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2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Equinox

2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Equinox

2021 Traverse vs Equinox - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

Over the past few years crossover and SUV models have risen in popularity substantially. Taking the place of previously popular minivans, crossovers and SUVs offer a different type of appearance that resonates with modern families better. From sporty to luxurious, crossover and SUV vehicles create a way for families to transport multiple passengers in a savvy and sophisticated way. Because of their popularity and larger size, crossovers and SUVs can be costly. In fact, the value of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a main reason why we think you should consider these models for a purchase.

Despite their obvious differences, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox are both affordable and accommodating. Similar in their commitment to creating an enjoyable ride for passengers, these two Chevrolet models carry on the value this namesake is renowned for. However, each of these SUVs seeks to differentiate themselves from one another in nearly every other aspect. Their size, capabilities, and enhancements are as different as can be, as well as their overall look and stature. While the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse offers an expansive interior layout with third-row seating, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox dials it back a bit and offers a more compact second-row layout.

The difference in size between these two SUV models is what buyers are the most concerned with. While the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is considered as a mid-size SUV, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a compact SUV. This can affect families who need the extra space of a large SUV or enjoy the smaller stature of a compact SUV. Yet, these are not the only concepts that should be considered between these two models. Their powertrain, design, safety, and comfort should also be evaluated by buyers.

Price Tip
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Size and Styling

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox are vastly different in their respective sizes, but what this means for a buyer is completely relative and unique to everyone. We know that the Chevrolet Traverse is much larger than the Chevrolet Equinox, because it offers a third-row layout compared to the second-row layout of the Equinox. In terms of space, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse can seat up to eight passengers, while the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox can seat five. The Chevrolet Traverse is also available in a seven-passenger layout, making it more flexible than the Chevrolet Equinox.

Another important spatial concept to consider is how much cargo area each of these SUVs entails. Coming in with just over 204 inches of cargo space, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse offers more room for stowage compared to the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox. In fact, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox has just 183 inches of cargo space available for passengers to utilize. Although the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox falls short of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse in terms of cargo space, it still excels against other small SUV competitors in this area. In addition, the Chevrolet Traverse is quite accommodating for a mid-size SUV, too.

Neither one of these SUV models have luxury interiors. In fact, their in-cabin styling is more value-focused than anything. Designs that are uninspired and cheaper plastic materials that adorn the cabin area for both models brings down their distinction a bit. However, between the Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse has a few more premium attributes than the Equinox does. This SUV incorporates a tri-zone automatic climate control system, a premium Bose sound system upgrade, and a hands-free power liftgate.


How a vehicle feels when you are driving it makes a big difference in preference to buyers. This is the same for how well passengers enjoy the ride, which can be improved by suspension efforts, convenience amenities, and noise levels within the cabin. Fortunately, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox have equally comfortable seats. Perfectly sized for adult passengers with ample cushion, the front-row and second-row seats in both models are the ideal mixture of supportive and plush. The Traverse also offers third-row seating, which garners more room for passengers to spread out within its cabin. It is also more versatile than the Equinox in that it can include a bench seat or captain's chairs in the second row. Although the third-row seats in the Traverse are not as accommodating as the other rows of seating, it offers a nice way to easily fit up to eight passengers when called upon.

Considering the performance of an SUV with its inherent comfort can provide a good idea of what it might be like to drive a specific model every day. Despite the similar rankings of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox for their performance attributes, these models boast different engines underneath their hood. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gives it plenty of power for the road. When paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, this small SUV provides average acceleration. In the past, a more powerful four-cylinder engine used to be available on this model, but it was eliminated in the 2021 model year.

Although the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is larger and heavier than the Equinox, its engine does a good job at making up for any disadvantage this could promote. Accompanied by a powerful and sophisticated 3.6-liter V-6 engine, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse can produce up to 310 horsepower. Since the Traverse is much heavier than the Equinox, this power production does not make it substantially quicker than its rival, but it helps make up the difference. In fact, the Chevrolet Traverse comes in a bit quicker than the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox overall.

The available engine sizes and styles in both SUVs correlate how well each handles on the road. Each of these models offer an automatic transmission and front-wheel drive making them easy for drivers to handle on many road conditions. Even though we would not consider either of these models to be particularly sporty, the smaller size and turbocharged engine of the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox makes it more agile and spirited than the respective Chevrolet Traverse. Easy to drive and fun, the Chevrolet Equinox offers up a bit more spunk that the larger Traverse.

