The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV that is positioned above the Trailblazer and Trax but below the Traverse, Blazer, and Tahoe. The compact crossover SUV segment is among the most hotly contested of any automotive category, and every carmaker with a stake in the game must deliver a vehicle that stands apart in order to entice customers.
Yes, the 2021 Equinox is not the most upscale vehicle in its class, and with the retirement of its powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine option, you might think of the Equinox as a C-student wallflower among several amazing alternatives.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox is one of the best-selling SUVs in America, and for a good reason. The Chevy Equinox is a decent family car with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, front-wheel drive, and decent fuel economy.
However, there’s little truth in it. There’s a reason crossovers like the 2021 Equinox have mostly overtaken minivans and sedans as the preferred family vehicle. The utility factor is prominent— it is one of the most spacious vehicles in the segment. Pair that with comfortable, plush seats and a myriad of creature comforts, and the Equinox comes as a potent long-distance family hauler. Not to forget, the above-average fuel efficiency, high predicted reliability, and excellent safety scores.
The sole 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine is standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is available as an option on all models save the basic model. The standard engine is sufficient for the job—with all-wheel drive, the Equinox has the all-weather traction it needs without the heavy-duty SUV hardware— it’s a competent handler with no sacrifice in ride comfort.
The Equinox’s starting MSRP is also among the lowest. And Chevy offers plenty of infotainment functionality and active safety systems as standard, making the base trim a popular choice. However, most buyers will be better off upgrading to higher trims for more desirable amenities.
Altogether, the Equinox models may not be the most opulent or powerful compact crossover, but it is one of the best all-rounders in the class. If you can get over the limited luggage space, you’ll be rewarded with car-like handling, a smooth ride, solid safety ratings, a roomy cabin, and one of the best touchscreen systems available on the market.
The Chevrolet Equinox 2021 is available in four model levels: L, LS, LT, and Premier. A 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, a six-speed auto gearbox, and front-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive costs an additional $1,600. Except for the basic L, all trims are available with all-wheel drive.
At its starting price, the Equinox undercuts multiple competitors, including the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Subaru Forester. The Equinox base model is well-equipped with safety features and tech features, making it a good starting point in this range. However, most buyers will be better off upgrading to higher trims for more desirable amenities.
The Equinox crossover SUV is large enough to command attention while retaining compact dimensions to easily fit in parking spaces and garages.
The Chevrolet Equinox, which resembles a more youthful midsize Chevy Traverse, is one of the most attractive cars in its category. The Equinox manages to transition from dowdy to stylish owing to precise lines, tasteful chrome accents, and spot-on proportions.
Roof rails are available for added usefulness and a more aggressive SUV look. You’ll also like how the Chevy family grille has evolved throughout the years.
If you want to customize the appearance of your Equinox, you can select the Blackout or Chrome packages (which add black or chrome exterior trim, respectively), or the Sport Edition or Midnight Edition packages (which add unique gloss-black exterior trim pieces, special black alloy wheels, and black interior trim). There’s also an optional Redline package, which includes blacked-out trim and red accents.
|Total Passenger Space||103.2 cubic feet|
|Front head Room||40.0 inches|
|Rear Head Room||38.50 inches|
|Front Leg Room||40.90 inches|
|Rear Leg Room||39.90 inches|
|Front Shoulder Room||57.20 inches|
|Rear Shoulder Room||55.50 inches|
Chevy reduced the Equinox’s wheelbase by more than five inches from 2018, yet the Equinox lost less than an inch in practically every important passenger space metric.
It has plenty of rear-seat legroom, allowing tall adults to sit back there comfortably. And unless you choose the panoramic sunroof, backseat passengers will have enough headroom available as well.
The front seats are appropriately contoured to keep you comfortable, and driving for long periods will not create any unwanted fatigue. With the more premium models, you get a lumbar adjustment, leather upholstery, heating and ventilation, and power adjustment for the driver (optional for the front passenger seat).
The back doors open wide enough to allow easy access to and from the second row.
The dashboard of the 2021 Chevy Equinox is sleek, modern, and minimalist with an easy-to-use control layout.
The Equinox’s cabin is made of durable materials and should appeal to a wide spectrum of customers. While you can spot some low-rent materials, soft-touch accents are a pleasant surprise. Nonetheless, the cabin is pretty practical, with lots of storage spaces and cup holders.
The seat offers a good amount of adjustment. However, the steering wheel does not telescope far enough for average-sized adult drivers, requiring them to sit closer and more upright than they would want. Large C- and D-pillars further obscure the view to the rear.
Road and wind noises are audible but not bothersome.
Chevrolet earns excellent grades for technology, with several amenities that are standard across the board.
The Equinox’s infotainment system is appreciated for its simplicity. It includes a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard. However, an 8-inch display is available as an alternative.
The touch screen provides clear visuals and simple on-screen buttons and menus. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system’s usability continues to impress.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as Bluetooth phone and music streaming, USB connection, Wi-Fiand an auxiliary input port, are all standard This makes the Equinox one of the best-connected crossovers.
This infotainment system also has Chevrolet’s Teen Driver monitor, which allows you to monitor your child’s driving patterns and set a speed warning or speed limit.
Equinox has four standard USB ports, including Type A and Type C outlets, so charging your devices won’t be a hassle. In addition to a 120-volt, three-prong outlet, there are two 12-volt outlets—one in the front and one in the cargo area. Wireless phone charging is available on the Premier trim level.
The basic Equinox L is available in white or silver paint and includes:
Standard Driver assistance features include:
The Chevrolet Equinox LT offers nearly the same equipment as the base model, except a wider range of exterior paint colors and a few pieces of equipment. Added features include:
However, it’s available with optional amenities, including an all-wheel drive. You can opt for the LS Convenience package, which adds:
The LT trim level is your ticket to satisfaction. It comes with:
The LT trim comes with the option of several additional packages, including:
Confidence & Convenience package:
When you choose this package, you can upgrade to a panoramic roof for an extra fee.
