Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer 

You know that you're looking for a midsize SUV, but which one? The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer are both great SUVs, depending on what you expect to get in terms of room, performance, and price. Below we'll compare the features of the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer - but we'll leave this hard decision up to you.

Engine and Performance

The Grand Cherokee has three engines that are built for speed and performance: the standard V-6 engine (293 horsepower), the V-8 engine that is available for the higher trims like the Summit (357 horsepower), and the hybrid engine that the Grand Cherokee added to its lineup in 2022, which it calls the 4xe. The 4xe yields an impressive 375 horsepower and can tow up to 6,000 pounds: talk about a great balance of torque, power, and speed.

The Ford Explorer's engines differ based on the trim. The Base, XLT, and Limited models have the standard 2.3L 4-cylinder engine. Upgrade to the King Ranch®, Platinum, or ST models, and you'll have a 3.0L V-6 engine. You can also opt for the hybrid model, which combines a 3.3L V-6 engine with an efficient electric motor.

Fuel Economy

The V-6 engine gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg when the Grand Cherokee is driving on the highway - a fuel economy that's on par with other vehicles of its size. The 4xe engines have better fuel efficiency at a combined 24 mpg, and the electric motor can go 25 miles before needing to be charged.

The Ford Explorer gets 27 mpg driving in the city and 29 mpg driving on the highway, but only with the rear-drive hybrid model, which was introduced back in 2020.

Standard Features

Overall, the base features of the Ford Explorer vs the Grand Cherokee are similar. Get behind the wheel of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and you won't be disappointed. The base Laredo model has an impressive 6200-pound towing ability and 293 horsepower at 6400 RPM. Other features include cloth seats, traction control, side/front airbags, and hill-start assist.

Meanwhile, the base Explorer model has a towing capacity of just 5300 pounds but a horsepower of 300 at 5500 RPM. The standard Explorer features include cloth seats, a power liftgate, a front airbag, automatic low/high beam headlights, and the Terrain Management system.

Exterior Features

Color Options

The Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer both come with fun color options that expand as you move up trim levels. However, the Grand Cherokee has an overall sleeker look in comparison to the Ford when you consider the Grand Cherokee's available colors with the body’s design. Some trim levels come with a two-tone color scheme, with a black roof adding even more dimension to their final look.


The Ford Explorer may not be as attractive as the Grand Cherokee, but available appearance packages help. The XLT package includes carbonized gray touches, a gloss black cap on mirrors, gray paint detail on each wheel, and skid plate elements. The ST Street pack has 21” aluminum wheels and red-painted brake calipers. The same goes for the ST High-Performance package.

Off-Roading Body Design

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Trailhawk® was designed with a body that can adjust to its conditions with up to 10.9 inches between it and the road. Choose to add Quadra-Lift® suspension to automatically lower your Grand Cherokee’s vehicle height on the highway so passengers can enjoy a smooth ride. Then lift it up when you’re driving through obstacles - easy.

The Ford Explorer Timberline has exterior details that make it good for an adventure: steel skid plates in the vehicle’s front, rear, and underbody, as well as a ground clearance of 8.66 inches off the road and a TORSEN rear axle. The final touch of the Explorer is 18” inch tires.

Interior Features


One major difference between what the Grand Cherokee SUV offers and what the Ford Explorer offers is purely aesthetic. After its complete overhaul in 2022, the Grand Cherokee has one of the boldest looks of its class. Even the base Laredo model has signs of refinement, but the upscale trims - complete with leather upholstery, a heated wood steering wheel, and massaging seats - leave no doubt about their quality.

Compared to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the interior of the Ford Explorer is simple and functional. This is understandable, given its reputation as a sporty and family-friendly vehicle. Available features like comfortable leather seats, ambient lighting, and a twin-powered moonroof inside give you options for making the interior of your Explorer more sophisticated.

Seating and Cargo Space

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has two rows of seating, so you won't get the same kind of interior space as compared to a standard Ford Explorer. However, the Grand Cherokee L comes with a third row. You can fit up to 7 passengers, use only the second row down to seat 5, or choose to fold up all the back seats for 84.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

Every Ford Explorer SUV has a third row of power-folding seats that make way for 47.9 cubic feet of storage. Fold down the second row of seats for cargo space of 87.8 cubic feet - In comparison to the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, though, the third row of seating in the Explorer won't be an easy fit for adult passengers.

Safety Features

Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer are vehicles that customers look to for high levels of safety. Recent models from both manufacturers offer similar standard safety features. The Grand Cherokee takes the edge in advanced add-ons, but the Ford Explorer has good options.

Standard Safety Features

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has had numerous cutting-edge safety features for years, but they weren't standard until after 2021. The introduction of the 2022 Grand Cherokee meant that all new vehicles would come with lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automated braking in addition to the previously standard blind spot monitoring feature.

The Explorer offered all of these features on standard models starting back in 2020. The 2020 and 2021 Explorer years received 5-star safety ratings from the NHTSA. If you're looking for a used midsize SUV, you can feel safe in either one of these SUVs

Advanced Safety Features

Higher trim levels of the Jeep Grand Cherokee guarantee an even safer experience compared to the Explorer. Its advanced features are definitely an advantage: night vision using infrared sensors, the drowsy driver alert system, traffic sign recognition, and intersection collision assist.

Ford does not offer all of the advanced safety features as the Grand Cherokee, but the technology inside is nothing to scoff at. Along with its standard safety features, you can opt for the available Active Park Assist 2.0 and the 360-degree camera.


The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a 10.1-inch UConnect® screen. It's easy to connect your phone to the Grand Cherokee sound system using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For even better sound performance, you can upgrade the base stereo to the 19-speaker McIntosh sound system. Other tech features of this midsize SUV include the standard voice recognition system, hands-free phone connection, and the available navigation system.

The Ford Explorer vs the Grand Cherokee is a fair comparison when it comes to tech. The Explorer offers the helpful Ford + Alexa app to connect Androids and iPhones, an available sound system by Band and Olufsen, a navigation system on higher trims, internet availability, and hands-free phone access.

Customer Support

Customers love the Jeep Wave customer support program. Any Grand Cherokee from the model year 2021 or later is part of the program. Perks include 24/7 support from the customer service line as well as your first three oil changes and tire rotations free within 36 months.

In comparison to the Grand Cherokee SUVs, the Ford Explorer SUV doesn't provide easy communication in a customer support package. Ford does offer a rewards system called Ford Pass Rewards to earn points that can be redeemed for discounts at the service center.

Starting Price

The starting price of the Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer varies, but the most recent listings from the manufacturers' websites put the starting price for a base model Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo at just over $41,000 and the base model Ford Explorer starting price at close to $37,000.

You're getting more with the Jeep SUVs, and the price points start to even out once you consider higher-level trims and weigh in the upgrades and packages you want.

Final Verdict of the Ford Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee

The Ford Explorer Is a Better Match If...

If you want a used vehicle that's older, the Ford Explorer has been a reliable, safe, and durable car for years, and it will remain so for years to come. You can't go wrong with this midsize SUV, which comes at a fair price for its three rows and ample space.

The Grand Jeep Cherokee Is a Better Match If...

If you're buying a car that's the model year 2022 or newer, and especially if you want plenty of custom options for a good price. The Grand Cherokee's 2022 fun re-design and updated safety features put it a step above the newer Ford Explorers, and the Grand Cherokee L gives you the three rows of seating that Explorer drivers want.

Whatever you need in a vehicle, our helpful team at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram will get you on the road in your new vehicle. Give us a call at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram with any questions or to get behind the wheel for a test drive: 816-836-0100. You can also find more information about car financing and available stock on our website.

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