In our latest head-to-head comparison we pit Cars.com’s long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee against a formidable competitor: Mazda’s 2015 CX-5. The CX-5 came to us in our regular rotation of press cars and was ripe for a duel with our Cherokee, which was looking for redemption after being defeated by the well-rounded 2014 Nissan Rogue.
We’ve had good experiences with both SUVs. The Cherokee was purchased because it’s unique to an extreme and impressed our editors with its refined ride quality and class-leading technology. The CX-5 scored second place in Cars.com’s $25,000 compact SUV comparison of 2012-13 models a few years ago thanks to its space-efficient design and stylish exterior.
The all-wheel-drive CX-5 Grand Touring’s price of $31,760 is not too far from our Cherokee Limited’s $33,375, a $1,615 difference; both prices include destination fees. Under the Mazda’s hood is the more powerful of its two four-cylinder offerings while our Cherokee is equipped with the base four-cylinder engine. Both SUVs are equipped with all-wheel drive. Our Cherokee is otherwise the loaded Limited trim level and equivalent to the CX-5’s Grand Touring as the premier trim. Cars.com editors Joe Wiesenfelder and Joe Bruzek put these closely matched SUVs through their paces to evaluate the pair in nine categories of driving, comfort and versatility.
Jeep’s Cherokee is without a doubt the more substantially sized SUV with more length, width and height over the CX-5. As you’ll read below, that doesn’t necessarily mean larger on the inside. The Cherokee also has an additional 484 pounds that put the 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and nine-speed automatic transmission to work. The lighter CX-5 coincidentally makes due with an identical 184-hp, though from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a more conventional six-speed automatic transmission and a lot less weight to carry around.