Trucks & SUVs

Is the Jeep Cherokee Really the Worst Compact SUV of 2020?

Jeep is one of the most popular car brands in America, and Jeep makes a lot of cars that Americans love. But Jeep has made some missteps in the past. While Jeep has fixed those issues, that won’t stop new problems from coming up. That’s what some think has happened with the 2020 Jeep Cherokee.

The Jeep Cherokee in last place

As Kelley Blue Book said in its ranking of compact SUVs from 2020, the Cherokee was in last place among its competitors. The Cherokee was ranked 13th in the segment that includes compact SUVs such as the Subaru Forester and the Honda CR-V. To be fair to the Cherokee though, even though it was in last place, it didn’t do that poorly.

Kelley Blue Book based its rankings on the expert ratings that it had previously given the cars. The Cherokee had a 3.5 out of 5 score, which is essentially a score of 70%, not great, but not terrible. That said, being in last place is still a terrible thing to say about the Cherokee. Here’s a deeper look at the Cherokee and whether or not it deserves what Kelley Blue Book said about it.

Pros and cons of this SUV

In Kelley Blue Book’s review of the Cherokee, Kelley Blue Book gave four pros and four cons for the Cherokee. The biggest pro that the Cherokee has is definitely in its ability to off-road. This is to be expected, as Jeep is well-known for taking off-roading capability seriously.

The upgraded engine options that are available to the Cherokee were also a pro. Kelley Blue Book also liked the high-tech features that are on the Cherokee, some of which are there to help with its off-roading capability. Finally, Kelley Blue Book also praised the standard safety features that Jeep offers on the Cherokee.

However, while the upgraded engine options are great, Kelley Blue Book didn’t like the standard engine on the Cherokee. Additionally, the Cherokee is also not too reliable.

Furthermore, while the Cherokee is a compact SUV, Kelley Blue Book says that its cargo capacity is below average for its class. And finally, Kelley Blue Book says that the Cherokee is more expensive overall than its competitors. 

Is the Jeep Cherokee really the worst compact SUV?

The Honda CR-V was in first place in Kelley Blue Book’s rankings, so it’s a good SUV to compare with the Cherokee to see just how far apart they are. In terms of cargo space, U.S. News says that the Cherokee has 25.8 cu. ft. of cargo space with its seats up and 54.7 cu. ft. of cargo space with its seats down. U.S. News says that the CR-V has 37.6 cu. ft. of cargo space with its seats up and 75.8 cu. ft. of cargo space with its seats down. 

In terms of power, U.S. News says that the Cherokee comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that gets 180-hp. There are options for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.2-liter V6, both of which get about 270-hp. The CR-V has just one engine, a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that gets 190-hp. 

When it comes to safety features, even though Jeep has made improvements on this front, Honda sweeps the board and offers a ton of standard smart safety features on the CR-V. In terms of price, Kelley Blue Book says that the CR-V starts at about $26,000 while the Cherokee starts about $27,000. 

So, based on these numbers, the standard CR-V is significantly better than the standard Cherokee. But, one area where the Cherokee probably beats the CR-V at is off-roading. Other than that though, the Cherokee is definitely not the best compact SUV.