You should buy it
You should buy it
Offroad abilities. This Jeep -- and practically every other Jeep on the market -- is unrivaled when it comes to off-road abilities. This includes what it can do on the road in awful weather (rain, snow, sleet). This is a boon for shoppers who live in colder climates.
Engine power & towing. The optional engine on the Cherokee is a 271-horsepower V6 that can tow up to 4,500 pounds. Those are far more impressive than the optional Escape powertrain, which tops out at 245 horsepower and tows 3,500 pounds.
Interior refinement. While many reviewers dinged the insides of the Ford Escape for being too cut-rate and cheap, the quality and comfort of the Cherokee’s interior wins it praise.
Interior space. The Escape promises 34 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats (and 68 cubic feet when you fold the rear seats). This easily dwarfs the Cherokee’s 24.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and its 55 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded. But at least the Cherokee promises more legroom in the rear seats.
Transmission. While the Ford only has a six-speed automatic transmission compared to the Jeep’s nine-speed auto, the Ford’s is infinitely better in its execution and smoothness.
Handling. The Ford Escape won a lot of praise from reviewers for its tight and responsive handling. The Jeep? Not so much. It was noted to be dull and uninspiring for daily on-road driving. Might as well have fun while you schlep the kids to soccer practice, right?
The Jeep’s extra refinement and off-road abilities are nice features to have but they’re not enough to offset its smaller cargo space or plodding on-road dynamics. The Ford is what you need it to be: a spacious, practical, fun-to-drive crossover -- even if it gives up a little in the off-road department. With this comparison, we’ll follow the aggregate scoring of the Ford and Jeep reviews and say Buy the Ford.
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