Medium to large SUVs are a fun class of vehicles: plenty large enough for moving people around, but if you really want to get out there in the mud and have some fun, they are still good for that type of activity as well. While not the most cost-effective vehicle to purchase or to drive, they do offer a fun factor that should be taken into account as well as the additional room and time between fill-ups.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango are some of the larger offerings in the class, and they both include a higher price-point at nearly $30,000 to start. While the Durango is slightly more expensive, the difference is very slight and can easily be justified by the improvements offered for this version.
Interior Design and Controls
The continued trend you will see to differentiate the two models is that where the Durango is automatic, the Grand Cherokee will be manual; where the Durango has several options standard, the Cherokee will have the same options as “optional” from the base package. The interior look and feel is not dissimilar between the two options, but a few upgrades including a digital/analog instrument display for the Durango provide a little better experience.
Seating and Comfort
Again, the Durango provides just that little extra “something”, with 7-passenger seating standard in the base model, with only 5-seats standard for the Grand Cherokee. Bucket seats, 4-way driver-controlled seating adjustments and lumbar support for the driver are included in both versions. Split bench seating adds comfort and flexibility and optional DVD-audio options for the Grand Cherokee are yet another option that is standard on the Durango.
Safety and Security
Numerous air bags keep your family safe in both options, but the traction control in the Durango wins out with ABS and driveline traction controls. Both vehicles offer standard daytime running lights as well as illuminated entry, remote keyless entry and panic alarms. Rear child safety door locks are standard for both as well as low tire pressure warnings.
Seeing differences between these two options can be challenging; even the fuel economy is relatively similar with the only difference being the Grand Cherokee offers 1 mpg better gas mileage that the Durango, and that only in the city mpg numbers. Overall mileage is exactly the same as are the highway numbers. If you are willing to pay a bit more, then the Durango offers more standard options; if you need the economy option then the Grand Cherokee fits the bill.