|Fuel Economy (mpg)
|Cargo Space (cu.ft.)
|NHTSA Safety Rating
The compact SUV segment is fiercely competitive as automakers strive to deliver versatile vehicles that are capable yet efficient, luxurious yet affordable, and spacious yet agile. It's a balance that Chevrolet has perfected over the years and is especially apparent when slating the best-selling 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Jeep Cherokee. While the Jeep name carries a lot of weight in terms of capability throughout the industry, the Cherokee is often forgotten in the shadows of its grander sibling, and that gives the Equinox plenty of room to shine.
For starters, the 2022 Equinox is an incredible value with a starting MSRP of $25,800, making it one of the most affordable in the class.[a] In addition, Chevy equips its agile SUV with loads of conveniences and technology that make even the base trim a great option. On the contrary, you'll pay significantly more for the Jeep name as the 2022 Cherokee starts at $34,895, a noticeable increase in price that offers much less when compared to its Chevy rival. Even the experts at Car and Driver agree, ranking the 2022 Jeep Cherokee behind the 2022 Chevy Equinox for its high price, lackluster interior, and cramped cabin.
So, how else does the Equinox outshine the Cherokee? Newly refreshed for 2022, the Equinox has a lot to offer across its lineup and easily proves it's better equipped, more efficient, and more versatile. Here's a closer look at why the 2022 Equinox is a far better choice than the 2022 Cherokee, an SUV that's undeniably showing its age in a segment that demands constant change to meet the evolving needs of drivers.
Compact SUVs like the 2022 Cherokee and 2022 Equinox are designed to deliver the ride quality, handling, and efficiency of a sedan with the spaciousness, versatility, and higher driving position of an SUV. Both models check these boxes, but the Equinox manages to find a better balance between handling and efficiency. As a result, it's more responsive and will save you far more money on fuel.
For 2022, Jeep gives you two powertrain options on the Cherokee. The SUV comes standard with Jeep's 3.2L Pentastar V6 engine, which you can upgrade to the available 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder for an increase in power. The powertrains are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which is supposed to balance power and capability with efficiency. But does it? When equipped with the Pentastar, the front-wheel drive Cherokee gets 20 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway; the all-wheel drive model returns 19 MPG and 27 MPG, respectively. The four-cylinder slightly improves this efficiency, with the front-wheel drive model averaging 23 MPG and 31 MPG and the all-wheel drive model rated for 21 MPG and 29 MPG.
Chevrolet doesn't offer a choice of powertrains for the 2022 Equinox, but it isn't needed. The Equinox's 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that effortlessly shifts the Equinox into the right gear to deliver the power and performance you need. More importantly, this power isn't mutually exclusive with efficiency. For example, the front-wheel drive Equinox gets 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The all-wheel drive Equinox averages 25 MPG and 30 MPG, respectively. These numbers mean you'll spend less money on fuel in the Equinox and enjoy a better driving experience than from behind the wheel of the Cherokee.
Although the 2022 Equinox and 2022 Cherokee are compact SUVs, they must make the most out of their cabin size to ensure there is plenty of versatile space for passengers and cargo. So, how do they do this, and which model is more spacious? That requires looking closer at their specs.
The 2022 Cherokee is taller and wider than the Equinox, but it doesn't use this to its advantage. The Cherokee's wheelbase measures 106.6 inches, while the Equinox's wheelbase is slightly larger at 107.3 inches. This difference attributes to the Equinox's longer length at 183.1 inches compared to the Cherokee at 182 inches. Jeep attempts to make up for this loss by stretching the Cherokee wider at 73.2 inches as opposed to the Equinox's 72.6-inch width. Likewise, the Cherokee stands slightly taller at 66.2 inches compared to the Equinox at 65.4 inches. So what do these numbers mean in terms of cargo room?
The Equinox and Cherokee both offer a two-row configuration that allows you to fold the second row down to maximize the rear cargo space. The Equinox uses its size to its advantage, giving you 29.9 cu.ft. of cargo space with the second row in use. In contrast, the Cherokee offers only 25.8 cu.ft., a noticeable decrease that can cause quite the headache when tasked with loading everyone's luggage for a family vacation. With the seats folded, the Equinox's cargo space skyrockets to 63.9 cu.ft., giving you plenty of room for bulkier items like gardening tools, bags of mulch, groceries, small furniture, and more. Unfortunately for Jeep lovers, the Cherokee falls significantly short and offers only 54.7 cu.ft. of space.
Your safety is a top priority for every automaker, but especially for Chevrolet, as you'll see with the 2022 Equinox. For 2022, Chevy equips the Equinox with a standard suite of safety features known as Chevy Safety Assist. This suite, along with the vehicle's high-strength steel frame and innovative design, earned the Equinox a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, the Cherokee, which comes with similar safety features, only earned a four-star safety rating, putting it behind the Equinox.
The 2022 Cherokee offers a variety of active and passive safety features, depending on trim. Some of these tools include Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection, Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, Electronic Stability Control, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning System, automatic headlamps, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. In addition, you can improve your time cruising at highway speeds with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go. Jeep also makes parking the Cherokee easier with advanced features like the ParkView Rear Back Up Camera, ParkSense Rear Park Assist with Stop, or Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist with Full Stop.
While the 2022 Cherokee seems well-equipped, it lacks a few key ingredients when compared to the 2022 Equinox. The Chevy Safety Assist suite equips every Equinox in the lineup with Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, a Following Distance Indicator, IntelliBeam automatic high beams, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. These tools form the basis of the Equinox's safety features and outfit the SUV with a virtual spotter that's constantly watching the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle.
Beyond available tools like Front and Rear Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, an HD Surround Vision camera, and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Chevy offers something else you won't find anywhere in the Jeep lineup––Teen Driver. Teen Driver is Chevy's exclusive driving coach that comes standard on the Equinox. It allows parents to set specific parameters for their teen drivers and provides performance feedback to create coachable moments that promote safe driving habits.