2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln Aviator 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 middle seat belts.

Both the Aviator and Grand Cherokee have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Aviator has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Grand Cherokee’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Aviator 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 Aviator (except Base) offers an optional Reverse Brake Assist 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 Aviator Reserve/Grand Touring/Black Label has a standard 360-Degree 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 Aviator’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 Aviator 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 and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The Aviator 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.

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Aviator 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.

Reliability

The Lincoln Aviator’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Grand Cherokee’s 3.6 DOHC V6 engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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

The Aviator 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.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Aviator has a standard -amp alternator (250-amp - Aviator optional). The Grand Cherokee’s standard 160-amp alternator and largest (optional) 220-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 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 Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 19th in reliability. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 2 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

The Aviator’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 105 more horsepower (400 vs. 295) and 155 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 260) than the Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The Aviator’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 40 more horsepower (400 vs. 360) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 390) than the Grand Cherokee’s optional 5.7 V8. The Aviator’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 134 more horsepower (494 vs. 360) and 240 lbs.-ft. more torque (630 vs. 390) than the Grand Cherokee’s optional 5.7 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Aviator 4x4 3.0 turbo V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee 4x4 V8 (17 city/24 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).

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

Regardless of its engine, the Aviator’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Grand Cherokee V6.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lincoln Aviator, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Grand Cherokee.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Aviator has larger tires than the Grand Cherokee (255/55R19 vs. 245/70R17).

The Aviator’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Aviator has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Grand Cherokee Laredo. The Aviator’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Grand Cherokee.

Suspension and Handling

The Aviator 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Aviator’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Grand Cherokee (119.1 inches vs. 114.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Aviator is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Grand Cherokee.

Chassis

The front grille of the Aviator 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.

Passenger Space

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

The Aviator has 39.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Grand Cherokee (144.7 vs. 105.4).

The Aviator has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.1 inches more rear hip room and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

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

Aviator

Grand Cherokee

Third Seat Folded

41.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

36.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

77.7 cubic feet

68.3 cubic feet

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

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 62% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

The Aviator (except Base) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 Aviator’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 Aviator’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.

If the windows are left open on the Aviator the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Grand Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Uconnect Access can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Uconnect Access can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Aviator’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Grand Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Aviator offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Aviator’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Aviator (except Base)’s optional Active Park Assist Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Grand Cherokee (except Laredo)’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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

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