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Jeep Cherokee vs BMW X3 - Comparative review

7343 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  enki
An interesting comparison of the X3 and the Cherokee, both in Diesel trim, from the well known Spanish auto magazine Autopista. The Cherokee sports the new 200 HP 2.2 L TD and the bimmer has the trusty 190 HP 2.0 L TD.

As a long-time BMW owner, and a former X3 driver (albeit in I-6 gasoline trim), I found the review pretty accurate and would concur with most of the comments.

For the Spanish speakers, the link to the article is below, but here are some highlights.

"..The BMW X3 has always been the sports reference on asphalt, although since its second edition, it pays more attention to comfort..the Jeep Cherokee offers better road skills in different conditions....

There is no longer much difference in terms of design. ...Jeep Cherokee has greatly softened its form and is slightly smaller than its rival, with 4 cm less in length, 2 in width, although it is 4 cm higher...These dimensions define in part the space that we're going to find inside. The Jeep Cherokee offers slightly less space in front, but has a good legroom in the rear seats.... The BMW X3 offers less rear width, and three occupants traveling in the back will be less comfortable than in the Jeep. But the final advantage is the modularity of the Jeep Cherokee, with a bench that moves and reclines....The driving position of the BMW X3 is closer to that of a passenger car...while the Jeep Cherokee, offers a higher driving position...In both, the seats offer good comfort, but little lateral support and the BMW X3 is also missing the electric lumbar adjustment (it's an option like the excellent Sports seats and most of the BMW equipment)..."

"...The BMW X3 with 190 hp and the Jeep Cherokee with 200 hp have two of the most powerful diesel engines in its class..l. They are the benchmark for performance, with only the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S-tronic 190 hp beating them in acceleration..... The automatic transmission is one of the highlights of these models. Both chose to German manufacturer ZF, in the case of the BMW X3 an 8 speed, while the Jeep Cherokee chooses the novel 9 speed, also very effective, but ultimately not so smooth...."

Where the vehicles differ most is behavioral. The BMW X3 feels almost like a passenger car, with a body that sways less when cornering..... The Jeep Cherokee opts for comfort, but with a great driveability in various road conditions .. Obviously, in sporty driving, it will be difficult to keep pace with the BMW X3 which has a more direct and quick steering response. The Jeep Cherokee steering is also good, but the steering response is somewhat slower. However the Jeep has a better braking system...the Jeep has much greater possibilities of regulation of different driving modes of use (Auto., Snow, Sport sand / mud and rocks) and the BMW X3 is more focused on the road (Normal, Sport or Sport +)....And speaking of prices, the Jeep Cherokee has a clear advantage even in its expensive Limited trim... BMW X3 must add another 10,000 euros in options to match its level of equipment..."

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I like how the glamor shot of the BMW is on asphalt and the Jeep is off-highway. :)

We had a 2012 diesel X5 before moving to the TH. It "fits" us more, and the comfort/convenience are comparable at a significantly lower price. The TH also gives AD-II and a locker as well as higher ground-clearance, so we can actually go where we want to rather than BMW having a heart-attack seeing some of the things we did in the X5...

I wouldn't change model years just because of newer and incremental improvements, but if a diesel version came out, I'd take any hit on being upside down and trade in a heartbeat.
Well, their photos definitely complement the storyline (Jeep - great on any road; BMW - sporty highway SUV). There is also a piece in there that I couldn't translate, but the gist is that they liked the Xdrive more than the ADI and ADII - I am not sure about that one - I would probably disagree.

I would also love to see that 2.2 L diesel on this side of the Atlantic. Perhaps with the new FCA strategy change announced today....
While not a perfect or identical comparison, my wife has an X1 and I have a Cherokee (both non-diesel unfortunately). I prefer the Jeep over the BMW in regular driving.
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