2017 Chevrolet Equinox vs Toyota RAV4
Compact crossovers are selling big right now, with new models coming to the market all the time.Competition is fiercer than ever, so let’s see how two of the most popular models compare. How will the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox match up against the Toyota RAV4?
2017 Chevrolet Equinox vs Toyota RAV4
How an SUV looks matters to buyers–and if buyers are looking for the look of a full-size SUV, the Chevrolet Traverse will ring their bell. The Equinox may not have the capability of a full-size ladder-frame SUV, but the styling is clearly derived from that genre. The Equinox looks a lot like a scaled-down version of the larger Traverse, with a chunkier and more truck-like vibe than the Traverse. The Equinox looks like it can handle whatever life throws at you.
Last year, Toyota worked hard to upgrade the interior of the RAV4, but they probably should have taken a look at the exterior a little more at the same time. The Toyota RAV4 is wildly popular, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say those sales are not a result of its overall design. The RAV4 is a little awkward and, honestly, a bit odd–nothing like you would expect a confident, powerful SUV to look.
The Chevy’s standard engine is a 182 horsepower, 2.4-liter inline-four, which incorporates direct injection and variable valve timing, making it pretty advanced for this class. This 2.4L is a capable performer, and it’s pretty frugal on gas too. But what sets the Chevy apart from many of its rivals is the available 3.6-liter V-6, offering 301 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque.
A powerful, engaging driving experience isn’t among the RAV4’s headline attributes. The base engine is still the aging 2.5-liter inline-four that puts out 176 horsepower. The engine is entirely adequate, but it can struggle when it’s asked to haul a full load of passengers and cargo. The RAV4 hybrid option is actually more powerful, but the V-6 of the Equinox makes it our winner in this section.
In its base inline-four guise, the EPA rates the Equinox at 21 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined with front-wheel drive. That puts it close to the top of its class for a non-hybrid, although adding the extra capability of all-wheel drive does cost a bit, bringing those numbers down to 20/28/23 mpg.
Front-wheel drive versions of the RAV4 are rated at 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined, while all-wheel drive sees those figures change to 22/28/25 mpg. That’s just barely better than the Chevy at first glance, but top trims of the RAV4 take away the advantage.
The standard features you get with the Equinox are hard to fault, and most of the stuff you’d expect to be available is in the range somewhere, even if you have to pay extra at times. All models get a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, and Chevy’s in-car Wi-Fi hotspot is also impressively standard across all models. That alone makes road trips and working on the go infinitely easier.
Standard equipment in the RAV4 at all levels includes alloy wheels, power features, air conditioning, cruise control, LED interior lighting, a 12-volt power outlet, a pretty good infotainment system and plenty more. The RAV4 does offer more trim levels to choose from, which may make it easier to get the features you want without spending more on top of the base price.
Learn More about the Chevrolet Equinox
It’s hard to criticize the Toyota RAV4, since it’s still the biggest-selling SUV/crossover in America. So many buyers can’t all be wrong, especially over such a long period of time. But when you look at things a little closer, the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox clearly demonstrates that it’s actually the better buy, especially when you consider its smaller price tag.