Jeep Grand Cherokee VS Mazda CX-5
Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Off-road ability
- Modest road feel
- Plenty of buttons
- 100,000km warranty
- Stylish design is ageing well
- Not a boring SUV to drive
- Most safety stuff appears on the cheapest model
- Where is our hybrid?
- Non-touchscreen tech feels old school
- Range-wide pricer increases are never fun
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been big. But if you want to carry more than five people, not big enough. Which is where the all-new, fifth-generation model comes in.
It’s set to compete with top-spec versions of mainstream models like the Hyundai Palisade and Toyota LandCruiser Prado, as well as premium full-size family trucksters like the Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC90.
Jeep invited us to the Grand Cherokee L’s Australian launch to get a first taste of how it measures up to local conditions.
Read more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
Let's get this out of the way early: Mazda's new CX-5 isn't actually all that new.
But has it done enough to stay relevant in Australia's biggest new-car segment? Let's find out, shall we?
|Engine Type||2.2L turbo|
Jeep Grand Cherokee7.5/10
Jeep’s aim with this car is to lift the Grand Cherkee to a more premium level, and that’s about brand equity and badge credibility as much as it is the vehicle itself.
The seven-seat L has stepped up in price, but also in practicality, refinement and equipment, while maintaining serious off-road ability.
Does it have what it takes to tempt people away from, say, the German Big Three? That’s a tough ask, but this Jeep certainly has more of what it takes to make that a real possibility.
For mine, the entry-level Night Eagle is the pick. Well equipped, heaps of safety and plenty of off-highway prowess.
Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with travel, accommodation and meals provided.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's clearly Mazda's approach to the CX-5, which is no longer the newest kid on the block, but remains a strong option in the segment.
The cabin tech and the lack of electrification options certainly carbon-dates it, but the drive experience and style are still very much up to the job.
Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with meals provided.
Jeep Grand Cherokee7/10
A decade. That’s how long the previous Grand Cherokee was on sale in Australia, Which is ages, but also testament to the quality of that fourth-generation car’s design.
And there are echoes of it in this new model’s exterior. The overall proportions are similar, although the track is increased by 36mm, and the overriding impression is that key elements have been made slimmer and wider for a more contemporary look.
For example, the headlights, LED on all models, are shorter, but longer, while the signature seven-bar Jeep grille has been truncated a little and stands more upright.
Character lines along the side of the car are softer, and the rear follows the same slimline philosophy. But it’s inside where the biggest steps have been taken.
The dash layout and hardware have been transported from the relative Dark Ages to a clean and simple approach dominated by this broad centre console, topped by a sleek media screen.
The screen measures 8.4 inches in the entry-level Night Eagle, stepping up to 10.25 inches in the upper grades.
The latest, configurable, digital instrument cluster enhances the low-key tech vibe, and there’s a sensible mix of on-screen controls and physical dials and buttons. That said, there are a lot of buttons across the lower part of the centre stack and steering wheel.
The rest of the interior is a blend of simple lines and a subtle colour palette, including piano black highlights. It feels more mature and premium than the car it replaces.
Short answer? If you like the outgoing CX-5, you're going to like this one, too. And if you don't? Well you're bang out of luck.
Me? I'm in the former camp. The CX-5 was, and thus still is, a handsome and understated offering in the mid-size SUV space, somehow managing too look smaller, sportier and a little more polished than some of its key rivals.
This is the Where's Wally of design updates, though. You'll find the changes in a new-look grille, which has a new textured design that's intended to look and feel more three-dimensional.
The lights, front and rear, have been tweaked to better match the incoming the CX-60, too. Oh, and there's some body-coloured or gloss-black – depending on the trim – elements, too.
We also welcome a new trim level, the Touring Active, which includes some bright green grille and interior elements, and a new colour in Zircon Sand.
Inside, it's largely business as usual, too. There's new and more supportive seat materials, and wireless charging across some grades, but that's it really.
Still, I'd argue the CX-5's cabin is ageing like a fine wine rather than a glass of milk, and it still fills plenty polished and premium inside – even if the tech offering (led by the 8.0-inch central screen which is crying out to be made touch sensitive) is starting to feel a little off the pace.
Jeep Grand Cherokee9/10
When it comes to practicality, thoughtful, family-friendly touches include large door apertures, with the doors themselves opening right out to 64 degrees, as well a second row seat able to move fore and aft to balance passenger and/or cargo space.
