How Does the Jeep Cherokee Compare to the Subaru Forester?

Those interested in a comfortable everyday SUV capable of rugged adventures might find themselves stuck between the 2020 Jeep Cherokee and the 2020 Subaru Forester. Both the Cherokee and the Forester are enjoyable SUVs with their own unique style. But how would you choose between the two?

Driving the Jeep Cherokee vs. the Subaru Forester 

2020 Jeep Cherokee off-roading in mud
2020 Jeep Cherokee | Jeep

Neither the Cherokee nor the Forester are speed demons, but the Cherokee is a little quicker. The Cherokee is also particularly dynamic. This Jeep is comfortable enough for your everyday drives and still considered one of the most efficient off-roaders in the compact SUV class.

There are three engine options on the Cherokee that all come with a nine-speed automatic. Its standard engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. But four-cylinder makes the Cherokee feel pokey. Thus, it’s worth considering the available 270-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or the 271-horsepower 3.2-liter V6. Both of these options provide adequate speed, but the V6 is the best pick if you want to access the Cherokee’s max towing capacity. 

2020 Subaru Forester Limited driving down a gravel road in the woods
2020 Subaru Forester Limited | Subaru

As far as fuel economy is concerned, the Cherokee is on par with the class. But if fuel efficiency is among your top priorities, you might gravitate toward the Forester, which gets a combined 29 mpg. There’s only one powertrain on the Forester, and that’s a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Critics primarily celebrate the Forester for its smooth ride quality. It also earns extra points for its standard all-wheel-drive and is capable enough for mild off-roading excursions. 

RELATED: Best Road Trip Cars: Subaru Forester

Interior elements

2020 Subaru Forester Touring interior
2020 Subaru Forester Touring interior | Subaru

The Cherokee and the Forester both offer spacious car cabins that can comfortably seat up to five passengers. Although, we’d say though that the Forester has a more luxury-focused interior. Every Forester trim level feels upscale and serene. Cloth upholstery comes standard on the Forester, and there is a long list of upgrades available, including perforated leather-trimmed seats and heated front and rear seats.

Compared to the Forester, the Cherokee has a more rugged interior. Even so, the Cherokee is handsome on the inside, and you can also make it more luxurious by going up to the higher trim levels. Where the Cherokee really shines though is with infotainment. Its Uconnect system is user-friendly and is standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

The Jeep Cherokee's interior is handsome and durable.
2020 Jeep Cherokee Interior | Jeep

The Forester also comes with popular smartphone integration apps that are accessible through a 6-5-inch touchscreen. Some of the Forester’s standard infotainment features are upgrades on the Cherokee, such as satellite radio. Plus, the Forester comes with more advanced safety equipment, including a rear-seat reminder system and adaptive cruise control. The Cherokee doesn’t come standard with many active safety features, but there are few available, such as forward collision warning.

RELATED: Popular Car Safety Features Simplified

Additional things to consider

The Cherokee and Forester are safe and pleasant rides. Deciding between the two comes down to what type of performance capabilities you desire. If you want a comfortable SUV that can double as a commendable off-roader, go with the Cherokee. But if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s more well-rounded, the Forester is a better choice.