Competes with: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4
Looks like: Chevrolet lifted the face off the Blazer and transplanted it onto the Equinox
Powertrain: Turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder or turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder; six- and nine-speed automatic transmissions; front- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Fall
Chevrolet is updating its Equinox SUV for 2021, and the new model probably looks more than a little familiar thanks to its Blazer-like front end. Other changes include more standard and available safety features, and a sporty new RS trim. The lightly refreshed compact SUV made its debut at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.
Related: More 2020 Chicago Auto Show Coverage
The Equinox gets light styling updates front and rear. In front, a more aggressive-looking grille is flanked by more slitlike headlights; the overall look is similar to the Blazer’s face.
For 2021, Chevrolet is giving the Equinox the RS treatment, which adds visual cues like a gloss-black grille, 19-inch Dark Android wheels, black side rails and black badges. The top-end Premier model wears gloss-black and chrome exterior trim along with 19-inch machine-faced wheels.
The cabin carries over for 2021 unchanged. What’s new relates to the new trims. On the RS model, there’s black badges, black upholstery with red stitching and an RS shift knob. The Premier model’s cabin sports French stitching on the two-tone leather upholstery and high-gloss black finish on the center console; in back, the liftgate project’s the brand’s logo.
Under the Hood
The powertrains carry over: The base engine is still a 170-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, or shoppers can opt for a 252-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The 137-hp, turbo-diesel 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which was available for a short time on model-year-2019 and 2020 versions, will not return. Six-speed and nine-speed automatic transmissions are again available. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available.
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For 2021, the Equinox comes standard with lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams and a following-distance monitor. Optional safety equipment and driver assistance includes adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, a surround-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the Safety Alert Seat system.
The 2021 Equinox will go on sale in the fall.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Feb. 7, 2020, to clarify the model year for the Equinox’s standard safety features.
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