The four vehicles that were tested all fell in the price range of $25,000 to $35,000. The vehicles were equipped with either all-wheel drive, which can be used at all times, under any driving condition, or four-wheel drive, which should be used only part time on loose surfaces such as mud. All of the vehicles were of the highest luxury model available.
Overall driving experience. The Jeep Grand Cherokee rides more comfortably than most utility vehicles even with a full load. The ride is overall pretty quiet but there is an occasional gear changing sound from the transmission [1:56] . The jeep's handling is sound. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport rides more like a pickup truck than a luxury sport utility. Bumps in city driving are pronounced and highway driving is jittery. The interior sound is overall quiet and the handling is less than graceful. The Ford Expedition, despite its size, is a responsive vehicle. Sharp turning does not cause the Expedition to do excessive leaning. The ride is firm and a bit jittery, but with a full load it gets better [1:57] . The Ford Explorer handles soundly. The body doesn't lean in turns and when the vehicle turns wide it is easy to recover. The ride is stiff and when on bumpy roads it is choppy [1:55] . Overall the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Cherokee performed above average compared to the other vehicles.
Vehicle cockpit. In the Jeep Grand Cherokee the optional power seat helps tall and short people get comfortable, with a good view of the road. The rear seat offers adequate room with average comfort. The steering wheel hides some of the instruments for any size user. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport cockpit offers average leg and head room, and the driver side seat adjustment will fit almost any user. The rear seat is a split bench and in a pinch can hold three six-footers [1:58] . The gages are readable and are within reach. Just about anyone should feel comfortable in the Ford Expedition's driver seat. The Expedition comes with added seat and steering wheel adjustments. Getting to the back seats of the Expedition can be some what of a task. There are numerous latches one must undo to arrive at the split bench back seat. The controls are easy to see day or night. The Ford Explorer is equipped with a six-way power driver's seat which should help any user get comfortable [1:55] . The Explorer has a split rear bench seat which will hold three adults. The gages on the Explorer are easy to read but at times some switches are hard to reach. There is no question here the Ford Expedition superseded all vehicles on the inside due to its size compared to the other vehicles.
Safety. Safety equipment on the Jeep Grand Cherokee includes dual air bags along with four three-point safety belts. Each seat has four head restraints that do not lock in their raised position. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport is equipped with dual air bags and four three point safety belts. The four head restraints are high enough even when lowered and they lock in place. The Ford Expedition comes with dual air bags and three-point seat belts with adjustable height positions. The head restraints on the Expedition are fixed and are high enough. The safety equipment on the Ford Explorer includes dual air bags and four three-point safety belts. The rear three point belts on the Explorer have an adjustable latch for child safety seats. The fixed head restraints are adequate [1:55-58] . All compare the same in safety but the Explorer offers the child safety seat option.
Price. The Jeep Grand Cherokee tested price was $29,885. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport tested price was $29,554. The Ford Expedition tested price was $32,465 and the Ford Explorers tested price was 29,535 [1:55-58] . The Expedition is considerably more expensive than the other three, which have close to the same price.
|Table 1. Testing results of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, the Ford Expedition, and the Ford Explorer.|
|Category||Jeep Grand Cherokee||Mitsubishi Montero Sport||Ford Expedition||Ford Explorer|
|Controls and display||4||4||4||4|
|Note: 1 - Poor, 2 - Good, 3 - Very good, 4 - Excellent|
|Interested in courses related to this page or a printed version? See the resources page.||Return to the main menu of this online textbook for technical writing.|