2019 Chevy Equinox vs 2019 Jeep Cherokee

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  • 2019 Chevy Equinox

    A dark blue 2019 Chevy Equinox on white

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    2019 Jeep Cherokee

    A dark gray 2019 Jeep Cherokee in a shootout between the 2019 Chevy Equinox vs 2019 Jeep Cherokee

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    3Available Engines3
    22/29-28/39 mpgFuel Efficiency (city/highway)23/31 mpg
    1,500-3,500 lbsTowing Capacity2,000 lbs
    63.9 cu.ft.Cargo Space54.9 cu.ft.

    As cars and sedans head the way of the Dodo, the compact crossover sport utility vehicle has naturally stepped in as their direct successor. Automotive companies are chomping at the bit to gain traction with consumers to fill the monetary void left in the absence of car sales as well as possibly get some equally solid footing in a relatively new, hot market trend. The compact crossover is generally a five-seater that actually is only a step up in size from large sedans; they appeal to drivers who want a vehicle that still drives like a smaller car but has the appearance and possibly some of the cargo space and strength of a larger sport utility vehicle. Although compact crossovers are currently trending, they are hardly a newly featured vehicle on the market. The Jeep Cherokee line has been around in some form or another since the 1970s and is more of an old world contender in a market of fresh-faced vehicles. While the Equinox, though not a brand new addition to the Chevy crossover lineup, has only been around for a little over 13 years. We have the old guard up against the younger rebel youth as we compare specs for the 2019 Chevy Equinox vs 2019 Jeep Cherokee. Let’s see if an old dog even needs to be taught any new tricks or if the compact crossover game is just for the young pups.

  • Performance

    A white 2019 Chevy Equinox races down a Nashville street on a test drive from a local dealer

    Chevy Equinox

    Right out the gate, Chevrolet’s Equinox immediately jumps ahead taking a quick lead over the Jeep Cherokee by offering drivers a choice of 3 turbocharged four-cylinder engines as available options. The availability, or more-apt, the lack of available engine options or upgrades in previous Jeep releases has been a frequent source of yearly disappointment; this missed opportunity seems to be remedied with the 2019 model but still pretty late in the game to peek consumer interest.

    The Equinox, in its second year of the third generation re-design, comes standard with a base 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of cranking out a decent 170 horsepower with a slightly below average (given its size) 203 pound-feet of torque; matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, the standard base engine leaves a little wanting but still manages to be on the same playing field, even matching up on the lower trims with smaller crossover rivals. The upgraded 2.0-liter turbo, on the other hand, has been described as one of the best in the class. Capable of producing 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the four-cylinder engine is quick of the starting line with a smooth pace of acceleration that betrays a natural feel for your actual speed; Edmunds clocked their test Chevrolet Equinox Premier (turbo 2.0-liter inline-4, 9-speed automatic, FWD) reaching 60 mph in only 6.4 seconds. That makes the Equinox the fastest small sized crossover on the market capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. Mind you, the Equinox is no sports car speedster, but you may want to double check the speedometer if you find yourself passing vehicles at an usual rate. the front-wheel-drive model can generate torque steer when you floor it. The more fuel efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel obviously took its time with a drastically slower time of 9.8 seconds, though the 1.6-liter four-cylinder produces 137 horsepower with 240 pound-feet of torque and the lineup’s best EPA rating of up to 28/39 mpg city/highway. Models with the base engine deliver up to 26/32 mpg city/highway. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional with all engines.

    Jeep Cherokee

    The Jeep Cherokee, as per usual, makes its biggest splash in the small-sized sport utility crossover market due to Jeep’s emphasis on trim levels that cater directly to improving towing and off-road capabilities. The Trailhawk trim is almost exclusively designed with the off-road enthusiast crowd in mind, including add-ons like an advanced all-wheel-drive system, slightly wider 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, off-road-oriented suspension tuning, and hill ascent and descent control. For an off-road enthusiast who intends to primarily use the Jeep for outdoor, all terrain activity, the Trailhawk is a contender and not just for its size and price point. Having a smaller sized SUV capable of actually handling off-road activities is a rarity which puts the Trailhawk at an advantage, being the only of its kind. The advantages the Jeep Cherokee gains begin with the off-road capabilities of the Trailhawk and end with the Jeep’s on-road capabilities as it returns to the paved even streets of the city.

