a dime. There's a front strut suspension with a rear multi-link suspension.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee also has three powertrain options, one of which is a plug-in hybrid. The standard engine for most trim levels is a 3.6-liter V-6 with 24 valves and variable valve timing. This engine makes 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. A Grand Cherokee with this engine will have a combined fuel-economy rating of 22 miles-per-gallon. Like the Explorer, this number will go down when choosing 4X4 All-Wheel Drive.
Most trim levels are available with both 4X2 and 4X4 drive-trains. Jeep also offers a big 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine for the Grand Cherokee. This engine can produce up to 357 horsepower. This engine has a fuel-economy rating of 14 miles-per-gallon in the city and 22 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Both gasoline-powered engines get paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Last of all, Jeep offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This powertrain will produce 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It combines an electric motor with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It has a fuel-economy rating of 56 MPGe. A plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee can tow up to 6,000 pounds. There are three driving modes called Hybrid Mode, Electric Mode and E-Save Mode.
Like the Explorer, the Grand Cherokee also has an anti-locking brake system. There are multiple All-Wheel Drive systems for this SUV, including a Quadra-Trac II® 4WD System and a Selec-Terrain® System. There's an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar. The rear gets an independent twist-blade suspension with coil springs, dual-tube shock absorbers and rebound springs.
The latest Ford Explorer has plenty of power and good acceleration no matter which of the three powertrains it comes equipped with. Steering and handling are great and only become better once All-Wheel Drive is added on for a small increase in price. The suspension system provides a smooth and refined ride quality. The interior of the Explorer is roomy and comfortable, greatly increasing the overall driving or riding experience.
The Explorer is easier to park and maneuver than it has any right to be, being a large, full-size SUV. It has a tight turning radius, which is quite helpful. The available 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support makes for a better driving experience. The ActiveX™ upholstery or available leather trim help out here as well.
Ford's Explorer has Tri-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control to keep the driver and everyone else comfortable. Drivers can enjoy their favorite music in style too, thanks to the available B&O® Sound System by Bang and Olufsen®. This system features a 980-watt stereo, 14 speakers and a subwoofer for amazing audio with deep, thumping bass.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee also offers great acceleration from its three powerful engines. Steering and handling are just as good when comparing the Grand Cherokee to the Explorer. Off-road driving is far superior in this SUV though, as one might expect from a brand like Jeep. The ride quality is good, but perhaps not as good as the ride quality of Ford's Explorer. At least this is the case when driving over paved roads.
Leather-trimmed bucket seats are standard on many models, while others get Capri leather or a combination of leather and suede for the trim. Higher trim levels have an 8-way power driver seat with heating and ventilation. Heating is even available for the rear seats. Jeep offers a solid audio system with nine speakers, a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier. Jeep also offers Dual-Zone Auto Temperature Control and 3-Zone Auto Temperature Control systems, depending on the trim level one chooses.
Both the 2022 Ford Explorer and the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee have a good amount of standard safety features. This includes both passive and active safety features, as well as modern driver-assist technology. The Explorer has an airbag system with front, side and knee protection for the driver and front passenger. There are also Safety Canopy® curtain airbags to protect passengers in every row.
Every model of the Explorer gets AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ for a safer drive. There are child safety locks and windows in the rear. Every trim gets the LATCH system for securing child safety seats. All rows get head restraints for the seats to help prevent certain types of injuries in the event of a crash. Every model also gets an Individual Tire-Pressure Monitoring System.
Ford equips every trim level of the Explorer with their SOS Post-Crash Alert System™. This system activates the horn and emergency lights when an airbag has been deployed. This alerts others on the road that there has been an accident. This, in turn, increases the chance of emergency services being contacted in the event that the driver is unable to do so.
All models of the Explorer get Ford's Co-Pilot360™ Technology. This includes a number of high-tech features, plenty of which work to keep the driver and passengers safe inside of the Explorer. Standard features of this tech package include a Lane-Keeping System with Lane-Keeping Assist, Lane-Keeping Alert and Driver Alert. Every model gets a Rear-View Camera with a washer to make sure the lens stays clean.
Higher trim levels get a few extras as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology. This includes an upgraded 360-View Camera and Reverse Brake Assist. There's also a handy Active Park Assist 2.0 feature. This tech helps with all types of parking including forward, reverse and even parallel parking. Last of all, Ford offers a perimeter alarm as well as an available SecuriLock® Passive Anti-Theft System.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has an advanced airbag system of its own. This includes multi-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags and supplemental side-curtain airbags for all rows. There are also inflatable knee bolster airbags for the driver and front passenger. Systems like Four-Wheel Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control make for a safer driving experience.
The Grand Cherokee has a standard system called Full-Speed Forward-Collision Warning Plus. This alerts the driver to potential crashes, even at highway speeds. A Rear-View Camera or Surround-View Camera gives the driver a better view of what's going on around them. Certain models also get an Integrated Off-Road Camera. The highest trim level even has Night Vision with Pedestrian and Animal Detection.
There's a Tire-Pressure Monitoring Display as well as a Selectable Tire-Fill Alert. ParkSense® Front and Rear Park-Assist helps out when there's a tight parking space to get in and out of. Jeep's Active Lane-Management System is similar to Ford's Lane-Keeping System. The Grand Cherokee also has Blind-Spot and Cross-Path Detection as well as an Intersection Collision-Assist System.
Like the Ford, this Jeep SUV also gets some features to stop would-be thieves. There's a standard security alarm for every trim level. There's also an engine immobilizer that will shut down the vehicle if a car thief does happen to get inside of it.
Which Has the Best Value?
The base model of the 2022 Ford Explorer starts out at $34,010. The price goes up a bit for models with All-Wheel Drive. It can go up significantly when options and packages are added on. The mid-tier Limited trim level is probably the best bargain here. It has a great balance of standard features and a low cost. The Limited starts at $46,820.
The highest trim level for the Ford Explorer is called the Platinum model. It starts out at $52,125. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a starting price of $38,325. The most expensive Grand Cherokee is a 4X4 Trailhawk, and it starts out at $54,630. The best bargain among the Grand Cherokee models is probably the Grand Cherokee L Limited, which starts at $47,040.
Ford's Explorer offers more cargo space and passenger room for less money. The Explorer is less expensive at almost every comparable trim level. It also offers a more comfortable ride on paved roads. The Ford offers more power at the base-trim level, but it's not a significant difference. The Jeep offers the most available horsepower and much better off-road performance, though these come at an increased price.
Both SUVs have a similar amount of convenience features. The Ford has the best infotainment system and available audio setups. Both have comfortable, well-designed interiors. The Jeep offers more standard safety features for a good price. Unless you need an SUV for routine off-road excursions, the Ford Explorer offers the most value here.
Which Is Better?
While the 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee are both in the same class, and are in direct competition, in some ways they were designed with different priorities in mind. For this reason, they're also suitable for different types of potential buyers. The Ford Explorer offers the best value, the most cargo space and the best on-road driving experience. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a sporty off-road beast with massive amounts of horsepower and exceptional off-road capabilities.
Both the Explorer and the Grand Cherokee are excellent full-sized SUVs. Each does some things better than the other. At the end of the day, the Explorer will be the better choice for most owners due to its price and on-road demeanor. The Grand Cherokee, however, is no slouch in these categories and is still a good choice for anyone who even just likes the exterior appearance better. For those who want a true off-road vehicle, the Grand Cherokee is easily the winner.
In short, there is no clear-cut winner here. Different buyers will likely prefer one SUV over the other because it simply better suits their specific needs and tastes. Most SUV fans would never be disappointed with either of these fine full-size SUVs.