|203||Base Torque (lb-ft)||155|
|Yes||Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto||No|
Did you know that small SUVs are among the most popular vehicles in the automotive industry? Take a quick look at the vehicles around you on your daily commute or as you run errands around town. How many small SUVs do you see? Chances are, most of the vehicles you see on the road are in this category, which might leave you to wonder, “What makes these models so popular?” Comparing two of the best-selling crossovers like the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Ford Escape paints a clearer picture of why these vehicles are the top-sellers in the American car market.
Chevrolet and Ford are known for building reliable vehicles, which makes the Equinox and Escape attractive to drivers of all ages. What’s even more enticing is that the models are both incredibly affordable and packed with features, which means they offer great value right off the lot. Add in the fact that the models are also small enough to navigate a busy city street but can capably handle themselves at highway speeds, and it’s easy to see why so many drivers are turning to models like the Equinox and the Escape as their SUVs of choice.
So, which model is better - the Equinox or the Escape? There’s no question that Chevy and Ford outdid themselves on these SUVs, but like any road race, there’s always a winner. In this race for the best compact crossover, the Chevy clearly takes the lead thanks to its affordability and practicality that can’t be beat.
The 2021 Equinox gains the advantage right out of the gate with its affordable base price of $23,800 compared to the 2021 Escape that starts at $24,885.* For that low starting price, you can get behind the wheel of an Equinox L that’s equipped with keyless entry and keyless start, the Chevy Safety Assist suite of driver-assist tools, and the Chevy Infotainment 3 system on a 7-inch color touchscreen display. Despite boasting a significantly higher starting price, the Escape S only has a smaller 4.2-inch display and key ignition.
The next step up in the Equinox lineup is the LS, which starts at $26,300* and adds a variety of upgrades from LED daytime running lamps to 17-inch alloy wheels. Upgrading to the Ford Escape SE pushes the price higher at $26,610* and finally catches up to the base model Chevy by adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. One notable difference is that, unlike the Equinox, the Escape doesn’t offer a feature comparable to Chevy's Teen Driver technology.
The Equinox’s top two trims are the LT and the Premier, which are comparable to the Escape’s SEL and Titanium. The Equinox LT starts at $27,500* and adds a power driver seat with lumbar control for a more comfortable experience behind the wheel. The model also includes brighter high-intensity discharge headlamps for enhanced visibility as well as luxury options like heated driver and front passenger seats. The Premier has heated front seats standard and adds leather trim as well as a hands-free power liftgate that makes accessing the cargo area easy even when your hands are full. This level of luxury is still remarkably affordable at only $31,400.*
The Escape SEL starts at $29,205* and is equipped with heated and powered front seats that are trimmed in Ford’s ActiveX seating material. The SEL’s other conveniences and luxuries require upgrades that increase the price and include options like a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, panoramic sunroof, and a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system. Of course, these features are all standard on the Escape Titanium, which starts at $35,755.*
The 2021 Equinox and the 2021 Escape were both named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which reflects the high standards of safety that both Chevy and Ford are committed to delivering. On the Equinox, this commitment is reflected in the Chevy Safety Assist suite, which comes standard across the Equinox lineup. The suite includes six advanced features that are designed to minimize the potential for collision and enhance visibility.
The Chevy Safety Assist suite begins with Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking, which mitigate potential front-end collisions. This allows you to take action to prevent the collision, whether you’re tailgating and need to increase your distance or you need to apply your brakes due to stopped traffic ahead. The emergency braking system, which also works with Front Pedestrian Braking, can automatically provide hard emergency braking to bring the Equinox to a complete stop, or it can enhance your braking.
The Equinox’s safety suite also includes Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning to keep the Equinox in its lane, a Following Distance Indicator, and IntelliBeam headlamps to improve visibility. The SUV is also equipped with a rear vision camera and gives owners the option to add features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, an HD Surround Vision camera, a Safety Alert Seat, and OnStar Safety and Security. One notable feature that’s exclusive to the Equinox is Teen Driver technology, which allows parents to set driving parameters and receive driving feedback to help their teen driver safely navigate the road and gain confidence behind the wheel.
The Escape’s safety suite, which is known as Ford Co-Pilot360, is comparable to the Chevy Safety Assist suite but lacks anything comparable to the Teen Driver feature. The Co-Pilot360 suite includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Ford’s BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System with Lane-Keeping Alert and Driver-Alert, and automatic High-Beam Headlamps. Like the Equinox, the Escape also comes standard with a rearview camera and offers several available upgrades, including Active Park Assist 2.0 with a Reverse Parking Aid and a Front Parking Aid, Evasive Steering Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go.
Promising “tech in all the right places,” the 2021 Equinox fulfills that promise from its base to its top-tier models. Unlike the Escape, the Equinox’s base model is equipped with a touchscreen display and an infotainment system that puts everything you need within reach. This is a huge advantage for the Equinox since it means you can keep your eyes on the road and stay connected.
Both the Equinox and the Escape offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which seamlessly integrate your smartphone to give you access to your messages, music, and other apps - but only the Equinox has them standard. Chevy and Ford are also at the helm of innovation and include Alexa on both models, which allows you to add items to your Amazon shopping list, stream your favorite music, and control your smart-home devices with a simple voice command. Staying connected has never been easier.
Another key difference between the technology features on the Equinox and the Escape is found in the suite of in-vehicle apps. On the Equinox, you’ll find a variety of apps like Spotify, The Weather Channel, Pandora, Fox Sports, and USA Today. You also have access to the Chevy Marketplace and the myChevrolet App, the latter of which gives you more control over the vehicle through an app on your smartphone. The Escape is equipped with WAZE technology, which provides real-time traffic updates to help you navigate the road ahead. Like the Equinox, you can also control the Escape using the FordPass Connect app, which includes access to an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.