    Jeep has wisely added a third engine option for its 2019 release, but the results are still lackluster especially considering the awkward stagnation of shifting gears that still remains with its clunky nine-speed automatic transmission. The original 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, capable of producing 180 horsepower with 170 pound-feet of torque is still the Cherokee’s base standard engine; it performs about as well as the Equinox’s base engine minus the smooth, uninterrupted ride. Jeep is also still offering the available 3.2-liter V6, which offers a significant power differential producing 271 horsepower with 239 pounds-feet of torque. The V6 operates as you would expect for a power churning engine in a small SUV; drivers trade the decrease in efficiency, 20/29 mpg city/highway, for the added towing capabilities of up to 4,500 pounds. The engine is slow to start, but once you push the pedal past the get-up-and-go stage, you start to feel the raw power underneath the hood. The new addition to the family, the Goldilocks style engine that is supposed to finally meet somewhere in the middle on the performance scale between four-cylinder and V6, turns out to be a bit of a disappointment. The new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gives good marks on paper; 270 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter engine even helps the Cherokee get some decent EPA ratings, posting up to 23/31 mpg city/highway. But when considering between the 2.0-liter or the V6, the only difference between the two being slightly better gas mileage with the 2.0-liter vs a greater towing capacity for the V6. Jeep has seemingly added a third engine option that offers most of the same capabilities the V6 engine option already offered. The overall stats make the 2.0-liter upgrade feel redundant and non-essential. All-wheel drive is available on every model, with front-wheel drive standard on all but the Trailhawk trims.

  • Interior

    A the high tech black and tan leather interior of the 2019 Chevy Equinox

    Chevy Equinox

    The Equinox fits neatly into its compact crossover category seating 5 adults comfortably. Like most of its compact crossover rivals, there is not an abundance of storage capacity; given the vehicles smaller stature to begin with, room for storage would have always been at a significant limit, and sacrifices seem to be wisely made giving preference to opt for rider comfort over stowing cargo. This is noted in the standard 60/40-split folding rear seats where passengers actually have more legroom. The cargo space it does have is measured at 29.9 cubic feet which is enough for daily travel but probably not the vehicle of choice for family trips. As far as trips the hardware stores or the occasional giant sized big purchase item, the Equinox’s cargo capacity expands to 63.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down flat. As far as towing capacity (as mentioned before), the Chevy Equinox is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. Although this figure is 1,000 pounds below the Cherokee’s top output, the Equinox still remains competitive and was definitely left in the dust when it comes to towing capacity, especially considering all its other premium advantages.

    Jeep Cherokee

    Jeep once again finds a way to focus on upgrades, design alterations, and slight additions like updating the taillights and exhaust tips as well as moving the rear license plate; each change is nonessential with no real significant value save for a fresh appearance. All the while, issues of spacing for not just cargo but also for the 5 potential passengers the Cherokee seats uncomfortably. With the rear seats folded down, the cargo hold is measured 54.9 cubic feet, an almost 10 cubic foot difference from the Equinox’s much roomier cabin. The trunk size with all seats in their upright and locked position is the smallest of any compact crossover at 24.6 cubic feet. The Cherokee is neither wide nor long, leaving little room for passengers seat and leg adjustment and even less for any potential cargo to be stored. The rear seat does scooch slightly forward and can be nudged the same distance back, up to six inches; however, moving the seat back for comfort completely eliminates one side an already small cargo area. The Cherokee also isn’t as wide as some rivals, so occupants won’t have as much elbow room.

  • Technology

    A red 2019 Chevy Equinox racing down a tunnel

    Chevy Equinox

    Since the Equinox is only in its second year of this new generation, the compact crossover is decked out with all the latest technological programs and updates. The standard infotainment system has a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard are a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, USB ports, an auxiliary input jack and six speakers. As for safety features, only a couple of Chevrolet's top features come standard while many of the more advanced features are optionable upgrades on all the trim levels. The standard safety content for the 2019 Equinox includes a rearview camera and Chevy’s Teen Driver technology system. The majority of the safety features the Equinox has made optionable include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

    Jeep Cherokee

    Jeep has made some much needed, significant updates on the tech front for the 2019 Cherokee, but once again they seem to fall short. The infotainment system was updated offering 7 or 8.4-inch touchscreens that operate on the newest generation of Uconnect. The program is faster and more intuitive with increased touch sensitivity, decreasing lag times while managing to be more responsive; however, the screen itself is smaller in comparison to competitors and lacks the visual prowess of being operated on a larger screen. The Cherokee also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two front-cabin USB ports, two 12-volt sockets, and an auxiliary outlet. In back there's a 115-volt socket and two additional USB ports giving the Cherokee a total of four. Jeep is sorely lacking in the driver aids department and only includes a few outdated programs such as blind-spot monitoring. They do offer more updated driver aids like adaptive cruise or lane keeping assist as standard but these are available as options on higher trims.

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