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Jeep is famous for producing adventurous SUVs. Many people will be choosing between the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. While some drivers will appreciate midsize Grand Cherokee’s powerful performance, others will enjoy the compact Cherokee’s practicality. Here’s an overview of how these SUVs compare to each other.
Size and Styling
Despite being smaller in size, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee still provides plenty of passenger space. Surprisingly, there’s around 1.5 inches more legroom in the back of the Cherokee. Families will be able to stretch out on an everyday basis. There’s also a tad more legroom in the front of the Cherokee. Nevertheless, most families will have very few complaints about the Grand Cherokee’s spaciousness. Additional hip room actually makes it a better option for a family of five.
When it comes to cargo space, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee outclasses the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. There’s roughly 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the Grand Cherokee’s second row. Meanwhile, Jeep lists the Cherokee with a cargo capacity of 25.8 cubic feet.
Visibility behind the wheel of the Grand Cherokee is okay. However, its thick windshield pillars can obstruct the driver’s view at times. Not only does the Cherokee provide a better view of the road ahead, but it also has fewer blind spots from the rear.
When doing a side-by-side comparison of these vehicles, you’ll immediately notice the Grand Cherokee’s larger stature. It’s longer and wider than the Cherokee. Expect the more compact Cherokee to be just a bit easier to squeeze into tight spots.
In terms of exterior styling, the Grand Cherokee looks tough and rugged. This is especially true for the off-road-ready Trailhawk trim. Jeep also offers the two high-performance variants of the Grand Cherokee: SRT and Trackhawk. These models feature a sport body kit. Don’t expect the Cherokee to look quite as muscular. However, it still has plenty of modern styling cues. Both SUVs feature Jeep’s signature seven-slot grille.
The Cherokee’s interior styling mimics that of the Grand Cherokee. Car shoppers will notice its similar gauge cluster and infotainment screen. Its steering wheel is also virtually the same. Comparable interior controls further highlight the similarities between these SUVs.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has multiple powertrain options. Its standard V6 engine cranks out 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Upgrading to the Grand Cherokee’s 5.7-liter, Hemi V8 engine increases production to 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Every new Grand Cherokee uses an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Driving enthusiasts will love the Grand Cherokee’s high-performance models. The Grand Cherokee SRT’s 6.4-liter Hemi engine pushes out 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. A supercharged Hemi V8 engine comes equipped on the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which muscles out 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque.
There are three engines available for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. Your most practical option is the base four-cylinder, which develops 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Stepping up to the V6 engine increases output to 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. This year, a turbocharged four-cylinder is optional on the Cherokee. Jeep tunes this newly available engine to develop 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. A nine-speed automatic gearbox is standard across the Cherokee lineup.
Both of these SUVs can deliver strong acceleration. When equipped with its base four-cylinder engine, the Cherokee isn’t very quick. Drivers who crave more performance should choose either the V6 or turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Unlike the Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee offers some high-performance models. Testers have clocked the Cherokee SRT with a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds. Meanwhile, expect the supercharged Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to reach 60 mph in a blistering 3.9 seconds. Very few SUVs in the world accelerate quicker than the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. A powerful exhaust sound adds to the appeal of the SRT and Trackhawk trims.
Rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds, the Grand Cherokee is great for pulling things like campers and track cars. On the other hand, Jeep stamps the V6-powered Cherokee with a maximum towing capacity of 4,500 pounds. This means the Cherokee should satisfy the towing needs of most drivers.
As expected, the advantage in fuel economy goes to the Cherokee. Models outfitted with Jeep’s new turbocharged four-cylinder engine can return a combined 26 mpg. Fuel economy with the base four-cylinder engine is a combined 25 mpg. By comparison, the EPA rates the V6-powered Grand Cherokee to deliver a combined 21 mpg. Gas mileage with the Grand Cherokee’s available V8 engines is not very good. Efficiency drops to a combined 17 mpg. Premium gas is also required for the SRT and Trackhawk trims.
According to some automotive critics, the Cherokee handles better than some sedans. Even at high speeds, this small crossover feels extremely surefooted. Its body remains well-controlled at all times.
The Grand Cherokee feels a bit heavier around turns that the Cherokee. Numb steering also takes away from the Grand Cherokee’s sportiness. However, Jeep does equip the high-performance Grand Cherokee models with sports-tuned suspension dampers and a quicker steering system. These exciting models also benefit from performance tires and a specialized AWD system for improved grip.
In regard to ride comfort, the Cherokee slightly edges out the Grand Cherokee. Its standard suspension has a luxurious feel. While the Grand Cherokee’s ride quality is fairly good, passengers will feel some road vibrations.
