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The 2018 Ford Explorer is a solid SUV that offers plenty of useful features like electronic stability control, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and other handy amenities, but in many ways, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a better choice. Not only can drivers get more powerful engines to make the most of their Shasta Lake adventures, they provide drivers with features they won’t find in a Ford. Explore the differences here, then drop by SJ Denham Chrysler Jeep Fiat and pick a Grand Cherokee to test drive today.
Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Explorer offer spacious seating that makes stretching out both comfortable and convenient, but the Explorer’s cramped third row is suitable only for children and takes away from available standard cargo volume. The Grand Cherokee offers two-row seating with plenty of leg room to accommodate even tall adults and as much as 36.3 cubic feet of cargo volume even with the seats in place. The Explorer manages just 21 cubic feet of rear legroom with the rear seats upright.
Both the Jeep and the Ford provide access to a variety of engines suitable for shopping or hiking in Chico or exploring the hidden gems around Redding, but, while the Ford’s most powerful engine option is a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 capable of 365-hp, Jeep drivers have access to a 6.2L HEMI V8 powerplant capable of producing as much as 707-hp and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Off-roaders who like to hit the trails above Red Bluff are better off with a Jeep as well thanks to the trail-rated trims with skid plates, performance suspensions, and braking systems designed to handle the rigors of outdoor play. None of the Explorer’s trims are trail-rated.
The sleek exterior of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is instantly recognizable and easily customizable with 11 Jeep-exclusive colors to choose from, including Velvet Red Pearlcoat and the sophisticated Walnut Brown Metallic Clearcoat. Ford offers just 10 colors in various shades of white, black, blue, and red.
The Jeep isn’t just designed to be seen, however, it’s designed to see as well, with exterior lighting and available headlight washers combined in a system that was highly rated by the IIHS for their safety and usability. The Ford’s headlamp design was rated “Poor,” making it a dangerous choice for foggy Corning mornings when visibility could be low.
Both the Jeep and the Ford offer drivers access to a wide variety of luxury appointments that include leather trim, advanced infotainment, available heated and ventilated front seating, dual-zone air conditioning, and performance sound, but the Jeep goes further. Jeep drivers will not only have access to niceties like standard automatic air conditioning on even the base trim, optional side mirrors that adjust for backing make it easier to hook up to a trailer and take advantage of the 7,400 pounds of available towing the Grand Cherokee offers. The Explorer doesn’t offer auto-side mirrors, and if drivers want automatic air conditioning, they’ll have to pay more.
So, go ahead and choose your northern California adventure in a Jeep — we think you’ll be glad you did.