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2020 Chevrolet Equinox Review

The 2020 Chevrolet Equinox finishes in the middle of our compact SUV rankings. The Equinox trails some competitors when it comes to areas like interior quality and cargo space, but it offers stellar fuel economy, capable handling, and easy-to-use tech features.

Pros & Cons

  • Good gas mileage
  • Solid handling capability
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Low-rent interior
  • Less passenger and cargo space than many competitors

New for 2020

  • New standard driver assistance features
  • Diesel engine no longer available

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.3
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Chevrolet Equinox a Good SUV?

The Chevrolet Equinox is a decent compact SUV. This small crossover gets some of the best fuel economy ratings in the class. Additionally, it offers solid handling, a smooth ride, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. But the Equinox comes up short in other areas: Its base engine is uninspiring, and many competitors have nicer interiors and more cargo space.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Equinox?

Though the Equinox is not terribly expensive, there are better options for small-SUV shoppers. There are reasons to like the Equinox, but many competitors have more strengths and fewer weaknesses.

Instead, consider alternatives like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, both of which finish near the top of our class rankings. Even if you love the Equinox, you might also check out other General Motors vehicles, like the GMC Terrain. It's basically the Equinox’s twin.

Compare the Equinox, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Equinox?

The 2020 Equinox belongs to a generation that began with a full redesign for 2018. Chevrolet introduced new engines for the 2018 Equinox, including a 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, a 137-horsepower turbodiesel, and a 252-horsepower turbo-four. Those engines replaced the 182-horsepower four-cylinder and the 301-horsepower V6 found in previous models. The 2018 model also gained a more upscale interior and additional features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a safety alert seat, lane keep assist, low-speed automatic emergency braking, and a Teen Driver system.

The 2019 Equinox saw few changes beyond gaining new optional features like pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.

For 2020, there are many new standard active safety features, including lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. There's one other big change for the 2020 Equinox: This Chevy is no longer available with a diesel engine.

You can likely save money by shopping for an older model, and the savings could be significant if you opt for an Equinox from the previous generation. Just know that you'll miss out on the considerable updates.

If you are interested in a used model, check out our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Equinox reviews to help make your decision. You can also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Equinox »

We Did the Research for You: 26 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 Chevrolet Equinox incorporates applicable research for all vehicles in this generation, which includes the 2018 through 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Equinox Cost?

The base Equinox sports a starting price of $23,800, which is typical for a compact SUV. The range-topping Equinox Premier starts at $31,400. That's lower than the top-trim price for many class rivals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Equinox Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is one of our highest-rated compact SUVs nearly every year. The Honda has perhaps the nicest interior in the class, and it's noticeably more upscale than the Chevy. The CR-V has much more cargo space as well. The Honda's seats are comfortable and supportive, and there are lots of tech features. Both vehicles offer two turbocharged engine options. The CR-V is the better SUV and a better buying option than the Equinox.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Mazda CX-5?

If you're looking for an engaging driving experience, the Mazda CX-5 should be one of your top choices among compact SUVs. It offers an energetic turbocharged engine and delivers some of the most nimble handling in the class, along with a smooth ride. Inside, the Mazda is roomy and upscale, and it offers a nice array of tech features. It's the clear choice in this showdown.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or GMC Terrain?

The GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox are both General Motors vehicles, and they possess some similarities. They have the same powertrain lineup, meaning these siblings are similar in performance and fuel economy. In terms of features, as well as passenger and cargo space, the GMC and Chevrolet are nearly identical, but the Terrain's cabin is more upscale than the Equinox’s. In other words, this all-GM matchup likely boils down to personal preference.

Compare the Equinox, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Equinox Interior

How Many People Does the Equinox Seat?

The Equinox seats five people. The front seats are fairly spacious and provide drivers with great visibility. The rear seats have plenty of space as long as you skip the optional sunroof, which cuts into the headroom of riders who are of average height or taller.

Equinox and Child Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the Equinox’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the main issue is that the tether anchors can be confused with other hardware.

Equinox Interior Quality

This Chevrolet features a well-designed interior, though it includes too many plastics and low-rent materials to rank as one of the nicer cabins in this class.

Equinox Cargo Space

Though the Equinox’s cargo space isn’t paltry, it lags behind rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue when it comes to overall capacity. With 29.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, the Equinox provides enough room for vacation luggage, including a few sets of golf clubs. Fold the rear seats down, and you get 63.9 cubic feet of space.

Equinox Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include the Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, two USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Available features include wireless device charging, a rear-seat entertainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, and additional USB ports.

The infotainment system has an intuitive interface. In addition to the touch screen, there are also physical buttons for some functions. However, the sun's glare occasionally washes out the display, and some settings require several steps to adjust.

