2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2020 Toyota Highlander – Costa Mesa, CA

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  • 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee

    A dark grey 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is angled left.

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    2020 Toyota Highlander

    A white 2020 Toyota Highlander is angled right.

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    707Max Horsepower (HP)295
    645Max Torque (lb-ft)263
    7,200Max Towing Capacity (lbs)5,000

    If you are in the market for an SUV that is perfect for family outings, then we’ve got the perfect battle for you today. We are going to analyze the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2020 Toyota Highlander in a head-to-head battle for supremacy. We are going to compare every critical detail and give you our honest opinion. But the choice is ultimately up to you! Both are practical and reliable, which are the two most requested qualities that families are looking for when they want to purchase a new SUV. However, there is much more to look at when comparing two vehicles.

    For example, the next quality that folks generally look for is space. That doesn’t necessarily mean seating capacity. Some families want more cargo room if they need to get the kids to multiply recreational activities after school. The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee can carry five people, and it offers 36.3 cu.ft. of room behind the second row. This is more than enough space for sports equipment, backpacks, groceries, and even luggage. However, if you need more space for whatever reason, you can simply fold down the back row to reveal a whopping 68.3 cu.ft. of cargo room. If you need to bring home a new piece of furniture, you can easily have it loaded into the back of the vehicle.

    As for the 2020 Toyota Highlander, it can carry 7 or 8 people depending on the configuration. While that might seem like a plus, it’s not really that great for small families due to the drastic cut in the cargo area. Behind the third row is only 16 cu.ft. of space. That isn’t even half of what the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers. While the maximum cargo area is measured at 84.3 cu.ft., the interior cargo room is more impractical. You will most likely be using the space behind the seating more often, and it is way too small in the Highlander. But either way, this quick glance at space is not enough to decide which is the better SUV. So we are going to take a deeper dive into the comparison of the Grand Cherokee and the Highlander.

  • Performance

    A white 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is towing an Airstream trailer on a tree-lined road near Costa Mesa, CA.

    Straight up Jeep Power

    Jeep is well known for offering lots of options on their vehicles. The 2020 Grand Cherokee is no different. There are several powertrain options that you can pick from, starting with the standard 3.6-liter V6. This engine makes 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is quite an impressive start. Going straight up the ladder, you also have a choice of three other engines. There’s a 5.7-liter V8 that generates 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, a larger 6.4-liter V8 that produces 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that churns out an impressive 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. Most trims use RWD, but the Trailhawk has been fitted with 4WD. The towing range is set between 3,500 and 7,200 pounds, and you can expect to get about 21 MPG combined (19 city/26 highway) on most models.

    The Highlander's Engine

    Switching gears for a moment, let’s take a peek under the hood of the 2020 Toyota Highlander. It won’t take long because there is only one powertrain to look at. Every new Highlander model is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 motor that pumps out 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission and FWD, this vehicle gets 24 MPG combined (21 city/29 highway) and can pull up to 5,000 pounds.

    The Takeaway

    The Jeep Grand Cherokee has more powertrain options to choose from and offers an engine that is more than double the power of the Highlander's. So you can pick the perfect model to suit your driving needs, even if what you need is ridiculous power.

  • Interior

    The black interior of a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is shown.

    Inside the Grand Cherokee

    The Laredo is the base trim for the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It comes with dual-zone climate control, rear cross-path detection, blindspot monitoring, and an advanced infotainment system. Displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, this interface uses Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto to allow for music streaming, app-using, and hands-free communications. Next, the second-level Limited adds remote start technology, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, and a bigger 8.4-inch touchscreen.

    As for the off-roading trims, the Trailhawk and the Trackhawk are very different. The Trailhawk comes with skid plates, off-roading tires, unique wheels, and the Quadra-Drive II system. This allows you to select various traction control settings according to the conditions of the road you are driving on. Meanwhile, the upper-level Trackhawk gets that massive powertrain and larger brakes for better stopping power.

    The mid-level Overland includes minor styling changes such as a redesign instrument cluster. Then, the Summit gets a self-parking system and a Harman Kardon sound system with 19 magnanimous speakers. Lastly, the SRT trim adds sporty features to the exterior but does not change much regarding the interior.

    The Highlander's Interior

    Looking at the 2020 Toyota Highlander trims paints a very different picture. The L base model includes trip-zone climate control, compatibility with Apple Carplay/Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite. Next, the LE adds a leather steering wheel and blindspot monitoring. Then we have the XLE. This mid-level trim includes faux leather upholstery, heated front seats, a larger driver information display, and a sunroof. If you want something more luxurious, the Limited offers leather upholstery, cooled seats, a premium JBL stereo system, and a navigation system. Finally, the top-tier Platinum model comes with a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, a digital rearview mirror, a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen, and a panoramic sunroof.

    The Takeaway

    The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers base, mid-level, luxury, sport, and off-roading models to choose from. The Toyota Highlander is completely missing out on the off-roading and sport models, giving drivers fewer options and interior features. The Jeep is better in that it is incredibly customizable.

  • Exterior

    A red 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is driving over a bridge after winning the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2020 Toyota Highlander comparison.

    Outer Shell of the Jeep

    The exterior of the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a sight to behold. Its effortless beauty is both luxurious and simple at the same time. The available Premium Lighting Group adds automatic high beams, Bi-Xenon HID headlights, LED daytime running lamps, and LED fog lights for the optimized visibility at night and during inclement weather. The wheel sizes and designs vary from trim to trim.

    Starting with 17-inch aluminum wheels on the base model and going up to 20-inch platinum aluminum wheels on the Summit trim, there’s quite a wide variety to choose from. Varying in spoke design to color, these wheels help create a unique, sophisticated exterior look that will have heads turning everywhere you go.

    The Trackhawk trim is very unique with its exterior styling elements. It comes with black satin and liquid titanium chrome finishes for a super sleek appearance. The 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels are also done in black stain to create a cohesive look. From a rugged outdoorsy style to luxury lines and everything in-between, the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee models bring a whole new meaning to exterior design.

    Exterior Features of the Highlander

    As for the 2020 Toyota Highlander, all trims come with LED reflector headlights and taillights. LED fog lamps are also included on all trims except for the base L model. The wheel options are minimal; you can get the 18-inch alloy wheels that have been painted silver, or you can have the 18-inch alloy wheels with the machined finish. The grille is done in black with silver accents on all trims as well. The main differences in the exterior styling elements for the Highlander models are tough to see. Aside from the added roof rails and LED fog lamps on the higher trims, each trim pretty much looks the same.

    Painting the Comparison

    Finally, we can wrap things up with paint colors. The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in nine gorgeous shades, including Velvet Red Pearl, Bright White, Ivory, Diamond Black Crystal, Sangria Metallic, Billet Silver Metallic, Granite Crystal Metallic, Walnut Brown Metallic, and Slate Blue Pearl. On the other hand, the 2020 Toyota Highlander is offered in eight paint colors; Blizzard Pearl, Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, Moon Dust, Opulent Amber, Blueprint, and Ruby Flare Pearl. So, there is one additional paint option for the Jeep.

    The Takeaway

    The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers stunning exterior styling elements for each trim plus more paint options. You can find one that speaks to your personality. The Highlander lacks various exterior features, making it much blander and less customizable.

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