Up front there are big bins in the doors with space for large bottles, a pair of decent size cupholders in the centre console, a two-tiered storage box between the seats that doubles as an armrest, and a covered wireless charging bay in front of the gearshift.
For connectivity and power there are two USB-A and two USB-C ports, as well as an ‘aux in’ socket, and a 12-volt outlet.
Jump into the second row, and sitting behind the driver’s seat set for my 183cm position, I enjoyed heaps of headroom and hectares of legroom, remembering it’s possible to slide the middle seat forward to give third row passenger more room, or increase load space.
Again, there are generous pockets in the doors with space for large bottles, map pockets on the front seatbacks, a fold-down centre armrest containing two cupholders, and rear seaters have their own ventilation control.
The dual USB-A and USB-C ports are repeated in the back, and there’s a 230-volt AC socket for three-pin plugs.
Access to the third row is helped by a roll and fold function in the second row, and once back there space is generous and the amenities are civilised.
I could sit bolt upright without any head clearance issues, and legroom is good. There are bottle holders on each side, adjustable ventilation in the C-pillars, small storage pockets, and yet more USB outlets.
And how’s this for a parent’s dream? ‘Fam Cam’ (optional on the Limited and standard on the Summit Reserve) is an adjustable rear seat monitoring camera able to switch between all second and third row positions. No more craning around and taking your eyes off the road to check what’s going on back there.
Even with all seven seats upright, boot space is 487 litres. Fold the 50/50 split third row and that grows to 1328L, and with the second (40/20/40 split) and third rows down you’ve got 2395L, enough room to start a boutique furniture moving business.
The loading height is user friendly, there are multiple tie-down hooks and a 12V outlet, there’s no lip to get over the top of, and a power tailgate, standard on all grades and hands-free on the Summit Reserve, is always welcome.
The Grand Cherokee L is rated to tow a braked trailer up to 2.8 tonnes, although that’s reduced to 2.3 tonnes in the Summit Reserve, partly due to the standard air suspension. And off-roaders rejoice, the spare is a full-size (18-inch) steel rim.
The Mazda CX-5 range stretches 4550mm in length, 1840mm in width and around 1680mm in height. It rides on a 2700mm wheelbase, and has been pretty cleverly packaged to deliver enough cabin and boot space to satisfy most people.
Speaking of which, the (auto-opening in some trims) boot opens to reveal a usable, though not massive, 438 litres with the rear seats in place, and that number swells to 1340 litres with the back pews folded flat, with both those numbers measured in VDA.
Backseat riders will find enough leg and headroom to stay happy, especially if they're my height, 175cm, or less. But the way the centre console and rear tunnel cut into the middle seat's leg room means its pretty much ruled out for adult riders.
I do love the pull-down divider's hidden USB charge points and twin cupholders in all but the base model, and the rear-sear air vents.
Elsewhere, you'll find the usual accompaniment of bottle and cup holders, as well as twin ISOFIX attachment points, one in each window seat in the back.
Price and features
Jeep Grand Cherokee8/10
This three-row L, scheduled to go on sale mid-year, is the first of several versions of the Grand Cherokee set to arrive in 2022.
Our very own Chesto has driven the five-seat version in the US, specifically the plug-in hybrid 4xe, another first for the model, set to hit showrooms in the second half of the year.
But for now, the seven-seat L is the focus, offered in three grades starting at just over $80K, before on-road costs, and topping out at roughly $115,000.
This is part of Jeep’s stated aim to move upmarket, and aside from the safety and drivetrain tech covered a little later, the entry-level Night Eagle at $82,250, before on-road costs, features suede and leather-appointed seat trim, eight-way electrically-adjustable and heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, sat nav, an 8.4-inch multimedia screen, a 10.25-inch instrument display, six-speaker audio (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity), three-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, auto LED lights, 20-inch alloys, a power tailgate, and more.
Step up to the Limited ($87,950) and the media screen increases to 10.1-inch, the seat trim is even plusher ‘Capri’ leather, there’s a multi-memory seat function for the driver, the front seats are ventilated and the second row is heated, pull-up shades are added to the rear side windows, the audio system has three extra speakers with a 506W amp (and active noise control), plus there’s ambient interior lighting, and auto high beam.
