2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2023 Ford Explorer

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Midsize SUVs are extremely popular with consumers, including adventure lovers, amateurs of luxury looking for divine comfort, and also families. What do the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs the Ford Explorer have to offer?

Your Champlain Dodge dealership compares these two outstanding vehicles so that you can see their differences more clearly.

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2023 Ford Explorer: main characteristics (powertrain, performance, technologies)

Both SUVs offer three different powertrains, which also include a hybrid option.

For the Grand Cherokee, the standard offered powertrain is a 3.6 L Pentastar V6 with 293 horsepower and 257 lb-ft. maximum torque. This powertrain is included on all trims as standard equipment, while both other engines are optional.

As for Ford, the three entry-level trims are equipped with a 2.3 L 4- cylinder turbo with 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. maximum torque. You will then have to opt for the higher-end trims like the Platinum and ST for a 3.0 L turbo V6, which will provide you with 365 or 400 horsepower, depending on selected version.

When it comes to the optional V8 with Jeep, it will also provide you with added power: 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. maximum torque.

It is the plug-in hybrid, however, that will impress you the most with the 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft. torque it offers! This powertrain combines a 2.0 L 4- cylinder turbo with a 17.3 kWh battery. Moreover, the battery capacity will give you a full electric range of up to 36 km.

As for Ford, the battery is not as powerful, and will give you only 318 horsepower and 322 lb-ft. maximum torque. Only one version is available with this powertrain: the Limited trim.

As you can see, the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer both offer powerful options. The Jeep has the advantage of offering 5 hybrid versions on top of its 6 fuel versions.

Another of the Grand Cherokee’s strengths –which also often comes up in reviews- is the quality of its Uconnect infotainment system.

This fifth generation system is standard offered on all vehicles and includes an 8.4- or 10.1 inch screen. It stands out thanks to how quick and easy it is to use, and also the fact that it groups together all wireless features:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Hands-free communication
  • A Wi-Fi access point

As for the Ford SUV, it also provides you with a competent system, the Sync 3, which measures 6.5- or 12.3- inches, depending on selected version. However, Apple and Android connectivity is not wireless; they must always be linked through a cable.

front view of a 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee 2023
front side view of a 2023 Ford Explorer Ford Explorer 2023

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer: technical features

If you are leaning towards this type of American SUV, it is probably because you are really looking for a solid build and good off-road skills. While the Explorer can provide you with a comfortable daily drive, the Grand Cherokee is simply outstanding when it comes to all-terrain driving. This is, after all, precisely what has allowed Jeep to earn its stellar reputation!

The Grand Cherokee also includes the Quadra-Trac I system as standard equipment, along with a traction management system. On higher-end versions, more features are added on as well, like:

  • The Quadra-Drive II
  • An automatic locking electronic differential
  • A suspension with adaptive damping
  • Protection plates

The Explorer now also includes all-wheel drive as standard offered equipment, although it is much less specialized than Jeep for this type of driving experience. It does also offer the Terrain Management System, for adventures off the beaten path.

When it comes to easily getting out of snowbanks, both are a good option; however, if you are looking for an expert on rocky or muddy trails, the choice between the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer is an easy one, the first definitely coming out on top.

Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer: Towing Capacities

Between the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer, which is the strongest? Once more, Jeep stands out with its maximum towing capacities:

  • 6,200 lb with the V6
  • 7,200 lb with the V8
  • 6,000 lb with the hybrid

Ford SUV powertrains can tow up to 5,300 lb (4- cylinder), 5,600 lb (V6) or 5,000 lb (hybrid). These numbers are good, yet they are not impressive in terms of what a midsize SUV should offer, contrary to the Jeep SUV’s towing capacities.

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Ford Explorer: comparing interior and exterior design

The current generation of the Explorer dates back to 2020. As for the Cherokee, it has just been revealed in 2022. Both are quite recent and present a modern design with robust lines. When it comes to the Jeep, we easily recognize the typical 7- slot grille and a contrasting black roof as an added option, which really makes it stand out. All in all, the Jeep’s style is more elegant and chic.

The interior is where the luxurious Jeep truly makes its mark compared to the Ford, especially given to the fact that the presence of plastic elements are much more present aboard the Explorer. The Grand Cherokee offers a high-end interior with heated seats in first two rows as standard offered equipment, but also genuine oak and suede trims in the higher-end versions as well.

The Ford Explorer also offers perforated leather upholstery as an option, but all things considered, it is much less luxurious than the luscious Grand Cherokee.

The Ford SUV offers enough space for 6- or 7- passengers, while the Grand Cherokee can welcome up to 5- passengers and offers a very spacious trunk. However, with Jeep you can also opt for the L trim which is longer, and perfect for large families! On the other hand, total cargo space is a little bit more generous with the Explorer.

cockpit view of a 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee 2023
cockpit view of a 2023 Ford Explorer Ford Explorer 2023


In short, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee stands out compared to its rival for many reasons, especially when it comes to luxury and off-road skills. Put in your financing request today to get your hands on your dream vehicle!

Here are how the two American SUVs compare, at a glance:

Features 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2023 Ford Explorer
Standard offered powertrain
3.6 L V6
294 horsepower/260 lb-ft.
2.3 L 4- cyl. turbo
300 horsepower/310 lb-ft.
Optional Powertrain
5.7 L V8
357 horsepower/390 lb-ft.
3.0 L V6 turbo
365 horsepower/380 lb-ft.
Hybrid Powertrain
2.0 L 4- cyl. turbo + 17.3 kWh
375 horsepower/470 lb-ft.
3.3 L V6 + 1.5 kWh
285 horsepower/260 lb-ft.
Maximum Towing Capacity 5,600 lb 7,200 lb
Cargo Space 1,068 to 2,005 liters
487 to 2 395 liters (L)
516 to 2,487 liters
rear view of a 2023 Ford Explorer in a parking lot