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Jeep Cherokee vs. Equinox

1. Introduction

The 2005 Jeep Cherokee is a unique vehicle in comparison to other off-road convertibles and is a bit smaller in size than the Chevy Equinox. To the dismay of many Jeep Cherokee enthusiasts, the Cherokee still retains the basic underpinnings of the original 1984 model. The vehicle rides on a ladder-type frame derived from original Jeep vehicles. It comes in a 2WD or 4WD in-line 6, 2-door or 4-door with a change from 2 to 4 doors moving to be an improvement on previous 2-door only models. This vehicle is often compared to the Ford Escape and the previous model Chevy Blazer. The Jeep Cherokee is a clear improvement over previous Jeep Cherokee models in both handling, comfort, and interior quality. The High Output in-line 6 has superior performance and somewhat better fuel economy over the standard in-line 6 available in the 2WD model. A variety of Jeep Cherokee parts, including the most basic nuts and bolts, doors, fenders, and interior trim pieces. A unique vehicle of its kind, the Jeep Cherokee stands out in the crowd of off-road vehicles. The sport utility vehicle offering from Jeep is the Liberty with a choice of either 2 or 4 doors, unlike the original Cherokee which was exclusively 2-door. This SUV is to be supplied with a variety of Jeep Cherokee parts, engines, and transmissions to suit the buying public and is expected to remain in production for at least 3-4 more years.

The automobile industry has been developing for as long as people can remember. With new advances in technology, a variety of vehicles constantly hit the market. The first step to purchasing a car is creating a list of priorities, a list of the most important factors in the purchase of your car. This table of criteria is a helpful tool one can use to make the vehicle purchase easier. Two four-wheel drive off-road convertibles currently being compared are the Jeep Cherokee and the Chevrolet Equinox. Both are high in safety and come in at a reasonable price. After analyzing performance, pricing, safety, and quality of the two vehicles, it is our prediction that the Jeep Cherokee will be the vehicle the consumer chooses to purchase as the vehicle is higher in quality and provides a more comfortable ride.

2. Design and Features

The Jeep Cherokee features a seven-slit grille surrounded by chrome outlining, a much more aerodynamic shape, and sharp body moldings. From the exterior, you will notice the high belt line and an overall smaller look than the previous generation Cherokee. The roof is high and slopes to the rear tailgate, which is almost entirely vertical. Daytime running lamps with high and low settings for the headlights help improve visibility for the new driver. The sleek body of the Cherokee is composed mostly of steel, except for the rear lift gate, which is composite and is designed to be manually locked and unlocked, which differs from the power lift gate found standard on the Equinox. The Jeep Cherokee is available in Sport, North, Limited, and Overland models with ten unique colors to choose from. In contrast to the Cherokee, the Equinox has a more rugged, boxy shape with standard wraparound headlamps and a chrome grille. The longer wheelbase gives the Chevrolet Equinox more stability, and the side panels are more flat compared to the new Cherokee. The Equinox has, and continues to be, the larger and heavier of the two. In addition, the Equinox has Dusk Sensing headlamps, which activate automatically when the vehicle is in motion, located in a dark area, or when the wipers are in use.

2.1. Exterior Design

The Jeep Cherokee looks a lot like a station wagon with a nose job, but at second glance, it is cuter because the nose job is a lot more delicate. It is almost feminine compared to the Equinox. The Jeep Cherokee comes equipped with optional fog lamps and has an uphill light curve in its frame. The headlamps also turn on or off as daylight permits, ensuring that the driver never forgets to turn off the lights. The rear of the car has a nice liftgate that makes for easy trunk access, and the swing gate opens a whole 78 degrees. The Cherokee has a little higher ground clearance and comes equipped with skid plates to protect from damage when off-roading. Even though the Equinox is a little more rugged and blocky, it has managed to get rid of the slick, plastic appearance that SUVs of this size have, and has taken on a more distinct, mature look. Pictured below, in top-of-the-line LTZ trim, the Equinox is now a handsome SUV, exuding Chevrolet confidence with more expressively styled headlights, a larger grille, dual exhausts and more pronounced fenders, and has great looking 18-inch alloys. The Equinox has taken after the Cherokee for ease of rear cargo access with its power liftgate, and although the rear door isn't a swing gate, the power liftgate is still a very desirable option when loading up groceries. The Equinox has great ground clearance, and because it was tested to perform quite well off-road, the Equinox is offered with GM's 'Four by Four' system as well for those with off-roading needs.

