2021 Chevrolet Equinox preview

Reviews

Chevy’s popular compact crossover has a new face for a new decade and a sporty trim that draws even closer to the bigger Blazer. 

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox will go on sale in fall 2020 in L, LS, LT, Premier, and RS trim levels. Chevy hasn’t yet said how much it will cost, but we expect that it will stay close to last year’s starting price of about $25,000 for the base, front-wheel-drive models. Top trims tempt $40,000 or more. 

Like last year, the Equinox is available with one of two turbo-4 engines: a 1.5- or 2.0-liter that is mated to a 6- or 9-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all models and all-wheel drive is available. 

Review continues below

Style and performance

The updated Equinox dresses up its exterior with a chiseled front end that features sharper headlights, a more sculpted lower front bumper and chrome elements that play into the LED headlights. 

The body sides are mostly identical to outgoing models, although the rear end is tighter and sharper—and on RS models, sports quad tailpipe finishers. 

Inside, the Equinox is mostly the same as the outgoing model, except in high-dollar versions such as the RS, which features contrast stitching and embossed logos. 

Under the hoods of all Equinox crossovers will be a turbo-4, although outputs will vary by how deep your pockets are. 

Base models will get a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 170 horsepower and drives the front or all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic. 

Pricier versions upgrade that to a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 252 hp and drives the front or all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic. 

The EPA rated both engines last year at up to 31 mpg highway, which is on par with competitors. GM shelved a slow-selling but more efficient turbodiesel Equinox in 2018. 

Regardless of what’s under the hood, the Equinox rides on a four-wheel independent suspension tuned for all-day comfort. Chevy doesn’t offer an off-road-adjacent or high-performance variant; this year’s new Equinox RS is as close as it gets with bigger wheels and black accents. 

Comfort, safety, and features

Like last year, the 2021 Equinox seats up to five in relative comfort with room in the back for plenty of gear. Compared to other best-selling crossovers, the Equinox has comparable leg room in the back—nearly 40 inches—although shoulder room is comparatively scant. 

Behind the second row, the Equinox holds up to 30 cubic feet of cargo. That space grows to nearly 64 cubes with the second-row seats folded forward. 

We took umbrage with the stiff lower cushions in base versions of the Equinox, but we haven’t yet driven the 2021 version to see if it has improved. Otherwise, the Equinox is mostly comfortable for adults, although top trims with leather upholstery didn’t impress us in material quality. 

Chevy hasn’t yet detailed what active safety features will go into the 2021 Equinox, although automatic emergency braking and active lane control are now standard on all models. Active safety features such as a surround-view camera system, automatic parking assistants, and adaptive cruise control are optional. 

We haven’t heard yet what features will be standard and available on the 2021 Equinox beyond the usual trim levels: L, LS, LT, Premier, and RS. We’ll report back once we do. 

The 2021 Equinox will go on sale in fall 2021.

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