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Jeep Cherokee vs Grand Cherokee: Which Jeep Is Right for You?

Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

In the Jeep family of sport utilities, the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee are often seen side-by-side as options for buyers looking for rugged family vehicles.

The two share a name and some commonality in design and parts but are very different in other regards. Most notably in size, performance, and price tag.

Both vehicles underwent some changes for the newest generation and are better for it.

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Jeep Cherokee vs. Grand Cherokee Comparison

Cherokee2020 Jeep CherokeeGrand Cherokee2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Starting MSRP
$26,535
$34,200
Horsepower
180 to 271 HP
295 to 707 HP
Max Towing
2,000 lbs
7,200 lbs
Seating
5
7
City / Hwy MPG
22 / 31 MPG
19 / 26 MPG

Trim Comparison

jeep-grand-cherokee-trim-pointThe Jeep Cherokee has five trim levels, starting with the Lattitude, Latitude Plus, Latitude Lux, the Trailhawk, and the Limited. These trims start with the base 2.4-liter engine and its nine-speed automatic transmission. In addition, 17-inch alloy wheels, split-fold rear seating, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, and an option for four-wheel drive (front-wheel drive is standard) are included. Standard safety equipment is also plentiful, including technologies such as blind-spot monitoring, forward collision mitigation, and lane-keeping assistance. Each of the other two Latitude models adds more equipment and technology, including an option for a 271-horsepower V6 engine. The Trailhawk uses that V6 exclusively, and the Limited model has the V6 as standard with an option for a high-output turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee begins with a Laredo model, then goes through the Limited, Trialhawk, Overland, Summit, and the sport-centric SRT and Trackhawk editions. Rear-wheel drive is standard in most models, with four-wheel drive an option. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 with several trims having an option for a 5.7-liter V8. The SRT has a 6.4-liter V8 that outputs 470 horsepower, and the Trackhawk has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that outputs 707 screaming horses. Safety technologies are similar to the Cherokee model, with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, forward collision warning, and a 7-inch touchscreen.

The Tale of the Tape

jeep-cherokee-the-tale-of-the-tapeWhere the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee differ the most is in size. The Grand Cherokee is a much larger SUV at 191.3 inches compared to the Cherokee’s 182 inches. The extra length for the Grand Cherokee adds a third row of seating, but that seating actually reduces overall passenger space to 105 cubic feet compared to the two-row Cherokee’s 128 cubic feet.

Cargo space is also very different, with the Cherokee having 54.7 cubic feet of space at maximum and the Grand Cherokee having 68.3 cubic feet in all.

Performance & Economy

jeep-grand-cherokee-performance-and-economyThe base 2.4-liter engine in the Jeep Cherokee is a good choice for fuel economy, but most might find themselves happier with the stronger 3.2-liter V6 or turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The 180-horsepower 2.4 offers good everyday driving, but confidence is found in the 271-horsepower V6 and the 270-HP turbo-four. The latter two engines can be found in the Latitude Lux or Limited models, while the Trailhawk has only the V6.

In the Grand Cherokee, the 3.6-liter V6 at 295 horsepower is the base option, and it does well getting the Jeep around as a daily. The 5.7-liter V8 is more robust, however, with better confidence in its pull. The sport model SRT edition has a 6.4-liter V8 that growls nicely, and the Trackhawk edition punches with its 6.2-liter supercharged powerhouse. These latter two are special setups for the Grand Cherokee that may not appeal to everyone.

In best-case scenarios, the Jeep Cherokee clearly bests the larger and heavier Grand Cherokee for fuel economy. As engine sizes increase, the V6 in the Cherokee is still far more MPG efficient than is the V6 or V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

Exterior & Interior Design

jeep-cherokee-exterior-and-interior-designThe Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Grand Cherokee both underwent redesigns recently, with the Grand Cherokee seeing a full redesign for 2021 and the Cherokee seeing a facelift in 2020. Both have similar exterior appeal, with squared bodywork, sharp lines, and tall ground clearance. Carrying the Jeep name, both the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee must keep with the iconic marque’s off-road expectations, and both have the ability to deliver when packaged with 4x4 options.

Inside, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is more upscale and family-friendly than the Cherokee, but the comparison should be couched because compared to its rivals, the Cherokee is very upscale on its own. The Grand Cherokee is a more luxurious vehicle in its interior design and options, but both are very comfortable daily drives and family machines.

Price & Value

jeep-cherokee-price-and-valueBoth Jeep models are priced well, with their prices being commensurate with their size and capability.

The Cherokee is smaller, seats fewer passengers, and has smaller engine options, while the Grand Cherokee is larger, seating more passengers and has larger engine options.

In terms of value, both are equal in terms of money spent for what is received.

 

Current Jeep Cherokee Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021JeepCherokee$1,750 2.83%$229/month for 36 months, $3,799 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Jeep deals and average prices paid.

Current Jeep Grand Cherokee Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021JeepGrand Cherokee$3,500 0.00%$249/month for 42 months, $3,999 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Jeep deals and average prices paid.

Which Is Better, the Jeep Cherokee or Grand Cherokee?

This question is best answered by knowing what is required of the vehicle.

If carrying three or four passengers is all that’s required, the Jeep Cherokee is a great choice at a lower price point.

If carrying more passengers, more cargo, or having robust sports models is important, then the Grand Cherokee is the choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is better for off-roading, the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee?

Both the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, in their off-road variants, are excellent off-pavement machines. However, the Cherokee has slightly more capability in some situations due to its shorter wheelbase, whereas the Grand Cherokee has more in other situations thanks to its bigger engine options.

Which is better in bad weather, the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee?

The Jeep Cherokee is the better all-weather driver when compared to the Grand Cherokee. This comes down to both size/bulk and drivetrain. The Cherokee is inherently front-wheel drive, so whether FWD or 4WD is available, it trends towards better traction for that front-wheel bias. The Grand Cherokee is rear-wheel drive by default and biases that way in handling.

Which is bigger, the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee?

Where the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee differ the most is in size. The Grand Cherokee is a much larger SUV at 191.3 inches compared to the Cherokee’s 182 inches. The extra length for the Grand Cherokee adds a third row of seating, but that seating actually reduces overall passenger space to 105 cubic feet compared to the two-row Cherokee’s 128 cubic feet.

Which has better fuel economy, the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee?

In best-case scenarios, the Jeep Cherokee clearly bests the larger and heavier Grand Cherokee for fuel economy. As engine sizes increase, the V6 in the Cherokee is still far more MPG efficient than is the V6 or V8 in the Grand Cherokee.