2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL vs 2022 Ford Explorer

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  • 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL

    A red 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL is angled left.

    Starting at

    $38,720[a]

    2022 Ford Explorer

    A black 2022 Ford Explorer is angled right.

    Starting at

    $34,010

    7,200Towing (lbs)5,600
    YesHands-Free DrivingNo
    McIntosh 19 SpeakersSound SystemB&O 14 Speakers

    New. That's how you sum up the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL's fifth-generation debut. It's on all-new architecture with an all-new look and all-new features, ushering in a brand new opportunity to build on the legacy of one of the auto industry's most awarded SUVs. Challenging the Cherokee for its throne is Ford's 2022 Explorer, pitting both three-row SUVs against one another in a battle for the ages. So what does a comparison look like between the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL vs 2022 Ford Explorer? Well, quite epic.

    For the 2022 model year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee WL comes charging in on an all-new platform, featuring a luxury interior, an enticing exterior, unparalleled four-wheel drive systems, and improved handling and suspension articulation. The features are rich and deep for the Jeep Grand Cherokee WL, with exciting new infotainment upgrades, media access integration, and utilitarian functionality. You can get the Grand Cherokee WL in seven different trims: the Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and the Summit Reserved.

    The 2022 Ford Explorer comes in fresh with a new trim in the form of the Explorer ST-Line series. Ford also updated the Explorer's base ST trim with a new rear-wheel drive option for performance enthusiasts and upped the standard powertrain equipment for the King Ranch and Platinum models to house the 3.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6. The 2022 Ford Explorer is available across eight trims, including the base Explorer, XLT, ST-Line, Timberline, Limited, ST, King Ranch, and Platinum.

  • Design

    A grey 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL is shown from the side parked in front of a house.

    Exterior Styling Elements

    Exterior style is just one aspect of a vehicle's ability to lure in potential SUV shoppers. For the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL vs 2022 Ford Explorer comparison, it's quite obvious both SUVs have a great sense of style. The Explorer has sharp, refined lines with a very sporty front fascia across a reserved hood. The Grand Cherokee sports a very symmetrically enticing silhouette with fenders designed to allow for a lot of off-road travel and a two-tone livery. The 2022 Cherokee absolutely stands out with its luxurious front fascia, chrome-lined grille, vented bumper, and LED lighting array.

    Both vehicles come with a variety of wheel selections and styles, too. The Explorer is outfitted with available 21-inch machined-face aluminum alloy wheels that are Luster Nickel painted. The Cherokee also sports machined-polished aluminum alloy wheels of the 21-inch variety with unique spoke layouts. It's inside where things begin to differ rather drastically between both vehicles.

    Interior Design Choices

    The Ford Explorer offers heated and ventilated first-row seats with leather seating surfaces and tri-diamond perforated accent stitching, featuring Platinum-trim branded embroidery. A 10-way power driver seat and 8-way front passenger seating also help round out the style and comfort features in the Explorer's top-of-the-line trim. With seating for up to eight people, if the optional second-row 35/30/35 split-folding bench seat is installed, the Explorer can alternatively seat seven with second-row captain chairs and a PowerFold third-row bench that sports contour seating.

    Jeep sees Ford's offerings and not only matches them but exceeds them handily with the 2022 Grand Cherokee. The Summit Reserve offers 16-way power-adjustable seats with built-in memory settings and massage functionality. It's the ultimate showcase of interior luxury for a midsize SUV. Cabin-lined ambient lighting is set against a two-tone interior featuring wood-trimmed accents and Palermo perforated leather upholstery across all three rows. The configurable options and luxury scalability gives the Cherokee a massive leg up on the competition within its segment.

  • Capability

    A red 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL is shown off-roading in the mountains.

    Power and Performance Come Together

    Power and performance are just part of what help give a vehicle its functionality and capabilities when it comes to utilitarian tasks. There is also a measure of how well it can do those tasks with what power it has, and this is where we see how Jeep's use of the powerful Hemi V8 comes into play. While the Explorer may have more overall horsepower, the Grand Cherokee makes better use of what power it has.

