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Jeep Cherokee vs Mazda CX-5

Jeep Cherokee vs Mazda CX-5

If you’re in the market for a 2-row SUV, both the Jeep Cherokee and the Mazda CX-5 are outstanding choices. But while they’re both great vehicles, they serve different markets making it essential that you know what each one offers.

It’s a big decision, and not one that you want to get wrong, which is why we came up with this guide to break down everything you need to know. We’ll go over everything from the available powertrains to the total cargo space and ground clearance for each vehicle for you here.

The Jeep Cherokee

While Jeep discontinued the “Cherokee” line in 2001 opting for the Jeep Liberty instead, in 2014 they brought it back.

Since then, it’s been a wildly popular vehicle selling close to 1.5 million cars in the United States alone. That’s a lot of Cherokees on the road and a lot of options for you to pick from.

The Powertrain

Since Jeep brought back the Cherokee line in 2014, they’ve had three different engine options for you to choose from. Initially, they offered both a 2.4L inline-four-cylinder engine and an upgraded 3.2L Pentastar V6 engine. However, in 2019 they introduced a 2.0L Hurricane engine equipped with stop-and-go technology.

And after the 2021 model year, they discontinued the 2.4L Tigershark engine with the Cherokee, instead making the 3.2L Pentastar V6 engine their standard option.

Model Years



2014 to 2021

2.4L Tigershark


2014 to Present

3.2L Pentastar V6


2019 to Present

2.0L Hurricane


Storage Space and Ground Clearance

If you’re shopping for an SUV you want to know about storage space, and the Jeep Cherokee delivers. Even if you’re using the second-row seats you get 25.8 cubic feet of storage space, more than enough for groceries or sporting or camping equipment.

And if you don’t have anyone in the second row then you can fold those seats down and unlock up to 54.7 cubic feet of storage space.

Finally, fitting with Jeep’s reputation for creating off-road vehicles, the Cherokee sits 8.7 inches off the ground. It’s not a true off-road machine, but it’s more than capable of getting you and your family to a campground well off the beaten path.

Towing Specs

While you can certainly put a tow hitch on the back of a Cherokee and pull some things, that’s not really what it’s known for. That’s why it can “only” tow about 2,000 pounds.

That’s more than many other vehicles in this class, but it’s well below what you can find on other vehicles in the Jeep lineup.

The Mazda CX-5

Mazda released the CX-5 in 2012, and since then it’s grown in popularity just about every year. The sales numbers are rising just about every year, and right now Mazda has sold over 1.2 million CX-5s in the United States.

That means there are tons of options for you to pick from, and its growing popularity points to a car that’s well worth the asking price.

The Powertrain

Mazda hasn’t had a ton of engines in the CX-5, but they don’t all come with the same thing under the hood. When Mazda first released the CX-5 in the United States you could only get the 2.0L Skyactiv-G PE-VPS I4 engine. With 155 horsepower it was enough to get you from point A to point B, but it wasn’t going to be the most thrilling ride.

In 2014 Mazda introduced the 2.5L Skyactiv-G PE-VPS I4 to their lineup, and this engine produces a more respectable 187 horsepower, and in 2016 they ditched the smaller 2.0L engine entirely.

But it’s in 2019 when they really added some power to the lineup. For the 2019 model year, there are three different engine options. They offer the same 2.5L Skyactiv engine as before, and they introduced a turbocharged version of the engine that pushes 256 horsepower.

Finally, for just the 2019 model year they had a 2.2L Skyactiv diesel engine available. The performance specs were far lower than even the non-turbo 2.5L engine, pushing just 168 horsepower. That paired with the much higher price tag for the diesel engine led to them discontinuing it after the 2019 model year.

Model Years



2012 to 2016

2.0L Skyactiv-G PE-VPS I4


2014 to Present

2.5L Skyactiv-G PE-VPS I4


2019 to Present

2.5L Skyactiv-G PE-VPS I4 Turbo



2.2L Skyactiv-D S-VPTS I4


Storage Space and Ground Clearance

Mazda is a little more family-oriented, and it’s why there’s plenty of storage space in the CX-5. Even if you have people in the back row, you get 29.1 cubic feet of storage space. And if you don’t have anyone in the second row you can expand that storage all the way up to 58.1 cubic feet.

It’s a little roomier than the Cherokee, but not by a ton. The tradeoff is with the ground clearance. While the 7.6 inches of ground clearance the CX-5 offers is more than decent, it’s a full inch lower than what the Cherokee offers.

Towing Specs

Just about every CX-5 comes with a 2,000-pound towing capacity, the exact same as the Jeep Cherokee. However, there is one notable exception to this.

If you manage to track down a 2019 CX-5 with the 2.2L Skyactiv diesel engine, that towing capacity goes from 2,000 pounds up to 3,500 pounds. It’s not surprising considering the diesel engine’s reputation for towing and torque, but with just one model year and one engine configuration, tracking down a CX-5 with a 3,500 towing capacity can be quite the challenge.

Final Thoughts

Whether you go with the Jeep Cherokee or the Mazda CX-5 you’re getting a great vehicle with more than enough space for you and your friends or family.

Moreover, you’re getting a vehicle that’s more than capable of getting you wherever you need to go – no matter how off the pavement it is. Add in the dependability of both vehicles and you really can’t go wrong either way!

Do you have questions about the Jeep Cherokee or the Mazda CX-5? The team of experts at Tim’s Truck would love to help clear things up for you. Even better, they can help you get behind the wheel of one so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you! So go ahead and reach out today!

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