2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
Features & Specs
2021 Ford Explorer
Max horsepower
10.9 inches
Max ground clearance
8.7 inches
7,200 pounds
Max towing capacity
5,600 pounds
24.6 gallons
Fuel capacity
17.9 gallons

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L vs Ford Explorer

Up until the 2021 model year, Jeep has never been a contender in the three-row SUV segment. Throwing their hat in the ring with the all-new Grand Cherokee L was a brave move, given all the heavy hitters in the class, like the Ford Explorer. But Jeep has never backed down from a challenge, and the Grand Cherokee L certainly won't be the first to do so! With two potent engines and a seemingly endless list of standard and available features, Jeep's first three-row SUV is leaving its mark on the segment. In its 30th model year, the Explorer by Ford has come a long way, getting a redesign for the 2020 model year, the 2021 Explorer brings a lot to the table. Keep reading below to see how the all-new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L competes with the Ford Explorer!

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Power & Handling

Standard under the Grand Cherokee L hood is a 290 horsepower 3.6L V6 with 257 lb-ft of torque. The available 5.7L V8 boosts these numbers to 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. With the available tow package, the V6 engine can haul up to 6,200lbs while the V8 can haul up to 7,200. Both the V6 and V8 engines are mated to a sturdy TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters give drivers more control over their Grand Cherokee L's performance. Jeep vehicles stand out in their classes for their superior 4x4 capability, and the family-friendly Grand Cherokee L is no different. While rear-wheel drive is standard, the Grand Cherokee L can come with Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, or Quadra-Drive II with an electronic limited-slip rear differential. Each system offers full-time 4x4 capability with a single-speed transfer case for Quadra-Trac I and a two-speed transfer case for Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. Quadra-Trac II is standard on the off-road-ready Overland trim.

2021 Ford Explorer Power & Handling

There definitely isn't a loss of power in the Ford Explorer lineup. The standard engine is a 2.3L turbocharged I4 that is good for 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Exclusive to the Explorer Hybrid is a 3.3L V6 partnered with an electric motor for 318 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque. The Platinum trim comes exclusively with a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that kicks out 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The top-level ST trim comes with a tuned 3.0L V6 that rips out 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. While the Explorer's engines are powerful, the Grand Cherokee L stays ahead with its incredible 4x4 capability. Like its Jeep opponent, the Explorer comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available for some all-weather ability but doesn't offer the same off-road chops as Jeep's 4x4 systems. The Premium and ST trim levels come out of the factory with all-wheel drive.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Features & Design

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is quite possibly the most well-equipped SUV in its class. And where it may fall behind in engine power, it certainly makes up for with standard features. The entry-level Laredo trim's interior features include adaptive cruise control, paddle shifters, dual-zone automatic climate control, second-row bucket seats, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an 8.4-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen with navigation, a 10.25-inch digital driver information display, a power driver's seat, push-button start, and more. The exterior includes keyless entry, roof rails, heated side mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, and more. Higher-level trims feature heated/ventilated front seats, a power passenger seat, leather upholstery, four-zone automatic climate control, massaging front seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a 19-speaker McIntosh sound system, Quadra-Lift air suspension, a single-pane or panoramic sunroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, and much more.

2021 Ford Explorer Features & Design

The Ford Explorer has put its boxy design in the past and reinvented itself with a sleeker, more aerodynamic design. Standard on the entry-level Ford Explorer are things like a power driver's seat, a second-row bench, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The upper-level trims are more appealing with keyless entry/push-button start, roof rails, all-wheel drive, 20-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch driver information display, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a single or dual-pane sunroof, and more.


The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L has created some fierce competition for the Ford Explorer. And with its world-class 4x4 capability available, optional air suspension, and a luxurious interior no matter the trim level, the Grand Cherokee L just might take over the class! The Grand Cherokee L has started to roll out of the factory and will be arriving in our showroom shortly. If you're not entirely sure about the all-new Grand Cherokee L, come on down to Reedman-Toll Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to learn more about the Grand Cherokee L and all of its impressive features! We look forward to seeing you!

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