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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sterling Edition vs. Limited

1. Exterior Features

Both of these models are closely related in multiple ways to the last comparison and body design is one of them. The Sterling Edition and Limited both share the same body design as the Overland model and even some other models. All three are equipped with the same grille, headlights, tail lights, bumper design, and 20-inch wheels. The only difference is a slight skin variation on the side that can only be explained as a decal delete on the models between the doors and the wheel wells, and the Overland and Sterling have more color-matched body cladding and such. This is relevant to this category because the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee have always been popular models to add aftermarket parts and create custom designs. Although both of these models are cheaper than the Overland, if what someone wants to build is an off-road vehicle, purchasing a Sterling Edition or a newer Limited than an Overland would be cheaper in the long run than continuing to do the same thing on older models of Grand Cherokees. This category is debatable between good or bad, but for the purpose of coming from an owner of an XJ that loses trim faster than I can buy clips, this category gets a very fitting thumbs up. No pictures for this one, between you and me an XJ owner and anyone shopping for an XJ before a crate gets rolled out, just remember decals and cladding are supposed to stay on the vehicle. And off-road guys don't want the trim falling off to be their excuse to start buying another project.

1.1. Body Design

Both the 2018 Sterling Edition and the 2018 Limited have stunning body designs that shout "Jeep". They both have bright roof rails, a rear fascia with step pad, and premium LED fog lamps. These features make both models look sharp and show off a sense of high class. The rear designs, however, differ. The Sterling edition has a single exhaust that comes with a tip that is a color match with the lower fascia, whereas the Limited has a dual rear exhaust with chrome tips. The Limited rear end looks slightly more aggressive with the dual exhaust and chrome tip, but I personally think the Sterling rear end looks cleaner and more uniform. One of the main body design differences between the two models is the Sterling edition's two-tone exterior paint. This type of paint is rarely seen on modern vehicles and is a great way for Jeep to show off their classy yet rugged image. The Sterling edition has a choice of three colors with a black roof, whereas the Limited only offers one color with a matching roof. This does affect the availability for people to attain a Sterling edition, as the two-tone paint job can be less appealing to some consumers. To add onto the Sterling's image of high class, it also has platinum side molding and Sterling edition badging, a small touch that suits the overall image of the vehicle. A very big feature on both vehicles are the Sterling and Limited badges. These are a mark of limited availability or a high level of quality and are something that will entice people to buy these models. The Sterling edition has a unique badge with an anvil color and high gloss grey and silver accents, as opposed to the Limited badge which is a more simple and modest chrome look. Coming from this, it is quite clear that both of these models have a very sophisticated yet rugged appearance, and the differences in body design cater to a wide range of tastes in appearance.

1.2. Wheel Options

The 20" wheels that are now standard on Sterling Edition have two versions, one for 2016 and one for 2017/2018. In the 2016 edition, it was initially planned to offer Exclusive Vapor Chrome 20" wheels that are standard on Overland and Summit trims. During production of the 2016 Sterling Edition, a material shortage of Exclusive wheels meant that an equivalent VIII wheel had to be installed. This was an unforeseen situation, and to this day, there are new Sterling Editions with the standard and exclusive wheels. Any Sterling Edition should come with 20" wheels, and a representative should be able to search for the vehicle by VIN to check what customer's wheels are. Any VIII wheel should be replaced by an Exclusive wheel due to a recent discovery of defective clear coat.

Size up has not always been a rationale to which characteristics a for mentioned trim levels should provide. In 2013, Limited offered a set of 20" wheels as an additional package with 265/50/20 tires. This is a smaller-sized version of the current Overland/Summit 20" wheels without the noise reduction attribute and Overland/Summit III 20" wheels with 265/50/20 tires, the only difference in these wheels being the capability of utilizing run-flat tire.

Sterling Edition, as a "fashion statement," offers a set of 20" heritage wheels. "Fashion statement" is an adequate name since these wheels, in truth, have poor modern-day attributes, being extremely heavy and having increased tire sidewall height. And while they are a great nod to old Jeep Grand Cherokee wheels, having many spokes, they are quite hard to keep clean.

