• Comparisons

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2018 Ford Explorer

By Autolist Staff | September 14, 2018

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2018 Ford Explorer

Automotive Website Analyzed


79%

Really Good

You should buy it

91%

The Best

You should buy it

Our User's Take

What owners think


100%

Would Buy Again

1 Ratings

-%

Would Buy Again

- Ratings

What’s better about the Jeep?

V8 and diesel. The Jeep and the Ford both offer base V6 engines with about the same amount of power. From there, the Explorer offers two optional turbocharged engines: a four-cylinder unit and a turbo V6. Both are highly-rated engines but Jeep has more choices: a diesel option and several V8 options that pack high horsepower.

Better towing abilities. Not only does its base V6 tow more than the Ford’s base V6, but the towing abilities on the Grand Cherokee’s optional engines only go up from there. That’s important for people looking to regularly haul large boats, RVs or trailers.

More refinement. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a platform that was co-developed with Mercedes-Benz and its upscale ride quality shows this. While the Explorer can feel common and utilitarian, the Jeep feels like a higher class of SUV.

What’s better about the Explorer?

Three rows of seats. Shoppers who know they’ll pull carpool duty to practice should note that while the Explorer offers seating for up to seven people thanks to a third row of seats, the Grand Cherokee does not.

More space. The Explorer is almost nine inches longer than the Grand Cherokee and this larger footprint buys you considerably more space inside. Not only does the Explorer have a third row of seats, but it also has more passenger space and cargo space than the Grand Cherokee.

More reliable. Consumer Reports found the 2018 Explorer to have a reliability advantage over the Jeep Grand Cherokee. We’re not surprised; Jeep products and those by sister companies like Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram all rank below the industry average for reliability. This gives the Ford Explorer a distinct advantage.

Autolist’s take:

This is a tough one. The Explorer is better for buyers who need a lot of space, particularly three rows of seats for carpooling or plenty of cargo room. Meanwhile the Jeep is the better choice for those who will be towing large loads. But what if you’re not in either of those camps and you’re just looking for a large crossover for everyday use? While the Ford Explorer has a nice range of optional turbocharged engines and better reliability, we’re smitten with the refinement, style and build quality of the Jeep so we say Buy the Jeep.

Cost of Ownership

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2018 Ford Explorer

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,471
15k miles at $2.451/gal
$1,651
15k miles at $2.421/gal
Fuel Economy

22 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
19 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
30 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
27 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2018 Ford Explorer

NHTSA Crash Test Results

4 stars
Overall
5 stars
Overall
Safety Features

-
Autonomous Braking
-
Autonomous Braking
Available
Blind-Spot Warnings
Available
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
-
Lane-Keep Assist
Available
Lane-Keep Assist
Available
Cross-Traffic Alert
Available
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2018 Ford Explorer

Interior Features

Available
Leather
Available
Leather
Available
Moonroof
Available
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Available
Heated Seats
-
Keyless Entry
-
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Available
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Available
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Available
Android Auto
Available
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Available
Navigation System
Available
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2018 Ford Explorer

Powertrain

8-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Transmission
6-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Transmission
4X2
Drivetrain
FWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

241 HP @ 4000 RPM
Horsepower
290 HP @ 6500 RPM
Horsepower
406lb-ft @ 1800 RPM
Torque
255lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
Torque
V6
Cylinders
V6
Cylinders