Crossover & Midsize

Pick the Nissan Rogue Over the Jeep Cherokee Unless You’re Going Off-Road

The 2020 Nissan Rogue and 2020 Jeep Cherokee are both compact SUVs. The Rogue is even Nissan’s top-selling model. Despite a number of similarities, they’re best for slightly different audiences. The Rogue is great for most buyers who are looking for an affordable SUV for everyday driving that has good fuel efficiency. The Cherokee is perfect for the subset who also need towing capabilities and off-road driving abilities. Here’s a comparison of the two. 

Powertrains of the 2020 Nissan Rogue and Jeep Cherokee

The 2020 Jeep Cherokee has more engine options than the 2020 Nissan Rogue and more towing capability as well. The Cherokee isn’t a fast SUV, though, and its base engine is “too pokey” according to Kelley Blue Book. It does not offer a hybrid option.

The Cherokee has three engine options, and all are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Its standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque.

The SUV also offers a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.2-liter V6 engine, with 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. The standard engine can tow up to 2,000 pounds. The new four-cylinder can tow up to 4,000 pounds, while the V6 engine can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue doesn’t have engine choices, providing just one powertrain. It previously offered a hybrid option, but no longer does for 2020. The one engine is a four-cylinder engine that generates 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver found that the Rogue offers a pleasant drive but has clumsy handling. It also has a CVT that Kelley Blue Book says “drones under hard acceleration.” The 2020 Rogue is able to tow up to 1,102 pounds, which is much less than the Cherokee.

The fuel efficiency of the 2020 Nissan Rogue and Jeep Cherokee

The 2020 Nissan Rogue offers better fuel efficiency than any of the Cherokee’s three engines; the 2020 Jeep Cherokee doesn’t have great fuel efficiency. Its standard engine is rated for 23 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The new four-cylinder engine is rated for 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The V6 is rated for 20 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway.

The Rogue is one of the most fuel-efficient compact SUVs. The front-wheel-drive Rogue is rated for 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, and the all-wheel-drive version is one MPG less for both.

Off-road abilities

As you might expect from a Jeep, the 2020 Cherokee is good for off-roading. It’s especially good for off-roading when equipped with the Trailhawk package. In contrast, the Rogue is not well-suited for off-road driving. It has available all-wheel drive, but it’s still not really designed for off-roading. It’s best for everyday driving.

Design and technology

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Both SUVs seat five people. The exterior design of the Cherokee has been updated, and Kelley Blue Book considers it now to be “more conventional” and have a “much-improved look.”

The Cherokee comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It also now offers the Advanced Safety Group package, which provides a lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. It does have a smaller cargo area, though, with just 54.7 cubic feet.

The Rogue has good technology along with its good fuel efficiency. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It also comes standard with Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, high beam assist, lane departure warning, a blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic braking.

The Rogue hasn’t been redesigned for a while, so some competitors have more safety features. The 2020 Rogue provides good cargo space with 70 cubic feet – much more than the Cherokee. 

Comparing starting prices

The 2020 Jeep Cherokee starts at $26,085. With six trim levels, the highest trim starts at $35,785. The 2020 Nissan Rogue is less expensive, starting at $25,300. Of its six trim levels, the highest starting price is $33,040.

People looking to save money both on the purchase and on fuel should take a look at the 2020 Nissan Rogue. It’s great for around town and transporting cargo. Those with towing and off-roading needs may wish to spend the extra money for the 2020 Jeep Cherokee.