Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee VS 2012 Toyota Rav4 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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VS

2012 Toyota Rav4

Safety Comparison

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The Grand Cherokee (except Laredo) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Rav4 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Grand Cherokee (except Laredo)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Grand Cherokee (except Laredo)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the Grand Cherokee’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Rav4 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Grand Cherokee and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee weighs 933 to 2073 pounds more than the Toyota Rav4. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is safer than the Toyota Rav4:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

102

274

Neck Injury Risk

20%

36%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

306 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

563/457 lbs.

681/931 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

295

611

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk

24%

46%

Neck Stress

93 lbs.

199 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is safer than the Toyota Rav4:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

182 G’s

243 G’s

Hip Force

215 lbs.

455 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

121

277

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

75 G’s

Hip Force

612 lbs.

1153 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

182

618

Spine Acceleration

28 G’s

78 G’s

Hip Force

609 lbs.

1102 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Grand Cherokee earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Grand Cherokee’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Rav4 was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Grand Cherokee is safer then the Rav4:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance Below Top of Head

18 mm

42 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

MARGINAL

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Neck Force Rating

Low

Medium

Max Neck Tension

342

766

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Grand Cherokee as a “Top Pick” for 2012, a rating only granted to 137 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Rav4 was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

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Jeep’s powertrain warranty covers the Grand Cherokee 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Grand Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Grand Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Grand Cherokee optional and 220 optional). The Rav4’s standard 100-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

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The Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 111 more horsepower (290 vs. 179) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Grand Cherokee’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 21 more horsepower (290 vs. 269) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 246) than the Rav4’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6. The Grand Cherokee’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 91 more horsepower (360 vs. 269) and 144 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 246) than the Rav4’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 is faster than the Toyota Rav4 4 cyl.:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

Zero to 60 MPH

9.1 sec

10 sec

Quarter Mile

17 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.3 MPH

81.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Grand Cherokee V8’s fuel efficiency. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Grand Cherokee has 8.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 (24.6 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Grand Cherokee’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

Rav4 7-Passenger/V6

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

10.8 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

The Grand Cherokee’s brakes have 35% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Rav4 with its standard brakes (539 vs. 398.7 square inches), so the Grand Cherokee has more braking power available. The Grand Cherokee’s brakes have 26% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Rav4 7-Passenger/V6 (539 vs. 429.4 square inches).

The Grand Cherokee’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Rav4 are solid, not vented.

The Grand Cherokee stops shorter than the Rav4:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Grand Cherokee has larger standard tires than the Rav4 (245/70R17 vs. 215/70R16). The Grand Cherokee’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 (265/50R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The Grand Cherokee’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 Sport’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Grand Cherokee Laredo has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Rav4. The Grand Cherokee’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Rav4 Sport.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Grand Cherokee has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Grand Cherokee offers an optional automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Grand Cherokee’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Grand Cherokee’s wheelbase is 10.1 inches longer than on the Rav4 (114.8 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Grand Cherokee is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Rav4.

The Grand Cherokee’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the Rav4’s (57.4% to 42.6%). This gives the Grand Cherokee more stable handling and braking.

The Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the Rav4 pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Rav4 (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 30 seconds @ .52 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Grand Cherokee has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Rav4 (8.6 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Grand Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Grand Cherokee Quadra-Lift’s minimum ground clearance is 3.1 inches higher than on the Rav4 (10.6 vs. 7.5 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 is quieter than the Rav4 Limited 4WD:

Grand Cherokee

Rav4

Full-Throttle

72 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Grand Cherokee has 3.2 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear legroom, 3.8 inches more rear hip room and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Grand Cherokee has a much larger cargo area than the Rav4 with its rear seat up (35.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

The Grand Cherokee’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

The Grand Cherokee’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Rav4’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the Grand Cherokee (except Laredo) offers an optional power rear liftgate, which opens and closes completely automatically by pressing a button on the key fob. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a power right swing out.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The engine computer on the Grand Cherokee automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Rav4’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

When two different drivers share the Grand Cherokee Limited/Overland/Overland Summit, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster), outside mirror angle and radio stations. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Grand Cherokee Limited/Overland’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Grand Cherokee’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge –, which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Rav4 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Grand Cherokee and the Rav4 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Grand Cherokee is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rav4 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Grand Cherokee’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Rav4’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

On a hot day the Grand Cherokee’s driver can lower the front windows using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Rav4 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Rav4’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Grand Cherokee’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Grand Cherokee Limited/Overland/Overland Summit’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rav4’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Grand Cherokee Overland Summit has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Rav4 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Grand Cherokee has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Rav4 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Grand Cherokee Limited/Overland/Overland Summit detect other vehicles, which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Rav4 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Grand Cherokee’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Rav4 and aren’t offered on the Rav4 Base.

The Grand Cherokee’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

When the Grand Cherokee Limited/Overland/Overland Summit is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Rav4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Grand Cherokee offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors, which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Rav4 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Grand Cherokee and the Rav4 offer available heated front seats. The Grand Cherokee Limited/Overland/Overland Summit also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Rav4.

The Grand Cherokee (except Laredo)’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Rav4 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Grand Cherokee has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Rav4 Limited.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Grand Cherokee has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Grand Cherokee (except Laredo) offers an optional Adaptive Speed Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

With optional voice command, the Grand Cherokee offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Grand Cherokee owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Grand Cherokee will cost $250 less than the Rav4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Grand Cherokee is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because typical repairs cost much less on the Grand Cherokee than the Rav4, including $15 less for a water pump, $473 less for an alternator, $195 less for a starter, $80 less for fuel injection, $24 less for a fuel pump, $18 less for front struts and $660 less for a timing belt/chain.

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