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2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. 2023 Ford Explorer

1. Overview

Criteria identification is an initial step for the method used. It is needed to differentiate what are the features in the car that really influence the decision of buying a new car. It is divided into three categories, which are exterior, interior, and performance of the car. Each of them has their own sub-category. After a clear identification of the criteria, the features of both cars are compared to each other, followed by pairwise comparison for each of the features. The first comparison is comparing the exterior of each car, which are features that reflect the car on the outside. It has two sub-categories which are design and aerodynamic. An example of features for the first comparison is body design.

To capture the interest of car enthusiasts, it is better to differentiate the features of the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2023 Ford Explorer SUV by using the AHP method. By comparing both cars' features from the same category, a clear conclusion of which car is better to fulfill the consumer's desire will be obtained. A step-by-step method is needed to rate each pair of features from the same category according to their importance.

Two major automakers, Ford and Chrysler, will release their updated car model in 2023. These two cars belong to a category of automobile, Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). The release of the newer version of the SUV model is targeted for automobile consumers who are looking for alternative transportation on various roads. However, more to the style of life which is represented by those types of vehicles, SUV.

1.1. Exterior Design

The new 2023 Ford Explorer offers a redesigned grille to the front end. The new grille is wider with horizontal 3 blades and claims to offer a stronger appearance and increased road presence with the vehicle. Changes have been made to the front headlights, relocating the turning indicators to within the headlight unit, rather than in the front bumper. There are also new paint colors and wheel designs available for the 2023 Explorer. The rear end of the vehicle has a cleaner look with the removal of the front wheel air vents, new rear bumper, and updated dual exhaust tip. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has predominantly seen changes to the front end of the vehicle. An all-new grille is designed for the vehicle with optional HID headlights and running lights. The new front end creates a powerful, yet luxurious appearance in the Grand Cherokee. From the side, there are updated wheels and appearance packages, and the rear end has a new liftgate with an optional spoiler and revised taillight. The exterior of both vehicles is much more than just a sheet metal job. Both brands have their own persona and are well-known in sizes and configurations that have many different potential customers. Ongoing customer input and brand heritage are often the most significant factors in design, and for good reasons. These designs attract the loyal customer base.

The exterior design of a car plays a crucial role in attracting potential customers to it. The very first view of the car creates the image in the minds of the viewer. It represents the mechanical engineering and reveals the personality of the vehicle. The new Ford Explorer maintains a familiar style, with continued proportions and minimal differences from the present model. In terms of style, the Explorer maintains the same silhouette with a sloping roofline, boxy greenhouse, and slightly protruding rear. A few changes have been made in the exterior of the Explorer for the 2023 model year. Distinguishable changes include the new front and rear bumper, a new grille, new wheels, and a revised liftgate. While it keeps the vehicle familiar, the changes make the Explorer show a different personality.

1.2. Interior Features

The recently refreshed 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, which is the model that will lead onto the next generation Grand Cherokee, still tried to maintain the same characteristics but offered a third-row seating, making it a more practical car for people who use three rows as it eliminates the need to own an extra city car. The interior of this new generation is meant to have a more futuristic look but keeping the same feel as the previous generations. However, this new generation is way more practical/functional and aimed towards the family. This new interior is meant to feel luxurious and comfortable, but most importantly, it still offers most of the great features that the previous generations had, like the Selec-terrain system and three rows, only having slightly different models. This model even has a more practical base model intended for rentals and also a refreshed version of the Trailhawk, making it still suitable for mountain excursions.

The next section of this comparison essay would be comparing the interior features of these two vehicles. The features start with the "2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee," which has been an evolution of the current car. In 2020, the car was designed to be more of a family car suited to take a family on vacation up a mountain. Many people were disappointed as the previous generation was a true off-road 4x4. The car was too luxurious to take off-road and down angry trails on the mountains with the risk of scratching the shiny new paint. People even took a further step and demoted the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee to a "Mall Crawler" as the car looked sweet cruising to the shops for some groceries; however, that is not really Jeep's reputation. Although with the downgrade of off-road capabilities, the Laredo, Limited, and Trailhawk models still have top-notch interior features, with the Summit model being the pinnacle of luxury.

