The Jeep Grand Cherokee Gets More Love Than the Dodge Durango – But Why?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango are corporate cousins. Both of these midsize SUVs are under the FCA Group and share the same platform. They offer similar performance options and cabin comforts. But why does the Grand Cherokee get more love than the Durango?

The Grand Cherokee is a clear favorite over the Durango on the streets 

Powering the 2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine delivering 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk | Fiat Chrysler Automotive

I love road-tripping and have been fortunate enough to make some cool cross-country trips. No matter the city, it seems like the Grand Cherokee is one of the popular cars on the road. This isn’t a striking observation, given that this Jeep has been one of the best-selling SUVs for many years. The Durango, not so much. 

According to GoodCarBadCar, Jeep has sold 152,856 Grand Cherokee models year-to-date. During the same period, Dodge has sold 45,456 Durango units. The disparity between two models as similar as these is remarkable. 

2020 Dodge Durango SRT
2020 Dodge Durango SRT | Dodge

Perception has a lot to do with the popularity of the Grand Cherokee, especially compared to the Durango. The Grand Cherokee boasts contemporary and rugged looks, so it attracts more buyers with different tastes. Conversely, the Durango’s appearance is heftier and more polarizing.

Both SUVs are impressive performers 

The Jeep Grand Cherokee
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit | FCA

The Grand Cherokee and the Durango both return for 2021 with standard 3.6-liter V6 engines. They also come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Cherokee’s standard V6 produces 295-hp; the Durango’s generates either 293-hp or 295-hp. 

As Consumer Reports highlights, one of the best aspects of the Grand Cherokee is its refined ride quality, making it feel like a true luxury car. What makes this Jeep even more of a standout is its capabilities on- and off-road. Similarly, CR also recognizes the Durango for its driving composure and its abilities as a modern work-horse.

A gray-and-black 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat on a racetrack
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat front | Dodge

 CR actually gave the Durango a slightly higher road test score than the Grand Cherokee. The org appreciated the Dodge’s sports agility and didn’t list this as a significant focal point of the Jeep. And while both SUVs offer powerful engine options, the Durango has a few more. 

Durango SRT models can tow up to 8,700 pounds; a V8-powered Grand Cherokee can haul up to 7,400 pounds. However, the Grand Cherokee has the advantage of serious off-roading. The Durango isn’t ideal for intense off-road excursions. 

However, the Grand Cherokee is more reliable than the Durango 

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk | Jeep

The Grand Cherokee has a clear advantage over the Durango when it comes to predicted reliability. CR gave the 2021 Grand Cherokee an average score for reliability based on its vehicle testing and owner data. Oppositely, CR gave the Durango its worst possible score for dependability- a one out of five. 

Is it a bad idea to get the Durango over the Grand Cherokee?

A silver and black 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat driving away from the camera on a dirt road
The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat in action | Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

3 SUVs as Capable as a Pickup Truck

The Grand Cherokee is more well-rounded than the Durango, and that’s why it has achieved more success. Still, the Durango has a few advantages. The Durango is available with a third-row that allows it to seat up to seven people; the Grand Cherokee can only carry five. And if towing is a top priority for you, the Durango wins out. Before you make a move with either the Grand Cherokee or the Durango, it’s important to explore their warranty coverage, especially since they don’t have the strongest reliability ratings.