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2016 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2016 Subaru Forester: Which Is Better?

14195 Views 30 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Champagne InHand
Continuing its series of head to head comparisons, Autotrader pits the 2016 Cherokee against the 2016 Forester. While I am not a fan of Subarus, and the choice would be easy for me, I figure that a lot of people here had this very dilemma, so this will make for some interesting reading. Here are the key excerpts and the link:

According to experts at Consumer Reports, the Subaru Forester offers above average reliability. The opposite is true of the Jeep Cherokee, whose reliability is rated as below average. When it comes to warranty length, both crossovers offer the same coverage of 3 years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection, plus 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Considering the differences in reliability scores, the Forester easily wins this category.

Fuel Economy
...If you're interested in fuel economy, the Forester is the winner, as it offers slightly better gas mileage ratings with both base-level and optional engines. However, the Cherokee's numbers come pretty close to the Subaru's, and it offers more power.

In crash tests carried out by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, both the Jeep Cherokee and the Subaru Forester earned a perfect 5-star overall rating. In testing performed by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only the Forester earned the firm's coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating, while the Cherokee didn't qualify due to a troubling Marginal score in the challenging front small-overlap test.

As for safety features, both the Cherokee and the Forester offer just about everything you can imagine, including forward-collision alert with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. The Cherokee has a few extras, however, like an available automated parking system and automatic high beams.

....The Cherokee is undoubtedly the technology leader in this segment. In addition to offering Uconnect, the best infotainment system on the market (with an 8.4-in touchscreen, to boot), the Cherokee touts an available automated parking system, a remote starter, ventilated front seats, automatic high beams and lane-keep assist.

While the Forester is hardly a dinosaur when it comes to gadgets and features, the Cherokee is the clear winner here.

Driving Experience
...As for ride quality, both the Cherokee and the Forester deliver about what you'd expect: a comfortable ride, but not a luxurious one. We think the Cherokee offers more ride comfort than the Forester. Handling, however, goes to the Subaru, though neither of these models is race-car agile.

Autotraders Choice
Our pick? For a larger vehicle with a more comfortable ride and more available power, you'll want the Cherokee. The Forester is smaller, leaner and more maneuverable.

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I almost bought a Forester XT right before I stopped at a local Jeep dealer to take a look at the Cherokee. My wife has a Subaru and it has been a fantastic car (except for the brakes) so I was ready to just jump in on another Subaru. I didn't care for the seats, the CVT, or the requirement for premium fuel on the XT model which is why I stopped next door at the Jeep dealer. The moment I test drove a V6 Cherokee I knew I had to have one.
ahhh, I bought a 4 before I ever got to testing a 6. saw a nice 6 w a hitch, but just never got to it
Wow are you guys easy on this forum...? What in the heck is a Forester...I thought it was I guy that cut trees! Go to real Jeep forum like the Wrangler forum, these are real Jeep guys! I switched from a JKU Sahara to a TrailHawk, now wife and I are twins (yuk) except colors! The JKU forum pretty much disbanded me. Jeez comparing any Jeep to anything is like death before dishonor.

I love MY new TH, do I miss the JKU Sahara, you bet!!!! Do I wish I had it back...not fully sure yet??? Just read on the forum about the TH 4wd overheating in the sand and shutting down? Sand is almost all I off road in, the wife's TH has never done that...hope it's not a normal happening?

Ride safe, break nothin' and remind me again, what's a Forester? Jeeps Rule. :)
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Brand loyalty gets you nowhere. Either way, I chose the Jeep because of the warranty I was able to purchase with it. If there was no lifetime warranty available I wouldn't have bought it. I drive 30k a year. I love my trailhawk in almost every way but if I had to choose based off of practicality and reliability the Jeep would not have won.
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I owned a 2011 Forester for close to 4 years and put about 58,000 miles on it. It was a manual transmission. Good basic reliable vehicle but I hike/climb in the mountains a lot and found myself wanting 4WD Low ability to tackle some of the more difficult roads to the trailheads. However, the part that really caused me to part with my Subaru was it's consumption of oil. It started burning about 1 quarter of oil every 1000 miles and seemed to be getting progressively worse. That concerned me enough to trade it in after I read that was a common issue with Subaru Foresters. Otherwise I loved the simple look of my Subaru. It felt like an outdoorsy vehicle. The Cherokee has a MUCH more refined interior and electronics and of course the Trailhawk version I have will handle the rough steep 4WD roads.

What do I miss about my Subaru? Gas mileage. I could easily get 30+mpg on the highway, where my TH will do no better than about 25. Another thing I miss at times is the simpler interior. I am old fashioned that way. Simpler is better for me.

