Battle of the SUVs – Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer

Revving their engines and ready to conquer the roads, two legendary contenders step into the arena, pitting power, versatility, and undeniable style against each other. In this exhilarating showdown, I’ll compare two titans – Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer that have captured the hearts of SUV enthusiasts with their impressive capabilities and cutting-edge features. Get ready for an adrenaline-fueled comparison, dissecting every aspect to determine which SUV reigns supreme in the ultimate clash of automotive excellence.

Determining which is better, the Jeep Grand Cherokee or the Ford Explorer depends on individual preferences and needs. The Grand Cherokee excels in off-road capabilities, towing capacity, and ruggedness, making it ideal for adventurous spirits. On the other hand, the Ford Explorer offers a more refined and family-friendly experience with its spacious interior, advanced technology, and safety features.

The Popularity and Significance of SUVs in Today’s Automotive Market

Roaring down the roads with a commanding presence, SUVs have revolutionized the automotive landscape, becoming the undeniable kings of the streets. These formidable vehicles have captured the hearts of drivers worldwide, seamlessly blending versatility, power, and style. With the evolution of cars and as the demand for SUVs soars to new heights in today’s automotive market, it’s time to embark on an exhilarating journey into the battle of the giants. And I won’t talk about just any SUVs.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer have firmly established themselves as leading players in the SUV segment. Both attract a loyal following of drivers who appreciate their distinct characteristics and the confidence they inspire on and off the road. So, let’s compare these and see which one will win this battle.

The new Ford Explorer
With all the amazing specifications and capabilities, SUVs have become a popular choice for many drivers

Overview of the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee

With a heritage rooted in off-road excellence, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has garnered a legendary reputation in the SUV segment. Known for its ruggedness and capability, the Grand Cherokee combines rugged off-road prowess with refined luxury. It boasts a rich history of conquering challenging terrains, making it a top choice for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Grand Cherokee’s iconic design, spacious interior, advanced technology, and exceptional towing capacity have helped solidify its popularity among SUV enthusiasts. However, in a landscape where car theft remains a concern, owners must remain vigilant. The Grand Cherokee has unfortunately appeared on lists of the most stolen four-wheelers in the USA. Despite this, the Grand Cherokee continues to captivate drivers with its distinctive appeal and enduring popularity within the SUV market.

Jeep Grand Cherokee on a sandy beach
Outdoor enthusiasts often choose this four-wheeler

Overview of the 2023 Ford Explorer

As one of the best-selling SUVs of all time, the Ford Explorer has become synonymous with reliability, versatility, and family-friendly features. It has consistently delivered on its promise of blending comfort, safety, and performance. With its sleek and modern styling, spacious cabin, and advanced tech features, the Explorer has captured the attention of drivers seeking a comfortable and capable SUV for everyday adventures.

The Explorer’s strong reputation for dependability and its range of engine options further contribute to its enduring popularity in the SUV market. However, keep in mind that previous models were among the most stolen keyless vehicles.

Ford Explorer at an auto show
Comfort and capability are what describe this four-wheeler as the best

Ford Explorer vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee – Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that you know some basic information about these four-wheelers, let’s dive into head-to-head compassion and help you decide which one would suit your needs best. After all, being in the vehicle you feel safe will help you overcome driving anxiety and avoid all the driving stress.

Tech Features

The Grand Cherokee slightly trails behind the Explorer with a fuel efficiency rating of 21 mpg compared to the Explorer’s 23 mpg. However, the Grand Cherokee surpasses the Explorer in driving range, making it ideal for family road trips. With a larger fuel tank capacity, the Grand Cherokee offers an impressive range of 483 miles, outperforming the Explorer’s 412 miles. This extended range provides convenience and fewer fuel stops, ensuring seamless family adventures on the road.

While Ford’s adaptive cruise control system could benefit from the refinement in braking, its lane assist feature excels in maintaining the SUV’s position within the lane. Minimal driver input is required. On the other hand, the Jeep’s lane assist capabilities fall short. Its three levels of steering assist struggle to keep the three-row SUV centered in the lane, often resulting in bouncing towards the lane boundary. Taking control becomes challenging as the system resists the driver’s attempts to regain control of the steering.


Let’s check the engine specifications and other important information you should know about before making the final decision.

Ford ExplorerJeep Grand Cherokee
Engine (gasoline fuel)300-hp, 2.3-liter, 4 Cylinder Engine and 400-hp, 3.0-liter, V6 Cylinder Engine293-hp, 3.6-liter, V6 Cylinder Engine and 357-hp, 5.7-liter, 8 Cylinder Engine
Engine (gas/electric hybrid)318-hp, 3.3-liter, V6 Cylinder Engine/
Horsepower300 – 400 hp293 hp
DrivetrainFour Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel DriveFour Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive

Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the fully gas-powered Explorer boasts an estimated combined mpg of up to 24. At the same time, its hybrid variant, the Explorer Hybrid, achieves an impressive fuel economy of up to 27 combined mpg.

On the other hand, the gas-powered Grand Cherokee offers an estimated combined mpg of up to 22. At the same time, the Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid exhibits remarkable fuel efficiency with up to 56 combined MPGe in electric mode and 23 combined mpg in hybrid mode. These figures highlight the varying degrees of efficiency between the gas-powered and hybrid versions of both the Explorer and Grand Cherokee.

