Which SUV - Grand Cherokee Vs Santa Fe Vs CX-5

QUESTION

Hi John,

I would like to be put in contact with your broker to obtain pricing on a vehicle which we are considering purchasing. We are considering the following vehicles: 

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee MY2014 Limited 3.0 diesel with luxury pack, towball, headlight protectors and floor mats
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander diesel with towball, front sensors, headlight protectors and floor mats
  • Mazda CX-5 diesel grand tourer with Tech Pack (same as Akera) with towball, headlight protectors and floor mats.

Regards, 

Daniel

See also: Comparison of Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Territory and Land Rover Discovery

ANSWER

Hi Daniel,

Brokers are excellent once you know exactly what vehicle you want. That's the point at which you should engage one. I'll help you with that.

As to the vehicles: this is an eclectic bunch - not really an apples-for-apples comparison. I guess it comes down to personal preference. The salient differences:


Jeep Grand Cherokee

Grand Cherokee is simply the sexiest car in this short-list

Grand Cherokee is simply the sexiest car in this short-list

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Rear.jpg
Brilliant eight-speed transmission and strong diesel engine are Jeep Grand Cherokee highlights

Brilliant eight-speed transmission and strong diesel engine are Jeep Grand Cherokee highlights

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Interior.jpg

Base price on the Limited without the extras is $61k plus on-roads. It's only a five-seater and it's only got four stars for safety (bit of a bummer there). Has a very impressive engine with an EIGHT SPEED auto. So, that's nice. Unfortunately, JD Power just completed the 2014 US Vehicle Dependability Study for 2014.

Reliability.jpg

Jeep is right down the bottom (see image of results above), above only Land Rover, Dodge (also a Chrysler brand) and MINI... It is absolutely stuffed with standard equipment. Warranty is only 3 years / 100,000km. Hottest looking vehicle in your list. And probably the most reliable Jeep because of the product development cycle and Daimler's former ownership of Chrysler.


Hyundai Santa Fe

Great equipment levels and long warranty are the Santa Fe's highlights - best looking Hyundai in the range, too

Great equipment levels and long warranty are the Santa Fe's highlights - best looking Hyundai in the range, too

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Side.jpg
2014 Hyndai Santa Fe Interior.jpg
Brilliant flat-folding third-row seat arrangement in Santa Fe (under bike wheel in foreground)

Brilliant flat-folding third-row seat arrangement in Santa Fe (under bike wheel in foreground)

Base price is $51,490 - so it's $10k under the Jeep, and includes seven seats (brilliantly packaged, too, BTW - when folded they disappear completely into the floor and yield an impressive cargo volume). The engine/driveline can't hold a candle to the Jeep - smaller outputs/two fewer speeds, but overall it's impressively equipped. (The ergonomics of the driver's left footrest suck - a throwback to the old foot-operated parking brake, which the Highlander has upgraded to in-console electronic.) Safer than the Jeep, though, with five stars for safety. Unfortunately, there seems like there may be a statistically small chance of a glitch with Hyundai's full-glass Panorama roofs, which has not been adequately explained. More information here, and here. There's no anecdotal evidence of a problem with the Santa Fe's roof at this stage. Best warranty of the bunch: Five years and unlimited kilometres. Only just above Jeep on JD Power's 2014 Dependability rankings.


Mazda CX-5

CX-5 is smaller than the other two - but is great to drive and very fuel efficient

CX-5 is smaller than the other two - but is great to drive and very fuel efficient

2014 Mazda CX-5 Rear.jpg
2014 Mazda CX-5 Side.jpg
Build quality is best of the Japanese - and that means best in the world

Build quality is best of the Japanese - and that means best in the world

The baby of the bunch - but a great little SUV. Much smaller than the other two. Cheapest, too - though not by much at $47,030 plus on-roads and not including the Tech Pack.Very well built, nice to drive, five seats, six speeds, and a bit more anorexic again in the engine department. Five stars on safety. I really like the CX-5, but its a step down in size from the other two - which may or may not be a significant factor for you. Almost certainly the best built of the three cars, with potentially the best reliability. The only one on your list that was above the US industry average on dependability.


To Compare Specifications

Invoke the following three windows (links below) in your browser at the same time to view the specs on each vehicle in a format that allows easy objective comparison because they're in identical formats:

Let me know when you've decided and I'll get the broker to give you a call - I'm sure he can save you significantly over the odds of dealing with a dealer, which is hardly one of life's great joys. And read my guide on how to beat a car dealer here.

Best of luck with your decision.

Sincerely,

JC