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|252||Max Horsepower (hp)||250|
|6 or 9-Speed Automatic||Transmission||8-Speed Automatic|
|3,500||Towing Capacity (lbs)||3,500|
We are living in the age of the SUV, and if you’re starting to get confused about which SUV is right for you, you’re not alone. There are so many options, and that can make it challenging to navigate the market. The saying “there’s an SUV for that” has never been more accurate, and it doesn’t appear this trend is going to subside any time soon. But which is the best on the market? Well, two of the best come from Chevy and Ford. And the only way to know which is the better choice between those two is to make a comparison: 2020 Chevy Equinox vs 2020 Ford Escape.
The 2020 Chevy Equinox and the 2020 Ford Escape belong to the segment known as “compact SUVs.” Specifically, these are larger than small SUVs but smaller than midsize SUVs. This particular niche offers room for up to five passengers, plenty of “stuff,” and offers towing for light loads. Often, the compact SUV is preferred by those who have several people to move, regular large loads to redirect, or who enjoy extra room for road trips and other adventures. They are small enough that they drive as smooth as a standard family sedan but big enough to avoid the classic car trip family shenanigans of he said-she said. But again, the question remains: Which is the best option? Only the side by side, apples-to-apples comparison will answer that.
The 2020 Chevy Equinox comes standard with a 1.5L turbocharged Inline-4 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission on all trim levels. This engine offers 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque, providing it with more than enough power to get around town, either filled with people or parcels. This engine also has a fuel economy that gives your wallet a chance to breathe, with 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway for the standard front-wheel drive models. And this drops just one gallon to 25 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway when the available all-wheel drive option is chosen.
When upgrading to the LT or Premier trim, the option to select a 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission instead is unlocked. This engine offers a lot more zip, with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, this engine allows the 2020 Equinox to tow up to 3,500 pounds. And while some drivers might fear that a peppier engine will drain fuel reserves faster, the fuel economy on this engine averages 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway, with front-wheel drive. And only the highway number changes when all-wheel drive is equipped as it decreases slightly to 28 MPG. Overall, this is a powerful and efficient vehicle.
The 2020 Ford Escape offers a similar setup - but it comes at a higher price, starting over $1,000 more than the Equinox. The standard engine is a 1.5L EcoBoost Inline-3 that offers 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. This is slightly higher horsepower than the Equinox, but less torque. Fuel economy is similar to the Equinox, with 27 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway for the standard front-wheel drive models, and 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway for all-wheel drive models.
A more powerful engine is available, but only for two specific trims: the SEL and Titanium, only when optioned with all-wheel drive. A 2.0L EcoBoost Inline-4 option offers 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which again drags the fuel economy down a bit to 23 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, as it is offered with all-wheel drive only. This engine provides slightly less horsepower and marginally more torque than the upgraded engine for the Equinox, but the prices start $2,000 higher for the Escape trims with the upgrade. This means that similar power found on the Equinox is far cheaper than the Escape, making it the better vehicle.
The 2020 Chevy Equinox is offered in four main trims, ranging from the base L, LS, and LT to the top-level Premier trim. The L starts things with a robust package of standard offerings, including automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 4GLTE and Wi-Fi hotspot, six-speaker audio system, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, and four USB ports.
The LS is very similar to the L, only with far more options and availability. Those who choose the LS model can select the available all-wheel drive option, as well as a Convenience Package that adds several key features, such as privacy glass and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. At the same time, other add-ons include a rear-seat entertainment package and 19-inch wheels. Stepping up to the LT allows drivers to choose the more powerful 2.0L engine and some standard features such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat, high-intensity xenon headlamps, SiriusXM satellite radio, and an easy-to-read driver information screen.
The Premier trim includes nearly everything a modern driver can dream of having. It has features such as a power liftgate with hands-free technology, leather seats, with the driver’s seat featuring power adjustability and memory settings and both front seats heated, roof rails, LED head and taillights, an upgraded touchscreen infotainment system, remote start, and a wireless charging pad. Overall, the options are endless with the Equinox, so much so that it is hard to believe the low starting price it has.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Ford Escape is offered in four trims: S, SE, SEL, and Titanium. The S includes a second-row slidable seat to accommodate a greater range of cargo, LED taillights, two USB charge ports, and a 4.5-inch display with a Wi-Fi hotspot. The SE jumps straight into creature comforts, however, with an 8-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, heated front seats with power-adjustable driver’s seat, and the Ford Sync3 Infotainment system.
Next up is the SEL, which allows drivers to choose the more powerful 2.0L engine when all-wheel drive is also optioned. It also includes convenience features that any driver can appreciate, like sport seats with memory settings in the front, remote start, hands-free power liftgate, and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Titanium trim tops it all, starting with 19-inch aluminum wheels, and including a premium audio system, ambient interior, and floor lighting, dual-zone climate control, and leather upholstery. While there are a lot of options for this vehicle, the list is not nearly as extensive as the Equinox's. Because of this and the higher price, the Escape falls short.
The 2020 Chevy Equinox includes a standard safety package that offers a variety of features that have only recently become available, putting it ahead of the metaphorical and literal curve. This package includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Automatic headlights with IntelliBeam technology are also standard, helping drivers maintain visibility on dark roads without accidentally flashing their brights into oncoming traffic.
The 2020 Ford Escape includes Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Safety technology standard at all levels, except for the Titanium trim, which includes extra driver aids with the Co-Pilot360+ package. The Co-Pilot360 standard technology includes evasive steering assist, Blind-Spot Information System (BLIS), and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking. Automatic high beams and lane-keep assist round out the standard offerings. The Titanium package includes lane-centering, active parking assist, and parking aids that are activated when the vehicle is in reverse to allow for safe backward navigation. Overall, both of these vehicles offer tons of safety features, putting them on equal ground in this field.