Which 3-row SUV is tops?

How the Grand Cherokee L measures up to Durango

Jeep’s innovative architecture is bigger, first and foremost. So the Grand Cherokee L has a 1.9-inch longer wheelbase, is 4.1 inches longer overall and is 2.1 inches wider, although its height is 0.6 inches lower. But despite the slightly larger exterior, the interior volume is almost identical between the two, with the Jeep giving the front and middle rows a little more space, at an obvious cost of 3.2 cubic feet to the third row. But that’s just because Jeep measures its legroom with the seats in the middle row in its position at the very back along a 7-inch route. Leave the seat where it normally stops after someone has climbed backwards, in the middle of the journey, and you have a Durango plane.

Cargo holds are also very similar. The measuring tape is not helpful in choosing between these two. The Jeep has a great accessibility advantage on the third row, with seats on the second row that tilt and slide, which preserves the angle of the backrest so that a forward-facing child seat can remain installed (sans kid). Durango backrests fold in the middle and are dumped forward in a two-step process. None of the designs are as easy to use for a small child as the brand new Nissan Pathfinder electric chairs.

Dodge Durango Jeep Grand Cherokee L Difference
Front Middle Rear Front Middle Rear Front Middle Rear
Standing height (in) 39.9 39.8 37.8 39.8 39.9 37.3 -0.1 0.1 -0.5
Legroom (in) 40.3 38.6 33.5 41.3 39.4 30.3 1.0 0.8 -3.2
Shoulder space (in) 58.5 57.7 50.4 59.2 58.0 51.9 0.7 0.3 1.5
Hiproom 57.0 55.5 42.4 57.4 56.3 42.9 0.4 0.8 0.5
Cargo beh (cu ft) 85.1 43.3 17.2 84.6 46.9 17.2 -0.5 3.6 0.0

Durango vs. Grand Cherokee L Performance on the Road

This category is also of no help, as both vehicles share 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engines, eight-speed automatic transmissions and most gears. (The V-8 Durangos has a higher axle ratio of 3.08: 1, while all Jeeps share the shorter ratio of 3.45: 1 with the Durango V-6.) The all-new Jeep uses more high-strength steel and some aluminum castings to help it The larger L model weighs the same as the smaller, current generation two-row Grand Cherokee, so it is underperforming the older Durango by 100 to 150 pounds when comparing base models. (As an exception, Durango and the outgoing two-row Grand Cherokee shared a platform, where Dodge only stretched these pieces to accommodate a third row of seats.) But Jeep’s richer options and features will probably offset the weight as you climb the trim steps, so don’t expect large difference in acceleration times.

How can they compare off-road?

A skilled trail runner could probably get models with lower specifications of both to get stuck about the same distance into the bush, as there is little difference in ground clearance or approach, transition and departure angles, and the two lowest trim levels for the Grand Cherokee L do not t get low range 4WD or Selec-Terrain as standard. Order a 5.7-liter, four-wheel-drive Durango, and you get a transfer case similar to the Jeeps Quadra-Trac II unit. (Both have a low range of 2.72: 1, variable torque front / rear and a neutral position to allow flat towing behind a motorhome.) But no Durango can match Grand Cherokee L Overlands Quadra-Lift air suspension and available electronically limited – slip rear diff and ski plates.

How about towing and towing?

In the low section, each is rated to pull 6,200 pounds – significantly more than most front-wheel drive, car-based crossovers can handle. At the top end, the Jeep maxes out at 7,200 pounds, but a 5.7-liter Durango with Tow n ‘Go package is rated at 8,700 pounds, which is tipped into full-size pickup territory. On the payload side, both vehicles start with the same total weight: 6,500 pounds, but the V-8 Durangos are rated for 7,100 pounds, while their Jeep brothers are limited to 6,900. So Jeep payloads range from 1,190 to 1,400 pounds depending on equipment, while the Durango ranges from 1,290 to 1,460 pounds – not counting the SRT models that Jeep does not yet offer. Durango wins here with a narrow win.

Distinctive personalities

When Jeep’s product planners tell us that their new three-wheeled SUV will not cannibalize sales of the Dodge out in the same size, it’s hard not to roll your eyes, but our back-to-back unit gives some credibility to the idea. Dodge’s design inside and out shows a sporty road burner. You get the feeling that the AWD system is mostly offered to prevent wheel spin in daily stoplights grand prix. Conversely, everything about the jeep says: “Sidewalks are only to be tolerated on the way to the wilderness,” from the many gears and screens devoted to off-road driving to the contour map background used on several infotainment menus.

