Jeep Cherokee vs Subaru Forester

Cherokee Latitude vs Forester Premium


Five Minute Video Comparison

Executive Summary
Both are built on car platforms (rather than truck frames) so both offer compliant handling with light off-road capability.  Jeep feels roomier for people, Forester better swallows cargo.  Forester is more car-like; Jeep offers more rugged off-road and towing performance, and offers a hard core Trailhawk edition for more serious rock hopping.  Forester has racked up so many awards (from 2014 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year to IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus and many in between) that Subaru's trophy shelves are sagging.  Comparably equipped, Forester is less expensive.  Fortunately, since Planet has Jeep and Subaru franchises, you can actually enjoy the process of buying either one at your undealership.

Here we compare the mid-range trim levels, which both aspire to economical, all weather practicality.  However, their missions diverge at the top of the line.  Cherokee Trailhawk offers "Trail Rated" off-road capability with the expected firm suspension and rugged cosmetics.  The turbocharged Forester XT delivers surprisingly quick and agile performance you would typically find in a sports car. 

Let's start with what they have in common:

Standard Features
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Power windows, locks, mirrors

Standard Safety:

  • Vehicle stability control to avoid skids; 
  • Brake override system;
  • Anti-lock brakes with brake assist; 
  • Learn all about how these safety features work. 

Similar Dimensions:

Cherokee is two and a half inches wider.


Cherokee is one inch longer.


Forester is two and a half inches taller.



4WD vs AWD
Cherokee is available with front wheel drive or your choice of three (!) 4WD systems.  Standard Active Drive I satisfies the needs of most drivers who don't go off road.  Subaru's All Wheel Drive system is lighter and more compact, better for New England winters than goat crawling.


Light duty "Active Drive I"
4WD requires no driver input.
  On optional "Active Drive II"
system, a selector offers
low-range gearing and hill
descent control for pretty
serious off road capability.
 "Active Drive II Lock"
on Trailhawk offers
 locking rear differential

Ground clearance
Jeep matches Subaru at 8.7 inches when equipped with optional Active Drive II system available on Limited and Trailhawk.

7.7 inches

8.7 inches

Cargo Space

Forester is taller and more squared off so it offers significantly more cargo space, enough for a full sized golden retriever. Dog costs extra.


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


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

Passenger Volume

Both are quite roomy inside considering their compact dimensions.  

104 Cubic Feet


103 cubic feet

Standard Engine and acceleration

2.4 liter in-line
four cylinder
184 horsepower

0-60mph:  8.8 seconds

2.5 liter four cylinder
Boxer engine

with 170 horsepower

0-60mph:  8.5 seconds

Fuel Economy
Both offer cutting-edge transmissions.  Subaru's ratios are infinitely variable; Jeep uses a large number of gears to suit every load.  Five speed automatics are typical, so nine speeds is a lot!

Nine speed automatic transmission

4WD: 21 city, 28 hwy

Continuously variable
auto transmission

AWD: 26 city, 32 hwy

Need some extra go-go?

Forester models with the optional turbo are geared toward sportiness; Cherokee models with V6 are geared toward towing and off-road prowess.


3.2 liter V6 with
nine speed

271 horsepower

19 city, 27 highway

0-60 mph 6.6 seconds


2.0 liter turbocharged
four cylinder with
continuously variable automatic transmission.

250 horsepower.

23 city, 28 highway.

0-60 mph 6.1 seconds

Towing Capacity

If you're towing more than a small trailer, you'll appreciate Jeep's optional V6 engine.

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


Outward Visibility

Forester was recognized as the #1 vehicle for visibility of any car on the road!  Cherokee has swooping rear roofline for sporty look, but this styling reduces space for glass. Forester offers better front visibility with large partition window and narrower window trim.





Optional Power

Jeep's glass area is bigger. Two panels of glass are separated by an opaque bar.  Only the front panel opens (second is fixed). Jeep offers this roof only on Limited and Trailhawk.   Forester moonroof, consisting of one glass piece, opens all the way.



Rear vision camera, panoramic sunroof, and heated seats/mirrors/ wipers are standard on Forester Premium; they are optional on Jeep for more money.



Forester models
and prices

Jeep wins coveted "Top Safety Pick" designation from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; Forester goes one better and earns "Plus" designation. 

Top Safety Pick

 Top Safety Pick Plus

Digital Brochures

Search New
Cherokee Inventory
at our sister store
Planet Chrysler Jeep
Dodge Ram in Franklin

Search New
Forester Inventory

Cherokee was just
introduced so there are
very few available
used right now.

Search Used
Forester Inventory


Exclusive Planet Subaru Benefit: The Planet Passport Program




Are you from communities of Boston, Plymouth, Brockton, Quincy, or Cambridge?  You'll love buying your next Subaru Forester or Jeep Cherokee from Planet! 
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