1.3. Performance

Coming standard on all 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L models is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with best-in-class horsepower to meet a perfect combination of performance and fuel economy. Featuring an all-new Engine Start/Stop system, the Pentastar is refined to achieve low noise, vibration and harshness, and can now run on 87 octane fuel. An available 5.7-liter V-8 engine with Fuel-Saving Technology (cylinder deactivation) is also available, along with a more fuel efficient 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine available for future models. This generation of V-6 and V-8 engines can now boast a significant weight savings versus the previous generation, mainly due to the aluminum heads and composite valve covers. All engines are paired up to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission.

The new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the first of its name to come with a Quadra-Lift air suspension, allowing for increase ground clearance and water fording capabilities. Quadra-Lift is driven by a semi-active valve system allowing for 5 height settings, with up to 4 inches of total lift span. Park mode lowers the vehicle 1.8 inches from standard ride height for easy ingress and egress. Aero mode lowers the vehicle 0.8 inches from standard ride height as to increase fuel economy. Jeep has raised the maximum suspension height to allow for an increase of 30 inches of water from the previous 24 inches. Real-time, adaptive damping is now available with a continuous electronically controlled system, adjusting to road and driving conditions. This results in a consistent ride and good handling. High strength steel is used in the rear shock towers for better protection of the rear occupant in the event of a rear collision. The new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L has an impressive 5600 lbs of towing capacity due to a fully integrated frame rail to provide a solid mount and reduce vehicle shake from heavy trailer loads.

Improving traction is key for 4x4 capability. The new electric power steering (EPS) system meets best-in-class steering feel, and will allow for more fuel savings by consuming less engine power than a conventional hydraulic steering system. EPS also enables advanced driver assistance features, such as lane keep assist, and park assist. Electronic Limited Slip Differential is now available, allowing for the torque transfer to the wheel with traction, to meet 4x4 systems requirements, and the customer's needs. Jeeps Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II systems have been updated for more efficient and immediate torque transfer.

The vehicle boasts an approach angle of 30.1 degrees, a departure angle of 23.6 degrees, and a breakover angle of 22.6 degrees on 4x4 models, with more capability on the Trail Rated models. This is achieved while keeping the vehicle's overall height lower than the previous generation, creating better aerodynamics and less wind noise. With a 6.6% improvement in aero efficiency, the vehicle's coefficient of drag is now 0.357. A stiffer body structure, combined with the new vehicle architecture, will allow for more confidence and comfort, to meet anywhere on the confidence-inspiring 4x4 capability that is expected from Jeep.

The Grand Cherokee L features an all-new architecture with independent front and rear suspensions. Helping to improve overall vehicle dynamics and comfort, the front suspension in the Grand Cherokee L has double wishbone architecture, with an aluminum knuckle and tubular front control arms. This setup helps to keep the tires more perpendicular to the road surface, resulting in more consistent grip and immediate steering response, while also reducing tire and shock loads. The multilink rear suspension allows each rear wheel to travel independently of each other with better control.

2. Safety and Technology

The 2023 Ford Explorer has a wide range of safety features, including the blind spot information system, the lane departure warning system, and the rearview camera. The rearview camera actually comes with a washer to provide easy viewing even in mud, as well as the ability to see what's directly behind and using its zoom-in technology, to see behind whatever might be in the trunk. The rear seat belts have a feature that will inflate the seat belt upon collision to displace the force away from the body, reducing the chance of injury. The inflatable rear safety belts work very well, as they distribute crash force energy across five times more of the occupant's torso area than traditional seat belts. This all-new innovative safety belt is the first of its kind and is one of the few safety devices that is well thought out and intelligent. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has, on the other hand, less advanced safety features, but still provides top-of-the-line safety for its passengers. The Grand Cherokee safety features include emergency braking assist, stability control, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, cornering lights, and dusk-sensing headlamps. The Jeep Grand Cherokee also has child seat anchors, dual front side-mounted airbags, and remote anti-theft alarm systems. If safety is your concern, the Ford Explorer does provide a more advanced level of safety features, but for the most part, both cars provide a safe environment for traveling in any condition.