All these attributes also play into the fuel economy of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox. To be honest, neither of these SUV models are exceptionally fuel efficient, which is to be expected from larger vehicles. In comparison to one another, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox has a better fuel economy than the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Thanks to a more capable engine and bigger size, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse offers 18 city mpg and 27 highway mpg in its front-wheel drive configuration. The Chevrolet Equinox surpasses this with 26 city mpg and 31 highway mpg for front-wheel drive models. Adequate for commuting, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox takes fuel utilization seriously.

Comfort, Options and Performance

Right off the bat, we know neither the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse nor the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox are luxury models. Their interiors are value-driven and traditional with a few modern amenities thrown in. Made for middle-class families constantly on the go, these SUV models are created with durability in mind and affordability are the forefront of their designs. Both SUVs are comfortable with ample room for passenger, though the Traverse incorporates room for just a few more than the Equinox. Each one comes with adequate standard features but allow upgrades for buyers who select them. In general, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse has more upgrades to offer than the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox.

As with all other attributes, these SUVs incorporate features that improve the riding experience of all passengers. From the front to the back, attributes that promote convenience and entertainment span throughout the interior of the Equinox and the Traverse. Apps like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard on both models, while 8.0-inch touchscreens also accompany higher trim levels for each. Leather upholstery with heated and ventilated seats in front and second rows, in addition to wireless charging for devices and entertainment systems in the rear are available in both models. However, in small upgrades that make a lot of difference to buyers, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse edges over the Chevrolet Equinox.

Although the number of USB charging ports may not seem like a substantial quality to considered, if you are looking for the SUV that is the most convenient, little factor like these make the most difference. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox provides four USB ports to use, while the Chevrolet Traverse upgrades that number to six total. A camera in the rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control also boosts the amenities of the Traverse over the Equinox. Even though the features of the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox are more substantial, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse does a good job of spreading them out a bit more.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


In a tight competition between models, safety amenities and awards can make all the difference. Driver assistive safety features are some of the most modern enhancements a vehicle offer, and both the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox excel in this area. In fact, both SUVs were awarded a five-star safety ranking by the NHTSA. Neither have been evaluated for their crashworthiness by the IIHS, but we suspect they will perform well. After all, the 2020 model of the Chevrolet Equinox was named as a Top Safety Pick, while the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse earned "good" rankings in all areas. However, the headlights in both models hindered their overall performance in this test.

Each of these models incorporates their fair share of safety amenities and are nearly identical in all areas. A Chevrolet-specific Teen Driver mode allows parents to have control while their child is in the driver's set by setting speed limitations and maximum audio levels. A rear seat reminder system for young children in the back and a rearview camera for an optimal vision field in the back are two appreciated safety features these models incorporate, as well. Driver assistive safety features are also front and center for these models, which incorporate adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and parking sensors.

Because of their similarities and lack of IIHS ratings, we cannot say whether the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse or the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a clear winner in their safety attributes. What we can conclude is that both models do their best to incorporate features that will make driving safer for all involved. This is a quality that is desirable in models known for transporting families and large numbers of passengers.

Which Model to Choose?

Deciding between the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a tough position to be in. Each of these SUVs models does a great job of incorporating attributes that will benefit owners with a safe vehicle that promotes durability and value over all other facets. Each buyer will find their preference in either the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse or the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox, depending on their personal lifestyle, transportation needs, and style.

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse works best for buyers who need extra space and a little towing power. Its third-row layout is advantageous for buyers and is ultimately what sets it apart from smaller SUVs. Although it may not be as savvy on the inside as the Chevrolet Equinox, it does a good job of incorporating modern amenities on a budget. In fact, the cost of each of these models are what draws buyers to them. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse can accomplish quite a bit on a tight budget, and buyers are appreciative for that.

For those in search of a more agile SUV option, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a better choice. Its smaller stature makes a smaller engine appropriate. However, it may be limited in power and interior space. In fact, one of the downfalls of the Chevrolet Equinox is its second-row seating, which may eliminate it from being considered by larger families.

If we had to choose between the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox would be our preference. It can accomplish more on a budget, due to its reduced size. Not to mention, it handles better and offers a smoother drive than the larger 2021 Chevrolet Traverse.

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