Full-size and some midsize SUVs offer space for up to seven or eight passengers. The larger SUVs also provide lots of cargo space for gear, equipment and anything else that needs to be hauled. Midsize and larger models typically have the power to tow heavier loads and many can even take on the tougher terrain of off-road adventures.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks as the fifth most popular vehicle in 2022 and was the eighth most popular vehicle sold in 2021. However, the Grand Cherokee is often regarded as a pricier SUV, but, for budget-savvy buyers, is the Dodge Durango a more affordable option?
When comparing the Durango vs. Grand Cherokee, here are the major details for each model that will be highlighted:
- Towing capacity
- Off-roading capabilities
- Safety features
- Passenger Space
- Fuel efficiency
- Dependability (2018 model data)
Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Dodge Durango: Pricing Up the Difference
Jeep isn’t necessarily a luxury brand, but the prices of the models can hit luxury prices. Depending on the features that buyers select, the price of any model can soar well beyond the base (or starting) MSRP. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a starting price of $38,720, but buyers can choose from seven trims. The Summit Reserve is the most expensive trim, with an MSRP starting at $65,175.
Buyers on a budget might assume that the Dodge Durango is a lower-budget option. In fact, the Durango has a starting MSRP that is higher than the base model of the Grand Cherokee. The Durango starts at $36,995.
There are seven different trims for the Durango, and the SRT 392 is the most expensive option with a starting MSRP of $68,590 (slightly higher than the Summit Reserve). In addition, the Trailer-Tow Group IV package bumps the price by more than $1,100.
Towing capacity tells more about the differences between the two base models of these vehicles.
Dodge Durango vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee: Which Model Pulls the Most Weight?
Some buyers choose a full-size SUV because they need a vehicle capable of towing a small camper or maybe even a boat. Not every buyer wants a pickup truck, and, as SUVs are built on a truck chassis, larger models often offer decent towing capacities.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow up to 6,200 pounds; even the higher-priced Summit Reserve tops out at this capacity. However, when fully equipped, the Dodge Durango can tow up to 8,700 pounds. For buyers looking for the highest capacity for towing, the Durango outperforms the Cherokee.
Durango vs. Grand Cherokee: Hitting the Rocky Terrain
The site Four Wheel Trends reviewed the Dodge Durango’s off-roading capabilities. It noted that the Durango was “…an average off-road vehicle.” The site also stated that the Durango didn’t offer the protective features of a Jeep.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, however, is built for rough adventures. In fact, the Jeep Grand Cherokee (as well as other models) are Trail-Rated and tested in cold weather conditions and driven over boulders in Rubicon.
Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Dodge Durango: The Safety Features and Ratings
Safety ratings are important for many buyers. How protective are these models? Can they withstand a crash?
Consumers can review crash test reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to better understand a vehicle’s performance related to safety and crash protection. Neither the 2022 Dodge Durango nor the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee (the latest model reviewed) received a safety award/top safety rating from the IIHS.
Dodge Durango vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee: Can These Models Fit Eight Passengers?
Both the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee are ‘mid-size’ SUVs, but both models have three-rows of seating. Families who need the most space possible might look for models that can fit up to eight passengers.
The base Grand Cherokee can only fit up to five passengers. However, buyers can upgrade to models that include the third-row of seating. With the third row, the Grand Cherokee can fit up to seven passengers.
The Dodge Durango doesn’t require the buyer to upgrade for a third row of seating; even the base model includes space for up to seven passengers. For those who need the most space and are on a bit of a budget, the Dodge Durango might be the better option.
Durango vs. Grand Cherokee: Saving at the Pump or Gas Guzzlers?
SUVs aren’t known for their fuel efficiency. Are the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee gas guzzlers? Will buyers need to budget more to drive these SUVs?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers decent fuel efficiency for an SUV. The Grand Cherokee can get up to 19 MPG in the city and up to 26 MPG on the highway. Fuel efficiency could be decreased, though, when towing. The model has a 23 gallon tank, and The Driver Adviser explains that some engines require premium gasoline.
The Dodge Durango offers the same fuel efficiency as the Grand Cherokee. Again, though, towing may impact the MPG. The Durango has a 24.6 gallon gas tank. Durango owners can typically opt for regular unleaded at the pump but some engines might require higher grade fuel; check the owner’s manual for recommendations.
Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Dodge Durango: The Dependability Based on 2018 Models
Reliability of a vehicle can be the difference between constant visits to the mechanic and low-maintenance car ownership. J.D. Power releases names one vehicle in each class for its dependability award; models are analyzed by owners over three years of driving. Winners in 2021 were 2018 models.
How did the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee fare for dependability? Did one score better than the other?
Both the 2018 Dodge Durango and the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee were placed in the mid-size SUV category. The Kia Sorento was named the most dependable mid-size SUV. The Jeep Grand Cherokee placed 15th (out of 19 models), and the Dodge Durango placed 17th.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee received a total score of 78. For Quality & Reliability, it scored a 77. For Driving Experience, the Grand Cherokee received a score of 83 and an 82 for Resale Value.
The Dodge Durango received a total score of 76. For Quality & Reliability, it received a 79. For Driving Experience, it tied the Grand Cherokee with a score of 83. However, the Dodge Durango performed low for Resale Value—it scored a 68.
Grand Cherokee vs. Dodge Durango: What Model is the Best Buy?
Shoppers who are considering the Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango might wonder which model is the best buy. The answer depends on the buyer’s driving needs and perhaps the budget, too.
The Dodge Durango provides the best towing capacity. Those who need to pull larger trailers might opt for the Durango. However, the Dodge Durango is priced higher than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Buyers who need the best option for off-roading adventures might prefer the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This model is true to its roots and is built to take on rough trails.
Those who want the most passenger space might opt for the Durango, which comes standard with three rows of seating (and can fit up to seven). The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the third-row in upgraded options. The lowest-priced Cherokee can seat up to five.
The safety ratings of the two models can be compared by visiting IIHS’ website. Search vehicles by make and model to review the safety report.
Neither the 2018 Dodge Durango nor the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee ranked very high for dependability, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee slightly nudged out the Durango by a few points. The Durango scored low for Resale Value, while the Grand Cherokee held its value fairly well after three years.
Explore the Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee with RelayCars
Buyers who are interested in comparing the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee can download the RelayCars app or visit the RelayCars’ mobile site to explore both models. The RelayCars app is free via Google Play and the App Store.
The app features two immersive experiences to preview vehicles. Users can explore thousands of makes/models using virtual reality (Google Cardboard is required) or they can explore models using immersive and interactive 3D models. With the virtual reality experience, users enter a virtual car dealership that allows them to see any model and walk around it, too.
Both the app and the mobile website let users explore vehicles with 3D interactive models. Use a fingertip to turn the vehicle in any direction and see it from any angle. The mobile app also includes an augmented reality experience; use the camera of a smartphone or tablet to drop a vehicle into any space.
The vehicle will appear as a 3D graphic in whatever environment the user views through their mobile device camera. Preview cars and SUVs in the driveway or garage and explore it at home.
RelayCars’ app and website also features specs and price data for its entire virtual inventory. Using RelayCars, consumers can simulate the in-person dealership at home and shop for a new one any time. Download the app or visit the mobile site today!