2022 Chevrolet Equinox vs Buick Encore
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2022 Buick Encore are both small crossover SUVs with room for five people. Both have five-door body styles and similar sizes, though the Equinox is bigger. The Equinox measures in at 183-inches long, 73-inches wide and 65-inches high. The Encore comes in at 168-inches long, 70-inches wide and 65-inches high. The Equinox offers 103.5 cubic-feet of passenger space while the Encore has 92.8 cubic-feet of space for the passengers to get comfortable in.
Crossover SUVs are practical vehicles to own due to their extra room for passengers and cargo. This is even true of some compact crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Encore. The Equinox has 29.3 cubic-feet of storage space behind the rear seats. When the rear seats are folded down, this increases the cargo area up to 63.9 cubic-feet. The smaller Encore still has 18.8 cubic-feet of storage space with the rear-seats up and 48.4 cubic-feet of space when they're folded down.
Both of these vehicles have very affordable starting prices. Don't let the low prices fool you, however, as they're both well-made, high-quality vehicles. The Chevrolet Equinox offers precise handling and a smooth ride over paved surfaces. The Buick Encore has a quiet and comfortable cabin with excellent visibility for the driver. While these two crossover SUVs share a lot in common, they also have some key differences that set them apart.
Here's a rundown of how these two crossover SUVs compare when it comes to their powertrains, performance specs, driving dynamics and ride quality. We will also look closely at the safety features of each SUV, as this is one of the most important categories to consider when purchasing any new vehicle. Last of all, we will determine the overall value of each vehicle and try to decide which is the better choice for most buyers.
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox only gives buyers one choice for the engine. This is a 1.5-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. This engine has a dual overhead-cam design, variable valve timing and direct injection. Every model of the Equinox also comes stock with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Every trim level is available in both Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variations.
The Equinox engine gets modern Start/Stop technology with a disable switch in order to conserve fuel. Speaking of fuel efficiency, an Equinox with FWD has an estimated, combined fuel-economy rating of 28 miles-per-gallon (mpg). This drops by 1 mpg in models with AWD. Every model of the Equinox gets a set of 16-inch, anti-lock disc brakes for all four wheels. This includes performance brake linings that do a great job of mitigating noise transfer to the interior of the vehicle.
All versions of the Equinox get StabiliTrak, which is GM's proprietary system of Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control. There's a MacPherson front suspension and a 4-link suspension for the rear of the vehicle. Power steering is standard across the board.
The 2022 Buick Encore only has one trim level and one powertrain configuration. Like the Equinox, it is also powered by a 1.5-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It has a little less oomph under the hood, making only 155 horsepower with 177 pound-feet of torque. This engine gets variable valve timing, direct injection and a spark ignition system. It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission and is available in FWD and AWD configurations.
Buick, being another GM brand, also equips their Encore with StabiliTrak, just like the Chevrolet Equinox. The Encore has Electric Power Steering and 4-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes. It gets a Ride and Handling suspension system with MacPherson struts and coil springs, as well as a stabilizer bar up front. There's also side-load compensation for the front-strut modules.
The rear of the vehicle gets a torsion-beam suspension with a double-wall, V-shaped beam for constant camber control. The suspension system for the Encore also has gas-charged, dual-tube shock absorbers. A Buick Encore with FWD will have a combined fuel-economy rating of 27 mpg. Just like the Equinox, if the Encore is equipped with AWD, the fuel-economy rating loses 1 mpg.
There is no shortage of small crossover SUVs on the market today. This means that both the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2022 Buick Encore will face some stiff competition from a crowded field. While they both have adequate power and acceleration, it's unfortunately not as good as what some of the competition offers. Both of these SUVs can even feel sluggish at times when loaded down with a lot of people and cargo. The Equinox has slightly better acceleration when compared to the Encore.
The good news is that both vehicles handle really well. The Equinox has tight and accurate steering dynamics. The Encore is even better in this category. Both are easy to park and to maneuver around town. They can even take on curvy roads with ease. Both vehicles offer a smooth ride quality as well, with the Equinox being a little better this time. The Equinox and Encore both do well driving over wet or slick pavement, especially when equipped with AWD.
There's more to the driving experience than just the engine performance, suspension system and steering dynamics. The ride quality can be greatly enhanced by interior comfort and even by the entertainment features of a vehicle. With the exception of the base trim, every model of the Chevrolet Equinox has an 8-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support. Heating and ventilation are optional for the front seats.
