North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 Jeep Grand Near Calhoun, GA

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2017 Ford Explorer

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2017 Jeep Grand

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Explorer and the Grand Cherokee 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Ford Explorer is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:



Grand Cherokee


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

159 G’s

182 G’s

Hip Force

214 lbs.

215 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

17 inches

18 inches

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

Warranty Comparison

There are over 38 percent more Ford dealers than there are Jeep dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Explorer have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

The Explorer has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Explorer’s reliability will be 76% better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee and 142% better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Grand Cherokee:




Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

280 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Grand Cherokee 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Grand Cherokee 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer Sport/Platinum 4WD turbo V6 gets better city fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee 4x4 V8 (16 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Grand Cherokee V6

Grand Cherokee V8/Diesel

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Grand Cherokee V6 are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:



Grand Cherokee


70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Explorer Base/XLT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer Base/XLT has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Grand Cherokee Laredo.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Grand Cherokee.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (27.7 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Explorer uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Explorer Sport 4WD is quieter than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (37 vs. 45 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Grand Cherokee can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 46.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Grand Cherokee (151.5 vs. 105.4).

The Explorer has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the Grand Cherokee.



Grand Cherokee

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


36.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

68.3 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Explorer easier. The Explorer’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.1 inches, while the Grand Cherokee’s liftover is 32.4 inches.

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the Grand Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:



Grand Cherokee

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width






Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Explorer Sport/Platinum’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Explorer’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

On a hot day the Explorer’s driver can lower the front windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Grand Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum’s exterior keypad. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its extra cost Uconnect Access can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Grand Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Standard SYNC AppLink for the Explorer allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because typical repairs cost less on the Explorer than the Grand Cherokee, including $68 less for front brake pads and $40 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Jeep Grand Cherokee by 19% during the 2016 model year.

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