2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee: SUV Showdown!

Two popular choices for the midsize SUV segment are the 2023 Ford Explorer and the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Find out the strengths that they have in various areas in this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee comparison.

2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What are the differences?

Rapid Red 2023 Ford Explorer midsize SUV driving over a bridge
Rapid Red 2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

In this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee midsize SUV comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and price.

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Performance and gas mileage

Front angle view of Velvet Red 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee midsize SUV
Velvet Red 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

On the performance front, the 2023 Ford Explorer outmuscles the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a higher base engine horsepower and maximum horsepower output. Engine options for the Explorer include a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 (300 horsepower), a 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid (318 horsepower), and a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 (365 horsepower). The Explorer also offers a second variant of the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the high-performance ST model (400 horsepower). 

In comparison, engine options for the Grand Cherokee include a 3.6-liter V-6 (293 horsepower), a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 (357 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid with the 4xe model (375 horsepower). 

For efficiency, the fully gas-powered Explorer has an estimated gas mileage of up to 24 combined mpg, while the Explorer Hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 27 combined mpg. In comparison, the gas-powered Grand Cherokee has an estimated gas mileage of up to 22 combined mpg, while the Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 56 combined MPGe in electric mode and 23 combined mpg in hybrid mode. 

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Towing

The 2023 Grand Cherokee can tow more than the 2023 Explorer. It has a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds, compared to 5,600 pounds for the Explorer.

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Off-road capabilities

For off-road capabilities, the Grand Cherokee has the advantage. Both SUVs offer traction-enhancing all-wheel drive systems. However, for effective and safe driving over rugged terrain, the Grand Cherokee has higher ground clearance than the Explorer (up to 11.3 vs. 8.7 inches). Also, while Explorer offers the rugged Timberline trim, it doesn’t match the off-road capabilities of Grand Cherokee Trailhawk trim.

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Safety

The Explorer is a safer SUV than the Grand Cherokee. For the previous model year, the Explorer earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. However, the Grand Cherokee didn’t receive any safety award from IIHS.

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Passenger and cargo space

Which midsize SUV is bigger: the 2023 Explorer or the 2023 Grand Cherokee? The Explorer has a total passenger volume of 152.7 cu-ft, compared to 152 cu-ft for the three-row Grand Cherokee L model and 144.6 cu-ft for the two-row model. Also, the Explorer can seat up to seven passengers, compared to six for the three-row Grand Cherokee and five for the two-row version.

Additionally, the Explorer provides slightly more space for storage. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 87.8 cu-ft, compared to 84.6 cu-ft for the Grand Cherokee.

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Warranty coverage

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For warranty coverage, both the Explorer and Grand Cherokee have a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, unlike the Explorer, the Grand Cherokee offers a free maintenance plan, with three years or 36,000 miles of coverage.

Explorer vs. Grand Cherokee: Price

Which midsize SUV costs more: the 2023 Explorer or the 2023 Grand Cherokee? The starting price of the 2023 Explorer ranges from $36,760 MSRP for the Base trim up to $54,130 MSRP for the King Ranch trim. 

In comparison, the starting price of the fully gas-powered 2023 Grand Cherokee ranges from $39,000 MSRP for the Laredo trim up to $61,675 MSRP for the Grand Cherokee L Summit trim. As of this writing, the cost information is not yet available for the Grand Cherokee 4xe model. However, for the previous model year, the starting price of the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe ranges from $58,465 MSRP for the Base trim up to $71,195 MSRP for the Summit trim. 

2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Which midsize SUV is better?

In this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee comparison, each midsize SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 Explorer, advantages include performance, gas-engine fuel economy, safety, passenger and cargo space, and a lower price. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Grand Cherokee include hybrid gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, and a free maintenance plan.

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