Base trim levels in question are Sterling Edition and Limited. Initially, we must point out that Sterling Edition is based on the Limited trim prior to 2018 when it has become a standalone trim level. First thing worth mentioning is that Limited trim has not always boasted 18" wheels. In 2011, it became the first trim level to present standardized 18" wheels.

1.3. Front Grille Styling

The Sterling Edition also features a set of 20" Heritage wheels with a bronze finish. These wheels give the vehicle a unique and rugged look, bronze wheels on a dark color always look sharp. The wheels are wrapped with performance all-season tires. Overall, the new design creates a much improved look for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited.

The gloss black look consists of the grille surround, fog bezels, window trim, roof rails, and lift gate strip. The grill surround matches up with the headlight bezels which are different on the new design. The previous design bezels had an angle back towards the fender, the new design has them running straight and connecting with the grille surround. This carries on a similar design to the 75th Anniversary which also features straight bezels and a gloss black grill surround.

2018 Limited Jeeps will replace the boring grill with a new grill that offers a totally different design. The grille is a little bit more aggressive and features a break in the center of the horizontal slats. Below the main opening is a thick horizontal opening, and new headlights match the bottom of the openings. This design is much more dynamic and gives the front end some real character. The new Limited also replaces the chrome grille surround and other bits of chrome around the vehicle with gloss black, this really sets off the front end and creates a menacing look.

2. Interior Features

Both the Limited and Sterling Edition comfortably seat five people, but the seat design is different. The Limited has a standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat whereas the Sterling Edition has a 40/20/40 split seat with a center armrest. So depending on preference with the rear seats, the Sterling Edition might be the option because the 20 section can fold down and still be used, whereas the smaller section of the 60 cannot. This is important to consider because the rear seat heater is actually an available option on the Limited and comes standard with the Sterling Edition. So if you do a lot of hauling passengers, it might be a good idea to get the rear seat heater for the Limited, but the fact that it is standard on the Sterling Edition is also a bonus. Both models have a rear power outlet and a child seat anchor system. The Sterling Edition comes with a cargo compartment cover and the Limited has a standard dual-pane sunroof. Both vehicles have privacy-tinted back windows.

The interior design of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is exceptional. The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited comes with heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The steering wheel and seats are also made with leather. There are also available options such as a sunroof, power liftgate, ventilated leather-trimmed bucket seats, and a soft-touch premium cabin. The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sterling Edition has the exact same standard features as the Limited, but it is the available options that set the two apart. The Sterling Edition comes with standard features from the Limited but also comes with unique perforated leather-trimmed seats with Sepia accent stitching and the élan package. This gives the interior a more elegant and sophisticated look.

2.1. Cabin Design

Leather and wood trim create a luxurious vibe in the Limited's cabin, but the Sterling Edition's stitched leather and natural-finish wood go further in providing an upscale environment. This is furthered by the Sterling Edition's real metal accents and anodized gunmetal finish on the doors and center console. Both the Limited and Sterling Edition utilize leather seating surfaces, but only the Sterling Edition offers Delhi seats with axis perforated suede inserts for an even more premium feel. The Sterling Edition's new Berber floor mats with black and light frost beige accents are more durable and stylish than the Limited's premium floor mats. Both models feature a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a heated steering wheel. The Sterling Edition features a standard CommandView dual-pane sunroof while it is optional on the Limited. An 8.4-inch touchscreen display is standard on both the Limited and Sterling Edition and will be discussed in the following segment, but the Sterling Edition features a platinum chrome bezel for an added touch of style. A 12-volt aux power outlet is vastly more convenient than the Limited's single power outlet, and optional WiFi capability and a premium audio system make for an even better cabin experience. These enhancements leave the Sterling Edition slightly ahead of the Limited in terms of interior features.