The Grand Cherokee is one of today’s best SUVs for venturing off-road. This is especially true for the rugged Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which benefits from an adjustable air suspension and an upgraded 4WD system with low-range gearing. You can also use the Cherokee for tackling rough terrain. Its Trailhawk trim features some of the same off-road goodies found on the larger Grand Cherokee.
Of these two SUVs, the Grand Cherokee has the quietest interior. Noise-reducing glass and active-noise cancellation technology is found on the luxurious Grand Cherokee Summit. Although the Cherokee may not be as quiet on the inside, drivers won’t hear any creaks or rattles coming from the cabin. This is a testament to the crossover’s solid build quality.
Comfort, Options and Performance
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is a more practical choice. It has a lower starting price of $25,045. Meanwhile, prices for the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee begin at $32,195.
Some of the Grand Cherokee’s impressive standard features include a 7.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen with full smartphone support, keyless entry, and a six-speaker sound system. Although the Cherokee is designed to offer greater affordability, its list of standard equipment is still very good. Aside from rear parking sensors and dual-zone automatic climate control, the Cherokee receives most of the Grand Cherokee’s same standard features. Some people might consider the Cherokee to be a better bang for the buck.
You can also get these SUVs with some premium upgrades. Like the Grand Cherokee Summit, the Cherokee Overland features niceties like sound-deadening glass and upgraded leather upholstery. Ventilated seats promote a more relaxing ride on hot days. From a standpoint of passenger comfort, the Grand Cherokee and the Cherokee prove to be a close match.
While the Cherokee’s available nine-speaker Alpine stereo system doesn’t sound bad, it can’t match the quality of the Grand Cherokee’s 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. There are also some exclusive niceties only available for the Grand Cherokee. The biggest upgrades include a dual-screen entertainment system for rear passengers and diamond-quilted Nappa leather seats. Remember, dual-zone automatic climate control is also not available for the less luxurious Cherokee.
If you really want a muscle truck, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is clearly the better option. Expect the Powerful SRT and Trackhawk models to deliver plenty of thrills. Jeep does not make a high-performance version of the Cherokee. However, buyers must fork out extra money for the additional performance. While the SRT trim demands $68,645, Jeep stamps the Trackhawk trim with an MSRP of $87,150.
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Families will be especially interested in the safety of these SUVs. The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee only managed to score a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. Many of its competitors earned a five-star rating. Car shoppers should also consider the Grand Cherokee’s IIHS crash ratings, which were just okay. It only received a marginal rating in the organization’s driver-side small overlap front test. Furthermore, the Grand Cherokee’s standard headlights received a poor rating from the IIHS.
Like its larger sibling, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee received an NHTSA four-star overall safety rating. While the Cherokee’s standard headlights also garnered a poor rating from the IIHS, its overall crash scores were better.
Whether you choose the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee or the 2019 Jeep Cherokee, you’ll have access to some great safety features. Both of these vehicles come standard with Rain Brake Support. By helping to keep the brakes dry, this feature ensures optimum stopping power during wet conditions. A helpful ParkView backup camera also comes standard.
Some modern accident-avoidance technologies are available as well. Some of the key safety features include blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning with active braking, and lane departure warning. Jeep also offers these SUVs with an automated parking system, which works for perpendicular and parallel parking.
Which Model to Choose?
For some people, choosing between the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2019 Jeep Cherokee will be quite a challenge. Despite some clear difference, these Jeep SUVs have a lot in common. Let’s look back at the biggest highs and lows.
For most people, the Cherokee will offer more than enough performance. This is especially true for trims with an upgraded powertrain. However, you can tow a bigger load with the Grand Cherokee. Thrill seekers will be drawn to the Grand Cherokee SRT and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. These race-bred models promise to excite. While the rugged Cherokee Trailhawk is ready for an adventure, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is an even more capable off-road machine.
In terms of overall practicality, the Cherokee is a step ahead of the Grand Cherokee. A lower MSRP and higher fuel economy give the Cherokee an edge. Families will also appreciate the Cherokee’s spacious backseat.
As mentioned earlier, these SUVs have some similar styling cues. However, the Grand Cherokee is more muscular. It looks more like a traditional SUV. The Cherokee has more characteristics of a modern crossover.A person’s lifestyle will have a big impact on which SUV they choose. If the Grand Cherokee’s extra cargo space and additional power is not needed, the Cherokee will prove to be the best option. It’s definitely a sensible choice for most families. Cherokee buyers stand to save more than $7,000. On the other hand, some drivers will desire the Grand Cherokee’s more luxurious feel and greater performance. When it comes to sheer driving excitement, the Grand Cherokee SRT and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk are in a special class of SUVs.