In the brand’s 80-year history, Jeep has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of reliable, rugged off-road vehicles. The brand embodies adventure and exploration, and its vehicles capture a sense of freedom and independence that few other companies can achieve. Anyone looking to invest in that adventure, though, must make the difficult choice between a Jeep Cherokee or a Renegade.
The Jeep Cherokee is a more traditional SUV and it offers a comfortable ride and a spacious interior. It’s a great choice for families or anyone wanting a reliable, all-purpose vehicle. The Renegade, on the other hand, is a more compact SUV that’s better suited for city driving and shorter trips. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants a more maneuverable vehicle or who values fuel efficiency.
If you are questioning whether to purchase a Jeep Renegade or a Cherokee, continue reading to learn more about these two vehicles. This review will explore their performance, design, interiors, cargo space, and more to help you make an informed decision.
Comparing Performance and Engine Specifications
The Jeep Cherokee is powered by a 3.2-liter V6 engine that produces 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and is available with either front- or all-wheel drive, making it a reliable ride whether you’re driving on asphalt or offroad. And, with a max tow of 4,500 lbs, it can easily pull most trailers and campers.
The Renegade, on the other hand, is powered by a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower and 211 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a nine-speed automatic, and it’s available with front- or all-wheel drive. Its smaller engine struggles offroad but can handle most trails.
The Cherokee’s V6 engine provides strong acceleration, and the nine-speed automatic transmission is highly responsive, whereas the Renegade’s four-cylinder engine is peppy and gets up to speed quickly. The manual transmission is engaging and fun to drive, but the automatic transmission is more refined.
Comparing the Two Vehicles’ Designs
The Jeep Cherokee has a more traditional SUV design with a boxy shape and a tall stance. It’s available in five trim levels—Altitude, Latitude Lux, X, Limited, and Trailhawk—that progressively introduce more high-tech interior features, such as heated seats, touchscreen interfaces, matte hood decals, and even an offroad suspension at the Trailhawk level.
The Renegade has a more youthful, stylish design with a rounder shape and a lower stance. It’s available in six trim levels—Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited, (RED) Edition, and Trailhawk—which introduce a similar range of upgrades to the interior, along with dual-zone climate control settings. However, the Renegade does not come with a built-in offroad suspension kit although it does have an underbody skid plate.
Both vehicles feature Jeeps’ seven trademarked grill vents but it’s fair to say that the Cherokee pulls the look off better than the Renegade. On the Renegade, they look a little more cramped due to the compact shape and size of the vehicle, whereas the Cherokee has a wider body that can accommodate the grills with ease.
Comparing Interiors and Cargo Space
The Jeep Cherokee has a roomy interior with plenty of leg room for passengers in both the front and the back. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the cabin is well-insulated from exterior noise. The Renegade, on the other hand, has less leg room in the back seat but more headroom. The front seats are comfortable, but the cabin can be noisy, especially on the highway.
Both vehicles have a Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen display. The system is user-friendly and responsive, and it includes features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, navigation, and more. Both vehicles also offer Jeep’s patented Jeep Connect subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot system.
When it comes to cargo space, the Cherokee takes the cake with 54.7 cubic feet of room compared to the Renegade’s 50.8 cubic feet. The Cherokee also has a lower cargo floor that makes it easier to load and unload heavy items.
Gas Mileage, Off-Road Performance, and Safety Ratings
The Jeep Cherokee gets EPA-estimated gas mileage of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is pretty good for an SUV of its size. On the other hand, though, the Renegade gets slightly worse gas mileage with 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. This makes the Cherokee a more affordable option than the Renegade.
Nevertheless, the Cherokee is the better choice for anyone who plans to do a lot of off-roading since it comes with a more powerful engine and a built-in offroad suspension system. The Renegade can handle most trails, but it’s not as capable as the Cherokee when the going gets tough.
Regarding safety, both the Jeep Cherokee and the Renegade come with a long list of standard safety features, including airbags, traction control, stability control, and a rearview camera. The Cherokee also comes with Jeep’s patented ParkSense rear park assist system, which uses sensors to help you avoid obstacles when backing up.
Both the Jeep Cherokee and the Renegade have four-star overall safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), so we’ll let the stats speak for themselves.
The Jeep Cherokee starts at $31,590 and the Renegade starts at $26,290 so, the Renegade is the more affordable option. That being said, though, it’s also less capable than the Cherokee. If you’re looking for an affordable entry into the Jeep experience, the Renegade is a great choice but the Cherokee will offer you a full range of off-roading moments.
So, Which Should You Choose?
The Jeep Cherokee is the better choice for anyone who wants a reliable, all-purpose SUV with a comfortable ride and a spacious interior. It’s also a great choice for families or anyone who wants to tow a trailer or camper. On the other hand, the Renegade is a smart choice for anyone who wants a compact SUV for city driving and shorter trips.