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If you’re on the hunt for an excellent compact crossover SUV, both the 2020 Toyota RAV4 and the 2020 Jeep Cherokee are likely to be on your radar. With two such excellent options, it can be challenging to make a decision.

According to Kelley Blue Book, however, the Toyota RAV4 is the winning choice if you’re torn between the two. So what are the pros and cons of each vehicle, and what exactly gives the RAV4 the edge?

Pros and cons of the Toyota RAV4

The 2020 Toyota RAV4 starts at $27,070. It has a 2.5-liter I4 engine that gets 203 hp, with a combined fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon. A hybrid model is also available, which gets 41 miles per gallon in the city.

Kelley Blue Book reports that the RAV4 has “outstanding quality and reliability,” with off-roading ability in two of its trims: the Adventure and the TRD Off-Road.

Additionally, the hybrid model is particularly strong, offering the most sporty driving experience of all the RAV4 options. Kelley Blue Book also notes that the RAV4 has an impressively spacious interior, comfortably seating five passengers.

However, the Toyota RAV4 does have a few cons as well. If you want leather seating, you’re out of luck — the RAV4 doesn’t offer this as an option. And with all the other optional features available, the RAV4’s price tag can rise rapidly if you don’t stick with the base model.

The ride can also be slightly unpleasant sometimes, as the interior noise can get fairly loud. Overall, however, Kelley Blue Book reports that the RAV4 is exceptionally comfortable and attractive.

Pros and cons of the Jeep Cherokee

At $27,235, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee has a slightly higher starting price than the Toyota RAV4. It has a 2.4-liter I4 engine that gets 180 hp, and a combined fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon.

The Cherokee offers an excellent off-road experience, with the optional Trailhawk package providing additional off-roading benefits. This Jeep has comfortable seating and enough space for five passengers. Its multiple engine choices provide customizability for drivers, and the V6 engine option offers a particularly good towing capability and 271 hp.

However, the Cherokee has an unimpressive fuel economy and offers a somewhat slow, sluggish driving experience. Kelley Blue Book recommends against using this vehicle’s base engine, calling it “pokey.” Additionally, the Cherokee doesn’t offer a hybrid option, and its cargo space is much smaller than many others in this class.

Why the Toyota RAV4 is the better choice

While both the 2020 Toyota RAV4 and the Jeep Cherokee are high-quality SUVs, Kelley Blue Book ultimately reports that the RAV4 has the advantage. The Cherokee does have a slight edge in its off-roading capability, but most drivers who are planning to do a lot of off-roading likely won’t be purchasing a brand new 2020 model regardless.

However, even off-road enthusiasts who do want a 2020 vehicle won’t be disappointed in the RAV4. If you’re specifically planning to do a lot of off-road driving, opting for the Adventure or TRD trims will provide you with “true off-roading ability” according to Kelley Blue Book. 

The RAV4 also has an excellent sound system option, which is ideal for a daily driver. And while the options can begin to add up on this vehicle, it also offers a better resale value than the Cherokee.

Overall, Kelley Blue Book acknowledges that both the Toyota RAV4 and the Jeep Cherokee are excellent vehicles — but the RAV4 has better fuel economy and more capabilities, and is the better choice when it comes to daily functionality. While the Jeep name may be synonymous with SUVs, the RAV4 definitely pulled out a win here.


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