With so many SUV options out there these days, it’s enough to give shoppers a severe migraine. If you’re in the market for a crossover SUV that meets the needs of your active, on-the-go lifestyle, you’ve probably been pouring over the Internet, reading car reviews, and consulting family and friends. We’ll narrow things down for you a bit and put two popular compact crossover SUVs to the test, the 2016 Honda CR-V, and the 2016 Jeep Cherokee. Both SUVs offer a lot of high-tech goodies, ample room, quality materials, modern styling, the latest safety features, good fuel economy, surefooted handling, and robust performance.

But when you add everything all up, which SUV has the best combination of these and other attributes to come out ahead? Let’s find out.

CR-V Wins Top Automotive Award

Winning Motor Trend’s coveted “SUV of the Year” award is a big deal. And the 2015 Honda CR-V did just that. Going up against some stiff competition, including SUVs from BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Subaru (not to mention the Cherokee), it took some serious moxie to best these outstanding vehicles. Judges gave the CR-V high marks for its suspension, powertrain, steering, all-wheel-drive capabilities, and interior. One judge enthused, “It’s way more fun than any compact crossover should be.”

As you would expect, the 2016 Honda CR-V for sale in Phoenix at your Valley Honda Dealers continues this award-winning legacy.

Two Handsomely Styled SUVs

Now let’s take a look at exterior styling. Both the CR-V and the Cherokee have a lot to like in this department. Each presents its own unique and contemporary style, so it really comes down to personal taste in this category. The CR-V hits the pavement with a refreshed exterior that features a more aero appearance with a low-slung hood, swept-back roofline, bold headlights, muscular wheel arches, and signature vertical LED taillights. The Cherokee offers a contemporary appearance with razor-thin LED headlights, a muscular vertical grille, and available chrome-tipped exhausts. Both are good-looking vehicles, so we’d rate this category a toss-up.

CR-V Offers More Cargo Room

Both Honda and Jeep know how to build spacious, versatile, and accommodating SUV interiors. But when you take out the tape measure, the CR-V comes out ahead with up to 70.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the 2nd-row seats folded flat compared to 54.9 cubic feet of space offered by the Cherokee. Additionally, the CR-V’s doors open to almost a 90-degree angle, allowing easy access. A power tailgate is available on the CR-V Touring model. Both the CR-V and the Cherokee offer a high level of quality and craftsmanship with available leather seating, plenty of storage compartments, and an extensive list of advanced “infotainment” features.

CR-V A High-Tech Champ

The CR-V offers standard Bluetooth® streaming audio, a handy USB audio interface and access to Pandora® streaming music. Additionally, available upmarket features include SiriusXM® Radio, HDRadio®, and a 7-inch color touchscreen display. The CR-V can also be equipped with HondaLink Next Generation®. This feature allows you to use your compatible smartphone to touch, pinch, and swipe your way through your music, podcasts and more. The CR-V also comes with a standard rear backup camera. The Cherokee’s UConnect® system is compatible with the CR-V’s and offers a similar suite of features.

Cherokee Loses To CR-V’s Performance & Fuel Economy

Where the CR-V starts to pull away from the Cherokee is in the areas of performance, fuel efficiency, handling, and range. The Jeep Cherokee’s 2.4-liter Tigershark® inline 4-cylinder engine generates 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque with an EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway/22 mpg city.

Compare that to the 2016 CR-V, which offers more horsepower, torque, and better fuel economy. A new 2.4-liter direct injection “Earth Dreams” engine pumps out 185 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque, delivering an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway/26 mpg city for a combined EPA-estimated 29 mpg compared to the Cherokee’s combined 25 mpg numbers. This translates to a driving range on the highway of up to 520 miles in the CR-V compared to just 498 miles for the Cherokee.

The Cherokee can tow up to 2,000 pounds. This is slightly more than the CR-V’s 1,500-lb. rated towing capacity. But the Cherokee sacrifices some fuel economy in the bargain.

CR-V All-Wheel-Drive Earns Praise

There’s no question that the Jeep Cherokee is well-known for its excellent off-road capabilities, and it wouldn’t be fair to say otherwise. The Cherokee’s Active Drive 4X4 system features four modes: Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand/Mud. Not to be outdone, the CR-V’s available Real Time AWD™ is also one of the top four-wheel-drive systems out there. In fact, MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year judges exclaimed that the CR-V’s AWD system “…handled our steep, silty gravel with minimal fuss.”

CR-V Gets High Safety Ratings

When it comes to safety, both the Honda CR-V and the Jeep Cherokee have plenty to offer. “Honda Sensing™” is a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies that work together to enhance driver safety. This system incorporates several features, including Lane Departure Warning, Forward-Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, and a standard multi-view rear backup camera. Honda adds to this its ACE™ energy-absorbing body structure, multiple dual-stage airbags, and Vehicle Stability Assist. The Cherokee also comes equipped with similar safety technologies. Both vehicles earn top safety ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS.

The CR-V Is The Clear Choice

The 2016 Honda CR-V and 2016 Jeep Cherokee are two great choices when looking for a compact crossover SUV. To be sure, each has its strong suits. However, the CR-V does edge out the Cherokee in several critical areas, including fuel economy, cargo capacity, range, and performance. And the Cherokee can’t say that it’s a MotorTrend SUV of the Year winner while the CR-V can. Plus the CR-V is a 2016 Kelly Blue Book Small SUV Best Buy and a Best Family Car pick. And, according to an IHS-Polk survey, the 2016 CR-V is the longest-lasting crossover in its class.

When you add it all up, we think that the 2016 Honda CR-V for sale in Phoenix at your Valley Honda Dealers clearly comes out ahead of the 2016 Jeep Cherokee. But don’t take our word for it. Stop by one of our conveniently located Phoenix-area Valley Honda Dealers near you and take a new CR-V for a test drive. We’re sure you’ll give it “two thumbs up.” We’ll also show you just how easy it is to own a new award-winning Honda CR-V with special Honda financing offers.