The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2020 Subaru Ascent are among the best-rated midsize SUVs of the year. The Grand Cherokee continues to shine for its off-road capability and versatility; the relatively new Ascent boasts adventure and comfort. Both of these SUVs have unique attributes, but there are few reasons why you might want to get the Grand Cherokee over the Ascent.
The Grand Cherokee offers more power
Jeep’s Grand Cherokee is an unusual SUV but in a good way. The Grand Cherokee is incredibly unique because of its variety of engine choices. Many of the Grand Cherokee’s competitors feature a standard four-cylinder engine, and some might have a V6 available as an option. The Ascent isn’t one of them, though. This Subie has only one powertrain, and that’s a turbocharged 260-hp,2.4-liter four-cylinder linked to a continuously variable automatic.
On the other hand, the Grand Cherokee comes with a 295-hp 3.6-liter V6. Most drivers will be happy with the base engine, which offers sufficient power and is pretty quick off the line. There are also three available engines for you to choose from: a 360-hp 5.7-liter V8, a 475-hp 6.4-liter V8, and a 707-hp 6.4-liter V8. Each engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Grand Cherokee’s extra power offerings make an excellent choice for heavier duty towing. Its base engine has a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds. The V8 models can tow 7,400 pounds with rear-wheel-drive or 7,400 pounds with four-wheel-drive as Consumer Reports highlights. Comparatively, the Ascent can only haul up to 5,000 pounds.
The Grand Cherokee is an exceptional off-road vehicle
Not only is the Grand Cherokee an excellent vehicle on paved roads, it’s an exceptional off-roader too. As you climb trim levels, you’ll see that this Jeep is both luxury and adventure-focused. Subaru’s Ascent is also capable of off-roading excursions, but only for mild ones.
Consumer Reports especially recognizes the Grand Cherokee for its programmable drive modes designed to maneuver rock, sand, and snow. There are also a variety of off-road packages available. “Trail Rated” models will have more extreme off-road equipment.
As CR notes, the Grand Cherokee’s ground clearance isn’t the most remarkable. However, there is an available air suspension that can raise the SUV. Other upgrades include underbody skid plates and an electronic limited-slip differential as part of the Quadra-Drive II 4WD system.
It has an award-winning tech too
Both the Ascent and Grand Cherokee offer a long list of modern tech features. The Ascent and Grand Cherokee have straightforward infotainment systems, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But what set’s the Grand Cherokee apart here is that Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system is award-winning.
Critics, including Consumer Reports, U.S. News, and Kelly Blue Book, praise Jeep’s Uconnect system because of its sharp graphics and easy-to-use controls. Additionally, you can upgrade your Grand Cherokee with navigation and an Alpine premium audio system. This Jeep also comes with a few active safety features, including blind-spot monitoring.