2020 Ford Escape FHEV vs. 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape FHEV have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Escape FHEV has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escape FHEV offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escape FHEV’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Escape FHEV and the Grand Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

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 Ford Escape FHEV is safer than the Grand Cherokee:

Escape FHEV

Grand Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

80

172

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.1/0 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

.42/.33

1.06/.54

Tibia forces R/L

1.1/.1 kN

2.3/1.3 kN

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Escape FHEV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Grand Cherokee is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Ford dealers than there are Jeep dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Escape FHEV’s warranty.

Reliability

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

The Escape FHEV has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 10 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

On the EPA test cycle the Escape FHEV gets better mileage than the Grand Cherokee:

MPG

Escape FHEV

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

44 city/37 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/37 hwy

Grand Cherokee

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Escape FHEV’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

The Escape FHEV has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Escape FHEV stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

Escape FHEV

Grand Cherokee

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Escape FHEV’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.

Suspension and Handling

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The Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Ford Escape FHEV may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1550 pounds less than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Escape FHEV is 9.3 inches shorter than the Grand Cherokee, making the Escape FHEV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

The Escape FHEV has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape FHEV easier. The Escape FHEV’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.9 inches, while the Grand Cherokee’s liftover is 32.4 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape FHEV Titanium’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.

Towing

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All models of the Escape FHEV can be flat towed on all four wheels, allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Escape FHEV can be unhitched and driven around locally. Only the Grand Cherokee 4WD can be dinghy towed and it requires equipment that is not standard.

Ergonomics

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The Escape FHEV Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Escape FHEV’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Grand Cherokee’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Grand Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Escape FHEV’s standard 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.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Grand Cherokee’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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