Opt for the top-shelf Summit Reserve ($115,450) and the rims are even bigger at 21 inches, the front seats are 12-way electrically-adjustable, open pore wood trim is added to the dash, doors, and steering wheel, the climate control is four-zone, the front seats feature a configurable massage function, the stereo is pumped up to a 19-speaker, 960-watt package, there’s a dual-pane sunroof above your head, and the ‘Palermo’ leather seat trim is quilted. There’s more, from Berber floor mats to a hands-free tailgate, but you get the idea.
Overall, despite a solid asking price, generous standard equipment helps substantiate a category competitive value package.
There has been some juggling of the CX-5 range for 2022, which has now resulted in five trim levels, four engine options, two fuel types and two transmissions offered across the CX-5 range, with prices spanning $32,190 for the entry level Maxx manual – or $2k more for the automatic – and $53,680 for the top-spec Akera auto. And to save you doing the math, that means prices are up somewhere between $800 and $1300 across most of the range.
The Maxx cars deliver things like 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, black cloth seats, an 8.0-inch central screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo and leather on the steering wheel and shifter.
Maxx Sport models than add LED fog lamps, dual-zone climate, sat nav and hidden USB charge points in the pull-down seat divider in the back.
Next up is the Touring, which will give you keyless entry, a wireless charger for you mobile, front parking sensor and a neat boot floor which can be reversed when you’re carrying muddy gear for easier cleaning.
New for this update is the Touring Active, which seeks to up the style a bit with 17-inch alloys finished in a grey metallic, gloss-black side mirrors and Maztex seats with fluoro-green accents in the cabin and on the body work.
Still with me? Don’t worry, we’re almost there. Next comes the sporty-looking GT SP, which adds 19-inch alloys, a cool looking gloss-black treatment to the mirrors and grille, a black interior trim, a sunroof and powered boot, heated front seats, and a 10-speaker Bose stereo. You also get Mazda’s clever Adaptive Front-Lighting system, which turn with the vehicle to ensure the road ahead is always illuminated when cornering.
Finally, there’s the top-tier Akera, with it silver 19-inch alloys, ventilated Nappa leather front seats, adaptive LED headlights, and a second 7.0-inch screen.
Mazda CX-5 2022 Price List:
|Maxx 2.0-litre petrol FWD||Manual||$32,190 (+$800)|
|Maxx 2.0-litre petrol FWD||Automatic||$34,190 (+$800)|
|Maxx Sport 2.5-litre petrol FWD||Automatic||$37,990 (+$1300)|
|Maxx Sport 2.5-litre petrol AWD||Automatic||$40,490 (+$800)|
|Touring 2.5-litre petrol AWD||Automatic||$42,390 (+$900)|
|Touring Active 2.5-litre petrol AWD||Automatic||$42,680|
|Touring Active 2.2-litre turbo-diesel AWD||Automatic||$45,680|
|GT SP 2.5-litre turbo-petrol AWD||Automatic||$48,790 (+$1100)|
|Akera 2.5-litre petrol AWD||Automatic||$50,680 (+$1100)|
|Akera 2.5-litre turbo-petrol AWD||Automatic||$53,680 (+$1100)|
|Akera 2.2-litre turbo-diesel AWD||Automatic||$53,180 (+$1100)|
Engine & trans
Jeep Grand Cherokee7/10
All versions of the Grand Cherokee L are powered by a 3.6-litre naturally-aspirated V6 petrol engine producing 210kW at 6400rpm, and 344Nm at 4000rpm, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed auto transmission and a transfer case - single speed on the first two models and two-speed on the Summit Reserve flagship.
The evergreen Pentastar V6 is a naturally-aspirated, all-alloy, quad-cam design featuring dual variable valve timing and sequential-injection.
If you want more grunt? Yes, there’s a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 available in this new Grand Cherokee. But it’s in the States, not here. There’s no diesel option, either. But as mentioned earlier, a plug-in hybrid, the 4xe (four-by-e) is coming later in 2022.
There are four engines on offer here, and we’ll pop the details down below. But what you really need to know is that the pick of the bunch is the punchy 2.5-litre turbo, which is such a good fit for this vehicle. It pairs exclusively with a six-speed automatic and AWD, and it's a peach.
