2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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 2019/10/16

The NX Series’ 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking that use 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 NX Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera 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.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Lexus NX Series is safer than the Grand Cherokee:

NX Series

Grand Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

150

172

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.4/1.3 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

.48/.48

1.06/.54

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, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

NX Series

Grand Cherokee

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

148 G’s

182 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

303 lbs.

612 lbs.

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, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Grand Cherokee was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

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The NX Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Grand Cherokee’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Jeep covers the Grand Cherokee. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Grand Cherokee ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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

Reliability

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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the NX Series’ reliability 58 points higher than the Grand Cherokee.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 61 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Jeep is ranked 22nd.

Engine

© 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 2019/10/16

As tested in Motor Trend the NX 300 is faster than the Jeep Grand Cherokee V6:

NX Series

Grand Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

88.4 MPH

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 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the NX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee:

MPG

NX Series

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Grand Cherokee

RWD

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 NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The NX 300h 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 NX Series stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

NX Series

Grand Cherokee

70 to 0 MPH

183 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

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 2019/10/16

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series offers an optional 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 NX 300 F Sport AWD handles at .76 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Lexus NX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 1100 pounds less than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The NX Series is 7.1 inches shorter than the Grand Cherokee, making the NX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus NX Series amounts to more than styling. The NX Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .34 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Grand Cherokee (.371). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the NX Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the NX Series is 2.4 inches lower than the Grand Cherokee (18.1” vs. 20.5”). The NX Series’ rear step up height is 2.8 inches lower than the Grand Cherokee’s (18” vs. 20.8”).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the NX Series easier. The NX Series’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.2 inches, while the Grand Cherokee’s liftover is 32.4 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the NX Series’ 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.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 78% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

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The NX Series’ 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 NX Series’ 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.

If the windows are left open on the NX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Grand Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the NX Series F Sport has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer cornering lights. The NX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the NX Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the NX Series with a number “5” insurance rate while the Grand Cherokee is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because typical repairs cost less on the NX Series than the Grand Cherokee, including $5 less for a muffler, $84 less for front brake pads and $3 less for front struts.

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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Grand Cherokee isn't recommended.

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

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