If you’ve got your heart set on getting a Jeep Cherokee to go off-roading in, you may find yourself torn between the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. The most obvious difference between the two is the price, but there are a few other differences that might have you on the fence. U.S. News broke down what separates these two great vehicles.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a great SUV
The one major difference between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Cherokee is the size. The Grand Cherokee is classified as a midsize SUV, so if you have a growing family, then you’ll probably appreciate the extra room. The 2020 model can only sit up to five, but rumor has it that the 2022 model will be a three-row SUV.
The standard V6 engine isn’t anything to brag about. It only produces 295 hp, which will definitely get you moving, but you won’t win any races unless you upgrade to the V8 engine.
The fuel mileage is poor, however. It only gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
You’ll have a decent amount of space in the Grand Cherokee, although it won’t be winning any awards for its cargo space anytime soon. According to U.S. News, it has 36.3 cubic feet of space in the trunk, and up to a max of 68.3 cubes when you fold down the second row.
The seats are very comfortable in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and all the trim levels except for the base offer power-adjustable, heated front seats standard. The infotainment system is also rather nice. It comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen and smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and two USB ports.
The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at $32,150. That’s not exactly great, but that’s average for most midsize SUVs.
What’s the deal with the Jeep Cherokee?
The Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV, that starts at $25,840. It’s growing on critics, who believe it is turning into a premium crossover SUV.
U.S. News was less than impressed with the Cherokee’s engine, however, and stated,
“In the 2020 Jeep Cherokee, you’ll find a wimpy 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine that we recommend skipping over due to its underwhelming power. Other choices for the Cherokee include a 270-hp turbo-four and 271-horsepower V6 engines, which do offer more expeditious acceleration.”
The fuel economy makes up for this, but only just barely. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
The 2020 Jeep Cherokee doesn’t have a lot of space, but Jeep found a rather clever way to increase it. There is 25.8 cubic feet of space in the trunk. This can be increased to 27.6 by lowering the cargo floor. You can then double that space by folding down the second-row seats. That gives you a total of 54.7 cubic feet, according to U.S. News.
The seats are comfortable enough in the front, but the back is definitely not suitable for adults. There is a noticeable lack of both leg room and headroom.
Like the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee comes with a 7-inch touch screen and smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Unlike the Grand Cherokee, there is no Bluetooth or USB ports, unless you are willing to upgrade.
Which Jeep SUV should you buy?
This essentially boils down to what your specific needs are. If you are looking to save money both at the pump and at the bank when you get a car loan, then the Jeep Cherokee is the obvious pick.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a better driving experience and more space, then the Jeep Grand Cherokee is for you. It has a total of 13.6 more cubic feet of total cargo space than its smaller sibling, which can make all the difference in the world for some people.