Jones Ford Wickenburg Compares 2015 Ford Explorer VS 2015 Jeep Grand Near Wickenburg, AZ

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2015 Ford Explorer

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VS

2015 Jeep Grand

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer Limited’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the Grand Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

209

242

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.9 inches

Neck Compression

31 lbs.

97 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

44

59

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

135 G’s

182 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

34 G’s

Hip Force

524 lbs.

612 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Grand Cherokee runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 38 percent more Ford dealers than there are Jeep dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Explorer have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has larger alternators than the Grand Cherokee:

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

Standard Alternator

175 amps

160 amps

Optional Alternator

200 amps

180 amps

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in initial quality. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 31st.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 17th in reliability. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Grand Cherokee:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Grand Cherokee 3.6 DOHC V6

290 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Grand Cherokee 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer Sport 4WD turbo V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee 4x4 V8 (16 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/20 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Grand Cherokee V6 are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Explorer’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Grand Cherokee Laredo.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Explorer flat and controlled during cornering. The Grand Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Grand Cherokee.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Ford Explorer amounts to more than styling. The Explorer has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .35 Cd. That is lower than the Grand Cherokee (.371). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Explorer get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Limited 4WD is quieter than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4:

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

At idle

35 dB

45 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Grand Cherokee can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 46.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Grand Cherokee (151.7 vs. 105.4).

The Explorer has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the Grand Cherokee.

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

Third Seat Folded

43.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

36.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

68.3 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Explorer easier. The Explorer’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.1 inches, while the Grand Cherokee’s liftover is 32.4 inches.

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the Grand Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:

Explorer

Grand Cherokee

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

19.7”/49”/79.8”

n.a./38.5”/71”

Max Width

48”

47”

Height

45.5”

33.5”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer Limited/Sport’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s exterior keypad. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its extra cost Uconnect Access can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Grand Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Optional SYNC AppLink for the Explorer allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Explorer Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the Grand Cherokee, including $87 less for front brake pads, $88 less for a starter, $18 less for fuel injection, $217 less for a fuel pump and $43 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The Grand Cherokee has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Jeep Grand Cherokee by 13% during the 2014 model year.

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