2.1. Safety Features

The Roadside Assistance Call helps Jeep owners to contact roadside assistance service providers in case of non-emergency towing, fuel delivery, etc.

Jeep has also installed Automatic Crash Notification and Roadside Assistance call in all the models stated above. The role of Automatic Crash Notification is to send information to the uninjured occupants of the vehicle. It helps determine the severity of the impact of the collision. Based on this data, it establishes a link to the Motosat call center. The call center personnel then contact the nearest emergency service provider in order to reach the vehicle.

Side curtain airbags are also installed in all the models. These airbags are slanted from front to rear. They protect the head and chest in case of a collision from the side.

The front passenger airbag inflator is installed in all the models of the Grand Cherokee. This is nothing but a sophisticated airbag system. It helps to determine the position of the seat of the front passenger. It also finds out if the seat is empty or if there are any children sitting on it. After judging all this, it deactivates the airbag if the seat is empty or if there are children. This particular safety feature helps avoid injury to children.

Jeep stands tall irrespective of its class and model. The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a candid example of this. It is a perfect amalgamation of grandeur and superiority. Jeep has launched its SUV in 4 models: S Limited, Laredo, Overland, and Limited. All these are equipped with some of the most advanced safety features.

2.2. Infotainment System

Starting with the Grand Cherokee, it has an available 8.4-inch display touchscreen with Uconnect 5 for seamless navigation to the multiple features that Jeep has available. Uconnect 5 can support up to five user profiles and has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is a feature that is not yet available with the Ford Explorer. The Explorer, with its available 10.1-inch display, largely departs from past model versions, swapping out physical buttons for the digital variety. While these are easy to read and understand, they still require more attention from the driver to operate than the physical version given the lack of haptic feedback. Both models offer SiriusXM radio, and trial services are available with Jeep for 12 months and 3 months for Ford. Although different, both SUVs have plenty to offer in terms of infotainment. We at SCDJ hoped we were able to help give you some clarity on what these features are and how they may serve you as a consumer.

2.3. Connectivity Options

Both the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. These services are compatible with a large variety of apps, allowing the user to fully utilize their phone and data while driving. The Explorer comes with only one USB port, while the Jeep offers 5, including 4 USB-C type ports. For those who plan to utilize their phone as the main navigation system, or app users, this can be an important factor. While both cars come with a built-in navigation app, the free built-in services of Apple and Google Maps still exceed the features and reliability of the said navigation. The extra USB-C ports on the Jeep are all quick charge. Although the Explorer comes with fewer ports, it still offers more with auxiliary and 12V ports available for simultaneously charging devices or charging older devices. For those who rely on access to satellite radio, a stock Jeep offers a 12-month free trial for SiriusXM. While radio and media options are quite similar, all of the connectivity options in the Jeep are situated conveniently on the center console to the right of the gear shift. This ensures easy access from both the driver and the passenger.

3. Comfort and Space

The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer are both midsize SUVs that have been successful in the United States for many years. The interior of an SUV should provide a refuge from harsh weather outside, and both vehicles are up to the challenge. According to US News, the Grand Cherokee comes standard with two rows of seats and space for five, but a third row is optional and will increase the seating capacity to seven. Jeep's official website currently contradicts this information and states explicitly, "The 2023 Grand Cherokee L was designed for ultimate peace of mind, with available seating for six or seven." While the Grand Cherokee is somewhat ambiguous in this area, the Explorer is not. This SUV was designed from the ground up as a three-row vehicle and has space for seven no matter what. With the shorter wheelbase than the Grand Cherokee, the Ford Explorer has a decisive edge in maximum passenger volume. While the Explorer edges out the Grand Cherokee in front and second row leg room, shoulder room, and head room, this is the narrowest of margins. Third row dimensions are identical for the two vehicles. Volume measurements tell a different story. According to US News, the Explorer has a maximum passenger volume of 152.7 cubic feet. The Grand Cherokee only has a total interior volume of 105.4 cubic feet. This means that the Explorer will be more comfortable for passengers who are looking for a bit more personal space.

