After competing in a 2024 Chevy Equinox vs 2024 Subaru Forester comparison, a red 2024 Chevy Equinox, is shown parked on a driveway.

The 2024 Chevy Equinox vs. The 2024 Subaru Forester: Which One’s Better for Families?

If you lined up all of the vehicles that are currently a part of the 2024 model year, you would surely notice that there’s one repetitive theme that seems to be present. This is the seemingly infinite number of crossover and subcompact SUV models that dominate the marketplace. The number seems to increase every year, and determining which ones are best suited for a particular driver’s particular needs can sometimes be pretty challenging. This is particularly true when it comes to families, who make up a good portion of the customers who rely on these models as their chosen method of transportation. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at two crossover SUVs that are marketed toward the modern family. It’s the 2024 Chevy Equinox vs. the 2024 Subaru Forester in a family-friendly contest.


Raising a family is expensive. As such, many family-oriented drivers are thrifty shoppers who are keen to save money on their vehicles. Saving money on a new vehicle begins with the up-front costs and MSRP. It should be noted that both the Equinox and Forester are reasonably priced by their respective manufacturers. The Forester has a starting MSRP of $28,440. On the other hand, the Equinox, the second-best-selling vehicle from Chevy, sells at a slightly lower price of $27,995. This margin might not seem like a lot, but it’s a noticeable difference for the family driver who’s careful about every dollar that they spend. Of course, vehicle costs are much more than just the starting price at a dealership. Expenses such as fuel and routine maintenance are both important considerations. With both of these costs impacting a budget, a family driver should consider how effective each vehicle can be in terms of overall cost-effectiveness.

Family drivers want vehicles with conservative fuel consumption. The Forester and the Equinox offer very similar EPA mileage ratings. Both vehicles get 26 MPG in the city, making them equally suited for daily commuting and transporting children. Both are equipped with a four-cylinder engine, limiting excessive gas usage between fill-ups. With both vehicles being more or less equal in this category, we’ll have to look at some other ongoing expenses.

Along with the cost of fuel, an expected recurring cost of owning a vehicle is that of the routine repairs required to keep any vehicle on the road. Both the Equinox and the Forester need to have their oil changed and tires rotated every 7,500 miles; these are two of the most fundamental maintenance services. Both vehicles will remain below the threshold of $1,000 for annual repair costs for the first six years of ownership, with the chances of needing a major repair relatively low.

Both vehicles are more or less equally cost-effective. They cost about the same to drive and maintain, but the Equinox just barely edges out the Forester with a lower sticker cost.

A blue 2024 Subaru Forester is shown driving on a dirt path.

Features for the Modern Family

While parents concern themselves with the cost of what they drive and what it takes to keep it on the road, the family’s younger members are generally more concerned about being entertained during commutes and road trips, no matter how long or short the ride might be for them. It’s this area, in particular, where we start to notice some significant differences between the Equinox and the Forester in terms of what amenities come standard with each one.

In both vehicles, the gateway to accessing the various entertainment features is at the front of the car with an infotainment screen. Both vehicles provide compatibility with Apple and Android products and allow for streaming your mobile devices through Bluetooth. There is one USB charging/input port and a 3.5 mm auxiliary jack to connect with your passengers’ devices. The base-trim Forester comes standard with a 6.5-inch, high-resolution touchscreen and features a four-speaker stereo system to allow you and your passengers to listen to your playlists and podcasts. You will have to pay for a higher-priced trim for a larger screen or more speakers.

The Chevy Equinox offers more entertainment features in its most basic trim. Its screen spans seven inches and is intuitive and user-friendly. In addition to Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility, drivers have access to Sirius XM and voice recognition via Bluetooth. The Equinox also has a six-speaker stereo system, active noise cancellation, and USB connectivity.

Safety and Driving Assistance

It goes without saying that all families are concerned about how safe what they choose to drive is. Now, more than ever, the features that provide driver oversight and an added layer of protection are at the forefront of technological innovation. Take a look across the entire industry, and you’ll see that many features bear a close likeness to one another. This is when the question becomes one of not what’s offered but what comes standard and what is limited to upper trim levels. It should be noted that both the Forester and the Equinox have received five-star safety ratings in collision testing from the (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meaning that they’re both very safe in the event of an accident. As for the features that each one makes standard, there are some differences.

Some features overlap with one another on both vehicles. For instance, both come standard with automated emergency braking and forward collision warning. These improve a driver’s reaction time and can be highly effective in preventing a collision. Lane-keeping and departure warnings are also standard on both, as are backup cameras.

The noticeable difference between the two vehicles is once again in Chevy’s favor. Although the Forester features adaptive cruise control, the Equinox’s safety features include following distance indication, front pedestrian braking, and automated headlights that react when visibility is limited and disengage in the presence of oncoming traffic. Chevy also provides access to OnStar, one of the world’s leading security and vehicle recovery organizations.

Once again, this is a hard-fought contest. That said, the modern family is often concerned with safety and places it as the top priority in many things they do. Both SUVs have additional safety features available in higher trim levels, but for the base trims, we have to side with the Chevy Equinox in this category.

A silver 2024 Chevy Equinox is shown driving on a highway.

Our Final Verdict on The Equinox and Forester

Comparing the Chevy Equinox and the Subaru Forester for the purpose of a family-friendly evaluation is a difficult one. There are many areas in which both vehicles perform equally well. They both have powertrains that are designed with an emphasis on being economical. They both have an established track record for requiring minimal maintenance to stay on the road, and both certainly have plenty of features meant to entertain and provide safety to their drivers and passengers. That said, there are some small differences in cost and available features.

It is a hard decision to come to, but if we have to choose just one of these SUVs, it would be the Chevy Equinox. Chevy’s best-selling SUV is not only a more affordable vehicle, but the entertainment and safety of the modern family are exceptionally well catered to. Priced lower than the Forester, the Equinox offers more for your money, and in an age where things are only getting more expensive, this is one aspect we can cheer for.