Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee VS 2016 Ford Explorer Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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VS

2016 Ford Explorer

Safety Comparison

The Grand Cherokee has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Explorer doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Grand Cherokee (except Laredo) offers optional Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Explorer offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the Grand Cherokee and the Explorer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 Ford Explorer:

Grand Cherokee

Explorer

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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 Ford Explorer:

Grand Cherokee

Explorer

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

59

73

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

121

144

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

36 G’s

Hip Force

612 lbs.

713 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

407

Spine Acceleration

28 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

609 lbs.

909 lbs.

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

Engine Comparison

The Grand Cherokee has more powerful engines than the Explorer:

Horsepower

Torque

Grand Cherokee 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Grand Cherokee 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

280 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

The Grand Cherokee’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 310) than the Explorer’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. The Grand Cherokee’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 165 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 255) than the Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Grand Cherokee’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 350) than the Explorer Sport/Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 is faster than the Ford Explorer turbo 4 cyl.:

Grand Cherokee

Explorer

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.4 MPH

84.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Grand Cherokee Diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Explorer 4 cyl.:

Grand Cherokee

Explorer

2WD

Auto

22 city/30 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

AWD

Auto

21 city/28 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the Grand Cherokee gets better fuel mileage than the Explorer:

Grand Cherokee

Explorer

2WD

V6/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

17 city/24 hwy

4WD

V6/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Grand Cherokee V6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Explorer doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Jeep Grand Cherokee uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The Explorer Sport/Platinum requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The Grand Cherokee has 6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer (24.6 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Grand Cherokee stops shorter than the Explorer:

Grand Cherokee

Explorer

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Grand Cherokee’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Explorer (265/50R20 vs. 255/50R20).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 Explorer doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Grand Cherokee’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Explorer (114.8 inches vs. 112.8 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Grand Cherokee’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Explorer Base/XLT/Limited’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.9 feet). The Grand Cherokee’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Explorer Sport’s (37.1 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Grand Cherokee has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Explorer (8.6 vs. 7.8 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 2.6 inches higher than on the Explorer (10.4 vs. 7.8 inches).

Chassis Comparison

The Grand Cherokee is 8.5 inches shorter than the Explorer, making the Grand Cherokee easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Grand Cherokee Summit uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Explorer doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Explorer does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 Explorer’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

The Grand Cherokee has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Explorer doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Summit has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Explorer doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Grand Cherokee Summit has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Explorer doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Grand Cherokee’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum.

When the Grand Cherokee Limited/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 Explorer’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 costs extra on the Explorer and isn’t available on the Explorer Base.

The Grand Cherokee’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Explorer Base doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Recommendations Comparison

The Jeep Grand Cherokee won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

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