2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Jeep Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-5 and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Jeep Cherokee:

CX-5

Cherokee

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

82

163

Neck Injury Risk

23%

43%

Neck Stress

274 lbs.

430 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

37 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

160/307 lbs.

822/607 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

156

291

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

57%

Neck Stress

205 lbs.

344 lbs.

Neck Compression

86 lbs.

166 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Cherokee:

CX-5

Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.7/.3 kN

3.5/1.6 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.55/.4

.84/.45

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Jeep Cherokee:

CX-5

Cherokee

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

126 G’s

176 G’s

Hip Force

189 lbs.

235 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

208

255

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

435 lbs.

490 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 45 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cherokee was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-5’s reliability 35 points higher than the Cherokee.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 21st in reliability. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Jeep is ranked 22nd.

Engine

The CX-5 has more powerful engines than the Cherokee:

Horsepower

Torque

CX-5 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

187 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

180 HP

171 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

270 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 3.2 DOHC V6

271 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

The CX-5’s 2.2 turbo diesel produces 119 lbs.-ft. more torque (290 vs. 171) than the Cherokee’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl. is faster than the Jeep Cherokee 4 cyl.:

CX-5

Cherokee

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

10.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

18.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

78.6 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Jeep Cherokee 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

CX-5

Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.6 MPH

87.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-5 gets better fuel mileage than the Cherokee:

MPG

CX-5

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.2 turbo 4 cyl. Diesel

27 city/30 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Cherokee

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

3.2 DOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.2 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

Active Drive II 3.2 V6

18 city/26 hwy

Trailhawk 3.2 V6

18 city/26 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 2.5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mazda CX-5 higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Jeep Cherokee (3 to 5). This means the CX-5 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cherokee every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-5 stops shorter than the Cherokee:

CX-5

Cherokee

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (27.8 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (36 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The CX-5’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (36 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 5.4 inches more rear hip room than the Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cherokee with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 24.6 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cherokee with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 54.9 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-5 easier. The CX-5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.4 inches, while the Cherokee’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Cherokee’s in every dimension:

CX-5

Cherokee

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

38”/n.a.

33.9”/67.6”

Max Width

57”

49.2”

Min Width

41.3”

39.4”

Height

32.4”

28.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics

The CX-5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-5’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.

The CX-5 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the CX-5’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Cherokee’s headlights, which were rated “Poor” to “Good” (depending on model and options).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-5’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Cherokee’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-5 with a number “1” insurance rate while the Cherokee is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The CX-5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-5 will retain 49.11% to 49.47% of its original price after five years, while the Cherokee only retains 45.87% to 48.68%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Cherokee, including $179 less for a water pump, $421 less for a muffler, $59 less for front brake pads, $131 less for a starter, $335 less for a fuel pump, $80 less for front struts and $562 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-5 will be $1998 to $6585 less than for the Jeep Cherokee.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Cherokee isn't recommended.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its April 2019 issue and they ranked the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD five places higher than the Jeep Cherokee Latitude 4x4.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Cherokee has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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