2.2. Interior Features

Conversely, if you're looking for a smooth and sophisticated drive, Chevrolet provides a number of mid-sized saloons boasting a very efficient engine, impressive fuel economy, and a well-equipped interior. Notably, the Chevrolet Malibu has received NHTSA 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety, and while the car itself lacks the power, space, and handling of its rivals, the new car debuted at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The car in question would be the newly designed Chevrolet Equinox, a merge between practicality and style. Pricing at a mere $22,805, the compact SUV provides ample headroom and legroom for both driver and passengers, a generous amount of cargo space, rear vision camera, and multiple storage options, including a large glovebox. In regards to the competition, the Jeep Cherokee provides a more powerful V6 engine option and a specific off-road trim level, the "Trailhawk". The Cherokee also offers a larger cargo space with a convenient gesture-controlled liftgate, and an infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Features for the base model Cherokee start at $23,395, just slightly higher than the starting price for a base model Equinox. In the following paragraphs, I will compare interior features of these two vehicles from each make, to give a better understanding of which vehicle would be a better choice for your specific needs.

3. Performance and Engine Options

Despite the power output, it is seen that the Cherokee engine options provide stronger and smoother powertrains with an output of 239 Nm@4400 rpm for the 2.4L inline-4 engine and an astonishing 316 Nm@4,300 rpm for the 3.2L V6 engine. This is compared with the Equinox engine option, which only offers a torque of 233 Nm @4900 rpm for both the 2.4L and 3.6L V6 engines.

The Equinox has the same horsepower with its default engine but without the upgrade option offered by Jeep with their 3.6L V6 engine with a speed of 271 hp. This is the same for the alternative engine offered by both brands with a 3.2L V6 engine for the Cherokee and a 3.6L V6 version for the Equinox. This creates a variation for potential buyers who are looking for engine options, and it's clearer with the Cherokee, which actually offers a better and stronger version of the engine with the same variation.

Both of the brands are found to have a 2.4L inline-4 engine that offers a speed of 180hp. However, the new Cherokee offers a lighter and more fuel-efficient engine with a 2.4L Multi-air inline-4 engine and a speed of 184 hp.

3.1. Powertrain

The base Cherokee is powered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark inline four-cylinder engine that delivers 184 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque to the front or all four wheels by the use of a 9-speed automatic transmission. The results are lackluster performance and ¾ of the gas mileage than the V-6. In comparison, the base Equinox has a 2.4-liter DOHC inline-4 that makes an estimated 182 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque which also powers the front or all four wheels. This engine has a lower output but the result is similar acceleration compared to the Cherokee inline-4 due to lesser weight and the fact that the Equinox only needs to move itself to get to the same speeds. The Cherokee leads in terms of options for buyers that prefer a more powerful engine. The second generation of the 3.2L Pentastar V-6 providing 271 hp and 239 lb.-ft. is lighter and more efficient than the first generation V-6 and delivers best-in-class 4x4 payload and towing capability of 4500 pounds. The Jeep V-6 is also more powerful than the 3.6L V-6 in the higher-scaled Equinox models, but the results are quite negligible. Although both engines for both vehicles outclass the inline-4 in terms of performance.

3.2. Fuel Efficiency

Both the Jeep Cherokee and Chevy Equinox emphasize effectiveness over capacity, particularly within the fuel cooperative 4-cylinder. It's good at coping with the day-to-day tasks tasked to it. In comparison with alternate compacts, considering that, the Equinox V-6's ranking of 17 mpg city, 24 road, any with FWD is unimpressive, and exactly 1 mpg better in each category when AWD. On the other hand, the V-6 is rated to tow 3500 pounds. Equipped with the AWD machine using Ford 4WD technology, the Cherokee rates a 19 mpg city, 26 road, and 21 blended fuel economic system. The 2WD is slightly better, rated at 19 mpg city, 27 road, 22 mixed, which is somewhat above average for the segment, and greatly betters the AWD V-6 Equinox in each category. Unfortunately, the superior latitude only reaches these numbers with the non-compulsory engine prevent/begin expertise, a function we'd like to see develop into regular throughout the entire latitude lineup.

3.3. Towing Capacity

Jeep has built its reputation on its provision of go-anywhere, do-anything vehicles, especially illustrated by its Trail Rated marketing campaign. As the newest edition of a long line of Jeep SUVs, the recently launched 2014 Cherokee is no exception. All models (2.4-liter Tigershark 1-4 or 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6) may be fitted with Jeep's Active Drive I, Active Drive II, or Active Drive Lock 4x4 systems, all of which are able to tow up to 4500 pounds. This is an extremely impressive effort for an SUV of the Cherokee's size. Active Drive II comes with a two-speed power transfer unit, which Jeep claims gives the driver a low-range setting and 2nd gear capability for low-speed traction. Active Drive Lock comes with all of the features of Active Drive II but adds a locking rear differential. Jeep Australia has currently only released the Cherokee with the Active Drive I system, which means that Aussies can expect to tow up to 2400kg. Stepless re-entrant throttle and impressive torque delivery from both engines will aid the Cherokee in giving the driver the available power that they need to pull their cargo. Additionally, a cooling system for the transmission is standard on all Cherokees equipped with the V-6 engine, designed to prevent it from becoming overloaded when utilizing the vehicle's towing capabilities. A 7 and 4-pin electrical connector is also available for use with trailer wiring. The Cherokee is backed by an interesting feature named Trailer Sway Control, a system which applies braking force to individual wheels to aid in keeping the trailer under control. This is an amazingly extensive towing system with high attention to detail from Jeep, which should enable the Cherokee to exceed the expectations of towing customers.