Elsewhere, you’ve got a choice of petrol or diesel, manual or automatic, and two- or all-wheel drive. Choices, choices, choices. There are plenty of them here.
Mazda CX-5 2022 engine options:
|2.0L Petrol||Power: 115kW @ 6000rpm||Torque: 200Nm @ 4000rp||Driven wheels: FWD||Fuel use: 6.9L/100km (combined)|
|2.5L Petrol||Power: 140kW @ 6000rpm||Torque: 252Nm @ 400rpm||Driven wheels: FWD/AWD||Fuel use: 7.2L-7.4L/100km (combined)|
|2.5L Turbo-petrol||Power: 170kW @ 5000rpm||Torque: 420Nm @ 2000rpm||Driven wheels: AWD||Fuel use: 8.2L/100km (combined)|
|2.2L Turbo-diesel||Power: 140kW @ 4500rpm||Torque: 450Nm @ 2000rpm||Driven wheels: AWD||Fuel use: 5.7L/100km (combined)|
Jeep Grand Cherokee7/10
Jeep’s official fuel economy figure for the Grand Cherokee L on the combined cycle is 10.6L/100km, the 3.6-litre V6 emitting 243g/100km of CO2 in the process.
Given the specific on and off-road combination of the launch drive we’ll wait until we can evaluate the car over a longer period to quote an ‘on test’ number.
Worth noting stop-start is standard, and in the name of weight saving, the car’s bonnet and tailgate are aluminium. Still weighs around 2.2 tonnes, though.
The tank holds 104 litres, which using the quoted consumption number, translates to a range of around 980km.
Non-turbo vehicles are equipped with a 56-litre tank, while the turbocharged models nab and extra two litres for 58 in total. There’s no electrification on offer in the CX-5 family, and with petrol prices increasingly horrific these days, that’s also something that weighs on your mind.
The good news is that petrol-powered examples of the CX-5 run on the cheapest 91RON fuel. The bad news is that with no electrification on offer (like hybrid or PHEV), and fuel prices reaching skyward everyday, there's no real way to mitigate those costs.
We were putting the 2.5-litre, turbocharged models to harder work than they would normally be subjected to, but we also retuned fuel use figures north of 10.0L/100km. And on today's prices, that means $21 every 100km.
Jeep Grand Cherokee8/10
In driving the new Grand Cherokee the first thing you recognise is the Pentastar V6’s characteristic induction sound. That’s not to say it’s overly loud, just familiar.
But in terms of what it delivers, nearly 90 percent of the engine's peak torque is available from 1800 to 6400 rpm, so you’ve got that mid-range pulling power which is as nice on the highway as it is around town, but also good for people that are into towing.
The eight-speed auto is nice and smooth, as well, and even though it’s a conventional torque-converter unit, manual shifts through the steering wheel paddles are quick.
Suspension is multi-link front and rear, with the top-spec Summit Reserve picking up air suspension and active damping. Major components are alloy to reduce unsprung weight but you can certainly feel the scale of this car.
It’s 5.2 metres long and weighs roughly 2.2 tonnes, so you’re guiding this sizeable machine along the road. It’s not an involving drive, we’re not in sports car territory here. But it feels stable and predictable in cornering, and body control is well buttoned-down.
The electrically-assisted steering’s weight is nice from parking speeds right up to freeway velocity, but road feel through the wheel is relatively modest.
In terms of the seating position, you do feel as though you’re sitting up and on, rather than down and in the front seats. But when it comes to support, after hours behind the wheel, including off road, the front chairs remained comfortable.
This is a big vehicle, that will often have a boat, van, or something else substantial hitched to the back of it, and the brakes are suitably specified.
Big discs are ventilated all around, clamped by two piston calipers at the front and singles at the rear, and on the off-road section of the launch drive we were by necessity leaning on the brakes for long periods of time.
You could occasionally smell that they were working hard, but the pedal remained firm all day, without a hint of fade.
Speaking of off-highway performance, as part of its development program Jeep tested this new Grand Cherokee in remote parts of Australia, with more than 60,000 km under the wheels of various prototypes. Likely a big help in setting up the local spec.
And that spec is, four-wheel drive in all models, as well as a single-speed transfer case in the Night Eagle and Limited, with the latter also featuring the ‘Selec-Terrain’ traction management system, controlling torque split (up to 100 per cent of drive to either axle), as well as the brake calibration, steering, suspension, throttle, transmission, transfer case, traction control, stability control, and ABS settings.
The Summit Reserve boasts a two-speed transfer case, with low-range reduction, as well as traction management and air suspension with electronic adaptive damping.
The air suspension incorporates five height settings - Normal, Off-road 1 (40mm lift), Off-road 2 (60mm lift), Park (46mm lower), and when in sport, Aero (21mm lower).
In typical Jeep fashion we attacked challenging fire and forestry trails on the launch drive and a couple of things emerged.
First, on street-focused tyres this car does incredibly well off-highway. And second, the ‘Quadra-Trac II’ 4x4 system with low-range capability in the Summit Reserve, combined with the crawl control function, makes a significant difference. You find yourself feeling that bit more composed and confident tackling very rough sections.
Also in the Summit Reserve, a low-set, forward facing camera allows you to see what’s actually happening at the front wheel via the central media screen, and in the Off-road 2 setting the car feels like it’s up on stilts and able to tackle anything in its way.
And for those that really want to get amongst it, the body clearance data is below.
|Night Eagle/Limited||Summit Reserve|
|Running clearance (mm)||215||276|
|Approach angel (degrees)||20.6||28.2|
|Breakover angle (degrees)||18.2||22.6|
|Departure angel (degrees)||21.5||23.6|
|Wading depth (mm)||530||610|
Who says that buying a family SUV means waving goodbye to any sense of driver enjoyment from behind the wheel?
Mazda has done a stellar job of making the updated CX-5 feel connected to the road below it, sit nice and flat through corners, and – with the right drivetrain equipped – deliver enough lusty grunt for easy overtaking or simply shortening the distance between bends.
It's no performance car, and nor is it trying to be, but it's also not some big and boat-like SUV that tips and rolls through bends and disconnects the driver from the experience.
Instead, it sits somewhere in the middle of those two polls, offering a firm-ish but comfortable enough ride in town, and a sense of athleticism when you're outside the city limits.
One of the focuses for Mazda this time around was on the NVH (how much of the outside world enters the cabin when you're the road), and while I can't offer up a direct comparison with the outgoing model – it's been too long since I've driven one – I can report that this new car is mostly quiet and comfortable, even at speed, with very acceptable levels of wind and road noise in the cabin.
That sense of smoothness is helped along by really predictable steering, and a fairly seamless gearshift from an automatic 'box that swaps its cogs quickly and without much fuss.
So, more of the same really from the CX-5. But to be fair, that's not a bad thing here.
Jeep Grand Cherokee8/10
The Grand Cherokee L is yet to be assessed by ANCAP, but Jeep has upped its active safety game with standard crash-avoidance tech including, AEB with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, ‘Intersection Collision Assist’, adaptive cruise, as well blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, tyre pressure monitoring, and ‘Drowsy Driver Detection.’
The Summit Reserve adds Level 2 driving assistance features, a 360-degree camera view, self-parking assist (parallel and perpendicular), and more.
If an impact is unavoidable, there are eight airbags on-board - dual front, front side, front knee, and full-length side-curtain.
There are three child seat top tethers across the second row, with ISOFIX anchors on all three positions. And there are top tethers on both third row seats.
Even the cheapest Mazda CX-5 gets blind spot monitoring, a driver attention alert, forward collision warning with AEB front and rear, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, active cruise, a reverse camera, rear parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert.
Springing for the Touring Active adds front parking sensors and a head-up display with traffic sign recognition, while the GT SP adds Mazda's Adaptive Front-Lighting.
The entire CX-5 range wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, but was last tested back in 2017.
Jeep Grand Cherokee6/10
Jeep covers the Grand Cherokee with a five-year/100,000km warranty, which is behind the five-year unlimited kays cover which is pretty much standard in the mainstream market now.
But you do receive 12 months complimentary roadside assistance, which is renewed for another year every time you service your vehicle at an authorised Jeep dealer.
Service is recommended every 12 months or 12,000km, and capped price servicing is available for $399 annually for the first five years. Not bad for a car of this scale and complexity.
The Mazda CX-5 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty - which is about middle of the road by today’s standard. You also get capped price servicing, and a trip to the dealership will be required every 10,000kms.
You can expect to pay around $350 for each of the first five services.