Interior and Exterior Considerations You Should Go Over

Of course, we all want to be sure we’re getting the most when getting a new vehicle. So, without further ado, let’s check out the table below and compare the exterior and interior of these two SUVs.

Jeep Grand CherokeeFord Explorer
Cargo space70.8 ft387.8 ft3
Seating capacity7 seats5 seats
Exterior length193.5 in198.8 in
Exterior width77.5 in78.9 in
HeadroomFront 39.9 in and rear 39.4 inFront 40.7 in and rear 40.5 in
LegroomFront 41.3 in and rear 38.2 inFront 43.0 in and rear 39.0 in

Compare the Impressive Performance of Both Models

While both the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee boast impressive performance, there are specific areas where the Jeep Grand Cherokee stands out. It holds an edge over the Ford Explorer when it comes to towing heavier loads, making it a top choice for those who require robust towing capabilities.

However, it’s worth noting that when comparing their horsepower, the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee find themselves in a near tie, leaving little room for differentiation. Whether you’re an adventurer seeking to conquer rough terrains or someone embracing a car-free lifestyle, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the versatility and power needed to navigate life’s journeys with confidence.

Off-Road Capabilities

When it comes to off-road capabilities, the Grand Cherokee takes the lead. While both SUVs are equipped with traction-enhancing all-wheel drive systems, the Grand Cherokee offers distinct advantages. It boasts superior ground clearance, with up to 11.3 inches compared to the Explorer’s 8.7 inches, allowing for more effective and secure driving over rugged terrain.

Additionally, while the Explorer does offer the rugged Timberline trim, it falls short in matching the impressive off-road capabilities of the Grand Cherokee’s Trailhawk trim. The Grand Cherokee truly shines as the go-to option for those seeking unparalleled off-road performance.

Jeep Grand Cherokee on the road at sunset
Comparing the off-road capabilities, Grand Cherokee wins this battle

Pricing and Trim Levels

Which of the two midsize SUVs, the 2023 Explorer or the 2023 Grand Cherokee, carries a higher price tag? In terms of initial cost, the 2023 Explorer ranges from $36,760 MSRP for the Base trim to $54,130 MSRP for the King Ranch trim. On the other hand, the fully gas-powered 2023 Grand Cherokee starts at $39,000 MSRP for the Laredo trim and reaches up to $61,675 MSRP for the Grand Cherokee L Summit trim.

While the pricing details for the Grand Cherokee 4xe model are not currently available, it’s worth noting that in the previous model year, the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe had a starting price ranging from $58,465 MSRP for the Base trim to $71,195 MSRP for the Summit trim. These figures highlight the varying price ranges and the potential impact on the cost of owning a vehicle.

Although the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s higher price doesn’t position it among the most expensive four-wheelers in the world, it’s important to note that it can further reflect its premium features and capabilities.

Warranty Coverage

In terms of warranty coverage, both the Explorer and Grand Cherokee share similar provisions, offering a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, the Grand Cherokee sets itself apart with an additional offering that helps cut down vehicle expenses: a complimentary maintenance plan. With the Grand Cherokee, owners receive three years or 36,000 miles of coverage for maintenance, providing a notable advantage over the Explorer.

This added benefit ensures that owners can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that routine maintenance expenses are covered during the specified period. Thereby helping to mitigate the impact of expensive repairs and reduce overall car expenses.

Cars on the road
Be sure to check out the warranty options when getting a new four-wheeler

How Safe Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer?

As you already know, one of the drivers’ responsibilities is to ensure safety on the road. This means you must drive a completely safe four-wheeler that will ensure your and others’ safety on the road. And in this segment, the Explorer surpasses the Grand Cherokee. In the previous model year, the Explorer earned the highest possible rating from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) by receiving the prestigious IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

On the other hand, the Grand Cherokee did not receive any safety awards from the IIHS. This notable distinction showcases the Explorer’s unwavering commitment to providing a safer driving experience. It is the top choice for those who prioritize safety on the road, whether they prefer classic or modern four-wheelers.

What Are the Towing Capabilities of These SUVs?

When it comes to towing capabilities, the 2023 Grand Cherokee outshines the 2023 Explorer. With an impressive maximum towing capacity of 6,200 pounds, the Grand Cherokee surpasses the Explorer, which offers a towing capacity of 5,600 pounds. This significant difference in towing prowess positions the Grand Cherokee as the superior choice for those seeking to haul heavier loads with confidence.

A Jeep emblem
Jeep has a better towing capacity

The Decision Is Completely Yours, So Choose Well

In this head-to-head comparison between these midsize SUVs, we saw they both offer distinct advantages. The 2023 Explorer excels in areas such as performance, fuel economy for its gas-engine variants, safety features, spaciousness for passengers and cargo, and a comparatively lower price point.

On the other hand, the 2023 Grand Cherokee has its own advantages, including impressive hybrid gas mileage, superior towing capabilities, off-road prowess, and the added benefit of a complimentary maintenance plan. Each SUV brings its unique strengths to the table, providing options that cater to different preferences and priorities.