If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle, chances are you’ve seriously considered an SUV. In the last five years or so, we’ve seen a meteoric rise in SUV sales in America. As the New York Times reports, SUVs comprised nearly half (47.4 percent) of U.S. auto sales in 2019 – a definite shift from the preceding decades in which sedans reigned supreme.
So, why are Americans so crazy about SUVs these days? Above all, drivers often choose SUVs for their cargo and passenger hauling capabilities. Many people also find the higher ride they get behind the wheel of an SUV both comfortable and more reassuring on the road.
At the intersection of SUV and capability resides the Jeep brand. But, as well known as this automaker is for making off-road-ready vehicles, they also offer models that excel as daily drivers — like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, just to name a few.
Family-minded drivers looking for lots of seating without sacrificing fun and adventure could find themselves torn between these two models. Here’s more on what the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Grand Wagoneer both have to offer.
Grand Cherokee L vs. Grand Wagoneer: Seating & Cargo
Some of the first questions curious drivers ask about any model they’re considering are: “How many people can it fit?” and “How much stuff can it carry?”
The Grand Cherokee has traditionally been able to seat up to five across two rows, but that changed with the release of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L with seating for seven across three rows. The Grand Wagoneer has three rows, coming standard with seven seats or offering eight for drivers who need room for more family members and friends.
In terms of how much spaces passengers have, the Grand Cherokee L provides 152 cubic feet while the Grand Wagoneer jumps up to 179 cubic feet.
Now let’s talk cargo — groceries, sports equipment, furniture, you name it. The Grand Cherokee L provides up to 84.6 cubic feet of storage; the Grand Wagoneer can accommodate up to 94.2 cubic feet of storage.
The takeaway where? Both vehicles are roomy options for up to seven or eight riders, but the Grand Wagoneer offers more passenger and cargo space for families who need every foot they can get. Which one better suits your lifestyle depends on how many people and how much stuff you need to transport regularly.
Grand Cherokee L vs. Grand Wagoneer: Comfort
The bottom line is that the Grand Wagoneer is a luxury SUV. This means it come standard with lavish touches like leather-trimmed seats and a 12.1-inch infotainment display. The Grand Cherokee L focuses more on practical comfort, with standard cloth seats and an 8.4-inch infotainment system.
This tendency toward luxury is reflected in the starting price, too. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer starts at $87,590. Meanwhile a new Jeep Grand Cherokee L will start at $38,635 — making it the more budget friendly SUV option of the two.
Grand Cherokee L vs. Grand Wagoneer: Performance
The Grand Wagoneer, being larger, has a 6.4L V8 engine. The upside is that it can tow nearly 10,000 pounds — but the catch is that this level of power does sacrifice some fuel efficiency. The Environmental Protection Agency rated this full-sized SUV at 15 mpg combined.
The Grand Cherokee L features a 3.6L V6 engine and can tow up to 6,200 pounds. It consumes an estimated 19 mpg on city streets and 26 mpg on the highway.
In the market for a large SUV? Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Grand Wagoneer are fantastic contenders, but ultimately they “scratch different itches.” The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a bit smaller, lighter, and more budget-conscious. The Grand Wagoneer is more luxurious, powerful, and larger.