2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2020 Jeep Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/10/15

The NX Series’ optional 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.

The NX Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera 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.

The NX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the NX Series and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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

NX Series

Cherokee

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

41 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 Lexus NX Series is safer than the Cherokee:

NX Series

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

1.4/1.3 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

.48/.48

.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, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Jeep Cherokee:

NX Series

Cherokee

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Hip Force

352 lbs.

363 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

49 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

303 lbs.

938 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cherokee was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

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The NX Series 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.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Jeep covers the Cherokee. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cherokee ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The NX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Cherokee’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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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 NX Series’ reliability 18 points higher than the Cherokee.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 61 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

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

Engine

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The NX 300’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 239) than the Cherokee’s optional 3.2 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the NX 300h is faster than the Jeep Cherokee 2.4 4-cylinder:

NX Series

Cherokee

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

3.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

10.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.6 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

18.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

78.6 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the NX 300 is faster than the Jeep Cherokee 2.0 turbo:

NX Series

Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

87.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder 4WD (33 city/30 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The NX 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The NX Series stops much shorter than the Cherokee:

NX Series

Cherokee

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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The NX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The NX Series offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The NX 300h handles at .80 G’s, while the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the NX Series’ turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (37.4 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The NX Series’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the NX 300 F Sport AWD is quieter than the Cherokee Limited 4x4:

NX Series

Cherokee

At idle

37 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2019/10/15

The NX Series has 1.7 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 4 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

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The NX Series’ cargo area is larger than the Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:

NX Series

Cherokee

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36”/71.5”

33.9”/67.6”

Max Width

53”

49.2”

Min Width

44.3”

39.4”

Height

27”

28.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 78% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

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The NX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cherokee doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Cherokee does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The NX Series 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.

When the NX Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Cherokee’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The NX Series offers optional 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 NX Series 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.

Economic Advantages

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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the Cherokee because typical repairs cost less on the NX Series than the Cherokee, including $74 less for a muffler, $84 less for front brake pads, $180 less for a fuel pump and $63 less for front struts.

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 2019/10/15

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Cherokee isn't recommended.

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

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