Jeep Cherokee vs Subaru Forester

Small crossovers like the Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Forester have become very popular with Ames, IA buyers due to their combination of comfort, size, and capability. But the number of choices on the market in Iowa can make it hard for Ankeny shoppers to choose the right small SUV for them. That's why we're comparing the Jeep Cherokee vs Subaru Forester. Both vehicles offer off-road capability, modern cabins, and a wealth of features. They're also two of the most popular options in their class.

When you visit, you can be sure you're getting the excellent service that our Des Moines customers have come to expect from Deery of Ames. We have a great selection of vehicle research, as well as a dedicated Iowa Jeep section with information, inventory, and more. Below, we'll compare the Jeep Cherokee vs Subaru Forester, and Marshalltown users will also find links to inventory, financing, and our contact information.


Deery Brothers of Ames, Inc.

1700 SE 16th Street
Directions Ames, IA 50010-6430

  • Sales: 515-337-2515
  • Service: 515-520-8406
  • Parts: 515-598-7353

Cherokee vs Forester: Off-Roading & Powertrain

While there's no doubt that most Des Moines residents will think of Jeep first when it comes to off-roading, the Subaru Forester also offers standard AWD and select off-road features. But how does it compare to the Jeep Cherokee? We're going to take a look at off-road features available on the Cherokee and Forester, but first we'll compare their powertrain options.

The Subaru Forester only has one engine option, a 2.5l four-cylinder that produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a 2.4l four-cylinder rated at 180 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque, but it also has two engine upgrade options.

The first optional Jeep engine is a 3.2l V6 producing 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, and there's also a 2.0l turbo that makes 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Both of these options offer significantly more power than what's available on the Subaru Forester. That means that Ankeny shoppers who want a powerful crossover, or maximum off-road capability, will be better served by the Cherokee and its upgraded engines.

When it comes to off-roading, the Subaru Forester is more capable than many rivals due to its high ground clearance, AWD, and several off-road specific features like X-Mode traction system and selectable drive modes. However, its available off-road features don't beat the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

The Cherokee Trailhawk's off-road features include Active Drive II with Active Drive Lock, all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, off-road suspension, locking rear differential, hill ascent & descent control, skid plates, and tow hooks. Active Drive II with Active Drive Lock is Jeep's advanced AWD system, which offers terrain select, crawl control, and more.

Des Moines shoppers who really want to go off-roading on the weekends in their crossover will definitely appreciate the Jeep Cherokee's superior off-roading features. Jeep's stronger powertrains will also give Ankeny owners plenty of power for highway passing, off-roading, and anything life in Iowa throws at them.

Cherokee vs Forester: Interior & Features

Both the Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Forester offer great interiors and tech features. Both come standard with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, and offer a suite of advanced driver aides. Popular features like leather interior, navigation, heated seats, and more are all available on both the Cherokee and the Forester. Due to their trim structures, Des Moines buyers who choose the Cherokee will have access to some of these features without having to choose the more expensive upper trim levels.

While the Subaru Forester more recently received a redesign, the Cherokee's refresh last year brought attractive styling, new interior features, and the exciting new powertrains. Both are great options in their own right, but the Jeep Cherokee will prove to be the better value for most Marshalltown, IA buyers.

Test Drive Jeep Cherokee in Ames, IA

With its powerful upgraded engines, unmatched off-roading for its class, and well-built interior, the Jeep Cherokee truly shines in this comparison with the Subaru Forester. Des Moines shoppers looking for a small, capable SUV will find the Cherokee and irresistible option when compared to other vehicles in its class. Meanwhile, the Subaru Forester offers a comfortable cabin and strong features, but is held back by its weak engine and lack of driving features.

The best way to get to know the differences between the Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Forester is to test drive them for yourself. At Deery of Ames, we have a great selection of Jeep Cherokee models for our customers to test drive. Whether you're coming from Ankeny, Marshalltown, Des Moines, or right here in Ames, IA, our staff is ready to answer all your questions.

At Deery of Ames, we've built our reputation on treating our customers like family, so don't hesitate to reach out to us online or over the phone. You can also check out our inventory, financing department, and more at the links above.

Make an Inquiry

By submitting your contact information, you consent to be contacted by telephone about purchasing a vehicle or obtaining vehicle financing. Clicking on the Submit button above is your electronic signature.


  • Monday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
; ;