What is the Difference Between 2020 Grand Cherokee vs. 2020 Cherokee?

SUVs are some of the most versatile vehicles in the United States. These reliable cars work hard on the daily commute and school run, then help households stay social on weekends. The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the year’s best-selling SUVs, but its smaller sibling, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee, isn’t too far behind. Take a closer look at these SUVs side by side to determine which one suits you.

Engines and Their Performance

Jeep Grand Cherokee Versus the Cherokee on Freedom Chevrolet Dodge Jeep Ram Car BlogImage via Flickr by wuestenigel

As the more compact SUV, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee starts with a smaller engine. Its base model engine is a 2.4-liter inline-four. This engine generates 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. For greater acceleration, upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. An optional extra on higher trims, this engine puts out 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Upland and all trims from the High Altitude level come standard with a larger 3.2-liter 24-valve VVT V-6 motor. Its 271 horsepower is comparable to the turbocharged engine’s, but it’s not as torquey, making 239 pound-feet.

All the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engines are larger to handle its extra size. The base model’s capable 3.6-liter V-6 makes 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Like the 2020 Jeep Cherokee, some higher trims have beefier V-8 engines. The SRT trim’s is a 6.4-liter V-8 generating 475-horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The Trackhawk comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. This mighty engine generates 707-horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque.

Seating and Storage Capacity

The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is 7 inches longer and 2.5 inches wider than the new Jeep Cherokee. So it’s surprising that the Cherokee is actually the more spacious choice for you and your passengers. Both SUVs seat five, but the Cherokee’s passenger volume is 128 cubic feet, 23 cubic feet more than the Grand Cherokee’s.

The Cherokee’s 40.3 inches of rear passenger legroom actually matches the driver and front passenger legroom in the Grand Cherokee. People driving the Cherokee and their front passengers will really appreciate their 41.1 inches of legroom. All that space makes long drives comfortable and getting in and out of the Cherokee easy. The 38.6 inches of rear passenger legroom in the Grand Cherokee won’t trouble kids, but it’s a tight squeeze for teens and adults.

What the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee lacks in legroom it makes up for in storage capacity. The Grand Cherokee has 68.3 cubic inches of cargo room. That means there’s plenty of space for your groceries, sporting equipment, and suitcases on your next road trip. The Cherokee’s trunk is much more compact with 54.7 inches of cargo space.

Gas Mileage

As the Cherokee is a small vehicle with smaller engines, its superior fuel efficiency should come as no surprise. Its base model has a combined fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon, 4 miles per gallon better than the comparable Grand Cherokee.

Just 3 mpg separates them in the city, so you shouldn’t notice too much difference driving around urban streets. But if you spend a lot of time on highways, gas mileage becomes a serious consideration. The Cherokee gets 31 mpg on the open road, 5 mpg more than the Grand Cherokee. That might not sound like a lot on paper, but it can make a serious difference to your road trip gas bill.

While the Grand Cherokee’s fuel economy figures aren’t as good as the Cherokee’s, keep these numbers in perspective. The Grand Cherokee performs better than many comparably sized SUVs. If you love the Grand Cherokee but worry about fuel economy, choose one of the V-6 models over a V-8.

Towing Capacity

If you want an SUV for towing your boat or trailer, it has to be the Grand Cherokee. The base model tows up to 6,200 pounds. Upgrade to one of the V-8 models and the maximum towing capacity increases to 7,200 pounds.

Both configurations leave the Cherokee wanting by comparison. Its base model has a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds. Upgrading to the 3.2-liter V-6 engine lets you haul an extra 500 pounds. If you tow small loads infrequently, the Cherokee might have enough grunt for your needs. After all, its maximum towing capacity is better than other vehicles in the small SUV class. But if you’re serious about towing, the Grand Cherokee is the best option.

Included Technology

The Cherokee and Grand Cherokee both have great entertainment and safety technology features. The base models are both solid options, but if you love tech, it’s worth upgrading to a higher trim.

Both base models have Bluetooth and Jeep Uconnect with a 7-inch touch screen. This voice-activated system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Higher trims replace the 7-inch touch screen with a larger 8.4-inch unit.

All Cherokee and Grand Cherokee trims come with rearview cameras for safer reversing. In addition, all but the base model Cherokee has rear parking sensors. ABS brakes and extra air bags are standard in the Grand Cherokee but are optional extras in the Cherokee. Advanced driver-assistance features including adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist come standard with the Grand Cherokee’s Summit trim. They’re also part of the Jeep Active Safety Package available for the Limited, Trailhawk, and Overland trims. Choose the Cherokee and you’ll always pay extra for these features, even on the top trim.

Price Points for All Budgets

Many consumers will base their final decision on price. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee is the most affordable option. Its base model has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $25,740. If you’ve got a bigger budget, the base model 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee has an MSRP of $32,045. Compare the trims and optional extras to decide which build represents the best value for you.

Jeep’s new Cherokee is an affordable, spacious SUV, while the 2020 Grand Cherokee’s powerful engines and generous trunk are also appealing. So which should you choose? Take them both for a test-drive at Freedom Autos to see which new-model Jeep SUV suits you best.

Posted in Uncategorized