    In fact, across the board, the Grand Cherokee has higher overall towing capacity compared to the Explorer, no matter which powertrain option you go with. At its base, the Explorer manages up to 5,300 pounds worth of towing with the turbocharged inline 4-cylinder, up to 5,000 pounds worth of towing with the 3.3-liter hybrid V6, and up to 5,600 pounds of towing with the 3.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6. Even with the 3.6-liter V6 on the Grand Cherokee, its base towing ceiling is 6,200 pounds, and the Hemi V8 manages 7,200 pounds. Basically, no matter which powertrain you have in your Grand Cherokee, it will be able to tow more than anything the Explorer can handle. This makes a huge difference for those who tow frequently, whether it be for vacation, recreation, or moving cargo to and from a destination.

    Taking on More Than Just the Pavement

    The impressive capabilities of the 2022 Grand Cherokee don't end there, though. While the Ford Explorer offers four-wheel drive with a transfer case and seven selectable drive modes via the Terrain Management system, the Cherokee comes with multiple off-road solutions that put it at the top of its segment. From the red tow hooks easily accessible from the front of the bumper to the Selec-Terrain traction management system featuring five drive modes, such as Rock, Sand/Mud, Snow, Auto, and Sport, to the three different four-wheel drive modes, there is a lot to the Grand Cherokee when it comes to capabilities. In the off-road department, you have Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II with an electronic limited-slip rear differential, providing mobility across all types of terrain thanks to articulated wheel drive and a rear-sway bar disconnect.

    The Cherokee also manages to include the patented Quadra-Lift dynamic electronic semi-active damping system with air-lift suspension so that the Grand Cherokee can modify the ride height and suspension stiffening based on road conditions and terrain. Another example of its dominance is ground clearance. The Explorer's off-road trim, the Timberland, tops out with a ground clearance of just 8.6 inches, whereas the Cherokee Trailhawk manages 11.3 inches of ground clearance, affording it the ability to ford up to 24 inches of water. Simply put, the lack of comparable features and the shortcomings of the features that are available in the Explorer gives a clear victory to the 2022 Grand Cherokee in this category.

  • Technology

    The black and tan interior of a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    Integrating Rugged Capability With Modern Technology

    You get a great suite of technology in both the 2022 Grand Cherokee WL and the 2022 Ford Explorer. Both offer a great sense of safety with active and passive assists during travels. On the infotainment front, the Explorer features the availability of up to two LCD HD touchscreens powered by the Ford SYNC 3 technology, including an 8-inch screen or a 10.1-inch center stack touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom. This features all your standard infotainment amenities, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth wireless support, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity. A separate 12.3-inch digital driver information cluster is also available on the upper-end Explorer trims.

    The 2022 Grand Cherokee features the Uconnect 5 infotainment suite with navigation, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Where it separates itself from the Explorer is with a 10.1-inch center stack HD touchscreen and a separate 10.2-inch front passenger side HD touchscreen with media access, navigation support, and app integration. A third screen is also available for rear passengers in the form of a 10.1-inch display with Amazon Fire TV support. With a 10.2-inch driver information display cluster and a separate 10.0-inch driver heads-up display, you have a complete assortment of tech at the ready within the cockpit of the Grand Cherokee.

    While both offer media and smart device integration, including wireless charging, only the Jeep offers the more robust stereo surround sound setup with the most available speakers within its class. At the top end of the Explorer's trim line, you have access to a Bang & Olufsen 980 watt 14-speaker setup, but it pales when compared to the McIntosh 19-speaker, 17-channel amplifier, 10-inch subwoofer configuration available in the Grand Cherokee. Basically, everything the Explorer can do, the Cherokee can do, and do it better. In fact, with the semi-autonomous, hands-free active driving assists, you have a complete assortment of tech, vehicle health, luxury, and safety measures in place to enjoy every aspect of your travels in the 2022 Grand Cherokee WL.

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