2.2. Seat Options

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has some of the best and low maintenance seats around. Heated front and back seats and steering wheel are ideal for cold winter months. The ventilated front seats are perfect for hot summer days, the Limited and higher levels include an adjustable heating feature. This feature is great for preventing burns on sundresses. Another great added feature is the memory system package, it is very convenient for families that switch drivers often. This system will store the radio settings, driver seat, outside mirror, and the adjustable brake and accelerator pedal with the push of a button. This system is more valued than realized during the ever so often "can you change my air and seat" from spouse. Definitely the best of all stored settings is the easy exit recall which will move the seat back until stepping on the brake when the vehicle is started. The Limited models and above also include a power tilt/telescope steering wheel with memory.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with comfortable cloth seats available in black or Moroccan sun colors. The vehicle offers a six-way power adjustable driver's seat and four-way lumbar. The rear seats are also a 60/40 split and are easy to fold to add more cargo space in the back. Upgrading to the Limited or other higher level package offers leather-trimmed bucket seats that come in a variety of colors based on the model. The Limited comes with heated front and back seats, with eight-way power adjustable driver and passenger seats plus four-way lumbar to ensure maximum comfort. The Sterling Edition offers even more luxury with Nappa leather-trimmed bucket seats. Both are comfortable and sophisticated.

2.3. Infotainment System

All 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee models have a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Uconnect, which features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and an auxiliary and USB port. The Sterling Edition and Limited models have a total of 6 speakers and first-row LCD monitors. The main differences involve the availability of certain features. SiriusXM AM/FM/HD/Satellite with seek-scan, single in-dash CD player, etc. In the case of the Sterling Edition, one of the packages installed has a "Radio: Uconnect 3C Nav w/8.4" Display" which is an upgrade from the standard infotainment system and costs $2,000 extra. This updated version of the Uconnect system has a larger 8.4-inch display, GPS navigation system, and is SiriusXM AM/FM/HD/Satellite with seek-scan, single in-dash CD player. The added navigation feature may be more convenient and/or conventional for controlling audio sources, Bluetooth phone compatibility, and the optional rear-seat dual-screen Blu-ray and DVD entertainment system. This Uconnect 3C Nav version helps in providing updates to traffic and weather and also comes with a 5-year trial period for SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Traffic. The Sterling Edition also has the option of installing the "Premium Sound Package" which is about $1,000 extra and has a total of 9 amplified speakers with subwoofer, and a 506-watt amplifier. Alternatively, the Limited has a "Luxury Group II" package which is $4,995 extra, and comes with an updated Uconnect 8.4 NAV system. The differences in audio quality and speaker quantity are not too significant as it costs about $1,000 less to get similar equipment for the Limited. Both the Sterling Edition and Limited offer a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, driver memory settings, and a power lift gate in their most expensive packages.

2.4. Cargo Space

The limited edition has a passenger volume of 105.4 ft3 and while not displaying any official numbers, equal cargo capacity. While these numbers are below those of the 114.8 ft3 passenger volume, 36.3 ft3 cargo volume (84.1 ft3 with rear seats folded) sterling edition, they aren't as low as they seem. Essentially both of these vehicles offer enough space for two parents and up to four kids. The limited edition comes in especially handy if some of those kids are older and considerably larger. The cargo space being just equal means both vehicles should still be able to handle sports equipment or whatever necessary for a family on the go. But while the sterling edition has more cargo space, the limited edition has helpful under storage in the load floor. This storage comes in handy as a good place to store emergency items that you otherwise wouldn't want rolling around in the trunk.

The limited edition comes with a standard power tailgate, also a preferred option for the sterling edition, which is probably the one option that stands out the most in regards to cargo space between these two vehicles. If you are lugging around groceries, a stroller and a ton of other random kids stuff, you won't have to put everything down to open the door. In a realistic scenario where you have to shuttle kids around and still do everyday errands, this feature will not be taken for granted. The more standard features in comparison to the sterling, which is a stand-alone option for the limited, include a cargo compartment cover and a compact spare tire. These are two features that are designed to keep the inside of your trunk clean and offer peace of mind if a flat tire were to occur. Also available to the limited edition is a dual-pane sunroof with a power-lift feature that allows the sunroof to open and close. This will have an effect on the headroom and cargo space but might be a feature that is preferred over the extra space.