It is important to understand that towing is serious business for mid-size SUVs, especially in the North American market. For some people, nothing defines an SUV like its ability to tow. That's why it is curious that in a Grand Cherokee Towing package is a priced option when North American drawing customers will consider the Equinox. It suggests that the Jeep is not primarily designed with the North American buyer in mind.

4. Safety and Technology

The Cherokee is recognized for its first-class small-overlap front, moderate-overlap front, and side influence crash tests, performed by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The small-overlap front crash check is the hardest to pass, and only an acceptable or top rating in this take a look at qualifies for any car to be considered for the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award. Additionally, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2017 Jeep Cherokee a four-star rating for its overall crash test rating. Given that both the IIHS and NHTSA are considered to be the most dependable and credible sources in car protection testing, these accurate ratings show that the Jeep Cherokee is a car that will hold you and your circle of relatives safe. Standard safety functions in the Jeep Cherokee consist of superior multistage airbags, All-Speed Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, and an Antilock Brake System. Other features include LaneSense Departure Warning, Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, a ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera, and Blind Spot Monitoring. In the occasion of a collision, the Jeep Cherokee is also ready with a Protection System and enhanced twist-soldered frame, to hold the occupants' safety a top priority. With the abundance of safety features within the Jeep Cherokee, it's far clear that that is something FCA firmly believes in. The Chevy Equinox also acquired suitable scores within the NHTSA safety rankings, with a four-star rating for its overall crash test rating. It acquired a good score inside the IIHS' Safety Test, qualifying it as a Top Safety Pick. This is a decent rating, but despite this the safety features within the Equinox are nothing of a game changer. It stocks the same widespread protection capabilities as the Jeep Cherokee inclusive of airbags, antilock brakes, and an antiskid system. Opting for the all-wheel pressure version will also provide you with Hill Start Assist, however the greater advanced features together with LaneSense Departure Warning and Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist are not to be had. In assessment to the Jeep safety features, it is evident that the Equinox pales in comparison. It is a solid and safe car in essence, but the Jeep Cherokee virtually takes the lead in shielding functions.

4.1. Safety Features

Both vehicles provide 5-star ANCAP crash test ratings, and the Jeep Cherokee became the top scorer of any small SUV ever tested by the SAFETYCREW in the area of self-repairing bumpers—where a vehicle sustains more than $1500 in damage and the damage is difficult to repair for less than $1000. The Jeep Cherokee received +6 ratings and was almost awarded +6 in every category with the exception of pedestrian safety, which was only rated +4.

The Chevrolet Equinox is reinforced with a high-strength steel safety cage and includes 6 airbags and rear child security door locks. Other features include the StabiliTrak Stability Control System and Traction Control. It also completes the safety system with the Rear Vision Camera, allowing you to see everything behind you when you are in reverse.

Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Equinox are known for their high safety values. In the Euro NCAP crash tests safety assist tests, they gained a maximum of 6 points, being equipped with seatbelt reminders and speed limiters as standard. They also have autonomous braking which reacts to pedestrians and include lane keep assist systems and LaneSense departure warnings with lane keep assist, as well as parallel and perpendicular park assist.

4.2. Infotainment and Connectivity

Both crossovers have a good connectivity system. The Cherokee has a well-built Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, making a seamless connection with cell phones. The 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection, on the other hand, allows multiple people with cell phones to connect to the Wi-Fi without much disturbance. The SD card slot is an additional point where multiple users can use their own SD card based on ownership or share it. The Equinox features the same Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection. However, the SD card slot is missing. Jeep Cherokee wins this comparison due to its better connectivity with cell phones and the additional SD card slot and 2 USB ports. A navigation system is beneficial in both systems.

Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Equinox both have an advanced infotainment system. The Cherokee has a Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection, and navigation system. The Equinox has a Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection, and navigation system. When comparing both the systems and features, the Cherokee has a better and more responsive system. It is more user-friendly and takes less time for consumers to get used to it. Jeep also has 2 additional USB ports and an SD card slot, which is a bonus. On the other hand, the Equinox is well-equipped but sometimes slow in response and not necessarily user-friendly.