2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford ExplorerCompare Cars
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Ford's 2019 Explorer and Jeep's 2019 Grand Cherokee are two of the best-selling full-sized SUVs on the market today. Smaller crossovers may be dominating the market nowadays, but there is still a need for the full-sized SUV. Both of these vehicles provide a greta amount of passenger and cargo space.
While the Explorer and Grand Cherokee have much in common, there are certainly many differences. Both have areas in which they shine, even over the other. They have features and strengths that make each a good choice, but for different reasons. We'll compare them both thoroughly to give you a better idea of which one might be right for you.
The Grand Cherokee Powertrain
The powertrain is the heart and soul of a vehicle. Understanding your options here is especially important when choosing a full-sized SUV. You need an engine that can handle the extra weight of a large vehicle that is meant to haul around people and cargo. Off-road performance and towing capacity rely on the engine choice as well. Nothing else will affect the performance of an SUV like the powertrain will.
Jeep gives you a staggering 12 choices for trim levels on the 2019 Grand Cherokee. For engine choices, you'll get four. Most trim levels come with a 24 valve, 3.6-liter V-6 power plant. Some of the higher-end packages get you a big 6.2-liter supercharged V-8. There's also a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 available. Regardless of your engine choice, you'll always end up with an 8-speed automatic-transmission system.
The 6-cylinder engine cranks out 295 horsepower with 260 pounds-feet of torque. The 5.7-liter is capable of 360 horsepower. The 6.2-liter produces 475 horsepower with 470 pounds-feet of torque. Last of all, the 6.4-liter engine cranks out a whopping 707 horses and 645 pounds-feet of torque. All offer impressive acceleration. The 6.4-liter is downright sports-car like with a 0-60 MPH time of under 4 seconds.
The transmission systems are all accurate and smooth. They all feature 8 gears, overdrive and an auto-manual feature. Some higher trim levels even give you paddle shifters on the steering wheel so you can easily cycle through the gears. All trims can have 4X4 performance for better traction and off-road performance. Some trims come standard with 4X4, but most come stock with a 4X2 system.
Few vehicles in this class perform better off-road than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It offers plenty of luxury and convenience features, but this SUV is a Jeep through and through. Off-road capability is one of the strong points for the Grand Cherokee and a good reason to select it over other vehicles.
The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to be as reliable as previous-year models. Jeep's warranty covers the powertrain for 5 years or 60,000 miles. If there's one downside to owning this SUV, it's the fuel economy, but that's pretty much par for the course for this class of vehicle. A 4X2 V-6 gets you a combined fuel-economy rating of 21 miles-per-gallon. The 6.4-liter V-8 only gets you around 15 miles-per-gallon.
With a large, full-sized SUV, it's great to have towing capabilities. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an excellent vehicle for long road trips or outdoor adventures. The ability to bring along a trailer or boat is a nice perk. Fortunately, the Grand Cherokee has plenty of power and torque to get the job done. You'll be able to tow up to 3,500 to 7,200 pounds depending on which engine choice and trim level you choose.
The Explorer's Powertrain
The Ford Explorer gives you the option of three different engines. These are a 2.3-liter I-4, a 3.5-liter Ecoboost V-6 or a 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V-6. The 4-cylinder has more than adequate power with a horsepower output of 290. That's close to the output of the Jeep's base V-6 engine, but with slightly better fuel economy of 22 miles-per-gallon. The V-6 engines get a combined rating of 18-20 miles-per-gallon depending on whether you get a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive model.
Every version of the Ford Explorer comes equipped with a 6-speed transmission system. You get two less gears than what the Grand Cherokee offers, but you still get overdrive and auto-manual features. This transmission system, like the one Jeep offers, still performs very smoothly with accurate shifting. Most drivers won't notice too much of a difference here because of the two less gears.
Most trims can be had in FWD or AWD configurations. The Explorer is no slouch when it comes to off-road adventuring, but the Jeep does slightly beat it out in this category. Previous Ford Explorer models have received favorable reliability ratings. Ford offers the same 5 year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty as Jeep does. When it comes to ruggedness and reliability, both SUVs are real winners.
Both of these great SUVs have massive power and torque that translates into impressive towing abilities. The Explorer, having less horsepower in general, doesn't quite reach the impressive specs of the Grand Cherokee. It can still tow between 2,000 to 5,000 pounds, though. That should be plenty enough to accommodate most needs.
After taking a look at the powertrain options, it's clear that both vehicles are impressive. Most drivers won't be disappointed in this category no matter which of these SUVs they choose. For overall performance, however, the Jeep Grand Cherokee does come out solidly on top here. It's overall off-road capabilities are just about the best in this class.
The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a comfortable and luxurious interior. It's packed with some high-tech, modern convenience features too. The overall ride quality may be a bit firm, however, for the taste of some drivers. This is even true in spite of the air-suspension system. Jeep has done a good job of mitigating any outside noise from the road or the engine, so you will at least enjoy a quiet ride.
