Compact SUVs have taken over the roads and highways, becoming the go-to car for many American families. They provide many of the perks of full-size SUVs, with fewer compromises. Models of this segment are not only more affordable and fuel-efficient but also provide a crisp handling and smoother ride. The downside? Many cannot haul a trailer or explore the road less traveled. We say many because there are exceptions. The Jeep Cherokee is one of them.
As you'd expect from a Jeep, the Cherokee drives with heftiness, taking you where most compact crossovers can’t. Despite its off-road abilities, the car-based platform this Jeep stands on helps deliver a comfortable ride. Today we are pitting it head to head with another popular and solid option in the market, the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox. While both models share some similarities, there are features you can only find in one of them.
2020 Jeep Cherokee: A Unique Off-Roader in the Segment
The Trail Rated® Cherokee offers exceptional capability under a variety of weather and road conditions. In fact, the only small crossovers that can claim to match its off-road prowess are other Jeeps like the Wrangler. The Trailhawk trim is particularly adept when the pavement ends because it comes with features like an off-road suspension and enhanced four-wheel drive. While the Jeep Cherokee is available with four-wheel drive across the lineup, the Chevrolet Equinox only offers all-wheel-drive on higher trim levels.
For 2020, the Cherokee offers three engine options, each one paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The first option is the 2.4L Tigershark® MultiAir® 2 engine that achieves 180 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. The second option is a 3.2L Pentastar® V6 engine that can get up to 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque. The third and last option is a 2.0-Liter Turbo engine that delivers up to 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The V6 engine offers a best-in-class maximum towing capacity of 4500 pounds. The Equinox, on the other hand, only offers two engine options and neither of them achieves as much power or capacity.
Inside, the Cherokee comes standard with the Uconnect infotainment system, a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® integration. This interface is considered one of the best in the industry thanks to the intuitive an well-organized menus. Available features include an 8.4-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, a 9-speaker Alpine audio system and additional USB ports. The Chevrolet Equinox also comes with similar standard features, but the only upgrades you can make are an 8-inch touchscreen and a 7-speaker Bose audio system.