|103.5||Max Passenger Volume (cu.ft.)||98.9|
|1,500||Max Towing Capacity (lbs)||1,500|
Few vehicles are designed to fit so many different lifestyles like a compact SUV. They are ideal for a driver, couple, or family that wants an economical vehicle to drive around town while saving on gas money. They are also roomier than coupes and sedans, with the higher ground clearance making them easier to enter and exit. That's why people everywhere are comparing SUVs like the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Toyota RAV4. Buyers want to know that they are getting the best when it comes to their compact SUV.
Not only are SUVs perfect because of their size, but they are also perfect if you are looking to buy a young driver a first car because their cool looks will make your child happy while you won’t be losing sleep since they come fully equipped with safety features. Also, if you are a commuter, they are perfect since they are not only economical but also roomier than many similar models, allowing you to stretch out and relax, even when you are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. So, you should definitely be considering an SUV for your next purchase.
Two of the industry leaders in this vehicle class are the Chevy Equinox and the Toyota RAV4. Both can boast about being manufactured by two of the industry’s best automakers, with a deserved reputation for drivability, dependability, and innovation. This can be seen when comparing the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Toyota RAV4. Both vehicles come front-wheel drive standard with available all-wheel drive. They both also give you the ability to tow up to 1,500 pounds of trailer, making them incredibly versatile for a compact SUV. Nevertheless, there are some differences between these two vehicles that we will explore in greater detail.
Both the 2021 Chevy Equinox and 2021 Toyota RAV4 have only one engine option. The Equinox sports a 1.5-liter Turbo I-4 gas engine. This is an aluminum block engine with an intercooled DOHC 16-valve system. It utilizes a turbocharger, direct fuel injection, and variable valve timing to achieve up to 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque.
The Toyota RAV4 utilizes a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force DOHC I-4 gas engine. It also features D-4S fuel injection and dual variable valve timing with intelligence to produce 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The RAV4’s engine will give it slightly better acceleration than the one on the Equinox because of its higher amount of horsepower. However, the greater torque produced by the Equinox’s turbo engine will give it greater strength for carrying cargo and passengers, which will also translate into greater overall traction, particularly if you choose to equip your Equinox with the optional all-wheel drive system.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox has a 6-speed automatic transmission that is electronically controlled. It features overdrive and drive shift control, giving you greater control over the engine’s performance. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 utilizes a direct shift 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence. This features a sequential shift mode and handles a little more like a manual transmission, making the RAV4 slightly more difficult to manage for some drivers.
One of the things that most folks look for in a compact SUV is excellent fuel economy, and both of these models fit that perfectly. The 2021 RAV4 gets slightly better mileage than the 2021 Equinox, but not that much that it should make much of a difference. The RAV4 with front-wheel drive gets an estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city, 35 miles per gallon on the highway, and 30 miles per gallon combined. The all-wheel drive model offers 27 miles per gallon in city driving, 33 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 29 miles per gallon combined.
In comparison, the 2021 Equinox with front-wheel drive holds its own with 26 miles per gallon in the city, 31 miles per gallon on the highway, and 28 miles per gallon combined. The all-wheel drive version gets 25 miles per gallon in the city, 30 miles per gallon on the highway, and 27 miles per gallon combined. So, there is not a huge discrepancy in gas mileage between these two models, meaning you'll want to look to other factors when deciding between them.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox has four trim levels and two special editions. The base model is the Equinox L with an MSRP of $23,800. It comes with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch color touchscreen, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, and a keyless door opener and starter. The next trim is the Equinox LS, which adds LED daytime running lights and Chevy’s Teen Driver technology for an MSRP of $26,300. Teen Driver allows you to limit the volume on the stereo, prevent the blocking of certain safety features, and gives you a post-trip report for your young driver.
The Equinox LT has an MSRP of $27,500 and adds high-intensity discharge headlights and a power driver seat with lumbar control. The top trim is the Premier. This trim has an MSRP of $31,400 and includes leather-appointed heated front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system with an 8-inch HD color touchscreen, and 18-inch bright aluminum wheels.
Chevy also offers the 2021 Equinox with two different special editions. The Equinox Midnight Edition features a Mosaic black metallic exterior, 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, a black grille, black fog lamp bezel and surround, and black Chevrolet bowtie emblems. The Equinox Sport Edition features 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, a black grille with black surround, and black Chevrolet bowtie logos. Both special additions are available on the LT trim level for an MSRP of $30,485, and have available jet-black perforated leather seats available as an upgrade.
In contrast, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 comes in six trim levels with no available special editions. The base model is the LE with an MSRP of $26,050. Moving up, the XLE adds 17-inch 5-spoke silver alloy wheels and integrated fog lamps for an MSRP of $27,345. The XLE Premium has an MSRP of $30,050 and includes a power tilt/slide moonroof, 19-inch multi-spoke super-chrome-finished alloy wheels, and SofTex-trimmed seats.
The RAV4 Adventure has standard all-wheel drive and an MSRP of $33,155. The TRD Off-Road is designed for trail riding with a special suspension system, standard all-wheel drive, and 18-inch 6-spoke alloy wheels. It has an MSRP of $35,780. The top trim, the Limited, adds 19-inch multi-spoke super-chrome-finished alloy wheels and a premium JBL audio system for an MSRP of $34,580. All 2021 Toyota RAV4 models feature Toyota’s infotainment system with either a 7-inch or 8-inch color touchscreen.
While both vehicles offer six total vehicle choices, the 2021 Chevy Equinox has a lower price point than the 2021 Toyota RAV4. Also, you can get the fully loaded top trim Equinox Premier for about the same price as the mid-level RAV4 XLE Premium. So, a Chevy Equinox is going to give you the most for your money.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox and 2021 Toyota RAV4 come with many standard safety features, even on the base trim. Every Equinox features the whole host of Chevy Safety Assist systems. These include forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, following distance indicator, and Intellibeam automatic headlights. You'll also see automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist with lane departure warning. Each of these features will give you peace of mind whether you are driving the Equinox or intend it to be driven by a new driver in your family. In addition, the Equinox has a rear vision camera that is HD on the Premier trim, OnStar and Chevrolet Connected Services, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control.
The RAV4 also has many exceptional standard safety features as part of the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system. These include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, and automatic high beams. However, many of the more advanced systems are only available on higher trim levels of the RAV4.
Both the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 provide excellent space for cargo. The Equinox has 29.9 cubic feet of space in the trunk that expands to 63.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. The RAV4 offers slightly more room for cargo, 37.6 cubic feet in the trunk that increases to 69.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. No matter which model you choose, you are going to have plenty of space to fit your cargo.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox is roomier than the 2021 Toyota RAV4. While the RAV4 has a total of 98.9 cubic feet in its passenger compartment, the Equinox offers a spacious 103.5 cubic feet for you and up to four passengers. This translates into more headroom for front row passengers in the Equinox than in the RAV4, with you and whoever called shotgun getting 40 inches of headroom as compared to only 37.7 inches in the RAV4. Similarly, while both compact SUVs offer a very pleasant 41 inches of legroom to passengers in the front seats, the Equinox offers 39.9 inches of legroom in the rear row as compared to only 37.8 inches on the RAV4. Finally, if your 3 rear row passengers in the RAV4 are complaining about feeling cramped, that’s probably because they only have 47.7 inches of hip room as compared to the Equinox with a much more comfortable 51.7 inches of hip room.