3. Performance and Engine Options

Horsepower and Torque With regards to the horsepower and torque capabilities, the Sterling Edition would give more options with greater power from the engines as compared to what the Limited trim has to offer. However, it is noteworthy to say that regardless of engine choice, the Limited trim would be at a disadvantage in terms of power as compared to the Sterling Edition. Usually, larger engines have a higher capacity when it comes to towing, which is related to the next point of discussion. However, if towing is not a main priority, it would be recommended to stick to the 3.6L V6 or 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 for the Sterling Edition for the trade-off between performance and fuel efficiency. Contrasting to this, the higher power engine at the Limited trim is the 5.7-liter V-8 engine, which produces a respectable 360 horsepower and 390 lb/ft of torque.

Engine Choices Both the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sterling Edition and the Limited trim are offered in four configurations of performance engines, which are all paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Among the available choices, opting for the standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine would be more feasible for the Limited trim as this is the only version available for this particular trim. The Sterling Edition, on the other hand, being more of a luxury option, would enable the buyer to have a more diversified choice for the performance engine, with the availability to choose any from the 3.6-liter V-6 engine, to the 5.7-liter V-8, to the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, and finally to the 6.4-liter V8 engine.

3.1. Engine Choices

While seeking excellence in acceleration, Jeep decided to add 5 more gears to their automatic transmissions. The Limited still uses a 5-speed auto and is the only option for the V-8. The V-6 is now mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, regardless of what Jeep it is in. The 8-speed has received rave reviews from just about every automotive journalist and is currently manufactured only by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. This article isn't about transmissions, so I won't elaborate, but the V-6 and the new 8-speed auto are intended to provide improved acceleration and passing combined with improved fuel economy. The V-6 engine missed the improved fuel economy by only being 1 MPG more efficient than the old 3.7-liter V-6. The V-8 engine has not lost any fuel economy over its optional predecessor, but the V-8 has its Fuel Saver MDS mode standard on the V-8 transmission. The next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to feature further fuel-economy improvement with the same powertrain availability. That is tough luck for the existing 5-speed V-8 guys. The elimination of the 5-speed V-6/V-8 powertrains was abrupt.

The engine on a Limited is a 295-hp, 260-lb-ft 3.6-liter V-6 and optional 360-hp, 390-lb-ft 5.7-liter V-8. Both are the venerable Pentastar design, with the V-6 offered in nearly every Chrysler product and the Ram 1500. The turbo-diesel V-6 has been dropped from the Grand Cherokee's lineup. The Sterling starts with a 295-hp, 260-lb-ft 3.6-liter V-6, but the only upgrade is the one under consideration here 2400. The Pentastar V-6 is standard in the base car, but the torquey and thirsty 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is still on the table for 3400. And it doesn't matter if you choose the RWD 2WD V-6 or V-8, they both get it done. The standard engine is not offered on the Limited. The Limited comes with RWD or 4x4, but the Sterling starts out as a 2WD vehicle.

3.2. Horsepower and Torque

The Limited has one sole engine choice for 2018, and that is FCA's well-known 3.6L V6, which is also the base engine in the Grand Cherokee. It produces a healthy 295 horsepower and 260 lb/ft torque. It's capable of towing up to 6200 lbs but still returns a respectable 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The only package option for the Limited that alters the engine will be the Off-Road Adventure II Package. The 3.6L Pentastar engine is replaced by FCA's 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. This is rated at 240 horsepower but a quite substantial 420 lb/ft torque. With the diesel engine, the towing capacity matches the V8 at 7400 lbs, but it currently has no official EPA rating. However, a 21/28 mpg has been estimated by the EPA. The Package also includes all the necessary hardware and software for serious off-roading. It comes with the Quadra-Drive II 4WD system, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, hill ascent/descent control, skid plates for the front suspension, fuel tank, and transfer case, as well as other various cosmetic alterations. The gas and diesel engines are also paired with the new TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2018 Sterling Edition GC is available in either rear-wheel drive or 4X4 in both the V6 and V8 models. The price difference for the 4X4 models as of April 2018 for the V6 model is $2400 and $5000 for the V8. An advantage of the V6 is it utilizes two engine types: the standard 3.6L Penastar and the 3.0L EcoDiesel with the same engine package as the Limited. This means the 2018 Sterling Edition is able to maintain FCA's special promotional $1000 discount pricing for the V6 and Diesel engine.

