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2018 Ford Explorer

Starting Price: $33,135 | Price yours

Above Average: Elegant interior, large options list, rugged styling

Below Average: Off-road capability compared to competition, third row space

Consensus: The best-selling 3-row vehicle in the country

 

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2018 Jeep Cherokee

Starting Price: $28,085 | Price yours

Above Average: Off-road capability, engine power option

Below Average: Interior space, handling in the corners

Consensus: A refined compact SUV that hasn’t forgotten its Jeep off-road roots

 

The Ford Explorer gets a refreshed look inside and out. It boasts a great safety package and has multiple engine and trim options. The Explorer’s third row, while small, also makes it more enticing to larger families than the two-row Cherokee. The Jeep Cherokee is just one of two compact SUV options to offer a V6 engine, without venturing into the luxury brands. Higher trims like the Trailhawk and Limited have more standard features added like blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors. The exterior styling may not look like the traditional Jeep, but it still performs like one.

Ford Explorer Advantages

Third row, cargo space, power, safety

Jeep Cherokee Advantages

Price, off-road capability

Similarities

Multiple engine options, sleek styling, quiet inside ride

Final Recommendation

Both are bigger options when looking at their respective classes. The Jeep Cherokee offers a V6, but the standard 2.4-liter I4 engine is a little underwhelming. However, if off-roading is a priority than look no further than the Jeep. The Ford Explorer has multiple engine and trim options and can seat seven. The Explorer is the more practical of the two.

  2018 Ford Explorer 2018 Jeep Cherokee
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.5-liter V6 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm 184 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 255 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 171 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-speed Automatic, 9-speed
Fuel Economy 20 mpg (17 city, 24 hwy) 23 mpg (21 city, 28 hwy)
Also Available 2.3L 280-hp I4; 3.5L 365-hp twin-turbo V6 3.2-liter 271-hp V6
Specs    
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 4 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 7 5
Wheelbase 112.6 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 198.3 inches 182.0 inches
Width 90.2 inches 73.2 inches
Height 70.0 inches 66.2 inches
Turning Diameter 38.9 feet 37.7 feet
Headroom, Front 41.4 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, 2nd row 40.6 inches 38.5 inches
Headroom, 3rd row 37.8 inches N/A
Legroom, Front 42.9 inches 41.1 inches
Legroom, 2nd row 39.5 inches 40.3 inches
Legroom, 3rd row 33.3 inches N/A
Shoulder Room, Front 61.5 inches 57.6 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd row 61.0 inches 55.1 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd row 50.8 inches N/A
EPA Passenger Volume 151.7 cu. ft. 128.0 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 81.7 cu. ft.  54.9 cu. ft.
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