2022 Chevrolet Equinox vs Ford Escape
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox and 2022 Ford Escape are both compact crossover SUVs. The crossover-SUV market probably has more options than just about any other class of vehicle right now. In order to make it in such an over-saturated market, the Equinox and Escape really need stand out from the pack. They need to offer good performance, reliability and value. Fortunately for consumers, both of these crossovers offer all of that and more.
The only question is, which of these two vehicles is better? Chevrolet and Ford have a long-standing rivalry, being two of the most dominant American automakers around. Both brands have loyal fans who wouldn't dream of buying from the other guys. In fact, these two manufacturers often design cars specifically to compete with a model from the other brand. Chevy's Equinox and Ford's Escape are pretty evenly matched in most ways.
Just comparing the sizes, the Equinox is 183-inches long, 73-inches wide and 65-inches high. The Escape is 181-inches long, 74-inches wide and 66-inches high. The Equinox has a maximum cargo capacity of 63.9 cubic-feet, while the Escape has a maximum of 65.4 cubic-feet of storage space. Both vehicles have ample room for up to five people to ride comfortably. They both have comparable starting prices too.
In order to figure out which is the best compact crossover SUV, we will take a look at how they compare in some important categories. This includes their powertrains, their performance specs, how they drive and how safe each vehicle is. Also considered will be the standard features, available trim levels and how this plays into their overall value.
Few things are as important to a vehicle as the powertrain. The engine, drive-train and other related mechanical features dictate how the vehicle will perform. The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox comes in four different trim levels. All four are available in front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) variations. When it comes to engine choices, however, Chevrolet only provides one for their Equinox.
Every Equinox is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine. This engine can produce 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a 6-speed automatic that shifts smoothly and avoids downshifting when extra power is needed. Regardless of the drive-train, every Equinox gets Traction Control. They also come equipped with StabiliTrak, Chevrolet's electronic stability-control system.
The Equinox is powerful enough to tow up to 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped. It's reasonably efficient too, having a combined fuel-economy rating of 27 miles-per-gallon. Specifically, that's 25 miles-per-gallon in the city and 30 miles-per-gallon on the highway. The Equinox has a 15.6-gallon fuel tank.
The Chevrolet Equinox has a MacPherson front suspension and a 4-link rear suspension. Another notable mechanical feature for this SUV are its 16-inch anti-lock disc brakes for all four wheels. Brake power is adequate, and the suspension system is decent, though drivers can expect to feel it when going over rough patches in the road.
The 2022 Ford Escape has four different powertrain options. This includes two standard gasoline-powered engines, a hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid. There are four trim levels, most of which have hybrid versions. Most trim levels come in both FWD and AWD variations. The AWD system has a disconnect feature that can disable the rear driveline when AWD isn't needed.
The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder that makes 181 horsepower. This engine has Start/Stop technology that shuts off and stops idling when sitting for a certain period of time. This is helpful in saving fuel. This engine offers exceptional fuel efficiency with EPA ratings of 27 miles-per-gallon in the city and 33 miles-per-gallon on the highway. That makes for a combined rating of 30 miles-per-gallon.
For more power and fun, Ford also offers the Escape with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This engine produces a respectable 250 horsepower and can get the vehicle up to 60 miles-per-hour in just 5.7 seconds. An Escape equipped with this engine, and Ford's Class II Trailer Tow Package, can pull up to 3,500 pounds. This engine gets an EPA-estimated, combined fuel-economy rating of 26 miles-per-gallon.
Like the smaller engine, the 2.0-liter model has Start/Stop technology. Both models have an 8-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel disc, anti-lock brakes. There's Electronic Traction Control and Electric Power-Assisted Steering. The Escape also has a multi-link rear suspension.
The hybrid and plug-in hybrid models are powered by a 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine. It can keep going for about 37 miles on electric-only power. The plug-in version can get up to 44 miles-per-gallon in the city by using a combination of gas and electric power. These models get an electronically-controlled CVT that eschews gear shifting for a smooth-operating pulley system to transfer power to the wheels. These models have a combined-power output of 221 horsepower.
The Chevrolet Equinox has decent acceleration, but with only 170 horsepower, it's not very exciting or especially fun to drive. There's a comfortable amount of headroom and legroom for those in front and in the rear. The seats are comfortable, and it's fairly quiet inside of the Equinox. The suspension system is okay, but it doesn't mitigate any serious bumps in the road or even the mildly-rough patches, for that matter.
Traction is great, and the vehicle always feels stable. There isn't much body roll, and the Equinox handles curves surprisingly well. The steering and handling are accurate and feel great. The brakes do their job just fine, but are otherwise non-remarkable. The same can be said for the transmission system. It shifts smoothly and usually when it's needed.
The Ford Escape definitely has more pep. Acceleration and passing power are good from any of the four powertrains, even the base model. The base engine, however, is somewhat unrefined and drivers will feel some vibrations and hear some noise from that engine as they cruise the open roads. The 2.0-liter engine, however, runs much more smoothly.
The seats are just as comfortable inside of the Escape as they are for the Equinox. Both vehicles offer heated and ventilated seats, as well as leather upholstery at the higher trim levels. There are power-operated adjustments up front, as well as lumbar support for both the Equinox and the Escape. Both vehicles offer dual-zone heating-and-cooling systems to keep everyone comfortable.
