2020 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2020 Mazda CX-30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers optional Parksense with Rear Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CX-30 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Cherokee and the CX-30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Cherokee optional). The CX-30’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The Cherokee’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 84 more horsepower (270 vs. 186) and 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 186) than the CX-30’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Cherokee’s optional 3.2 DOHC V6 produces 85 more horsepower (271 vs. 186) and 53 lbs.-ft. more torque (239 vs. 186) than the CX-30’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Cherokee turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Mazda CX-30:

Cherokee

CX-30

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.3 MPH

88.3 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Cherokee has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Cherokee has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 13.5 gallons).

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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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 CX-30.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Cherokee’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-30:

Cherokee

CX-30

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

10.4 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.9 inches

The Cherokee stops much shorter than the CX-30:

Cherokee

CX-30

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee has larger standard tires than the CX-30 (225/60R17 vs. 215/65R16). The Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-30 (245/65R17 vs. 215/65R16).

The Cherokee’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-30 Select/Preferred/Premium’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cherokee has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-30. The Cherokee’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the CX-30 Select/Preferred/Premium.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Jeep Cherokee has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-30 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Cherokee has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cherokee flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-30’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cherokee’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the CX-30 (106.5 inches vs. 104.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-30.

For greater off-road capability the Cherokee has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-30 (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 CX-30 (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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has 9.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-30 (103.5 vs. 94.1).

The Cherokee has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-30.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cherokee’s rear seats recline. The CX-30’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-30 with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 20.2 cubic feet). The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-30 with its rear seat folded (54.7 vs. 45.2 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Cherokee. The CX-30 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Cherokee’s available liftgate can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-30 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Cherokee has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-30 has no towing capacity.

The Cherokee 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Cherokee can be unhitched and driven around locally. The CX-30 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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The Cherokee uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-30 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Cherokee and the CX-30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Cherokee is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 CX-30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Cherokee’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-30 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

Both the Cherokee and the CX-30 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 CX-30.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Cherokee offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-30 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland’s optional ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-30 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/04

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Mazda CX-30 by almost 213 to one during 2019.

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