Should I Buy the Hyundai Santa Fe or the Jeep Cherokee?

2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited diesel

2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited diesel

QUESTION

We are looking at purchasing either a Hyundai Santa Fe Elite or a Jeep Cherokee Limited. We found your review of the Hyundai Santa Fe very informative [check it out here >>] and just wondered if you have reviewed a Jeep Cherokee Limited recently? Thanks, Heidi

Save thousands on a Jeep Cherokee or a Hyundai Santa Fe >>

ANSWER

I am booked in to drive the Cherokee (Longitude, Limited and Trailhawk) next month - so by the end of August I will have spent three weeks in Jeep Cherokees.

What I can tell you at this stage is that the Santa Fe is a known quantity. It was launched in August 2012, it's been here a while, and nothing nasty has arisen as a result of it being sold in significant numbers (there are 10,000 to 12,000 of them in service on Australian roads by now). Full Santa Fe review + video >>

As you know the Cherokee is very new, and a bit of an unknown quantity - especially about the things that really matter to consumers, like reliability.

Here's how they compare on fundamentals:

JEEP CHEROKEE LIMITED

HYUNDAI SANTA FE ELITE

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

CHEROKEE SPECIFICATIONS

RRP: $44,000 + on-road costs
Seats: Five
L x W x H:  4624 x 1859 x 1683
Kerb weight: 1834kg
3.2-litre V6 petrol (200kW @ 6500rpm & 316Nm @ 4400rpm)
2.0-litre diesel (125kW @ 4000rpm & 350Nm @ 1750rpm)

Transmission: 9sp auto
Fuel: 10.0L/100km (combined)
Warranty: 3yr/100,000 km

  • 18-inch alloys
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • 8.4-inch LCD multimedia display
  • Sat-nav
  • Leather trim
  • Proximity key with start/stop button
  • Climate control air conditioning
  • 10 speakers + subwoofer & amplifier
  • Reversing camera
  • Five-star ANCAP safety

Find out how much a good broker can save you on a Jeep Cherokee here >>

SANTA FE SPECIFICATIONS

RRP: $47,990 + on-road costs
Seats: Seven
L x W x H:  4690 x 1880 x 1690
Kerb weight: 1968kg
2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder (145kW @ 3800rpm & 436Nm @ 1800-2500rpm)

Transmission: 6sp auto
Fuel: 7.9L/100km
Warranty: 5yr/unlimited km

  • 18-inch alloys
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Seven-inch LCD multimedia display
  • Sat-nav
  • Part leather trim
  • Proximity key with start/stop button
  • Climate control air conditioning
  • 8 speakers + subwoofer & amplifier
  • Reversing camera
  • Five-star ANCAP safety

Find out how much a good broker can save you on a Hyundai Santa Fe here >>

OBJECTIVE COMPARISON

Obviously the vehicles are very close on objective criteria. The main differences are:

Seating capacity: Santa Fe offers seven seats, and seats six and seven fold away brilliantly to yield a flat cargo floor when not in use.

Engine: The Jeep will out-perform the Santa Fe in a drag race. (Because it has more power and less weight.) However, in normal driving the Santa Fe will feel much stronger. (Because it offers more torque at low revs - more low-rpm power.)

A diesel engine is on the way in Cherokee Limited - timeframe and price TBC. Jeep diesels tend to be fairly expensive. (Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.6i 4x4: $48,000rrp -Vs- Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.0 diesel 4x4: $53,000rrp.)

Transmission: The Jeep features a nine-speed auto versus the Hyundai Santa Fe's six speeds. Whether or not this is a significant benefit remains to be seen.

Warranty: Extra two years and no distance limit on the Hyundai Santa Fe is a tangible benefit if you plan on owning the vehicle that long.

Click here to ask me how cheap finance can be on either vehicle, from reputable Australian lenders >>

RELIABILITY

Reliability is one of the hardest things to measure. US News has rated both the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Cherokee in the USA for reliability, using respected independent quality assessor JD Power & associates. Using this methodology, US News ranked the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe at three stars for reliability (average) while the Jeep Cherokee rated 2.5 stars (slightly below average). Click the images below to expand and view the US News quality assessment for each vehicle.

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