Jeep Cherokee photo credit: The award-winning 2016 Honda CR-V and 2016 Jeep Cherokee are two of the top-selling crossover SUVs on the market. When it comes to features, performance, fuel economy, technology, style, and safety, which of these two reigns supreme? To find out, we here at your South Florida Honda Dealers decided to do our own side-by-side comparison. We took what we hope was an unbiased approach to this process as both the CR-V and Cherokee are capable and well-equipped SUVs in their own right.

Motor Trend’s SUV Of The Year

Let’s start with the news that the 2015 Honda CR-V won Motor Trend Magazine’s coveted 2015 “SUV of the Year” award. Winning this prestigious award was no easy feat, as the CR-V went up against some stiff competition from the likes of BMW, Cadillac, Subaru, Ford, Volvo, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Chevy and, of course, the Jeep Cherokee. In fact, there were 30 SUVs that competed for this important industry accolade. Judges praised the CR-V outstanding powertrain, suspension, steering, and outstanding interior design. The CR-V also drew raves for its suspension and steering. One judge exclaimed: “This feels like a Honda should, with light steering, great feedback, and competent handling chops. It is way more fun than any compact crossover ought to be.” Of course, the new 2016 Honda CR-V carries on largely unchanged from the award-winning 2015 model. After all, why mess with a good thing?

Sporty New Exterior

First of all, let’s compare exterior styling. While this is a pretty subjective category, both the new CR-V and the Jeep Cherokee get high marks for fresh new styling. The CR-V features a rakish and aerodynamic new look with its signature vertical taillights making a bold statement. The Cherokee, on the other hand, offers a sleek visage with slender LED daytime running lights augmenting lower circular headlights.

More Cargo Space Than The Cherokee

On the inside, the CR-V excels with its well-packaged, spacious, and versatile interior that affords up to 70.9 cubic feet of configurable cargo space with the 2nd-row seats folded flat. Additionally, the side doors open at almost a 90-degree angle for exceptionally easy access. The Jeep Cherokee, on the other hand, offers just 54.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

CR-V Outperforms

In the performance category, the Jeep Cherokee offers a 2.4-liter Tigershark® inline 4-cylinder engine that puts out 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2016 CR-V counters with its new 2.4-liter direct injection “Earth Dreams” engine that delivers 185 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque. The CR-V’s continuously variable transmission with “G-design Shift Logic” drew praise from MotorTrend’s judges who said it “…it is very good, especially in Sport mode…keeps revs in the sweet spot and doesn’t fake shift…” Another MotorTrend judge says, “Nail the gas to pass and the trans delivers a snappy downshift to the power peak.” The Cherokee can tow up to 2,000 pounds, which is more than the CR-V’s 1,500-lb. rated towing capacity. However, the CR-V’s fuel economy numbers are better than the Cherokee’s, coming in at an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway/26 mpg city. The Cherokee manages up to an EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway/22 mpg city.

All-Wheel Drive Comparison

Both the CR-V and the Jeep Cherokee are known for their legendary all-wheel drive capabilities. Jeep has always been at the top of its game in this department with its excellent “Trail Rated” off-road capabilities. The Cherokee’s Active Drive 4X4 system is excellent, offering four modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand/Mud. Not to be outdone, the CR-V’s available Real Time AWD™ is also up to the task of taking the road less traveled with confidence. MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year judges noted that the CR-V’s AWD system “…handled our steep, silty gravel with minimal fuss.”

Technology & Safety

Turning our attention to technology and safety, we conclude that both the Honda CR-V and Jeep Cherokee offer plenty of high-tech features that are quite comparable to one another. Jeep’s Uconnect® system with its 8.4-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth® wireless connectivity, iPod® integration, navigation, and other features are on par with the CR-Vs extensive suite of “infotainment” functions. The CR-V offers standard Bluetooth streaming audio, a handy USB audio interface and access to Pandora® streaming music. Available upmarket features include SiriusXM® Radio, HDRadio®, and a 7-inch color touchscreen display. Additionally, the 2016 Honda CR-V offers an array of advanced safety features as part of its “Honda Sensing™” driver-assist technology. This system incorporates a several features, including Lane Departure Warning, Forward-Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, and a standard multi-view rear backup camera. The Cherokee also comes equipped with similar safety technology.

The Clear Choice

While it’s obvious that these two outstanding SUV’s are pretty evenly matched, the new 2016 Honda CR-V from your South Florida Honda Dealers comes out on top in several categories, including fuel efficiency, handling, and cargo capacity. While taking nothing away from the 2016 Jeep Cherokee’s many positive attributes, the CR-V nevertheless takes the prize. As MotorTrend says, “…the CR-V’s stellar value, engineering, and safety features combined with the cheerful way it performs its intended functions earned Honda the win.” We invite you to test drive the new 2016 Honda CR-V at a South Florida Honda Dealer location near you. We’re sure that you’ll agree that the Honda CR-V, now for sale in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, has what it takes to come out on top in your search for one of the best SUVs in South Florida. Sources: Jeep Photo Credit: