2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Nissan Rogue

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Sporting a 1-0 record, the Cars.com long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee headed into its next head-to-head comparison against the redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue makes for a much more suitable comparison with the Cherokee, which dominated the outdated 2014 Jeep Compass.

2014 Nissan Rogue Expert Review

The new Rogue should look familiar by now due to relentless TV commercials placing the Rogue in urban environments, jumping on top of trains and blasting through evil snowmen. It's the same type of urban cityscape editors Joe Wiesenfelder and Joe Bruzek used to test the Rogue head-to-head with the Cherokee on the post-winter, heavily pothole-ridden streets of Chicago.

The Cherokee Limited's price of $33,375 with destination and options cost just $980 more than the similarly equipped Rogue SL's $32,395 as-tested price. Each used four-cylinder engines and had navigation, leather, all-wheel drive and seating for five. On the outside, the Rogue and Cherokee have similar footprints, separated by less than an inch in length, width and height. On the inside, though, the Rogue's space efficiency is noticeable in more passenger and cargo volume. Compare specifications of both here.

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Acceleration

Winner: Rogue

With a four-cylinder, the Cherokee is definitely acceleration-challenged, and the nine-speed transmission's conservative calibration doesn't make the most of what's there, especially off the line where you feel it most. The Rogue has 14 horsepower less, but it's lighter by 439 pounds. It also has more torque at lower rpm and a continuously variable automatic transmission that does a surprisingly good job of exploiting it.

 

Braking

Winner: Rogue

Both of these cars had good stopping power and good braking linearity overall, though the Cherokee is a bit grabby on initial application. There's no great difference, otherwise.

 

Handling

Winner: Rogue

The Cherokee exhibits composed dynamics, but it's a bit nose-heavy and the transmission doesn't like to power into corners; it always seems to have another agenda. (We think the Cherokee's Sport mode revs the engine into uncomfortably high rpm before shifting and is more awkward than it's worth.) The Rogue is more predictable in this regard and has notably better front/rear weight balance. The steering feel is good, too, which helps make the Rogue into an entertaining small SUV to drive, or at least more so than the Cherokee.

 

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Noise

Winner: Cherokee

The Cherokee (above) is a quiet model for this class. The only thing that bugged us is the faint engine clatter at idle; it's not as loud as in the old Compass and Patriot, but you can hear it when walking up after using the factory remote start; the idle occasionally makes itself known in the cabin, as well. Under acceleration, the engine sound is clearly audible on the inside but is not as objectionable. The Rogue had a good deal more road noise than the Cherokee, which proved a more constant annoyance. The Cherokee's driving experience is isolated from outside wind and road noises at highway speeds as well as from tire thwacks after hitting unavoidable potholes.

 

Ride

Winner: Cherokee

Ride quality is one of the Cherokee's strongest attributes — comfortable without being too isolating. The Rogue clearly has a sophisticated, well-designed suspension, but the ride is firmer and felt a bit busy over decimated post-winter Chicago pavement.

 

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Interior Quality

Winner: Rogue

Considering that neither of these models is from luxury brands, they raise the bar on interior quality. Wiesenfelder marked the Rogue (above) down slightly, mainly because it uses more unconvincing faux-metal trim than he wanted to see, especially in a fresh redesign. Bruzek especially liked the Rogue's luxurious light-colored interior compared with the Cherokee's dark and tech-filled one, though it doesn't take much time to cover the Rogue's tan interior in dirt.

 

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Seats

Winner: Rogue

The Rogue's front seats aren't as wide and comfortable as the Cherokee's, but they're OK, and its backseat (above) offers both ample legroom and adequate headroom. The Cherokee's backseat legroom spec is better by almost 2.4 inches, but Wiesenfelder said his experience suggests the opposite, even with the adjustable backseat slid back fully. Also, at 6 feet tall, Wiesenfelder said his head was in contact with the ceiling alongside the panoramic moonroof. The Rogue had a panoramic roof, too, and neither editor had headroom complaints there.

 

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Multimedia

Winner: Cherokee

In the case of multimedia integration, between these two SUVs, size matters: The Cherokee's plus-size, 8.4-inch touch-screen (above) integrates climate, navigation and music player functions easily with large virtual buttons and easy-to-read text. The Rogue's 7-inch display with navigation is also easy to use but has fewer features. One big plus is the Rogue SL trim level's standard Around View Monitor; it's impressive, especially in this class, but its effectiveness suffers due to the smaller display.

