2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Acadia Denali’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Acadia Denali offers an optional Surround Vision System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Grand Cherokee only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Acadia and the Grand Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

24%

Neck Stress

162 lbs.

189 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

33 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

112/392 lbs.

321/349 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Grand Cherokee:

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

20 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.2/.1 kN

4.9/2.3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

3%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.59/.48

1.06/.54

Tibia forces R/L

.9/.9 kN

2.3/1.3 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

155 G’s

182 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

18 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Acadia the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Grand Cherokee was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Acadia’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Grand Cherokee’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Acadia for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Grand Cherokee.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Acadia have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Engine

The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (310 vs. 295) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 260) than the Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Jeep Grand Cherokee V6:

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

88.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Grand Cherokee with the 5.7 V8 engine requires mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the GMC Acadia higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Jeep Grand Cherokee (1 to 5). This means the Acadia produces up to 45.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Grand Cherokee every 15,000 miles.

The EPA certifies the GMC Acadia as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Jeep Grand Cherokee is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Grand Cherokee V6 are solid, not vented.

The Acadia stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Acadia’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Jeep Grand Cherokee only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Grand Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 1050 pounds less than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Acadia Denali AWD is quieter than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (41 vs. 45 dB).

Passenger Space

The Acadia has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Grand Cherokee can only carry 5.

The Acadia has 38.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Grand Cherokee (143.8 vs. 105.4).

The Acadia has .4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

The front step up height for the Acadia is 2.5 inches lower than the Grand Cherokee (18” vs. 20.5”). The Acadia’s rear step up height is 1.8 inches lower than the Grand Cherokee’s (19” vs. 20.8”).

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the Grand Cherokee.

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

36.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

68.3 cubic feet

The Acadia’s cargo area is larger than the Grand Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:

 

Acadia

Grand Cherokee

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

18.5”/48”/83”

n.a./38.5”/74.2”

Max Width

50”

47.6”

Min Width

42.5”

41.7”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Acadia’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Acadia’s optional front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches. The Grand Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

The Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Grand Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the Grand Cherokee, including $214 less for a muffler, $93 less for a starter and $65 less for front struts.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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