How they are driving

This Dodge’s leg shares DNA with the third generation (2011) Mercedes M-Class. It’s starting to get quite old in car years, and the age difference between the Durango and the jeep can be felt in a few blocks. We sampled a 2021 Grand Cherokee L Laredo – the base model, which actually costs less (both base and as tested) than the Durango GT we drove. The Jeep’s driving felt much smoother – some of which may be due to differences in wheel and tire sizes (18s on the Jeep, 20s on the Dodge) – but the shocks felt less shaky and gave much less echo through the chassis than in the Durango. The ride is also incredibly quiet, with very little tire or wind noise. The Grand Cherokee clearly feels a generation newer.

The acceleration feels identical except that less engine noise enters the Jeep; this may give the impression that it is slower, but it is not. Durango felt better optimized for cornering on its 20-inch 50-series sidewall Bridgestone Ecopias (which Tire Rack customers rate highly for dry performance), but this advantage may disappear on the base model’s 18-inch Michelin LTX shoes for the entire season. The Jeep gets fractionally larger brake rotors and calipers. This should increase performance a bit, but it improves the pedal feel a lot. There is a little less lost movement in the pedal and good linearity, which leads to better control over deceleration during daily use.

Dodge has kept the infotainment and driver assistance features fairly current on the Durango, which essentially shares its high-resolution (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 screen with the Jeep, so the vehicles are closely matched in terms of user interface.

How is pricing compared?

Many dealers will offer both, so although there is ample overlap in the wide price ranges for these models, there is a fairly large gap between them when compared as drivelines and trim levels (Dodge SXT, GT, R / T and Citadel versus Jeeps Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit; we currently exclude Dodge’s SRT variants, as there are no equivalent Grand Cherokee L models yet). The difference ranges from $ 5,430 to $ 10,585, which largely reflects standard equipment stacked in the Jeep variants.

Dodge Durango Jeep Grand Cherokee L Difference
Model variant RWD AWD / 4WD RWD AWD / 4WD RWD AWD / 4WD
SXT / Laredo V-6 $ 33 260 $ 35,860 $ 38,690 $ 40,690 $ 5,430 $ 4,830
GT / Limited V-6 $ 37,460 $ 40,060 $ 45,690 $ 47,690 $ 8,230 $ 7,630
R / T Overland V-8 $ 46,800 $ 49,400 $ 59 985 $ 10,585
Citadel / Summit V-6 $ 49,300 $ 51,900 $ 58,690 $ 60,690 $ 9,390 $ 8,790

Durango vs. Grand Cherokee L — Which is better?

The Jeep is clearly best for outdoor use types that fully intend to take their three-wheeled SUV off-road driving, and it differs well from all other medium-sized three-wheel drive SUV entry in that respect. People who prefer the look, the charm and the slightly sportier personality of the Durango can get practically the same package, at least physically, for a hefty discount right now, and those who have heavy trailers to pull will also find this to be the most convincing vehicle. in the class. However, those hoping that Durango can simply migrate to the Jeep platform may have a rather long wait, as it was just updated to 2021, and Dodge could eventually decide to discontinue it or migrate it to the Wagoneer platform to better compete with Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition.

2021 Dodge Durango * 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
BASIC PRICE 34 065–52 515 USD $ 38,690- $ 66,985
LAYOUT Front engine, RWD / AWD / 4WD, 6-7-pass, 4-door SUV Front engine, RWD / AWD / 4WD, 6-7-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.6L / 293-295-hp / 260-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6; 5.7L / 360 hp / 390-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 3.6L / 293 hp / 260-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6; 5.7L / 357 hp / 390-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSFER 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
EMPTY WEIGHT 4 700-5 400 lb (mfr) 4 550-5 300 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 119.8 inches 121.7 inches
L x W x H 200.8 x 75.8 x 72.1 inches 204.9 x 77.9 x 69.7-73.9 inches
0-60 MPH 6.4-7.6 sec (MT est) 6.5-7.7 sec (MT est)
EPA FUEL ECON 14-19 / 22-26 / 17-21 mpg 14-19 / 22-26 / 17-21 mpg
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY / YARD 177-241 / 130-153 kWh / 100 miles 177-241 / 130-153 kWh / 100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.90-1.16 lb / mil 0.90-1.16 lb / mil
* Specifications reflect standard models only, no SRT variants.

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