If you’re interested in buying a new midsize SUV without a family-friendly third row of seats, the 2016 Ford Edge and the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee are probably on your shopping list. Both are popular, loaded with technology and recently updated with modern designs and interiors.
But which one is better? And which one should you get? To help you find out, we’ve created a close comparison between both SUVs, but first let’s see what’s new with the Edge and the Grand Cherokee for the 2016 model year.
2016 Ford Edge
After a full redesign last year, the Edge is largely unchanged for 2016. The biggest update is the addition of Ford’s new SYNC 3 infotainment system, though the SUV also adds keyless access with push-button starting, newly standard all-wheel drive and a power lift gate in Edge Sport models. Finally, the Edge’s 3.5-liter V6 is no longer available in the base-level Edge SE. See all 2016 Ford Edge models available near you
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Grand Cherokee is unchanged for 2016, save for a few minor mechanical updates such as a lighter suspension and improved electric-assist steering for easier low-speed turning, along with a new High Altitude package for the upscale Grand Cherokee Overland. See all 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee models available near you
According to the reliability experts at Consumer Reports, the Grand Cherokee’s reliability ratings generally range from below average to average. By comparison, the Ford Edge’s dependability ratings are generally average to above average, though the publication has not yet rated the Edge since its last full redesign for the 2015 model year. Both Ford and Jeep rank near the bottom of J.D. Power’s latest Vehicle Dependability Study, which places the two automakers well below the industry average.
As for warranty length, these two SUVs are identical: Both offer 3 years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, along with 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain protection. The result is that this category is a toss-up. While our early inclination is that the Edge might be a little more reliable than the Grand Cherokee, we’ll wait for more data before we declare a winner.
If fuel economy is a priority, you’ll be choosing from one of two different engines in the Grand Cherokee’s 4-engine lineup: a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, which makes 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.6-liter gasoline-powered V6 that produces 295 hp. The gasoline engine returns 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while the diesel boasts up to 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.
Meanwhile, the Edge offers three engines. Base models use a 245-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that gets up to 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy. Drivers looking for more power can choose between a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 capable of up to 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy and a 315-hp turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that touts 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway.
The result: The Edge has a slight leg up on the Grand Cherokee with its most efficient engine and its standard gasoline-powered V6. Drivers who want more power will probably prefer the Jeep, which also boasts a 360-hp 5.7-liter V8 and a raucous 475-hp 6.4-liter V8 in the high-performance SRT model.
In crash testing carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Ford Edge and Jeep Grand Cherokee each earned a perfect 5-star overall score. Neither model earned the coveted Top Safety Pick designation from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, as both SUVs failed to achieve the firm’s Good score in the challenging front small-overlap crash test.
As for safety equipment, both models offer just about everything you could want. Each touts standard side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, available forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot monitoring system. Disappointingly, a backup camera remains optional in the Grand Cherokee, though it’s standard in the Edge. On the other hand, the Edge doesn’t have an automatic forward-collision braking feature, even though it’s optional in the Grand Cherokee.
All in all, we think these two models come out of the Safety section in a tie.
When it comes to technology, both the Grand Cherokee and the Edge offer just about all of the most cutting-edge equipment you could reasonably expect to find in a midsize SUV today. These cars tout two of our favorite in-car infotainment systems, along with big screens that make the technology easy to use. Each vehicle also offers a long list of additional features, including automatic high beams, multispeaker premium sound systems, panoramic sunroofs, parking sensors and more.
Admittedly, the two models have a few differences. Only the Ford touts an automated parallel-parking system, while the Jeep offers a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that beats out the Edge’s available Sony system by seven speakers. Inflatable seat belts are only available in the Edge, while only the Jeep offers adaptive suspension.
The result? We think technophiles will be happy with either of these SUVs. But if you have specific technology desires, you’ll want to check the equipment list for both vehicles in order to ensure you’ll get what you want.
If you’re buying your next SUV on pricing alone, you’ll probably find that the Edge offers a better value than its Jeep rival. While the Grand Cherokee starts around $31,000 with shipping, the Edge is $29,700, and that difference increases as you move through the trim levels. The most expensive Edge you can buy — the upscale Edge Sport — starts around $41,400, while an upscale Grand Cherokee Summit starts at $50,800.
Admittedly, we think the Grand Cherokee Summit justifies its price with improved interior and exterior trim, but if value is your priority, that won’t matter much: You’ll want the Edge.
To us, the 2016 Ford Edge and the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee are both highly respectable options in the midsize-SUV world — so much so that it’s difficult to pick a winner. Undoubtedly, the Grand Cherokee is better for drivers who want a more luxurious vehicle or shoppers who want to go off-road, while the Edge is a better value and offers more of a carlike driving experience than its Jeep rival.
While that may help you pick a favorite, we strongly suggest test driving both in order to figure out which one is right for you.