Conclusion: My Cherokee Trailhawk is a better vehicle all around and the family is much happier with it as well. They appreciate the interior. I also purchased the extended warranty (6yr 100k miles) and I got close to a bumper to bumper type coverage so I am comfortable knowing I won't have a money pit on my hands if things go south.
Good comparison! Helps to hear from those that have experienced both vehicles.

Brand loyalty gets you nowhere. Either way, I chose the Jeep because of the warranty I was able to purchase with it. If there was no lifetime warranty available I wouldn't have bought it. I drive 30k a year. I love my trailhawk in almost every way but if I had to choose based off of practicality and reliability the Jeep would not have won.

Well, after 26 of them only two that were not the best (still loved them, well love/hate) Brand loyalty keeps me broke! Actually once in between all those Jeeps I bought a Honda CR-V not a bad little vehicle, just wasn't a Jeep and hated it probably overall because it wasn't! Sold it at 20k. By the way no warranty work except for those two mentioned. The Honda believe it or not had a lot and always a tooth and nail battle!

Go Jeep... and I'm done talkin':wink:!
I know it can be hit or miss with any vehicle. My Xterra gave me 77k problem free miles. My wife's Rav is on 84k problem free miles. My blazer was 162K when I sold it (Issues, but never left me stranded). Given the amount of miles I drive per year I'm hoping the cherokee is up to the test..we'll see. It's only money, right?
ahhh, I bought a 4 before I ever got to testing a 6. saw a nice 6 w a hitch, but just never got to it
maybe I can hold out for a used 2017 6 w/a hitch
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a few family words recently used to compliment my rig

"it's a beast"
"I feel like I'm in a Lincoln Town Car"
"well, this is very luxurious"
"a little squished but ok" (middle person in back seat)
"wife needs to replace her Grand Cherokee & I think we'll get one of these"
"ooh you got the leather"

now it's back to "me" time & I'm pretty happy about that
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After spending a long while going through all the options and considering what's important, these were the two vehicles I'd narrowed it down to.

The Subaru was a better choice for cost as it had a lower price point and better MPG. It also had better reliability, which is certainly important, though I got the feeling that the Cherokee's problems had been fixed to the point where both were equally viable for long-term.

The Jeep was the more comfortable option, both visually and physically, as the higher ground clearance made it easier to get into, the leg room and leg comfort were higher, and it had features I wanted, such as digital speedometer. The Jeep also had higher towing, which I want to be able to do at some point.

Ultimately, I decided the cost factor was nil as I could very much afford both, and the issue of reliability was not one I felt was a big enough concern.

Thus, I went with Jeep.
I've owned 3 Scubies and really liked them but for different reasons. I had a 1990 Legacy sedan. Probably one of the best designed Japanese import sedans if that year. I had an '87 Honda Accord and the Subaru Legacy bested it in every way. I had a 1995 Legacy GT wagon that I put 78,000 miles in just over 14 months on driving over every hill and dale in Western New York. It could handle almost any weather if it had a road underneath even if it was snow covered gravel. It was very reliable. The otherScuby shouldn't be mentioned but I wanted to really like the 1992 Sports car with the DeLlrean Windows. I can't even recall its designation but it was in the shop so much I traded it back after just 4 months. Only owning it for 3 days I drove across Ontario to Michigan to see Nebraska play Michigan State. On the way home my transmission blew and I coasted on momentum off the highway to a gas station just off the highway in Flint, MI. They had to import a brand new transmission from Japan which took 17 days. The NY dealer balked at having to pay rental car fees as I rented in MI instead of in NY. Sorry but I was stranded in Flint, MI on a Sunday afternoon. I was glad to have any rental car. The H6 engine was blistering fast for its time though almost unserviceable without an engine winch. After the power steering exploded that was the last straw. I returned to a very angry and nasty dealer. Lemon law rules apply for a reason. That car was a lemon, though the leather and sued interior was really nice but not a practical car. Subaru took a hiatus from the sports market until the WRC became the rally car to own. Still I don't even think of Jeep in that same category.

You really can't tow anything with a Scubie and that CVT transmission is awful and the vehicles are pretty loud for all the aerodynamic testing they used to rely on. They are really small inside too. I think the went down the wrong path changing the Outback to a wider wagon that rides higher putting it out of most crossover categories and maybe only the Volvo Cross Country and the German sports wagon seem like competition which they win pretty handedly even if their prices are much higher.

What shall we have? An '82 Margaux! Is it any good? Good....?, It will make you believe in God!
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