2020 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation optional in the Cherokee as “Superior.” The Golf Alltrack scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Cherokee and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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There are almost 4 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Cherokee has a standard 700-amp battery. The Golf Alltrack’s 480-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Jeep vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Jeep 17th in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Cherokee’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (180 vs. 168) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Cherokee’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 102 more horsepower (270 vs. 168) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Cherokee’s optional 3.2 DOHC V6 produces 103 more horsepower (271 vs. 168) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (239 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Jeep Cherokee turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

Cherokee

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cherokee’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Cherokee has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (15.9 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Cherokee has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Jeep Cherokee comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Jeep Cherokee, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Golf Alltrack.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Cherokee’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf Alltrack:

Cherokee

Golf Alltrack

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

10.7 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

The Cherokee stops shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

Cherokee

Golf Alltrack

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee has larger standard tires than the Golf Alltrack (225/60R17 vs. 205/55R17). The Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf Alltrack (245/65R17 vs. 225/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cherokee offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Golf Alltrack’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Cherokee has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Golf Alltrack, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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The Cherokee’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cherokee’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (106.5 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Golf Alltrack.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Golf Alltrack SEL (27.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Cherokee has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Golf Alltrack (7.9 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cherokee Trailhawk’s minimum ground clearance is 1.8 inches higher than on the Golf Alltrack (8.7 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Cherokee (except Overland/Trailhawk) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Cherokee Overland offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (103.5 vs. 94.3).

The Cherokee has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 4.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cherokee’s rear seats recline. The Golf Alltrack’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Cherokee. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Cherokee offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Cherokee has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Cherokee offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle and radio stations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Cherokee’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Golf Alltrack has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cherokee has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Golf Alltrack only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Cherokee’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Golf Alltrack’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Both the Cherokee and the Golf Alltrack offer available heated front seats. The Cherokee Overland also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Golf Alltrack.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Cherokee’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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The Cherokee is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by almost six to one during 2018.

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