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SUV Vehicle Matchup – Toyota RAV4 vs Jeep Cherokee


Toyota RAV4

Engine: 2.5L
Horsepower: 176
Fuel Economy: 24 City / 31 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $23,680

Inside the 2015 Toyota RAV4:

The 2015 Toyota RAV4 is available in three trim options and include the base package LE, the XLE and Limited. Toyota overhauled the RAV4 in 2013 when they simplified their offering to only include one powertrain option. The engine inside the 2015 version is a 2.5L four cylinder engine with 176 horsepower. Towing capacity of the RAV4 is limited for a vehicle with the namesake of Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive. In fact, the all-wheel drive aspect of the vehicle is a $1,400 upgrade. However, owners will appreciate the increased fuel economy from the previous models, as the RAV4 gets a combined EPA rating of 26 miles per gallon.

The interior of the RAV4 is borderline luxury with available French stitching and multi-tone color options. Comfort is king in this vehicle, as even the rear seats are able to recline back for increased comfort. Front passengers have available comfort options such as dual zone climate control and heated seats. Safety is a high priority as the RAV4 has a total of eight airbags throughout the vehicle including side, front and second row Roll-Sensing Curtain Airbags (RSCA), a driver knee airbag and front passenger seat-cushion airbag. Upgrades include an Entune Premium JBL Audio with 11 speakers in seven locations throughout the vehicle along with Navigation and App Suite to connect a wide range of applications like iHeartRadio and Bing.

Jeep Cherokee

Engine: 2.4L
Horsepower: 184
Fuel Economy: 22 City / 31 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $22,995

Inside the 2015 Jeep Cherokee:

The 2015 Jeep Cherokee poised itself to take the compact SUV market to new heights after their re-release in 2014. Production of the Cherokee ceased in 2001 as Jeep began producing the Liberty model. In 2014, the Cherokee came back and brought with it the ruggedness of the Cherokee of late and added a little style and grace. It was introduced a few month later than expected due to issues with their nine speed transmission. However, it would appear those kinks are ironed out with the 2015 release. The Cherokee comes in several trim options such as the Sport, Latitude Trailhawk and Limited. Included standard fare in all options excluding the Trailhawk is a 2.4L four cylinder engine that pushes 184 horses with 2,000lb towing capacity. The Jeep Active Drive I 4×4 System adapts to the terrain to achieve the necessary traction and power while maintaining maximum fuel efficiency.

When entering the inside of the 2015 Cherokee, you can easily get lost in the fact this is a 4×4 all-terrain vehicle. The dashboard is a far cry from the previous version of the Cherokee that can be summarized by a single word; primitive. This technologically advanced version touts an available Uconnect 8.4AN System with navigation and 8.4in touchscreen display. The Cherokee touts a 490 mile range while driving on the highway. Jeep has over 70 available safety features available to choose from. These options include a parallel and perpendicular park assist to make that hard-to-get street parking spots look more like a wide-open cornfield. The backup camera is optional in the base sport model, but included in other trim options.

Our Pick for Winner:

Base Model: Toyota RAV4

Although the Jeep Cherokee has many available safety features, we greatly enjoyed the fact that the rear backup camera comes standard in all RAV4 trim options. Combined with comfort features for all passengers, the Toyota RAV4 LE beats the Jeep Cherokee Sport while comparing base models.

Upgrades: Jeep Cherokee

Sadly the compact SUV market is full of vehicles that only offer a four cylinder engine option which includes the RAV4. The Cherokee gives the option of a V6 engine with 271 horsepower and up to 4,500lbs of towing. Now those are numbers we can appreciate from an SUV of any class and size.

Overall Winner:

Jeep Cherokee

Original advertising for the 1984 Jeep Cherokee boasted the fact there was seating for five people taller than 6’0 feet. They have continued to live up to that promise as the 2015 model feels like it could comfortably hold the entire offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys. The Toyota RAV4 has decreased the available room by eliminating the option for a 3rd row of seating with the recent update. The Cherokee also offers more options in terms of engine sizes; which Toyota also did away with in 2013.

Jeep Cherokee

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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