You have many options when shopping for a midsize 3-row SUV. Two good choices are the sporty Mazda CX-9 and the rugged Jeep Grand Cherokee L. These SUVs have a few things in common, like 3-row seating and similar standard infotainment tech features, but they suit different wants and needs.
Let’s take a closer look at these two SUVs and find the right one for you.
2022 Mazda CX-9
The Mazda CX-9 is a great value in midsize 3-row SUVs. Some SUVs in this class have lower starting prices, but this Mazda has an impressive list of standard features for the money, including all-wheel drive. If you need a safe family vehicle, it’s worth noting that the CX-9 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Pricing starts at $35,630.
Mazda CX-9 Highlights
Value pricing: The Mazda CX-9 has a considerably lower starting price than the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The most affordable AWD-equipped Grand Cherokee L starts at $42,720 compared to the CX-9 with standard AWD starting at $35,630. Further adding to the value of the CX-9 are impressive standard features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an advanced safety tech suite, LED headlights, and more.
Sporty driving experience: The CX-9 uses a turbocharged engine that delivers a more engaging driving experience than you might expect. Acceleration is quick, and handling is agile for an SUV this size. The standard i-Activ AWD system works in concert with G-Vectoring Control Plus to make for satisfying grip on dry pavement and confident traction on slick roads.
IIHS Top Safety Pick+: The CX-9 earns the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation, the top award from the IIHS. On top of excellent crash test ratings, it has a generous list of standard safety tech features to help prevent or mitigate accidents. These include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, and more.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L marks a return to the midsize 3-row SUV segment by Jeep. It takes the successful Grand Cherokee formula of uncompromising on-road comfort and off-road capabilities and adds a third row of seats. When equipped with AWD, it’s one of the best off-roaders in its class, but it’s pricier than most mainstream-brand midsize SUVs. Pricing starts at $38,990.
Jeep Grand Cherokee L Highlights
Strong engines: The Grand Cherokee L has a standard V6 engine that strikes a nice balance of power and efficiency. However, if you have an appetite for performance or are looking for serious towing muscle, you’ll want the optional Hemi V8. The V8 makes 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 7,200 pounds. The CX-9 can’t come close to these numbers.
Excellent off-road capabilities: The Grand Cherokee L lives up to the Jeep name regarding off-road capabilities. Three different AWD systems are available; Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II with a 2-speed transfer case, and Quadra-Drive II with a rear electronic limited-slip differential. The rugged Trailhawk trim benefits from sway bar disconnect, 11.3 inches of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and more.
Premium, high-tech interior: The interior of the CX-9 is nice, but the inside of the Grand Cherokee L is among the most premium in its class. Most trims come standard with leather seats, and upper trims offer luxurious features like quilted, massaging Palermo leather seating, a McIntosh 19-speaker audio system, a front passenger screen, and much more.
Both of these SUVs offer 3-row seating, upscale interior, similar sizing, standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus similar warranties
Which of these SUVs is suitable for you depends on what you’re looking for. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the bigger and more expensive of the two, and the Mazda can’t match its available V8 performance and off-road chops. The Mazda CX-9 is a more value-conscious choice with a lower starting price, better fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive, and the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation.
|2022 Mazda CX-9||2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L|
|Engine||2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4||3.6-liter V6|
|Torque||310 pound-feet||260 pound-feet|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Fuel Economy||20 city/26 highway||19 city/26 highway (FWD), 18 city/25 highway (AWD)|
|Also Available||5.7-liter V8, AWD|
|Basic Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||5 stars||n/a|
|Max Seating Capacity||7||7|
|Wheelbase||115.3 inches||121.7 inches|
|Overall Length||199.4 inches||204.9 inches|
|Width||77.5 inches||77.3 inches|
|Height||69.0 inches||71.5 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.8 feet||38.3 feet|
|Headroom, 1st Row||40.1 inches||39.8 inches|
|Headroom, 2nd Row||38.5 inches||39.9 inches|
|Headroom, 3rd Row||35.4 inches||37.3 inches|
|Legroom, 1st Row||41.0 inches||41.3 inches|
|Legroom, 2nd Row||39.4 inches||39.4 inches|
|Legroom, 3rd Row||29.7 inches||30.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, 1st Row||57.9 inches||58.0 inches|
|Shoulder Room, 2nd Row||58.1 inches||51.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, 3rd Row||53.1 inches||51.9 inches|
|Cargo Volume||14.4 cubic feet/38.2 cubic feet/71.2 cubic feet||17.2 cubic feet/46.9 cubic feet/84.6 cubic feet|
Source: KBB Feed