Compare SUVS: Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer

Competitive SUV History

Launched in '93 and '91, respectively, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer were among the first nameplates to usher in the modern SUV era. While segment rivals for most of their existences, the Explorer's 2011 shift to a three-row-only format moved it to a slightly different segment from the two-row Grand Cherokee. But with the 2021 release of the all-new Grand Cherokee L, the competition is back on. Here's a brief look at how the Grand Cherokee stands tall.

Compare Features & Tech

  • Accommodations: Both models offer roomy seating and expansive cargo capacity, but passengers will find the Grand Cherokee appreciably more accommodating, thanks to its high-quality materials, more comfortable seating, and excellent sound insulation. Explorer's rear seats aren't as supportive, and engine and wind noise can be intrusive.

  • Technology: Both models come standard with touchscreen infotainment and smartphone integration. However, the Grand Cherokee L equips Jeep's all-new Uconnect 5 system, which features a 10.1-inch display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Explorer comes with a standard 8-inch screen, and wireless smartphone connectivity isn't available.

Performance & Power

  • Performance: Powered by a 3.6L V6 (295-horsepower) and a 2.3L turbo-four (300-hp), respectively, the Grand Cherokee and Explorer are pretty evenly matched at the base trim. But Jeep also offers an available 5.7L V8 (360 hp, 390 lb-ft) for Trailhawk®, Overland, and Summit trims. In comparison, the Explorer's available 3.0L turbo V6 (365 hp, 380 lb-ft) is only available on the top-tier Platinum trims. And for Los Angeles track enthusiasts, the Grand Cherokee offers the burly 6.4-liter V8 SRT (470 hp, 475 lb-ft) and the prodigious 6.2-liter supercharged V8 Trackhawk (707 hp, 645 lb-ft). The turbo-V6 Explorer ST tops out at 400 hp and 415 lb-ft.
  • Towing Capacity and More

  • Towing: Properly equipped, the Grand Cherokee can tow up to 6,200 pounds with the base V6 and 7,200 with a V8. Explorer's trailering capability ranges from 5,000 to 5,600 pounds.
  • Test-drive the new Jeep Grand Cherokee near Van Nuys and Thousand Oaks

    Contact Rydell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram today for more information about the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee trim levels, options, and special financing offers. And if you'd like to experience the features, accommodations, and driving dynamics for yourself, we welcome you to schedule a test drive with us here in San Fernando. We'd love to give you a tour.