2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. 2020 Nissan Pathfinder

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

The Grand Cherokee has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Grand Cherokee’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Grand Cherokee and the Pathfinder have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 and front parking sensors.

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

Grand Cherokee

Pathfinder

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

107

337

Neck Injury Risk

24%

42%

Neck Stress

189 lbs.

464 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

321/349 lbs.

516/475 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

242

248

Neck Injury Risk

23%

33%

Neck Stress

84 lbs.

137 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

340/145 lbs.

479/476 lbs.

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

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 Jeep Grand Cherokee is safer than the Nissan Pathfinder:

Grand Cherokee

Pathfinder

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

59

114

Hip Force

215 lbs.

457 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

41 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

338

Spine Acceleration

28 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

609 lbs.

661 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

There are over 2 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Grand Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Grand Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Grand Cherokee optional and 220 optional). The Pathfinder’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the Grand Cherokee is under the seat, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Grand Cherokee’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Pathfinder’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Grand Cherokee third among midsize suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Pathfinder isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

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The Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 11 more horsepower (295 vs. 284) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Grand Cherokee’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 76 more horsepower (360 vs. 284) and 131 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 259) than the Pathfinder’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Grand Cherokee V8’s fuel efficiency. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Grand Cherokee V6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Grand Cherokee has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pathfinder (24.6 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Grand Cherokee has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Grand Cherokee’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pathfinder:

Grand Cherokee V6

Grand Cherokee V8

Pathfinder

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

12.13 inches

The Grand Cherokee stops shorter than the Pathfinder:

Grand Cherokee

Pathfinder

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

For better traction, the Grand Cherokee has larger standard tires than the Pathfinder (245/70R17 vs. 235/65R18). The Grand Cherokee’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pathfinder (265/50R20 vs. 255/60R18).

The Grand Cherokee’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pathfinder Platinum’s 55 series tires.

The Grand Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pathfinder, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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The Grand Cherokee has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pathfinder’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Grand Cherokee has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The Grand Cherokee’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the Pathfinder’s (54.7% to 45.3%). This gives the Grand Cherokee more stable handling and braking.

The Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Pathfinder Platinum 4x4 (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Grand Cherokee’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Pathfinder’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Grand Cherokee has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pathfinder (8.6 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Grand Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Grand Cherokee Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 3.8 inches higher than on the Pathfinder (10.8 vs. 7 inches).

Chassis

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The Grand Cherokee is 8.7 inches shorter than the Pathfinder, making the Grand Cherokee easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Grand Cherokee offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

The Grand Cherokee has .2 inches more front hip room and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Pathfinder.

Cargo Capacity

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The Grand Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume than the Pathfinder with its rear seat up (36.3 vs. 16.2 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Grand Cherokee’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pathfinder’s (6200 vs. 6000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan Pathfinder is only 6000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee 4x4 offers up to a 7200 lbs. towing capacity.

The Grand Cherokee 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Grand Cherokee can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Pathfinder can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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The Grand Cherokee uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Pathfinder uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Grand Cherokee is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Pathfinder. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

The Grand Cherokee has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Pathfinder doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The Grand Cherokee’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Pathfinder does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Grand Cherokee and the Pathfinder have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Grand Cherokee is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pathfinder prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Grand Cherokee’s front power windows 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 Pathfinder’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

The Grand Cherokee’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Pathfinder SV/SL/Platinum’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Grand Cherokee offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Grand Cherokee has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Pathfinder S.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Grand Cherokee detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Grand Cherokee’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Pathfinder and aren’t offered on the Pathfinder S.

The Grand Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland/Summit has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Pathfinder offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Grand Cherokee’s optional Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Pathfinder doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Grand Cherokee owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Grand Cherokee with a number “8” insurance rate while the Pathfinder is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Grand Cherokee will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Grand Cherokee will retain 44.64% to 53.53% of its original price after five years, while the Pathfinder only retains 41.27% to 43.75%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Grand Cherokee is less expensive to operate than the Pathfinder because it costs $818 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Grand Cherokee than the Pathfinder, including $220 less for a water pump, $142 less for a starter, $194 less for fuel injection, $136 less for a fuel pump, $16 less for a timing belt/chain and $211 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

The Jeep Grand Cherokee outsold the Nissan Pathfinder by almost four to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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