 

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Cargo

Winner: Rogue

The Rogue's cargo space (above) is very generous for this class, and clearly beats the Cherokee with 70 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume compared with the Cherokee's 54.9 cubic feet. It's both higher and wider, and its cargo management provisions also edge out the Jeep's. The Cherokee has a conventional retractable shade cargo cover that can be stored in one of the nice underfloor compartments. The modular rail system on the left flank supports grocery bag hooks, but we're still skeptical how it will work with any of the other accessories Jeep offers. The Rogue's rigid floor/shelf panels, the use of which has a surprisingly shallow learning curve, translate to a lower overall floor in one configuration and multilevel storage versatility in others. They can create a nice cargo corral in the back and fail in only one regard: providing a complete cargo-area cover like the Cherokee offers.

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Results

The Rogue may have edged out the Cherokee six categories to three, but it came down to only a slight advantage in most cases. Not in cargo, however, where the Rogue's size for the money is a big advantage compared with the Cherokee. That's in addition to the Rogue matching many of the Cherokee's features — and adding a power liftgate — with a lower MSRP.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

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Comments 

Jack B. Nimble

You forgot a very important category: Styling. In this category, the Rogue wins hands down and with flying colors. Let's be real, no one wants to be looked at as an alien, because their car looks like one.
Having said that, Nissan, good job on the Rogue, but for heaven's sake, do something with your Leaf and Juke.

ur mom

Rogue rear looks too much like a second gen Lexus RX, so I say Cherokee wins for originality.

Jack B. Nimble

Well, I guess the Cherokee is as orginal as ur mom.

Jeep Jazz

Biased a little as an owner of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, however I'm kind of wondering how long the editors necks are as my brother tops 6'2 and had no problem with headroom.

Styling...not since the SAAB have we had a car that differentiate so much in appearance that it is exciting to see something different on the landscape. Even it is an alien craft! I kind of like the multiple head turns and stares that I see when I look in my review mirror!

Nissan is a nice car but it is very boring and isn't it about time that boring and predictable was put away for a while?

Kyle W

I find the Cherokee to be an acquired taste. It definitely had to grow on me a bit and now I actually like it. I agree with Jeep Jazz 100%!

Q

Styling is very subjective, therefore that is probably why there was no styling category in this comparison. I personally find the Cherokee to be more stylish and original than the Rogue...but hey, to each their own.

cody

Joe B,

Can you share the fuel economy that you observed during the test?

K.R.V.

It just may be me, but for my money I would forgo some of the electric trinkets and baubles and get the Cherokee with the V-6 available! and also get one in the Trailhawk package! it might cost a bit more, but then you would have a vehicle not seen everyday, and also be much more capable and sporty! Also I know design is to each there own, but to me the Japanese cars and trucks and SUV's today like yesterday are either boring or downright ugly! as am example when was the last time you have seen a Japanese classic? come on name a few! only one true classic comes to mind, and that would be the Toyota GT 2000! and there may be some sentimental value to an older Corolla, or maybe the Datsun 1600-2000 Roadsters, and the almighty Datsun B 510, and Z cars, but other than those? not much! But when you talk about Jeep! there are decades of history and character.......

Tom E.

I'm a new owner of a Jeep Cherokee Latitude and, so far, I'm really liking the ride. Avg 28 mpg which I can live with. Room isnt really an issue, so it has plenty of room for me. As for style, I consider the look of my Latitude as having character and 'attitude'. Because of this, I feel like I stand out in the sea of Grand Cherokees and Compass's I see out there. I'm sure the Rogue is a good car overall, but I'm loving the Jeep Cherokee. Lastly, I just wanna say, if you're looking for quick acceleration, throwing the Jeep Cherokee Latitude into 'Sport' mode, and you have acceleration baby. Fun stuff.

Bob

I love my Nissan Rogue

kcgal

We just purchased a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Latitude and couldn't be happier. We compared it to the Rogue and while the Rogue was nice, I felt there was more room in Jeep than the Rogue. The screen display was readable without my reading glasses!!! Big plus!

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