Is the Toyota RAV4 Still Better Than the New Jeep Cherokee?

Growing families and those with active lifestyles need affordable vehicles that are versatile, reliable, and economical. The small SUV category is crowded with offerings from just about every manufacturer. For those on a budget, the Toyota RAV4 XLE FWD and the Jeep Cherokee Sport 2WD are certainly worth considering. Find out which is the better deal in this Toyota RAV4 vs Cherokee comparison.

The Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep brand has been synonymous with off-road travel and ruggedness since the first military vehicles were produced for World War II. Jeep practically invented the sport utility class when it began offering these military vehicles for sale directly to the public. This latest version of the Cherokee Sport has been updated since 2014, and it is loaded with sophisticated new technology.
To re-establish its place as a dominant force in the market, Jeep has outfitted their vehicles with the latest in consumer electronics. Entertainment systems are modern and integrate with common handheld electronics. The vehicle itself also performs well. Its 2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder engine is matched with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This configuration produces 184 horsepower and achieves 22 miles per gallon fuel economy in the city, and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
The interior space is about what you would expect for a small SUV. It has a total of 130.3 cubic feet of volume. That is adequate, but passengers in the rear seats may complain about available leg room. The cargo hold is smaller than other vehicles of its class. It has only 24.6 cubic feet of space. The Jeep is still maneuverable which is important in city driving. The 37.6 foot turning radius is narrow enough to get around most challenges.

The Toyota RAV4

This model was redesigned in 2013, but the RAV4 was the original compact SUV. It was specifically built to meet the needs of those with large interior space demands and a desire for maneuverability. The model has one of the best safety ratings for a car of its size and extra standard equipment helps you to avoid collisions. Toyota has begun to include its blind spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, and automatic high beam controls on all models.
There is only one powertrain option for the RAV4. Buyers take advantage of Toyota’s proven 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. This configuration produces 174 horsepower. The EPA estimates that fuel economy should be 24 MPG in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
The interior is the best designed of all small SUVs. Even though it is a much shorter vehicle, it still manages to offer 140.3 cubic feet of interior volume. The cargo hold is also much larger. It is initially 38.4 cubic feet of space, but with the rear seats folded, you will have 73.4 cubic feet. Rear passengers have the most legroom, and the ride is comfortable for everyone on long trips. The turning radius is shorter than the Cherokee at only 34.8 feet.

Cost Comparisons

Although the Jeep is an exciting new vehicle, it is more expensive to own in the long run than the RAV4. This is due to the unpredictable costs. The reliability and longevity of the model are unknown.
The Jeep is also expected to depreciate much faster than the RAV4. The Jeep has a lower initial purchase price. This lowers the costs to register, insure, and finance this vehicle, but the value retained by the Toyota makes the RAV4 less expensive overall. RAV4 owners also pay less in overall fuel expenditure and maintenance.
When you are looking for a reliable and affordable SUV for your urban lifestyle, the Toyota RAV4 XLE FWD should be at the top of your list.