Is the 2021 Equinox just Chevy’s answer to Jeep Cherokee updates?
The Jeep Cherokee had a fairly minor transition into its second generation, by ordinary standards; the vast majority of the car was untouched, but a new engine (a brand new engine, a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder) was added and some tech features were upgraded. Buyers now got standard LED headlights, and the appearance and trim levels changed a bit; but it wasn’t as thorough an upgrade as one could have expected.
The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox follows in the same path, but with some differences. The Equinox has a sportier look, thanks to revised front and rear fascias; standard LED headlights helped the designers to squeeze things in. There’s a new RS trim, added to L, LS, LT, and Premier, and many more standard safety features. Now, every Equinox will come with lane assistance/departure warning, following distance indicator, automatic emergency braking and collision alerts (with pedestrian braking), and IntelliBeam headlights. Options include rear cross path alerts, front and rear parking assistance, 360° cameras, adaptive cruise, parking assistance, and lane change/blind spot alerts.
So far, GM has told us what engines to expect, but not their specific power ratings, which vary in different vehicles. Still, we can provide this chart, showing differences between the newish Cherokee and the upcoming Equinox crossover. There is another difference that hardly bears repeating: the Cherokee can be outfitted for full off-road capability, and, in Trailhawk form, can indeed tackle the Rubicon. The Equinox can handle bad weather and dirt roads, but don’t try it on the Rubicon.
|Base engine||1.5 Turbo||2.4|
|EPA MPG||26/32 FWD (projected)||22 / 31 (FWD)
|Horsepower/Torque||170 / 203 (projected)||180 / 171|
|Opt engine||2.0 Turbo||3.2 V6 or 2.0 Turbo|
|EPA MPG||22/29 FWD (projected)||FWD: 20/29 V6
FWD: 23/31 T4
AWD I: 21/29 T4
AWD Lock: 20/26 T4
|Opt Horsepower/Torque||260 / 260 (projected)||271 hp / 239 lb-ft (V6)
270 hp / 295 lb-ft (T4)
|Weight||3,280 to 3,550 (projected)||3,590 (FWD) to 4,260 (2.0 Trailhawk)|
|Headlights||LED (all models)||LED (all models)|
|Transmission||6-speed and 9-speed auto||9-speed auto|
|Running ground clearance||7.6 (projected)||Up to 8.7|
|Leg room (F+R)||40.9+39.9 =80.8||41.1+40.3=81.4|
|EPA interior room||103.5 cubic feet||103.4 cubic feet|
|EPA cargo room||29.9 cubic feet||27.6 cubic feet|
|Standard safety||Lane keep, rear distance indicator, forward collision alert w/braking (and pedestrians), smart headlamps||Trailer sway control|
|Safety options (or standard on higher trims)||Surround camera, auto parking, rear cross path, blind-spot alert||Blind spot monitor, collision warning with braking, lane maintain, rear cross path|
|NHTSA rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|IIHS||Not yet available||Top Safety Pick|
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.