Is there a more iconic battle than Ford vs Chevy? From trucks to sports cars, these two great American automobile manufacturers have been dueling for superiority for well over 100 years. Today, this rival also extends into the SUV market, with matchups like the 2020 Ford Edge vs 2020 Chevy Equinox. Although compact SUVs may not offer power or performance like other vehicle types, their widespread popularity makes them one of the most important segments in the current automobile market.
However, Ford and Chevrolet have lately chosen different strategies to corner this segment. When first introduced in the mid-2000s, the Ford Edge and Chevy Equinox were both mid-size two-row crossovers. However, while the Chevy Equinox was the smallest SUV offering from Chevrolet, Ford also had the smaller Ford Escape. So in 2018, for the third generation of the vehicle, Chevrolet shrank the Chevy Equinox. This new Equinox was now significantly smaller than the Ford Edge, though it was still larger than the Ford Escape. In effect, Chevrolet decided to no longer compete on capability, but on cost. So let us see how these two vehicles stack up today and how this different strategy played out.
Meet the Contestants
Although both the Ford Edge and the Chevy Equinox were originally introduced at around the same time (the Ford Edge began with the 2006 model year and the Chevy Equinox with the 2005 model year), the current second-generation Ford Edge began with the 2015 model year while the third-generation Chevy Equinox dates to the 2018 model year. However, this does not quite tell the full story as the Ford Edge had an extensive mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year. This means that both vehicles are effectively of the same vintage, and age should play little role in any comparison between them.
As previously mentioned, the current-generation Chevy Equinox was reduced in size, and the 2020 model has a starting curb weight of around 3,300 pounds against nearly 4,000 pounds for the 2020 Ford Edge. This, of course, also translates to reduced cargo capacity and interior room. Comparing the 2020 Ford Edge and 2020 Chevy Equinox, you will find that the Ford offers 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second-row seats and up to 73.4 cubic feet when its seats are folded. In comparison, the 2020 Chevy Equinox only has 29.9 cubic feet behind its second-row and 63.9 cubic feet in total. The 2020 Ford Edge also has more space for its passengers, impressively maintaining over 40” of both head and legroom for its second row. The 2020 Chevy Equinox only has 38.5” of headroom and 39.9” of legroom in its back seats. So after the shrinking of the Chevy Equinox, the 2020 Ford Edge is inarguably the more capable and comfortable choice.
Balance of Power
But Ford’s preference for performance over penny-pinching was not limited to physical size alone––the 2020 Ford Edge also comes with more powerful engine options than the 2020 Chevy Equinox. The Chevrolet offers two choices when it comes to its powerplant. The first of these is s 1.5L turbocharged inline-four with 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. The other is a 2.0L turbo with 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. And although these are actually fairly capable engines compared to what is offered in many vehicles in this segment, they fall short of what is available in Ford’s SUV. Although the 2020 Ford Edge does offer two engines, the vast majority of them are sold with a twin-scroll 2.0L EcoBoost producing 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. This engine also comes standard with a modern eight-speed automatic transmission, while the base engine on the 2020 Chevy Equinox is paired with an older six-speed automatic.
However, there is a second Ford Edge engine option that is available only on the 2020 Ford Edge ST. This trim transforms the Ford Edge into a legitimate performance vehicle, one of the few such SUVs currently on the market. The centerpiece in this transformation is the use of a 2.7L twin-turbo V6 with 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. With this impressive engine, the 2020 Ford Edge ST will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in around 5.7 seconds––not bad for an SUV weighing in at 4,525 pounds. However, the changes to the Ford ST are not limited to its engine alone. It also has an entirely different independent multi-link rear suspension for improved handling, larger wheels and brakes, and true sports seats to hold you in place during spirited driving.
Features and Tech
Even if you are not considering the high-performance 2020 Ford Edge ST, the Ford SUV still offers several compelling features over the 2020 Chevy Equinox. Comparing the base trims of the 2020 Ford Edge vs the 2020 Chevy Equinox, you will find that the Ford comes standard with LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat––all features lacking on the base 2020 Chevy Equinox. Climbing the trims, there are even more advantages to the 2020 Ford Edge. This includes, but is not limited to, acoustic-laminated side windows to reduce road noise, a foot activated power liftgate that makes loading heavy objects a breeze, and an instrument cluster with dual 4.2” reconfigurable digital displays.
When it comes to infotainment, the 2020 Ford Edge is again better equipped. The 2020 Chevy Equinox comes standard with a 7” screen, and even in its top configuration, it is limited to a 6-speaker sound system. However, the 2020 Ford Edge offers an 8” screen on all trims, and its higher trims have either a 9-speaker or a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. In short, on top of being larger and more powerful, the 2020 Ford Edge is a significantly more luxurious vehicle that will be a far more comfortable drive.
Which Strategy Won?
So if the 2020 Ford Edge beats the 2020 Chevy Equinox in basically every way, from mechanics to electronics, then surely it is the more popular vehicle? Wrong. In 2019 there were some 346,000 of the Chevy Equinox sold against only around 138,000 of the Ford Edge. Although Ford produced one of the best compact SUVs on the market, even expanding into a performance niche formerly only occupied by expensive luxury vehicles, Chevy was correct in its assessment that the winning strategy was to appeal to its buyers’ wallets. Currently, a 2020 Ford Edge starts at $31,100, while a 2020 Chevy Equinox begins at $23,800. And while it may disappoint automobile enthusiasts, it turns out that the larger market is far more interested in buying the cheapest vehicle possible, than in purchasing the best one available.
However, a year after the introduction of the smaller third-generation Chevy Equinox, Chevrolet launched a new larger two-row SUV to compete directly with the Ford Edge. This time Ford’s decision to stick with its guns and continue to emphasize capability over cost did pay off, and in 2019 the Chevy Blazer only sold around 58,000 units––less than half of the Ford Edge.