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The Q3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cherokee doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Both the Q3 and Cherokee have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q3 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Cherokee’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The Q3 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q3. But it costs extra on the Cherokee.
The Q3 Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cherokee only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
Both the Q3 and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Q3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Cherokee’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Cherokee’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Cherokee’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 15 places higher in reliability than Jeep.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (228 vs. 180) and 87 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 171) than the Cherokee’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cherokee with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the Jeep Cherokee (3 to 5). This means the Q3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cherokee every 15,000 miles.
For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cherokee:
The Q3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cherokee are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Cherokee (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R17). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cherokee (255/40R20 vs. 245/65R17).
The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cherokee’s 65 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Cherokee Overland’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Cherokee. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Cherokee Overland.
The Q3 is 5.4 inches shorter than the Cherokee, making the Q3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 54% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.
The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the Q3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Q3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Cherokee’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Q3 Prestige has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cherokee offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Q3 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Cherokee.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Cherokee isn't recommended.
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