red Jeep Cherokee set against black Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee vs Grand Cherokee

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2017 Jeep Cherokee are both amazing examples of crossover SUVs that strongly maintain their off-roading roots. When comparing the two models, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe drivers will note that the Cherokee is the smaller and more value-oriented of the two vehicles and that the Grand Cherokee is capable of soaring into luxury territory through options like a 19 speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. However, don’t count the Cherokee out when it comes to luxury options, including its standard perforated leather on Overland models.

Learn more about the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2017 Jeep Cherokee to compare their benefits and decide which one would be perfect for your needs by reading this review by Earnhardt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. 

Jeep Exterior

The most striking difference between the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and its smaller Cherokee sibling can be seen on the outside. The Grand Cherokee is nearly eight inches longer, two inches taller and has an eight inch longer wheelbase. Standard ground clearance is also raised from 6.6 inches on the Cherokee to 8.8 inches on the Grand Cherokee, although both vehicles are capable of reaching taller heights when appropriately equipped.

In terms of style, both vehicles have changed significantly since migrating to crossover-based platforms, but they still retain plenty of classic Jeep styling cues. The Cherokee appears the more car-like out of the two, with a low sloping hood and a rounded rear tailgate area. The Grand Cherokee sits taller, with a longer front fascia and upright flanks that make it look both modern and classically, ruggedly Jeep.


Jeep Interior

Both the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee provide a spacious ride for all occupants. In fact, the interior volume in each vehicle is within one cubic foot of one another, and both have an equally spacious backseat for outboard passengers.

The chief difference in interiors is that the Grand Cherokee is capable of more upmarket features. Tony options include open-pore wood, quilted leather on bottom front seat cushions, and the aforementioned 19 speaker sound system. The Cherokee can obtain features like perforated Nappa leather and ventilated seats, as well, but only in its top trim level. Even at comparable trims, the Grand Cherokee uses higher-quality materials for situations like door inlays and dashboard components.

On the whole, the Grand Cherokee is better-suited for those looking for a more comfortable ride and access to truly luxurious options.

Jeep Performance

In addition to the availability of luxury trappings, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are also separated by their available powertrains and off-road-ready options. The Cherokee features a standard 184 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine as well as an optional 271 hp 3.2 liter V6, both coupled to a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, but multiple 4x4 configurations are available.

The Grand Cherokee’s standard powertrain is a 295 hp 3.6-liter V8 engine coupled to an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. A 240 hp turbodiesel V6 is also available, as is a beefy 360 hp 5.7 liter V8. Three different four-wheel-drive setups are also available, including an adjustable Quadra-Lift air suspension.

Both the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee feature 4WD options for low gear crawling with features like hill descent control and Selec-Terrain traction control. The Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift suspension and higher ride height allow for more beneficial departure and approach angles, and the vehicle also features a true limited-slip differential.

Looking at both models, the Grand Cherokee emerges as the choice for those who need more towing power, off-road capability or just some extra speed underfoot.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Cherokee Conclusion

Overall, those that want more out of their vehicle and are willing to invest in upgrades should look to the Grand Cherokee for its upmarket possibilities and stronger off-road prowess. At the same time, the Cherokee remains one of the more comfortable mid-size crossovers and certainly one of the most off-road-capable vehicles in its class, so those looking for a more modest vehicle can still find enjoyment in its more value-oriented packaging.

Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe can decide what vehicle ultimately meets their needs during a test drive at Earnhardt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. Book both for a test drive through our online appointment system today!