2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Jeep Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Jeep Cherokee doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s 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.

Both the XC40 and Cherokee have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Cherokee’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, 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 XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround 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 XC40’s 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 XC40 and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Volvo XC40 is safer than the Cherokee:

XC40

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

0 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

16 cm

20 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.9/.7 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

.6/.43

.84/.45

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 XC40 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cherokee was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The XC40 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 XC40’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Cherokee’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Cherokee.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC40 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Cherokee’s 700-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The XC40 has more powerful engines than the Cherokee:

Horsepower

Torque

XC40 T4 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

187 HP

221 lbs.-ft.

XC40 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

180 HP

171 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 3.2 DOHC V6

271 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the XC40 T5 is faster than the Jeep Cherokee:

XC40

Cherokee turbo 4 cyl.

Cherokee V6

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.2 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.5 sec

7.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.6 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

91 MPH

89.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the Cherokee:

MPG

XC40

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Cherokee

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

3.2 DOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

Active Drive II 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Trailhawk 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

3.2 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

Active Drive II 3.2 DOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

Trailhawk 3.2 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC40 higher (5 out of 10) than the Jeep Cherokee (3 to 5). This means the XC40 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cherokee every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cherokee:

XC40

Cherokee

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

10.95 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the Cherokee:

XC40

Cherokee

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the Cherokee (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R17).

The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cherokee’s 65 series tires. The XC40’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Cherokee Overland’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Cherokee. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Cherokee Overland.

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 offers an available 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 XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Cherokee Limited 4x4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (28.1 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (37.4 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The XC40’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Cherokee (8.3 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The XC40 is 7.8 inches shorter than the Cherokee, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD is quieter than the Cherokee Limited 4x4 (43 vs. 44 dB).

Passenger Space

The XC40 has .9 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 4.7 inches more rear hip room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

The XC40 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cherokee with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 54.9 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC40 easier. The XC40’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the Cherokee’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

The XC40’s cargo area is larger than the Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:

XC40

Cherokee

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/65.7”

33.9”/67.6”

Max Width

47.8”

49.2”

Min Width

39.5”

39.4”

Height

29.4”

28.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Cherokee doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Cherokee’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Jeep Cherokee is only 4500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The XC40’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 XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC40 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.

The XC40’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 optional on the XC40 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.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’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 XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Cherokee’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Cherokee doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the XC40 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 XC40 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the Cherokee, including $28 less for a water pump, $319 less for a muffler, $20 less for front brake pads, $132 less for a starter, $45 less for a fuel pump, $78 less for front struts and $328 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design AWD higher than the Jeep Cherokee Limited 4x4.

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

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