Chevrolet offers premium cloth or perforated, leather-appointed upholstery for the Equinox seats. The top two trim levels of the Equinox get Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control. The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System has an 8-inch screen, Bluetooth technology and available built-in navigation. There's also an optional premium audio system with six speakers by Bose.
The Buick Encore gets a 6-way power driver's seat and a 2-way manual front-passenger seat. There's a basic stereo system with six speakers. The Buick Infotainment System gets a 7-inch display, Bluetooth for music streaming and an available WiFi hot-spot so everyone can stay connected. A single-zone manual A/C and heating system is standard for the one existing trim level.
The Chevrolet Equinox has a standard airbag system with front airbags for the driver and front passengers. The front seats also get protection from seat-mounted, side-impact airbags. Head-curtain airbags provide protection for the outboard passengers in both rows. Every model has child security locks and safety windows for the rear-passenger area. There's also the LATCH system that allows child safety seats to be securely attached in the back.
Forward-Collision Alert gives drivers a warning if there's an impending front crash. Front Pedestrian Braking detects people around the vehicle and applies the brakes as needed. There's also a Following-Distance Indicator to help the driver to stay at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them. Every Equinox gets a Rear-Vision Camera. The top trim has an HD Rear Camera and an HD Surround-Vision Camera is optional for all models.
Some additional standard safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane-Change Alert with Side Blind-Zone Alert and Lane-Keeping Assist with a Departure Warning. Every model is compatible with OnStar® and Chevrolet Connected Services. A Tire-Pressure Monitor makes sure all tires are inflated to a safe level. LED Daytime-Running Lamps help to increase the vehicle's visibility to oncoming traffic.
Front and Rear Park Assist is available for the top two trim levels. These two trims also get Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. The top Premier trim has a Safety Alert Seat. This special, high-tech seat uses vibrations to alert the driver to potential collisions and lets them know which direction the threat is coming from. Last of all, every Equinox gets GM's Teen Driver technology that provides the owner with feedback on the habits of younger, secondary drivers of the vehicle.
The Buick Encore has its own airbag system with 10 standard airbags. This includes front and side protection for the driver and front passenger. The driver also gets some extra knee protection. There are curtain airbags to protect passengers in both seat rows. Like the Equinox, the Encore has standard child security locks and windows, as well as the LATCH system.
A stock Encore gets the aforementioned anti-locking brakes and the StabiliTrak system for Stability Control and Traction Control. It comes OnStar® and Buick Connected-Services capable. There's a standard Rear-Vision Camera, a Tire-Pressure Monitor and signature LED Daytime-Running Lamps. Some of the optional safety features include Forward-Collision Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and a Lane-Departure Warning. The optional Side Blind-Zone Alert helps prevent accidents while changing lanes.
Which Has the Best Value?
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox has four different trim levels. The base trim is called the LS, and a FWD model starts at just $26,050. The most expensive model is an AWD Premier, and it starts at $34,245. The 2022 Buick Encore only has one trim level called the Preferred model. A FWD model of the Encore starts out at just $24,600.
The best value among the Chevrolet Equinox trim levels is the LT model. The LT trim has the best balance of cost and features. It gets a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, a larger driver-information display and LED Daytime Running Lamps. When it comes to the Buick Encore, the choice is easy since there are no choices for the trim level. The Preferred is all there is.
A base-trim Equinox is a little more expensive than the Encore, but not by a significant amount. The Equinox offers more horsepower, better performance and better capabilities too. There's more cargo room in the back of the Equinox. It also has more standard convenience features and more safety features. The best value here is easily the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox.
Which Is Better?
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2022 Buick Encore are both fine examples of a compact crossover SUV. This is a crowded field in the automotive industry, but these two vehicles stand out for several reasons. Most of all, they both offer great value with low starting prices and a plethora of standard features.
When it comes to the passenger room and cargo space, the Chevrolet Equinox offers more of both. When it comes to the powertrains, they're very similar, but the Equinox offers more horsepower and torque. The Encore has slightly better handling while the Equinox offers the better ride quality. Neither vehicle is significantly better than the other in these categories.
The Chevy Equinox offers more choices in general with four different trim levels. The Buick Encore only has one trim level, but it does offer a high number of options and packages to customize the vehicle. The Equinox has more standard convenience features and far more standard safety features. The safety features and tech are vastly superior in the Equinox too.
The Buick Encore is less expensive, but the Chevy Equinox offers so much more that it's actually the better value. These are both GM vehicles, so they have a lot of the same features, but the Chevrolet just gives buyers more of everything. In fact, the Chevrolet Equinox is simply the better vehicle overall.