Equinox

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2021 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

The Equinox is Chevrolet’s compact two-row crossover, which slots between the Trax and Blazer in the brand’s broad spectrum of SUVs. It gets a refresh for 2021 with updated front and rear fascias, LED headlights, new safety features, and an additional trim. The Equinox competes with the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, and its corporate cousin, the GMC Terrain.

Although Chevy has yet to announce every detail on the 2021 Equinox, we expect little will change with its powertrains. Here’s what we know for sure. Five trims will be available: L, LS, LT, Premier, and RS, which is new for 2021.

Two 4-cylinder engines and two transmissions will be available, along with all-wheel drive (AWD). For 2020 the base trims (L and LS) were available only with the turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is rated at 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter mill, available in higher trims this year, offers 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 1.5-liter engine comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and the 2.0-liter engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic. The Equinox’s switchable AWD system, which for 2020 was available only on higher trims, operates by default in front-wheel drive (FWD) to increase fuel economy, then prompts the driver to switch into AWD when conditions demand it. Depending on its configuration, the Traverse can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

For 2020 the FWD 1.5-liter Equinox earned 26 mpg city, 31 highway, and 28 combined fuel-economy estimates from the EPA (the highest in the lineup), while trims equipped with AWD and the 2.0-liter engine earned 22 city, 28 highway, and 24 combined estimates. We see no reason for those numbers to improve for 2021.

The new RS trim, an appearance package, offers dark-finish 19-inch wheels in addition to a black grille, badging, and side rails. It gets its own unique shift knob and black upholstery with red stitching. For 2021 the Premier trim adds 19-inch wheels, chrome grille inserts, LED headlights and taillights, a gloss-black-finished console, and French stitching on the interior.

Standard safety features on the 2021 Equinox include forward-collision alert with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning. Available safety features include a surround-view monitor, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist, and lane-change alert.

The Equinox offers a 60/40 split-folding backseat and almost 64 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats folded. That’s less room than the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V have, but more than the Mazda CX-5. It also offers additional storage beneath the rear load floor.

Perhaps the Equinox’s biggest selling point is its low starting price. Pricing for the 2021 version hasn't been announced yet, but the 2020 version started at $23,800, which is a few thousand dollars less than its primary competitors.

Updated

Josh Jacquot is an automotive journalist who has held positions at both enthusiast- and consumer-based automotive publications for more than 20 years. With a far-reaching knowledge of all things automotive, his career has put him behind the wheel of everything from snowplows to 600-horsepower rallycross cars. His driving resume includes wins at the national level in NASA Rallysport competition and the California Rally Series in addition to one regrettable night at the inaugural 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Though he likes most anything that can be driven, he has a particular affinity for box flares, Campagnolo wheels, and gratuitous wings and ducts. Someday he will own an Renault R5 Turbo.

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