Trucks & SUVs

The Ford Explorer Can’t Touch the Jeep Cherokee

The Ford Explorer tried to play ball with the Jeep Cherokee but had a swing and a miss. Despite getting a hot new look, the Explorer failed to outsell the 2020 Jeep Cherokee. Let’s check out what advantages the Cherokee has. 

The 2020 Ford Explorer vs. the 2020 Jeep Cherokee 

According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee sold more units than the 2020 Ford Explorer. This is provided on their list of the top 25 best-selling vehicles in 2019. The Ford Explorer sold 168,309 units and had an 18-percent drop in sales from 2018. 

2021 Jeep® Cherokee Limited driving down a sunlit roadway
2021 Jeep® Cherokee Limited | Jeep

Despite being recently remodeled, the Explorer faced production issues that may be to blame. Also, the Toyota Highlander scooted on past the Explorer to become the best-selling three-row SUV in 2019. 

The Jeep Cherokee sold 191,397 units, and its numbers were down about 20-percent compared to 2018. Also, because the Highlander has skin in the game, it sold 239,438 units. The Ford F-150 was the best-selling vehicle on the list, with 896,526 units sold. 

Jeep Cherokee and Ford Explorer performance 

Now the Ford Explorer has three rows the Jeep Cherokee only has two. So, if you need more seats, then the Explorer is the winner here. Or you can check out the popular 2020 Toyota Highlander with its tiny third row. 

The 2020 Jeep Cherokee has an MSRP of about $25,840, and the 2020 Explorer starts at around $32,765. So, if you do need that extra row of seats, it’s a pretty expensive upgrade. Also, if you don’t need it, then the Explorer still costs about $6,925 before dealership fees have been added. 

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With the Cherokee, you get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine with 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. But you can upgrade to the 3.2-liter V6 engine for 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the Cherokee can tow up to 2,000 lb. 

The base engine in the 2020 Ford Explorer is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder option with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine for 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Also, the Explorer can tow up to 5,600 lb when properly equipped. So, the Explorer offers more muscle if needed. 

2020 Explorer and 2020 Cherokee features 

According to Auto Trader, the Ford Explorer is 17-inches longer and a little wider than the Jeep Cherokee. This is great if you need more exterior space. However, the Explorer may be a little more difficult to maneuver in tight areas. 

The Cherokee has a more rugged design for adventuring, but the Explorer is a little sleeker and refined to promote family road trips. However, the Explorer is described as bland as it lacks a modern feel. 

A silver 2021 Ford Explorer with a bag mounted on its roof rack driving down a dirt road
The 2021 Ford Explorer in action | Ford

Because the 2020 Cherokee is the off-roader, it may have a bumpier ride than the Ford Explorer. However, it is the more capable option for tackling challenging terrain. The 2020 Explorer may be the more comfortable commuting option, though. 

Both SUVs have larger touchscreen infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the Explorer includes more standard safety features like forward collision warning, which are optional with the Cherokee.