2020 Chevrolet Equinox

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2020 Chevrolet Equinox Review: Safety First, Mediocrity Second

With a choice of two engines, a commendable list of standard safety features, and a respectable infotainment system, it's no surprise that the Chevy Equinox is still drawing a fair amount of attention in the USA two years after its release. For 2020, the manufacturer has abandoned the slow-selling diesel engine, but still clings to the underpowered base 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with its 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. The stronger 2.0-liter redeems the compact SUV without pushing the price up too much past the $23,800 starting point. Throw in competitive fuel economy, and the Equinox looks to be a worthwhile investment, but for just a little bit extra, you can get a rival compact SUV that does everything it does, just that little bit better.

Read in this review:

7.5
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2020 Chevrolet Equinox Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Equinox?

For 2020, Chevrolet has removed the 1.6-liter diesel engine from the new Chevy Equinox range, while making standard some of the shinier safety features previously found on the upper trim offering. The available packages and add-ons have also been shuffled around to better shore up any weak points on each of the trim levels.

Pros and Cons

  • Optional 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder delivers respectable power
  • Comprehensive list of standard safety features
  • Very well-mannered on the road
  • Surprisingly athletic for a larger vehicle
  • Competitive fuel efficiency from base engine
  • Base engine feels underpowered
  • Cargo space is unimpressive
  • Interior looks good but feels low-quality

Best Deals on 2020 Chevrolet Equinox

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$26,300
LT
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,500
Premier
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,400
See All 2020 Chevrolet Equinox Trims and Specs

2020 Equinox Exterior

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Front View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Rear View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Side View Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Equinox Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 183.1 in
  • Wheelbase 107.3 in
  • Height 65.4 in
  • Max Width 72.6 in
  • Front Width 62.2 in
  • Rear Width 62.2 in
  • Curb Weight 3,274.0 lbs

2020 Equinox Performance

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Front View Driving Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Rear View Driving Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Front Angle View Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

A test drive of the Chevy Equinox shows that the compact SUV handles much better than its larger brethren, with the steering remaining light and precise at low speeds, allowing for nimble parking lot maneuvers, although this is hindered by the vehicle's unusually large turning circle. At higher speeds, the steering gains some weight to provide better feedback and more driver engagement. Goldilocks brakes provide the perfect amount of resistance while not compromising on stopping power, bringing the SUV to a stop in around 115 ft from 60 mph, which is an impressive performance.

On the road, the Equinox is well-mannered, feeling equally capable at high speeds on long, open stretches of roads, or leaning into sharp turns on the windier roads. The wide turning circle is something you should keep in mind when maneuvering in tight spaces.

The comfortable seats work in tandem with the suspension to smooth over most road imperfections, delivering a ride that is surprisingly pleasant for a car that boasts this level of dexterity despite its size. The sound-dampening is a little less impressive, with wind, road and engine noise often making their way into the cabin.

2020 Equinox Interior

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Dashboard Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Infotainment System Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Front Seats Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Equinox Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.5 in

2020 Equinox Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Maximum Cargo Space Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Trunk Space Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Equinox Maximum Cargo Space 1 Chevrolet

2020 Equinox Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2020 Warranty Note \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the Chevrolet Equinox a good car?

While it doesn't do as much to stand out as many of its competitors do, the Chevrolet Equinox is a perfectly capable and amiable companion on the road. With a host of standard features, a decent and workable infotainment system, and very competitive fuel economy, at least with the base engine, the compact SUV certainly looks good on paper. But, upon closer inspection, several weak points become apparent.

The Chevy handles remarkably well for an SUV, but it is not as refined as the Honda CR-V nor as sporty as the Mazda CX-5. And while you might think that it makes sacrifices in these areas to be better in others, the Equinox does not offer better fuel economy or cargo capacity than either rival. It does, however, come with a lot of advanced safety features as standard, with even more becoming available as you move up the trim levels.

But, even with its respectable infotainment suite and convenience features, the Chevrolet simply isn't the best in any one particular area, and it certainly isn't an amazing all-rounder. The only reason you might consider it over leading competitors is the slightly lower price tag, especially on the base-level L trim. But for just a few thousand dollars more, you can get a compact SUV that has it all.

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Comparisons

Ford Escape Ford
Chevrolet Traverse
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Equinox175 hp26/31 mpg$26,600
Ford Escape 181 hp28/34 mpg$27,185
Chevrolet Traverse 310 hp18/27 mpg$33,700

2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs Ford Escape

While the Escape has received more attention from Ford than most of its older models usually do, the youthful Equinox just seems to be more with the times than the older SUV. Neither car has great power in its base guise, with the Ford offering a 180-hp, 177-lb-ft engine, but the Chevrolet's optional engine delivers better performance. The Escape has received a facelift since its release, but it still looks boxier than the sleek Equinox, and its interior shows its true age, whereas the Chevy sports modern stylings that, while not of the highest quality, still look good. Similarly, the Equinox's tech is far more up-to-date and many of its features become available much earlier in its trim levels compared to the Ford. And while the Escape might be a bit cheaper out the gate, the Equinox delivers better fuel economy, making it cheaper in the long run. Overall, despite the Ford Escape offering more cargo capacity, the Chevy Equinox is just a better all-rounder with its car-like handling, powerful performance, and modern features.

See Ford Escape Review

2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is the much bigger brother to the Equinox, although it is just as young with the all-new generation released in 2018. As a three-row SUV, the Traverse naturally offers a lot more interior space, both for passengers and cargo, while still managing to be quite a decent performer on the road with its 3.6-liter V6 pumping out 310 hp and 266 lb-ft. It is also significantly plusher inside, with a serious focus on creature comforts, with the top-of-the-range models supplying supremely comfortable leather seats with multiple power points, USB ports, a premium audio system, and excellent safety features. But for all this luxury, you can expect to pay through the nose, as even the base-level Traverse will cost you around $30,000, while the top-tier trims are in excess of $50,000. It is also much thirstier, meaning it will cost you a lot more to run. If you have a huge family while still having disposable income, the Traverse would certainly suit your needs better, but the Equinox is the more affordable, everyman's SUV.

See Chevrolet Traverse Review

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2020 Chevrolet Equinox:

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