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Head-to-Head: 2022 Dodge Durango vs 2022 Grand Cherokee

A pair of big brawny SUVs from the same family, the Dodge Durango, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee take on one another to see who’s king.

Dodge Durango vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Jeep and Dodge have been on two sides of the same mountain for the last few years it seems. Each brand is climbing towards the top of the automotive market but they’ve taken decidedly different paths to get there. Dodge has stuck to its guns and basically dropped a Hellcat motor into anything it might fit in (including a Jeep or two).

Jeep on the other hand has turned the page onto a whole new chapter in its story. One that has a strong focus on technology, luxury, and comfort. Today, we’re going to pit the 2022 Dodge Durango and its old-school attitude against the newer and glitzier 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Read on to find out who wins.

Specs

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7L V8 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7L V8 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com

Jeep introduced this version of the Grand Cherokee just this year and boy is it impressive on paper. Three different powertrains are available including a base 3.6-liter V6 with 293 horsepower, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder plug-in hybrid with 375 horsepower, and a 5.7-liter V8 with 357 horsepower. Every one of them sends that power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic. V6 models come with RWD standard but 4WD is available. All other models come with 4WD as standard equipment. The new Grand Cherokee starts at just below $40,000 and can cost more than $76,000 depending on trim and options.

Dodge’s Durango is a dramatically different beast. At this point in its life, its platform is some 11 years old. How could such a dinosaur by modern automotive standards keep up with the all-new Grand Cherokee? Power, space, and pricing are good examples.

2022 Dodge Durango 5.7L V8 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com
2022 Dodge Durango 5.7L V8 - Raiti's Rides on youtube.com

First of all, the Durango uses the same base motor as the Jeep but Dodge uses Jeep’s top-trim V8 as the second-tier engine for the Durango. Above that is a fantastic 6.4-liter V8 with 475 horsepower. Again, all of these engines mate to the same eight-speed automatic transmission. Just like the Jeep, RWD and 4WD are both available depending on the trim level.

Another perk that sets the Durango apart from the Grand Cherokee is a standard third row. The Durango’s price range spans from just beneath $40,000 to right around $70,000 for the SRT model. It’s worth noting that one trim level below the SRT, starts at just $56,385 which is more than $10,000 less than the same trim for the Jeep.

Driving and Performance

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee - jeep.com
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee - jeep.com

The 2022 Grand Cherokee is a very competent driver. Around curves it struggles to hide its now larger and heavier frame but aside from that small complaint we loved it. Each of the trio of powertrain options was impressive in its own right as well. The V6 is more than powerful enough to never leave you wanting for more while the V8 and the plug-in hybrid powertrains are each quick and engaging to use to the full. The eight-speed automatic is another highlight thanks to snappy responses and smooth gear swaps when at lower RPMs.

The Durango provides a much more raw driving experience. It too struggles to comport itself around corners when equipped with the base V6 or the 5.7-liter V8. Thankfully, Dodge has improved the ride and handling quality of the SRT trim.

2022 Dodge Durango - dodge.com
2022 Dodge Durango - dodge.com

Frankly, it’s impressive to experience just how well Dodge’s muscle car history has made its way into the DNA of the Durango. It’s not nimble but it’s easily placed and predictable. But the top trim, the SRT, is blindly fast and far more performance oriented than the Grand Cherokee.

With that said it’s important to recognize that each one in their upper trim levels offers a different sort of performance that the average SUV doesn’t have. The Jeep can off-road far more capable than it might seem and the Dodge can beat supercars in a drag race. Pick your poison.

Comfort and Interior

Jeep has really upped its game over the past decade with regard to interior quality and the Grand Cherokee is a perfect example of just that. Even the base model Laredo is well-finished with tight panel gaps, good ergonomics, and a modern design. Upscale models are downright luxurious with rich leather upholstery, real wood trim, heated rear seats, and a 10.1-inch infotainment system. Both rows are spacious and comfortable. Ride quality is fantastic as well. Across the board, the new Grand Cherokee is impressive and very clearly superior to the Durango.

