Jeep Cherokee vs Ford Escape

Ford Escape SE 4WD
Jeep Cherokee Latitude 4WD

Planet's Executive Summary
Both are designated as "compact crossovers."  Built on car platforms (rather than truck frames) they offer compliant handling with light off-road capability.  Jeep offers more rugged off-road and towing performance, and offers a hard core Trailhawk edition for more serious rock hopping.  Descended from the Focus, Escape offers zippier handling.

Both are available with front wheel drive or four wheel drive.  (Here we compared the 4WD versions).

Both have standard
3 year, 36,000 mile comprehensive warranty; Ford's powertrain  is only 5/60 compared to Jeep's 5/100.

It's hard to beat a Jeep sport utility vehicle; they've been building them since World War II.  It's just cool to drive a Jeep.  Ford is better known for Mustangs and pickups.

Cherokee is a little bigger, especially front-to-rear:

  • Cherokee is one inch wider.
  • Cherokee is four inches longer.
  • They are the same height.


Cargo Space

Escape has slightly more volume. 

 68 cubic feet (seats down)
34 cubic feet (seats up)


55 cubic feet (seats down)
25 cubic feet (seats up)

Passenger Volume

Cherokee is roomier
inside for people.

98 Cubic Feet


104 cubic feet
Ground clearance
Both ride high enough for winter conditions and moderate off road driving.
For serious rock hopping, Jeep offers Trailhawk model with 8.7 inches.



Standard Engine and acceleration
Ford uses turbocharger to generate significant power from smaller engine, but acceleration lags Cherokee.  Turbocharged engines are more reliable than they used to be, but typically have higher maintenance and repair costs than normally aspirated engines. 

 1.6 liter turbocharged in-line four cylinder with
178 horsepower

0-60mph:  9.3 seconds

2.4 liter in-line
four cylinder
 with 184 horsepower

0-60mph:  8.8 seconds

Fuel Economy

In exchange for less performance, Escape offers better gas mileage.

Six speed
automatic transmission
AWD:  22 city, 30 hwy

Nine speed
automatic transmission
AWD:  21 city, 28 hwy

Need some extra go-go?


2.0 liter turbocharged
four cylinder with
six speed automatic

Horsepower:  240

21 city, 28 highway

0-60 time: 6.8 seconds

3.2 liter V6 with
nine speed

Horsepower:  271

19 city, 27 highway

0-60 mph 6.6 seconds

Outward Visibility

Escape's narrower rear windows and short rear window create blind spots compared to clear glass in Cherokee. 




Huge Power Moonroof

Both offer optional panoramic power moonroofsBoth have two pieces of glass connected by a bar in the middle.


Towing Capacity

1.6 L engine:  2,000 lbs
2.0 L engine:  2,000 lbs

2.4L engine:  2,000 lbs
3.2L engine:  4,000 lbs

Purchase and Ownership Experience
You can buy a new Cherokee at Planet, but not a new Ford.

Price Comparably equipped



In Small Overlap Crash Tests by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Escape performs poorly.  Cherokee is named "Top Safety Pick."

Escape scores "Poor"

Top Safety Pick

Search our huge inventory for your Cherokee:





If you live in the Worcester, Providence, Boston, or Metrowest communities, and you're thinking about a Ford Escape, please compare it to the Jeep Cherokee before you buy or lease.
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