Read more about interior »

Equinox Performance

Equinox Engine: The Upgrade Is Worth It

You have two engine options with the Equinox: the base 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and an available 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four. The larger turbo-four is the one you want. It feels stronger and provides much better acceleration than the base engine, which is lackluster in most driving situations.

Equinox Gas Mileage: Better Than Most

Though it's underwhelming, the base powertrain at least has efficiency going for it. Models with this engine earn EPA ratings of 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which are some of the best estimates in the compact SUV class. When equipped with the larger turbocharged engine, the Equinox gets 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Equinox Ride and Handling: Surprisingly Dynamic

This Chevrolet delivers a comfortable ride, but it's more than just a composed cruiser. It may not have the athleticism of a few class rivals, but it handles well and feels sure-footed on winding roads. The only negative is the Equinox's relatively wide turning radius, which may be an issue when navigating tight spaces.

Equinox Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Equinox can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Equinox Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Equinox Reliable?

The 2020 Chevrolet Equinox has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Chevrolet Equinox Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Equinox with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Equinox Safety

Equinox Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Equinox earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover evaluation.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 Equinox.

Equinox Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a rear seat reminder, and Chevy's Teen Driver system, which lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers, as well as monitor their driving performance.

Available features include adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking camera system, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and a safety alert seat.

Read more about safety »

Equinox Dimensions and Weight

The Equinox is about 15.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,274 to 3,512 pounds.

Where Is the Chevrolet Equinox built?

The 2020 Chevy Equinox is assembled in Canada.

Which Chevrolet Equinox Model Is Right for Me?

You have four choices when choosing an Equinox trim: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The LT makes the best choice for most buyers. It's the first trim that has both powertrains available, and it offers a nice array of features beyond the standard fare.

Some of the Equinox's driver assistance features are only available in the top trim, so if that's something you prioritize, you'll have to step up to the Premier.

Chevrolet Equinox L

The base Equinox L carries a starting price of $23,800. It comes standard with a 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Standard features include push-button start, Chevy's Teen Driver system, a rear-seat reminder, and the Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, two USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

There are no notable option packages with the Equinox L, and this is the only trim that doesn't offer all-wheel drive. Also, this model only comes in two colors – white and silver.

Chevrolet Equinox LS

The Equinox LS has a starting price of $26,300. The LS has the same standard features as the Equinox L. Unlike the base trim, however, the LS lets you add features and has a wider array of colors to choose from.

You can add all-wheel drive for $1,600. The LS Convenience package ($685) includes a power-adjustable driver's seat and more. You can also buy a rear-seat entertainment system for $1,750 ($1,995 with a DVD player).

Chevrolet Equinox LT

The Equinox LT starts at $27,500. In addition to the lower trims' standard features, the LT comes with satellite radio and a power-adjustable driver's seat. You can add all-wheel drive for $1,600, and you can upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine for $2,500.

The Confidence & Convenience package ($2,045) includes remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert. The Infotainment package ($745) includes an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, additional USB ports, and more. You can also add a rear-seat entertainment system for $1,750 ($1,995 with a DVD player).

Chevrolet Equinox Premier

The Equinox Premier has a starting price of $31,400. The Premier comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen, wireless device charging, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, remote start, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert.

You can add all-wheel drive for $1,600, and you can upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine for $2,700. The Infotainment II package ($1,125) adds navigation, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, and HD Radio.

The Confidence & Convenience II package ($1,650) includes a power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a safety alert seat, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view parking camera system. You can also purchase a rear-seat entertainment system for $1,750 ($1,995 with a DVD player).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2020 Chevrolet Equinox specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Chevrolet Equinox is an adequate crossover, but it isn't an SUV that shoppers should be racing to buy. The things this Chevy does well – like infotainment tech and fuel efficiency – are things that many competitors do just as well, or reasonably close. But in areas where the Equinox is weak, like interior quality and space, it doesn't do a good job keeping up with the competition.

In other words, there are too many compact SUVs that are better overall than this Chevrolet for it to be a serious contender in the class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • Take the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox, for example. Though it has numerous strengths, it has many rivals that simply put together a more comprehensively pleasing package. … If you're in the market for a crossover with fewer drawbacks, consider the Honda CR-V, which has more cargo and passenger room, plus a more satisfying 1.5-liter turbo engine. The Mazda CX-5 is a pleasure to drive and, like the Equinox, has a powerful optional motor." -- Edmunds
  • "With the all-new, third-generation Equinox, GM finally seems to have figured out what matters in this contentious segment. Fully modern and right-size rather than oversize, this redesigned 2018 Equinox strikes us as the first Chevy crossover that could truly make inroads against the segment leaders." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • "Those looking for a small SUV, particularly to haul around a small family–be it to the rolling foothills of Appalachia or to soccer practice–the all-new Equinox warrants consideration." -- New York Daily News (2018)

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