At the same time, it’s not that the Dodge is a bad place to be. Quite simply, it’s just older and so even with some big interior updates for 2022, it’s clearly from an older era. We do love the fact that it just feels bigger inside than in the Jeep. Of course, it is bigger and even includes a third row.

The Durango actually matches the Grand Cherokee in terms of base-model-quality quite nicely and even as the trim level rises the gap in experience isn’t based on any one major flaw on the Dodge’s part. Nappa leather, suede, contrast stitching, and more are available inside. While some features like second-row heated seats aren’t available, it’s important to remember that the upper trims of the Durango are priced well below those of the Grand Cherokee.

Trims and Features

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Traillhawk - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Traillhawk - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Depending on who you ask, the Grand Cherokee is available in anywhere from five to 13 different trim levels. As we see it there are seven main ones to be concerned with.

Laredo – This trim starts out with 17-inch wheels, a digital gauge cluster, dual-zone climate control, an 8.4-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and six speakers. All Grand Cherokees begin with the 3.6-liter V6 but the hybrid and V8 powertrains are available or standard depending on the trim level. Standard driver safety aids include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist.

Altitude – This trim level adds 20-inch wheels, heated front seats, a power liftgate, automatic wipers, a 115-volt household-style outlet, and remote start.

Limited – Going for the Limited trim adds access to the 4xe hybrid powertrain. Standard equipment on the Limited V6 includes leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and terrain-based drive modes. At the same time it removes the wireless charger and the automatic wipers found on the Altitude model.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Trailhawk – This off-road-focused trim opens up the 5.7-liter V8 and only comes with 4WD. It also adds an electronically disconnecting stabilizer bar, a limited-slip rear differential, front tow hooks, an adaptive air suspension, all-terrain tires, ventilated front seats, a front facing camera, and leather upholstery.

Overland – Luxury is the focus of the Overland trim as it gets 20-inch wheels, ambient interior lighting, upgraded leather upholstery, and a panoramic sunroof.

Summit – Technology gets added all over the place on the Summit trim. A 10.1-inch infotainment system becomes standard as do massaging front seats, quad-zone climate control, passenger seat memory settings, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, a surround-view camera, and more safety features like active driving assist and front cross-traffic alert.

Summit Reserve – As the top trim in the lineup, this Grand Cherokee gets all the bells and whistles including a 19-speaker sound system, a faux suede headliner, 21-inch wheels, premium leather upholstery, ventilated second-row seats, a 10.25-inch infotainment system specifically for the front passenger, and open-pore wood trim.

2022 Dodge Durango Citadel - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2022 Dodge Durango Citadel - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Dodge has five different trims for the Durango.

SXT – The base Durango comes with 18-inch wheels, a 8.4-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cloth upholstery, heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic alert.

GT – The GT adds 20-inch wheels, a power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, remote start, and a black grille. A GT Plus package adds leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s seat memory, heated second-row seats, forward-collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. A Premium package includes a 10.1-inch infotainment system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a sunroof, and automatic high beams.

2022 Dodge Durango SRT - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2022 Dodge Durango SRT - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

R/T – As the first performance-oriented trim, the R/T naturally adds the 5.7-liter V8 along with 20-inch wheels, a sport suspension, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a household-style power outlet.

Citadel – Consider this the luxury trim level. It gets chrome exterior trim, ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery, second-row captain’s chairs, and a heavy-duty towing package.

SRT – The top trim sports the 6.4-liter V8 along with Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, sport seats with upgraded leather, active noise cancellation, and a high-performance adaptive suspension.

The Verdict

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee - jeep.com
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee - jeep.com

There’s no doubt that these are both solid performing SUVs. Ultimately though, the Jeep’s newness beats out the old-school cool of the Dodge. Of course, if you need a third row or simply love having nearly 500 horsepower on tap at all times, the Durango is the clear option.  

Still, we think that so long as you’re not diving into the super-expensive trim levels on the Grand Cherokee that it’s the more well-rounded performer of the two for everyday use. As a bonus you can go way off road where even the fastest Durangos (and not much else for that matter) can follow.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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