3.3. Fuel Efficiency

While both the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Sterling Edition and the Limited are powered by the same 3.6L V6 engine, the Sterling Edition is slightly lighter and therefore gets one more mile to the gallon in both city and highway driving. Limited editions equipped with the 3.6L V6 engine weigh in at around 4681 lbs and have fuel economy of 18 city and 25 highway. Grand Cherokee Sterling editions with the same engine weigh in at 4637 and have fuel ratings of 19 city and 26 highway. Although not a significant difference if you are driving over 15,000 miles in a year, you can expect to save over a period of time. In comparison to V8, fuel economy the 3.6L V6 is superior in both versions of the vehicle. If there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that saving money at the gas pump is better than the alternative. Another model-specific difference is that the Sterling Edition offers an optional blacked out 18 wheels (standard on RWD and AWD option) as opposed to the standard Silver 18 wheels from the Limited. This does not have an effect on the fuel economy, but further adds to the model diversity between the two and is a purchasing factor for some who collect specific editions of vehicles.

3.4. Towing Capacity

The specifics of the trims show that a V6 Limited has a 3500-pound towing capacity and with the optional V8 package or the purchase of a V8 Limited, the towing capacity is 6200 pounds, which is exceptional and identical to the Sterling edition. This means that each of these vehicles does not sacrifice any towing capability for any luxurious features. This is often not the case with other SUVs, so it is a highlight seeing as though many people purchase a Jeep Grand Cherokee as a dual-purpose vehicle. The decision for an additional tow car can now be unnecessary due to the impressive towing capabilities of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The towing capacity in both of these vehicles is very impressive and also identical. It is important to state that regardless of the engine type or the trim package that is chosen, the towing capacity for a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is between 3500-6200 pounds. At this level, it is already one of the best SUVs in regard to towing capacity. This is because the superior suspension design, the great weight distribution, and the Monocoque structural design make the Grand Cherokee a great tow vehicle.

4. Safety and Technology

Moving onto Driver Assistance Systems, the Sterling Edition and the Limited share all the same main features, such as Power Steering, Power Locks, Dual-Zone Climate Control, Power Liftgate, and Remote Start. Both, of course, have a backup camera, as well as a system that makes it so you can easily turn a trailer while backing up by adjusting the side mirrors. Another shared feature also is the electronic Vehicle Information Center, which provides real-time information about the vehicle. Although, the Sterling Edition does have the added benefit of a Universal Garage Door Opener, which is optional at an extra cost for the Limited Model. Both models also have the same safety features such as Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, the Advanced Multistage Front Airbags, a Driver Knee Airbag, a Passenger Airbag Sensor, Side Airbags, and a Supplemental Side Curtain Airbags. These are all great features, and Jeep has done an excellent job to make sure that its consumers will be safe and protected in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Today, a vehicle is not just a means for transportation, it's an extension of our connected lives. With the evolution of smartphones and the internet, car companies are trying to capitalize on consumers' needs for in-car technology and infotainment. Both the Limited and Sterling Editions don't skimp in these categories. They both feature the latest version of UConnect, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and have standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and GPS Navigation. Both come with multiple USB ports and the option for a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot. One USB port is conveniently in the radio console so you can keep your music device out of the way. Stepping it up a notch, the Sterling Edition comes standard with a Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof. This is not a tech feature but is worth mentioning, as some consumers might consider it a luxury item. Both models have an optional Harman/Kardon Sound System, but honestly, this is the first vehicle I've driven where the standard sound system is more than good enough, making the upgrade seem like overkill. Coming from a music tech background, it's nice to see a vehicle where a 'good enough' standard system is present. Overall, consumers will be more than satisfied with the infotainment and connectivity options in both models.

