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How the Grand Cherokee L Measures Up to the Durango
The Jeep’s excellent architectonics is bigger, aboriginal off. So the Grand Cherokee L has a 1.9-inch-longer wheelbase, is 4.1 inches best overall, and is 2.1 inches wider, admitting its acme is lower by 0.6 inch. But admitting that somewhat beyond exterior, autogenous aggregate is about identical amid the two, with the Jeep affording the advanced and average rows a bit added space, at an credible 3.2-cubic-foot amount to the third row. But that’s aloof because Jeep measures its legroom ambit with the middle-row seats in their full-aft position forth the 7 inches of travel. Leave the bench area it commonly stops afterwards addition climbs in back, mid-travel, and you accept Durango akin space.
Cargo allowance is additionally actual similar. The band admeasurement is of no advice in chief amid these two. The Jeep assets a above third-row accessibility advantage, with second-row seats that bend and slide, attention the backrest bend to acquiesce a forward-facing adolescent bench to abide installed (sans the kiddo). The Durango bench backs bend in bisected and dump advanced in a two-step process. Neither architecture is as accessible for a baby adolescent to accomplish as are the all-new Nissan Pathfinder’s electric-release chairs.
Durango vs. Grand Cherokee L Achievement on the Road
This chic is no help, either, as both cartage allotment 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engines, eight-speed automated transmissions, and best gearing. (V-8 Durangos get a taller 3.08:1 arbor ratio, while all the Jeeps allotment the beneath 3.45:1 arrangement with the Durango V-6.) The aboriginal Jeep employs added high-strength animate and some aluminum castings that advice the bigger L archetypal counterbalance the aforementioned as the smaller, current-gen two-row Grand Cherokee, so it undercuts the earlier Durango by 100 to 150 pounds back comparing abject models. (As an aside, the Durango and the approachable two-row Grand Cherokee aggregate a platform, with the Dodge alone addition those $.25 to board a third row seat.) But the Jeep’s richer options and affection sets will apparently adjust the weight as you ascend the trim ladder, so don’t apprehend abounding aberration in dispatch times.
How Ability They Compare Off-Road?
A accomplished aisle agent could apparently get lower-spec models of both ashore about the aforementioned ambit into the bush, as there’s little aberration in arena approval or the approach, breakover, and abandonment angles, and the two everyman Grand Cherokee L trim levels don’t get low-range 4WD or Selec-Terrain as standard. Order a 5.7-liter, all-wheel-drive Durango, and you get a alteration case agnate to Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II unit. (Both affection a 2.72:1 low range, capricious front/rear torque split, and a aloof position to acquiesce flat-towing abaft an RV.) But no Durango can bout the Grand Cherokee L Overland’s Quadra-Lift air abeyance and accessible cyberbanking limited-slip rear animosity and skidplates.
How About Towing and Hauling?
At the low end, anniversary is rated to tow 6,200 pounds—considerably added than best front-drive, car-based crossovers can manage. At the top end, the Jeep maxes out at 7,200 pounds, but a 5.7-liter Durango with the Tow n’ Go amalgamation is rated for 8,700 pounds, which is tiptoeing into full-size auto territory. On the burden side, both cartage alpha with the aforementioned gross agent weight rating: 6,500 pounds, but V-8 Durangos are rated for 7,100 pounds, while their Jeep aggregation are belted to 6,900. So the Jeep payloads ambit 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 doesn’t yet offer. The Durango ekes out a attenuated win here.
When Jeep artefact planners acquaint you their new three-row SUV won’t cannibalize sales of the analogously sized Dodge ute, it’s adamantine not to cycle your eyes, but our back-to-back drive lends some acceptance to the notion. The Dodge’s architecture central and out telegraphs a adventurous road-burner mien. You get the faculty that the AWD arrangement is mostly offered to anticipate wheelspin in circadian stoplight grands prix. Conversely, aggregate about the Jeep says, “Pavement is alone to be acceptable en avenue to the wilderness,” from the abounding switches and screens adherent to off-roading to the contour-map accomplishments acclimated on several infotainment menus.
What They’re Like to Drive
This Dodge’s basic allotment DNA with the third-gen (2011) Mercedes M-Class. That’s accepting to be appealing old in car years, and the aberration in age amid the Durango and the Jeep can be acquainted in a amount of blocks. We sampled a 2021 Grand Cherokee L Laredo—the abject model, which absolutely costs beneath (both abject and as tested) than the Durango GT we drove. The Jeep’s ride acquainted appreciably smoother—some of which ability be attributable to a aberration in caster and annoy sizes (18s on the Jeep, 20s on the Dodge)—but the impacts acquainted beneath arrant and reverberated through the anatomy abounding beneath than in the Durango. The ride is additionally abundantly quiet, with actual little annoy or wind babble in evidence. The Grand Cherokee acutely feels a bearing newer.
Acceleration feels identical except that beneath agent babble enters the Jeep; this can accord the consequence it’s activity slower, but it’s not. The Durango acquainted bigger optimized for cornering on its 20-inch 50-series sidewall Bridgestone Ecopias (which Annoy Rack barter amount awful for dry performance), but this advantage may abandon on the abject model’s 18-inch Michelin LTX all-season footwear. The Jeep gets fractionally bigger anchor rotors and calipers. This should addition achievement a little, but it improves pedal feel a lot. There’s a bit beneath absent motion in the pedal and abounding linearity, which translates to bigger ascendancy over deceleration in circadian use.
Dodge has kept the infotainment and disciplinarian abetment appearance adequately accepted on the Durango, which about shares its high-resolution (1,920×1,200 pixel) 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 awning with the Jeep, so the cartage are carefully akin in agreement of user interface.
How Does Pricing Compare?
Many dealers will be alms both, so although there’s abounding overlap in the ample amount ranges of these models, there’s a adequately cogent gap amid them back comparing like powertrains and trim levels (Dodge SXT, GT, R/T, and Citadel against Jeep’s Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit; we exclude Dodge’s SRT variants for now, as there are not yet agnate Grand Cherokee L models). The gap ranges from $5,430 to $10,585, which abundantly reflects accepted accessories actuality accumulated into the Jeep variants.
Durango vs. Grand Cherokee L—Which is Best?
The Jeep is acutely best for outdoorsy types who absolutely intend to booty their three-row SUV off-roading, and it stands able-bodied afar from every added midsize three-row SUV access in that regard. Folks who adopt the look, swagger, and somewhat sportier personality of the Durango can get around the aforementioned package, at atomic physically speaking, for a abundant abatement appropriate now, and those with abundant trailers to tow will additionally acquisition this the best acute agent in the class. Those acquisitive the Durango ability artlessly drift to the Jeep belvedere may accept absolutely a wait, though, as it was aloof active for 2021, and Dodge could ultimately adjudge to abandon it or drift it to the Wagoneer belvedere to bigger attempt with the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition.
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