3.1. Seating Capacity

The comfort of the seating is where the Ford Explorer has an edge. With the seats being comfortable and well-padded in both SUVs, the Ford Explorer has more supportive seats and is equipped with special safety seats for children. This contrasts with the Grand Cherokee, with only the front seats being equipped with active headrests, while both SUVs have standard reclining rear seats. However, the seating in the Ford Explorer is only favorable for the front and second-row passengers, with the third-row seats being too low to the ground to be comfortable.

As mentioned earlier, the Grand Cherokee comes with ample head and legroom. The headroom leaves no complaints for the front and back passengers, having the headroom compromised in the third row for the Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer comfortably seats 4 passengers and has limited legroom for the remaining 2 passengers in the third row. This contrasts with the Grand Cherokee, which has enough legroom available for all 5 passengers.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer are both mid-size SUVs. The seating capacities of the SUVs differ in a way that the Jeep has two rows and can seat a maximum of 5 people. The Ford Explorer, however, comes with three rows and can accommodate 7 passengers. The seating in both SUVs is comfortable; however, space can be a concern. The Jeep, although accommodating only 5 people, has ample legroom and headspace in the front and back seats. However, the headroom is limited for the 6th and 7th passengers in the Ford Explorer. The space in the Explorer is tight even with the legroom being compromised.

3.2. Cargo Space

There is no recent data about Jeep Grand Cherokee's cargo space. In a few cases, it can be assumed by the reviewer, where one states "6 carry-on suitcases fit behind the rear seats, and with the rear seats folded down you can fit 16." Since the last generation Grand Cherokee was similar in size to the new one, simple math can be used to find out the cargo capacity based on how much smaller the new one is. The 2021 L model has 84.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded. 84.6/105 (2021 is 105% the size of the revolutionized model) = 0.80667. 0.81667 * 16 (16 is the carry-on suitcase number said by the reviewer) = 12.90672. This is highly unlikely to not be exact, so it can be rounded to 13. The number of suitcases said by the reviewer and the math show that little bit over the 82.8 cubic feet that the new model has. This 82.8 is 17.5 less than the last generation; this is more than likely due to the third row being dropped, and it is unknown where this space went. If the old model could fit 6 carry-ons behind the rear seats, it only makes sense that the new can do the same. Since the interior number went down by 5.2 cubic feet, it can also be assumed that the new model has less space than last. This now describes what is told in the reviewer's post being pretty close if not a bit worse than before. The final answer without a direct number is that the new model has around 13 and still a possibility that it's 12.9 cubic feet or rear cargo space. This is with a possible decrease from the last generation. Even as a worst-case scenario, it will not go much lower than 12, and it will still do better than the Ford Explorer. Ford's cargo space is the model of consistency. In all 4 trims the cargo space only goes down slightly from the initial 87.8 cubic feet. Standard Grand Cherokee vs. Base Explorer: 12.5 is close, doesn't quite equal the extra headroom L Grand Cherokee vs. Model Explorer: Almost same space, 0.7 cubic feet. Shouldn't make a difference Cargo space has always been a strong point for any Grand Cherokee owner looking to use the car for traveling and it could also be said this was something appealing when selling to families as well. This will still hold true for the new model as it won't decrease much, definitely not less than the Ford Explorer. Step by step Jeep Grand Cherokee is continuing to build a practical and comfortable car for any and all activities.

4. Price and Options

When considering base price alongside what each model actually comes with, the Ford Explorer has stronger value. Dropping down to the base Laredo trim, the Grand Cherokee's lack of standard and available features in comparison to a same-priced Explorer model is evident. Despite similar price points, the Explorer is more highly equipped in its lower models and offers more features in each step-up model thereon. This is better explained by comparing what you get for your money in terms of available trims and packages, which we'll get into next.

