2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs. 2020 Jeep Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Atlas Cross Sport has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, 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.

The Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium has a standard Overhead 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.

Both the Atlas Cross Sport and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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 and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

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The Atlas Cross Sport 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 Atlas Cross Sport’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Cherokee’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas Cross Sport for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Cherokee.

Reliability

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The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport’s engines use 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 Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

Engine

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The Atlas Cross Sport has more powerful engines than the Cherokee:

Horsepower

Torque

Atlas Cross Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

235 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Atlas Cross Sport 3.6 DOHC V6

276 HP

266 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder

180 HP

171 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

270 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 3.2 DOHC V6

271 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Atlas Cross Sport has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cherokee (18.6 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Atlas Cross Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cherokee:

Atlas Cross Sport

Cherokee

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.95 inches

The Atlas Cross Sport’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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Atlas Cross Sport has larger standard tires than the Cherokee (245/60R18 vs. 225/60R17). The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cherokee (265/45R21 vs. 245/65R17).

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cherokee’s 65 series tires. The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Cherokee’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas Cross Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Cherokee. The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Cherokee.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas Cross Sport’s wheelbase is 10.8 inches longer than on the Cherokee (117.3 inches vs. 106.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas Cross Sport is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 4.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cherokee.

For greater off-road capability the Atlas Cross Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Cherokee (8 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the Atlas Cross Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Atlas Cross Sport has 8.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cherokee (112 vs. 103.5).

The Atlas Cross Sport has .5 inches more front legroom, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom and 5.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

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The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cherokee with its rear seat up (40.3 vs. 27.6 cubic feet). The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cherokee with its rear seat folded (77.8 vs. 54.7 cubic feet).

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Jeep Cherokee is limited to 4500 pounds. The Atlas Cross Sport offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Atlas Cross Sport’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 Atlas Cross Sport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas Cross Sport’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas Cross Sport SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Cherokee doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

When the Atlas Cross Sport SEL is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Cherokee’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SE/SEL has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Cherokee doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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