If you’re looking for a new vehicle and are doing research online, then you’ve probably seen a lot of articles and lists that highlight differences between various models. These kinds of comparisons can certainly be helpful, but they can also get a bit exhausting, as you look at piece after piece saying this is better than that, or you need this feature rather than some other one. Today, however, I’m going to take a break from that; rather than look at the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Honda CR-V to see which is better, I’m going to talk about what I like about both of them.
You see, at the end of the day, these are both fine vehicles, and neither of them is going to be the right choice for everyone. For some people, the Equinox will offer the ideal combination of size and functionality to have everything you need, while other people will look at the performance of the CR-V and the fact that it has a hybrid available and find that it’s right for them. There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s why there are so many different manufacturers, classes, and types of vehicles available.
#1 – Their Engines
Any time I look at a vehicle, I like to start with the engine – it’s not always the most important thing, but it’s a good jumping-off point. A lot of other aspects of a vehicle depend on the engine, and, honestly, why bother with a great sound system or a stylish exterior if a car drives like a cardboard box with a lawnmower engine strapped to it? Fortunately, both of these vehicles have a nice engine that is “just right,” depending on your needs.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox has a 1.5L Turbo 4-cylinder engine that delivers 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. For a small crossover SUV like this, it’s plenty of performance to give you a great driving experience. It comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission too, which is just enough for a smooth ride without going overboard or coming up short.
There’s a pretty comparable engine in the 2021 Honda CR-V: a 1.5L Turbo I-4 (just like the Chevy) that offers 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. So you can see that it’s a bit more horsepower but a bit less torque, and it comes with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Some people prefer the feel of an automatic while others like the CVTs; this really depends on your preference. One thing I do like about the CR-V is that it’s also available as a hybrid engine, which is a great option that a lot of manufacturers don’t really bother with.
#2 – Their Designs
In general, the look of both of these vehicles is pretty sharp, which might not be as important as their engines’ performance or other features, but it’s often overlooked. The design and style of a vehicle is something you can’t really quantify; it’s all about preferences and the sort of “feel” that a vehicle invokes in you. It’s easy to look at some performance models or sports cars and see that they have a style that’s very visually appealing, but that’s not always something you find with this type of SUV.
Both the Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V look great, however, and really reflect the modern trend for more flowing shapes and styling compared to older, boxier SUVs. I wouldn’t exactly call them “fastback” designs, but there are plenty of graceful curves and elegant, swooping lines all along their exteriors that certainly give them each a pleasing shape. They both also have fairly prominent front grilles that make an immediate impression, lending them a boldness and strength that you don’t always find in these types of crossover models.
#3 – Their Trim Options
When it comes to vehicles, I like options. Having multiple engines or trims, or both is always something that draws me toward one vehicle rather than another. Both of these SUVs have a fair number of different trims to choose from, which means if you’re shopping for a vehicle, then you can easily customize one of them to get just what you need.
There are four different trim levels available for the Chevy Equinox, which isn’t a ton, but it’s just enough as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes, when you start looking at seven or more trims for a single model, narrowing down all of those options and actually getting what you need can become a serious chore. With four trims, however, you have a good starting point, a high-end option to consider, and a couple of grades in between with varying features and options.
At first glance, it can seem like Honda has gone a bit more overboard with eight different trim levels to choose from, but it’s really not that bad. In reality, there are five main trims, including a Special Edition option, so it’s really more like four trims – a starting point, a high-end option, and two in between. Where things get a bit more complicated is that three of those trims have a hybrid option available, but you’re still essentially looking at four or five choices with consideration for which engine you want in the vehicle.
#4 – Their Interior Comfort Features
You always want to be comfortable when you’re in your ride, so this is something I look at whenever I’m checking out a car. Both of these models are well equipped to keep you comfortable. Looking at the Equinox Premier trim, for example, I see active noise cancellation, which is great for enjoying the ride while listening to music, along with perforated leather-appointed seating. The Equinox Premier has an 8-way power driver’s seat, with memory functionality, along with heated front seats, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Similarly, the Honda CR-V is also packed with great features to ensure you’re comfortable on long road trips or just getting to work each day. The CR-V Touring features a 12-way power driver’s seat with 4-way power lumbar that includes memory functionality, leather-trimmed seating, and heated front seats. Inside the CR-V Touring, you’ll also find dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped shift knob for that extra touch of comfort and luxury.
#5 – Their Interior Tech Features
The inside of a vehicle isn’t just about comfort, however, as I also look for great technology in cars, trucks, and SUVs these days. Looking at the 2021 Chevy Equinox Touring again, you’ll get an 8-inch infotainment display, which includes wireless support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with keyless open, remote start, and keyless start. The Equinox Touring also has numerous USB ports throughout the vehicle, a wireless charging pad, and an available 7-speaker Bose premium sound system.
Of course, the Honda CR-V Touring is also no slouch when it comes to tech, featuring a 7-inch infotainment display, with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a 9-speaker premium audio system. The CR-V Touring also has a wireless phone charger, numerous USB ports, and an automatic-dimming rearview mirror. The Honda’s tech features also include ambient lighting, push button start, and much more. There are a few things in the Equinox that I like more in terms of technology, but you can see they both have a lot to offer.