4.1. Advanced Safety Features

The Limited Jeep does not come with a forward collision warning system, or the ability to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Instead, it comes with a warning system that alerts the driver of an impending collision by pre-charging the airbags and pre-tensioning the seat belts. This essentially has the same goal as the Sterling Edition's forward collision system in that it tries to lessen the severity of impact. However, the Sterling Edition's actually attempts to eliminate it by bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. Both systems are effective, but the Sterling Edition's system is more advanced and can potentially prevent the collision altogether. Another unique safety feature for the Sterling Edition is parallel and perpendicular park assist. This feature essentially parks the car for you and, at times, can be more precise than the driver themselves. This feature is not available on the Limited Jeep.

The Sterling Edition Jeep comes with typical safety features such as a backup camera, parking sensors, and a blind-spot warning system. An additional feature unique to the Sterling Edition Jeep is the forward collision warning system that has the ability to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, or at least slow it down significantly, to lessen the severity of impact. This feature increases the safety of the vehicle and would be a cheaper alternative to expensive medical bills related to collision injuries.

4.2. Connectivity Options

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited comes with the Uconnect 4, which allows faster connect times and even clearer results. Uconnect 4C, standard on the Sterling Edition, allows a support feature which connects drivers with an operator to locate destination addresses and points of interest in addition to directions. This comes with a post-collision notification and SOS calling feature in case of a car accident or such situation with dire need of assistance. The upgrade on the Uconnect system on the Sterling Edition is a significant feature as accidents are always unexpected, and an abundance of prevention methods adds another layer of comfort for drivers.

Drivers of both models can connect their smartphone devices to the car for seamless usability. Both vehicles offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as compatible devices. This, paired with the Uconnect system, makes calling, texting, and accessing other forms of communication seamless, less of a hassle, and easily manipulated. Bluetooth capabilities are also included so that in the instance phones are taken out of the car, they can still be connected while not taking the phone out of the pocket so it can be properly stored while driving.

4.3. Driver Assistance Systems

The Grand Cherokee Limited has a blind spot and cross path detection system, a ParkView rear backup camera and rear park assist, and the option for full-speed collision warning system and adaptive cruise control with stop. The rear backup camera is designed to provide a clear image of the area behind your vehicle and display it on the Uconnect touchscreen. It offers a dynamic grid line that shows the projected path of your vehicle based on the position of the steering wheel. The ParkView system also includes an on-screen chime to alert you if the rear area becomes too close to an object or another vehicle. The rear park assist uses sensors in the rear fascia to detect objects or vehicles in the path of your vehicle and alert you through the use of audio and visual indicators. This system is most helpful for backing the vehicle out of driveways or parking spots because it will alert you of cross-traffic vehicles coming from either side. The blind spot and cross path detection system uses radar-based sensors to detect other vehicles in your blind spot or coming from either side when the vehicle is in reverse. If the system detects another vehicle in your intended path, it will issue an audible and visual indication for the driver. This system is a great help for drivers who frequently back out of parking spots in high traffic areas and for those who do a lot of highway/city driving. The full-speed collision warning system is pretty self-explanatory but essentially uses radar sensors to detect if your vehicle is approaching another vehicle or a large object too quickly and will precondition the brakes to maximize the effectiveness of the stop. If no action is taken by the driver, the system will engage the brakes on its own to avoid the collision. Finally, the adaptive cruise control system with stop uses the same radar sensors in conjunction with the collision warning sensors to detect if your vehicle is too close to the vehicle in front of it. Based on this information, the system will adjust your vehicle's speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. If the system detects a possible collision, it will precondition the brakes and alert the driver. This system is very convenient for long-distance highway driving and stop-and-go traffic.