2021 Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

Do you want to cruise around Penn Yan, Watkins Glen, and Geneva, NY, in a capable SUV? Then you may be looking at models like the 2021 Jeep Cherokee and 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee. While they may sound very similar in name, the two vehicles actually differ in a few key ways.

To help you decide which one is going to be the right fit for your lifestyle, our team at Friendly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram put together this Cherokee vs. Grand Cherokee comparison. Read on to see which SUV is your ideal match and then give us a call to learn more.

Cherokee vs Grand Cherokee: Interior Measurements

Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior

First, let’s start our comparison with a tour of the cabin. Both the 2021 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee give you plenty of space for passengers. They each have two rows of seats and can accommodate up to five passengers in total, including the driver.

Even with a full cabin in either SUV, you or your fellow explorers will be able to stretch out, thanks to the following dimensions:


Jeep Cherokee

Front Headroom: 39.4 inches

Rear Headroom: 38.5 inches

Front Legroom: 41.1 inches

Rear Legroom: 40.3 inches

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Front Headroom: 39.9 inches

Rear Headroom: 39.2 inches

Front Legroom: 40.3 inches

Rear Legroom: 38.6 inches


As you can see, the Cherokee has more legroom to offer you and your hiking buddies, so it may be the better option for some passengers. However, the Grand Cherokee offers more rear headroom, so you need to decide how much space you will need in your next car’s cabin.

Space for All Your Road-Trip Essentials

When it’s time to load up, the Cherokee offers plenty of room for your tent and camping cooler with 25.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear row. If more room is needed for bulkier items, simply configure the rear 60/40 split-folding back seats to make space. When folded completely flat, you’ll be treated to 54.7 cubic feet of total cargo space.

If your weekend adventures call for even more cargo, though, you may prefer the Grand Cherokee. Behind the rear seat, you’ll find 36.3 cubic feet of cargo room. When the rear seat is folded down, this area expands to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

While you get more space in the Grand Cherokee, both SUVs are designed to make packing up easier. The Grand Cherokee can be armed with a power liftgate that opens with a simple press of the button on your key fob.

The Cherokee, on the other hand, goes the extra step with an available hands-free liftgate. This opens the hatch with a simple wave of your foot under the rear bumper, so you don’t have to put down whatever you’re holding.

Off-Road Readiness in the 2021 Cherokee and Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee Off Road

Whether you choose to drive the Jeep Cherokee or Jeep Grand Cherokee, you can be sure that you’re taking the wheel of a highly capable SUV.

Both vehicles feature impressive handling capabilities with three available 4-wheel drive (4WD) systems. To top it all off, your selected 4×4 system is paired to the Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System with selectable drive modes. Some of the modes you can choose from include:

  • Snow: Adjusts performance to maximize stability on snow- or ice-covered roads.
  • Sand/Mud: Maximizes traction at low speeds by allowing wheel slip at specifically tuned chassis controls, differentials, and transmission ratios.
  • Rock: Works with locking rear differentials, so you can crawl over rugged terrain at safe speeds.

Once you venture off the paved path, simply select the mode that best matches the specific conditions you’re encountering and enjoy a safe and protected trek.

Take Your Explorations to the Next Level

When it comes to off-roading, a rugged construction is essential. When an SUV is crafted for adventure, that can make all the difference when summiting small mountains in your path.

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee sits high off the ground with a maximum ground clearance of 8.7 inches, allowing you to sail over rocks, boulders, and other ground obstructions. If you really want to crank up your adventures a notch, though, you’ll enjoy the maximum 10.8-inch ground clearance in the Grand Cherokee.

This higher stance in the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee enables this SUV to tackle up to 22.6 inches of water fording as well. Streams and small rivers won’t stop you in your tracks with the Cherokee, either, thanks to 20 inches of water fording when properly equipped.

Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee: MPG and Engine Specs

Jeep Cherokee vs Jeep Grand Cherokee MPG

Freedom of the open road is all about choice. Clearly the 2021 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee provide you with plenty of freedom to roam wherever you please, but you’ll also get freedom to choose the supreme power you’re looking for.

Each of these SUVs has multiple powertrain selections available to you, with each motor boasting its own unique perks:


Engine Option


Torque (lb-ft)

Jeep Cherokee

2.4-liter Tigershark® MultiAir® 2 I-4



3.2-liter Pentastar® V6



2.0-liter Turbo I-4



Engine Option


Torque (lb-ft)

Jeep Grand Cherokee

3.6-liter Pentastar® V6



5.7-liter V8



6.4-liter HEMI® V8



6.2-liter Supercharged V8



Clearly the three engine options in the Cherokee have a lot of power to provide you with, but the Grand Cherokee takes it to the next level with its available Supercharged V8 motor. This powertrain can take you from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.5 seconds for a highway performance you’re sure to remember.

However, if you’d rather have an exploration with minimal interruptions, opt for the available 2.0-liter engine in the Cherokee. This motor delivers an EPA-estimated 23 city/31 highway MPG to help you roam for nearly 490 miles before refueling.

Take Your Trailer on Your Excursion

Want to bring your family’s camper or small boat on your next getaway? Then, you’ll be happy to learn these SUVs were built to haul.

When you upgrade to the 3.2-liter engine on the Cherokee, you’ll be treated to a maximum towing capacity of 4,500 pounds when properly equipped. This is enough brawn to carry a small hard-side RV for family camping trips in the mountains or a few jet skis for a really thrilling day at the beach.

Need a little extra muscle for larger towing projects? The Grand Cherokee ups the towing capacity to 7,200 pounds with its available engines, helping you carry a large camper or boat on your adventures.

Test Drive the 2021 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee Today!

The best way to know whether you want to drive the 2021 Jeep Cherokee or Jeep Grand Cherokee around Geneva, Watkins Glen, and Penn Yan, New York, is to get behind the wheel for a test drive.

You can do that simply by visiting the showroom at Friendly DCJR. Contact us to schedule your test drive today!

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