2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
Features & Specs
2021 Toyota Highlander
7,200 lbs
Tow Rating
5,000 lbs
5 yr.
Roadside Assistance Warranty
2 yr.
10.9 in.
Ground Clearance
8.0 in.
437 / 598 miles
Range (city/hwy)
358 / 483 miles

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L vs Toyota Highlander

Shopping for a new full-size SUV is an important task that takes a lot of careful thought and consideration. A bonus of driving an SUV is its increased capacity, perfect for families, road trips with friends, and packing all the gear you need for your next adventure. However, with so many important driving needs to fulfill, you need to know your SUV is up for any challenge. Here at Gillman CDJR, we understand all the work that goes into choosing your next full-size SUV, and we're here to help narrow your search! We've selected the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and the 2021 Toyota Highlander, and reviewed them side-by-side to see how they compare. Continue reading below to learn which SUV you'd rather drive home in!

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Power & Handling

The Jeep brand has long upheld its reputation for having strong and powerful SUVs, and the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is no exception. The Grand Cherokee L offers two engine options for its 4 trims, the first of which is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which starts off strong with its 257 lb-ft of torque and 290 horsepower. The upper two trims can opt for the 5.7-liter V8, which offers a beefier 390 b-ft of torque and 357 horsepower. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the V8 also notably boasts a tow rating of 7,200 pounds when properly equipped. The Overland trim level has earned its Jeep Trail Rated Badge, meaning it's been rigorously tested to stand up against the elements and conquer all terrains with ease.

2021 Toyota Highlander Power & Handling

For its 2021 lineup of six trim levels, the Toyota Highlander offers just one engine. The powertrain includes a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission providing 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. This isn't a bad start, but unfortunately the list ends there, as there's no V8 option available for that extra boost of power. This is felt in the Highlander's towing capacity, which maxes out at just 5,000 pounds, compared to 7,200 on the Grand Cherokee L. The Highlander also lacks the Grand Cherokee L's athleticism, and feels much more at home on paved roads than off-road trails. However, the Highlander's wide body offers a smooth and comfortable ride for everyday drives.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Features & Design

The Grand Cherokee L has all the signature features of a Jeep, like its sleek and classic upright design and seven-slot grille. Inside, the Grand Cherokee L seats up to 7 passengers, making it larger than previous Grand Cherokee models of years passed. The interior is elegantly designed, with upper trims adding truly luxurious features like heated massage seats, premium Palermo leather, and real open-pore walnut wood. Some of its standard features include paddle shifters, the Uconnect 5 infotainment system, and an extensive safety package including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, trailer sway control, and lane departure warning. Additional features include a wireless charging pad, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, and an Off-Road Group package to further enhance capability.

2021 Toyota Highlander Features & Design

The Toyota Highlander received a full redesign for its 2020 model year, and not much has changed for 2021. It features a large and aggressive front grille flanked by two angled headlamps, and an overall tapered, windswept-looking body. Inside, the Highlander seats either 7 or 8 depending on the configuration, with cloth seating that's swapped out for leather on the higher trims. The Highlander comes equipped with the ToyotaSense safety package, as well as LED headlights and a power-adjustable driver's seat as standard equipment. Additional features include keyless entry and ignition, a power tailgate, blind-spot monitoring, heated seats, and a head-up display. Unfortunately, each of the Highlander's six trim levels only add a handful of additional features at each level, so they start to feel a bit similar, especially among the middle trims.


It's definitely a close race between these two SUVs, but ultimately our recommendation goes to the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. It offers all the daily capabilities you need, as well as offering more ruggedness and versatility that you just can't get from the Toyota Highlander. We also love how many features the Grand Cherokee L offers, ranging from simple and classic to fully luxurious based on the trim level you choose. Be sure to check out our current inventory over on our New Inventory page, or give us a call to speak with one of our friendly associates about the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. From all of us here at Gillman CDJR, we can't wait to work with you soon!

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