A fast-acting climate-control system makes sure that everyone throughout the Jeep remains comfortable. The front seats are nice and comfortable on every trim package. The system features simple controls and is intuitive to use. Getting in and out of this SUV is a breeze, and you'll enjoy a nice view of your surroundings from the driver's seat.
The Grand Cherokee gives you plenty of head, leg and elbow room in every row. Five adults can be comfortably transported in this SUV with plenty of room to spare for your cargo. The overall cargo capacity can be adjusted between 36.3 square feet to 68.3 square feet by configuring the rear seats. Jeep has added in a ton of small-item storage spaces throughout the vehicle.
A premium infotainment system increases your ride enjoyment in the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee. A sound-system by Harman Kardon gives you crystal-clear audio quality through 19 speakers. A navigation system helps to steer you in the right direction. The infotainment center has a touchscreen and plenty of smartphone-integration options such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Ford's Explorer has equally comfortable seats with plenty of room for your head and legs. The third row may be a bit cramped for taller passengers, though. The Explorer has a higher seating capacity and can haul up to seven people. The suspension system gives this SUV a fantastic ride quality. It's also just as quiet inside of the Explorer as it is in the Grand Cherokee.
The base cargo capacity of the Explorer is lower than that of the Grand Cherokee due to the added seats. The good news is, you have a higher overall cargo area when you properly configure the seats. The storage space for the Explorer can go from 21 square feet to 80.7 square feet.
Visibility is excellent in the Explorer. Entering and exiting the vehicle is easy, as is loading and unloading your goods into the cargo area. The quality of the interior materials seems a step up from what you'll find in the Grand Cherokee at each comparable trim level.
Ford's Sync 3 system helps you to integrate phones and smart devices into your infotainment system. This system is more modern and easier to use than the system in the Jeep. The audio quality for the Jeep is a bit better, however. You get a navigation system here as well as a standard 4.2-inch touchscreen. You get less speakers here with only six as compared to the Jeep's 19. Apple and Android connectivity is once again offered here.
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When you buy a vehicle that is built for carrying a lot of passengers, you'll want to be sure that your most-precious cargo is kept safe. Fortunately, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer both offer plenty of safety features. Both have good crash-test ratings as well. They both come with a similar number of standard airbags and ABS brakes
Jeep has packed their SUV with over 70 different safety and security technologies. Blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert come standard on all models. A park-assist system and rear-view camera help you to make sure you go in reverse safely. Some of the other notable features include a lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a forward-collision warning.
Ford also enjoys many of these same features within their Ford Safe and Smart package. You once again get lane-keeping assist and forward-collision detection. You can also get a rear-view camera with rear park assist. A security system is standard to keep away would-be thieves. Adaptive cruise control and automatic wind-shield wipers round out some of the top safety features on tap for the Ford.
Both of these vehicles have most of the modern safety features that are common on today's vehicles. Jeep seems to have added a slight bit more, but their both very comparable. You should remain relatively safe no matter which SUV you select.
Which Has the Best Value?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a lower base price than the Ford Explorer. The Jeep comes in at a MSRP of $31,695. The Ford is a bit higher at $32,365. When you start adding features or moving up the trim levels, however, the Jeep quickly becomes the pricier of these two vehicles.
The Jeep's performance and power is so much better than the Ford's that the higher price may still make it the best value here. Both vehicles have plenty of space for people or cargo, but the Ford has much more. If this isn't necessary for your needs, and you want the best engine available, the Jeep can be worth the extra cost.
The Ford will save you a bit at the gas pumps, but not enough to really be meaningful. Both of these SUVs have good track records when it comes to reliability. They also both have nearly identical warranty coverage, so quality is a wash here when deciding on overall value.
Which is Better?
The short answer to this question is that there is no true "better," here. Both the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2019 Ford Explorer are fantastic full-sized SUVs. Which one works best for you will largely depend on what you're looking for in an SUV. Your priorities will dictate which is the best choice here.
If performance is your thing, the Jeep is the clear-cut winner here. The powerful engines provide massive horsepower and torque for great acceleration. It's the winner if you value serious towing capacities. The Jeep is also one of the best off-road performers in the class of vehicles. Of course, not everyone will need to take their fancy SUV off of the beaten paths.
If you need more passenger and cargo space, the Explorer is likely going to be your best bet. The two extra seats and massive cargo space could come in handy for those who need to cart a large family or entourage around. Groceries, tools, camping equipment and whatever else you need to transport can always fit into this behemoth. Of course, not everyone will need the extra space.
If performance matters more, look to the Jeep. If space and overall ride comfort is more important for your needs, then check out the Ford. Both vehicles excel in all of these categories, but they beat each other out by a bit here and there. Regardless of your choice, you won't likely be disappointed with either of these 2019 SUVs.