Leather Package (necessitates Confidence & Convenience package):
Infotainment Package (necessitates Confidence & Convenience package):
If you want to further spice up the appearance of their Equinox, you can select the Blackout or Chrome packages or even the Sport Edition or Midnight Edition packages.
The Equinox Premier is a higher-end model that includes all of the LT content as well as its three main feature packages (minus the navigation system). It also adds:
However, the Premier does not come completely loaded out of the box. You may also include:
Confidence & Convenience II package
Infotainment II Package (necessitates Confidence & Convenience II package)
The aesthetic package Redline Edition includes black exterior trim with red highlights.
If you’re on a limited budget, the base model is a smart option. It includes a well-equipped infotainment system as well as various active safety systems as standard.
The LS trim, on the other hand, is more costly and makes little difference. It does, however, allow for a broader range of exterior colors and the option of all-wheel drive, so it’s worth considering if you want the least expensive AWD version.
Nonetheless, it is advisable to go to the LT. It marks the sweet spot in the Equinox portfolio, offering the most comprehensive set of standard and optional amenities at the most reasonable rate.
However, if you want to get features such as ventilated front seats, eight-way power-adjustable passenger seats, heated rear seats, and adaptive cruise control, you’ll need to upgrade to the top Premier level and purchase a package.
With the retirement of the 2.0-liter turbo-four in 2021, Equinox’s only available engine choice is the lower 1.5-liter turbocharged engine.
Though the performance is nothing to write home about, and the vehicle demands a heavy foot on freeways, because of the shorter body and less weight, this combo is suitable for the majority of daily driving demands, and it can accelerate the car rather swiftly. In fact, the setup is good for 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds. It is also among the best in its class in terms of fuel efficiency.
The standard six-speed automatic operates smoothly, although in order to save fuel, the gearbox is reluctant to downshift when more power is required.
The Equinox is a fun-to-drive small SUV with a smooth ride and competent handling. On the road, the vehicle feels wonderfully stable and without any roughness.
On a challenging, twisty route, Equinox surprises by being balanced and capable. The ride is superbly damped, with well-controlled wheel motions and very little feeling of body float. It’s nearly as enjoyable to drive as the class-leading Mazda CX-5.
This is especially impressive given how comfy the Equinox is. The supple suspension absorbs the bulk of ruts and bumps, with very little vibration in the interior.
The brakes are also nice and dependable. This vehicle’s pedal effort is adequate, and the response is neither grabby nor sluggish. It just seems perfect.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox delivers solid fuel efficiency. It varies depending on the drivetrain you choose:
|Front-wheel drive (FWD)||All-wheel drive (AWD)|
|1.5-liter||26/31 MPG||25/30 MPG|
Keep in mind that all-wheel drive is not constantly active. The Equinox is front-wheel drive until the driver selects AWD through a dial on the center console. This is fantastic for keeping the Equinox in FWD mode, which saves fuel. The Equinox also has stop/start technology, which further improves fuel efficiency.
We’d call it safe to consider the Equinox a safe vehicle. The Equinox nabbed a five-star honor from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but missed out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick accolade due to headlights that scored only marginal in that agency’s testing.
|Moderate Overlap Front Test||Good|
|Roof Strength Test||Good|
|Front Crash Prevention||Superior|
|Small Overlap Front Driver Test||Good|
|Small Overlap Front Passenger Test||Good|
|Rear Crash Protection||Good|
|Side Impact Test||Marginal|
If you prioritize driver-assistance systems, know that the Equinox includes the following key safety features:
The expected reliability rating for the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a solid 85/100 from JD Power.
With a roomy cabin, decent fuel economy, and a car-like driving demeanor, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a stylish crossover fit for family-hauling duties. This Chevy’s long list of standard infotainment and active safety features, combined with its below-average price for the class, and a great predicted reliability rating, helps make it a good value.
However, if you are a driving enthusiast you may prefer to look at previous versions of the Equinox that feature the athletic 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Or if you want more features and a plusher version of the Equinox, it’s worthwhile to upgrade to the restyled 2022 Equinox.
The 2021 Equinox is the same as the 2020 Equinox, with no noteworthy alterations. The optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is no longer available. However, following a one-year delay brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, a facelifted iteration of Chevy’s small SUV made its appearance for the 2022 model year.
Yes, the 2021 Equinox is an excellent used compact SUV. It’s quite practical, with two rows of large and comfortable seats, user-friendly equipment, and great fuel efficiency ratings. It also has a good set of standard active safety systems and a high predicted reliability rating.
With a great JD Power rating of 85/100 in terms of reliability, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is expected to last considerably longer.
Chevrolet manufactures the Equinox 2021 in Canada, Mexico, and China.
Standard Safety Systems
Since 2019, the Chevy Equinox finally matched up to its classmates in terms of standard active-safety systems. Along with IntelliBeam automated headlights, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist are now standard.
Standard Apple Car Play / Android Auto
True, no-cost smartphone connectivity is becoming the criterion in new automobiles nowadays — so much so that it’s nearly become a litmus test for determining whether or not a vehicle is worth purchasing. The 2021 Chevy Equinox passes this test, enabling you to connect and utilize your smartphone via the color touchscreen.
According to the IIHS and NHTSA, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is fairly safe. The NHTSA gives it five stars overall, while it just misses out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick designation owing to marginal headlights. The Equinox also comes standard with a slew of safety features, including automated emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlamps, and active lane control. Top-tier versions can be outfitted with a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitors, and rear parking sensors.
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