Price is often the largest factor in which vehicle you choose, as there may be a large difference in budget between certain vehicles. Base price for the 2023 Grand Cherokee starts higher at $38,690, while the Ford Explorer will start at $32,925. As always, the base price differences carry over to differences in the vehicles' standard features and qualities, which will be discussed further. Depending on your budget, this difference in base price can greatly influence which vehicle is a better fit for your family's needs.

4.1. Base Price

Jeep Grand Cherokee was known as one of capable SUVs. In every car, an aspect that enthusiasts would be interested in is the price. As of early 2023, Jeep Grand Cherokee is launched with a base price starting at $37,390. The new Grand Cherokee is the most important car launch in the recent history of Jeep for a number of reasons. First of all, it replaces the previous Grand Cherokee, which was a huge hit for Jeep, even globally. Next, this new Grand Cherokee has a unibody platform much the same as the Mercedes M class, which brings the Jeep brand into new terrain, no pun intended. Moving up to the $39,590 limited version, there are... In a bid to explain the positioning and set the minds of Jeep enthusiasts at ease, Christian Meunier, global president of the Jeep brand, revealed that a new three-row SUV based on the same platform will be launched next year. As today's price isn't really a big step up from the old model and current two-row compact premium SUVs are selling in the low $40k range, it's important that people understand the value and premium Jeep is targeting with this new platform. At the high end of the current lineup are the Overland and Summit models priced from $52,090 and $58,690. Starting prices these may be, but expect there to be some wheeling and dealing at your local Jeep dealer and very competitive lease deals as the Grand Cherokee bestseller status is something that Jeep will want to hang onto.

4.2. Available Trims and Packages

Limited models come with the same standard equipment as the Laredo. It differs on the optional packages as the LUX II package includes premium features and security options such as Bi-xenon HID headlamps, auto high beam headlamp control, automatic headlamp leveling system, LED daytime running headlamps, and the Rain Sensitive Windshield Wipers. The Security and Convenience Group also includes various luxurious options such as a power tilt and telescoping steering column, a cargo compartment cover, and the Uconnect 8.4A system which features an 8.4-inch touch screen, HD radio, navigation, and SiriusXM Radio. Limited models equipped with the 4x2 powertrain can be optioned with the Off-Road Adventure II package, which is not available for RWD models, that includes an array of features.

The new Grand Cherokee comes with six trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Trailhawk, Summit, and the top of the line SRT. All trims come with an impressive variety of standard and optional features that offer drivers the best of Jeep's luxurious design and rugged off-road capabilities. Laredo models are moderately equipped and come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. Standard features include keyless entry and start, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera, parking sensors, and the Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system, five-inch center display screen, six speakers, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. A ZF eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels or to all four wheels on all trims. The Laredo V6 4x4 gets a single-speed Traction Select system to all tractive surfaces – mud, snow, sand, and a rock setting where available.

4.3. Additional Options

Both the Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer are available with a wide range of additional options designed to maximize driver and passenger comfort and functionality. Customers intending to use the vehicles for work or leisure activities might choose Mopar accessories such as the first and second row all-weather floor mats, cargo area tray, molded splash guards, door sill guard, or the cargo management system. The Jeep's durable roof cargo basket is an asset for outdoor enthusiasts, while the roof mount bike carrier provides a convenient way to transport bicycles. The Ford's options focus on the vehicle's interior: Tommy Bahama Edition Package, Redwood Edition Package, Eddie Bauer with leather-trimmed seats package, plus a power moonroof and second-row overhead consoles. Both vehicles provide consumers an effective way to customize the vehicle functionality and style according to personal tastes and requirements. However, it's worth mentioning that Ford's packages are designed with the intention to push the vehicle into a luxury/SUV market, whereas certain Jeep packages focus more on the rugged functionality of the SUV.