The Ford Escape, like the Chevy Equinox, has great traction and stability. Brake power feels just as strong here, though perhaps not quite as smooth as in the Chevy. Steering and handling are superior in the Ford, but not drastically so. Overall, the Ford is simply more enjoyable to drive and a little bit nicer to be in. It offers a better and smoother ride quality, as long as one opts for the 2.0-liter engine or one of the hybrid models.
Safety is an important category to consider when buying any new vehicle, for obvious reasons. Both the Chevy Equinox and Ford's Escape have a high number of safety features and driver-assist technologies. This includes a good amount of standard features for both vehicles too.
All models of the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox have an airbag system. This includes two front airbags as well as seat-mounted, side-impact bags for the driver and front passenger. The front- and rear-outboard passengers get some protection from the vehicle's head-curtain airbags. The aforementioned StabiliTrak and Traction Control features also make for a safer, more-stable ride.
All versions of the Equinox are compatible with OnStar® and Chevrolet Connected Services. Most models have a rear-view camera, while higher trim levels get an HD rear camera or even a Surround-Vision Camera that provides a 360-degree view. LED daytime-running lamps make the Equinox more visible to oncoming traffic. Rear child-safety locks and the LATCH system for securing child safety seats are both standard features.
The Equinox has a Forward Collision Alert and a Following-Distance Indicator. Automatic Emergency Braking is standard and works with the two previously mentioned systems in order to prevent accidents. A Front Pedestrian Braking system is also equipped on all trim levels. A Tire-Pressure Monitor is standard across the board.
Another set of features that Chevy offers on all models is Lane-Keep Assist with Lane-Departure Warning. A Lane-Change Alert feature and Side Blind-Spot Alert are optional for most trim levels, but come standard on the Premier models. Rear-Park Assist is another handy, though optional, feature.
One unique system that GM is equipping most of their vehicles with these days, is called Teen Driver. This system allows the owner of a 2022 Chevrolet Equinox to enable or disable certain vehicle features and to attach these settings to a key FOB. This is done to set perimeters for a younger, inexperienced driver who will also be using this car. The system also provides a report on the younger-driver's habits so that the owner can provide some useful coaching.
The 2022 Ford Equinox has its own airbag system that Ford calls its Personal Safety System™. This includes dual-stage bags up front. The driver and front passenger also get side-impact protection, and the driver alone gets an extra airbag for knee protection. Ford's Safety Canopy® System is a type of curtain-airbag system with its own built-in rollover sensor. It provides a level of protection for passengers in both rows of seats.
The Ford has a lot of features in common with the Chevy when it comes to safety. It has the child-safety locks and the LATCH system. There's a Tire-Pressure Monitor and a rear camera, as well as a set of daytime-running lamps. Both vehicles have a basic, anti-theft system.
All versions of the Escape come equipped with Ford's Co-Pilot360™ Technology. At the base trim level, this comes with a Forward-Collision Warning, Pre-Collision Assist and Automatic Emergency Braking. It also offers Pedestrian Detection and Dynamic Brake Support. The latter adjusts the braking power as needed in emergency-driving scenarios.
Ford offers a Lane-Keeping Assist feature and a Lane-Departure Warning system that are both similar to what Chevy offers. Ford also offers a unique blind-spot detection and monitoring system that it calls BLIS. This system even monitors rear cross-traffic to make sure the driver is completely aware of their surroundings. Higher trim levels get Active Park Assist 2.0, which helps with front, rear, parallel and even perpendicular parking.
Just like the Chevrolet Equinox, the Ford Escape also has advanced technology to provide better traction for a safer drive, as well as special tech for rollover protection. Ford calls this tech, AdvanceTrac® with RSC®, the latter of which stands for roll stability control. These systems are particularly useful when driving through rain or over icy roads or gravel.
Which Has the Best Value?
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox has a starting MSRP of $25,800. The 2022 Ford Escape has a starting MSRP of $26,760. The top trim level for the Equinox is called the Premier, and it starts out at $33,995. The top trim for the Escape is called the Titanium model, and its starting price is $36,880.
Although Chevrolet has no hybrid option to compare to the Ford hybrids, it's worth noting the costs of these models here as well. The cheapest hybrid version of the Ford Escape will cost $29,920. The Hybrid Titanium will set you back by $34,830. A Plug-in Escape SE starts out at $32,285, while the Plug-in Titanium model starts out at $40,435.
A new Chevrolet Equinox can be had for a bit less than a new Ford Escape, but the difference isn't significant. The prices stay close when moving up through comparable trim levels. The only exception is when one gets to the higher trim levels of the hybrid models for Ford's Escape, but this is to be expected. And keep in mind, the hybrids will actually save owners money in the long run.
The Ford offers vastly superior power and performance for just a bit more money. Both vehicles come well-equipped with convenience features, even at the base trim levels. Both have a good amount of standard safety features too. Some of the specific features of the Chevy are superior to what Ford offers, and one does get a lower overall cost with the Equinox. Overall, however, the Ford will offer more value for the majority of buyers.
Which is Better?
As we've already seen, the Ford Escape is the better overall value. It has far better power, torque and performance for only a slightly higher cost. Both the Ford Escape and the Chevrolet Equinox offer comparable features when it comes to convenience and safety. Neither really outdoes the other with its number of standard features.
The Ford Escape offers a nicer ride quality. Both have good handling, but the Ford is more fun to drive. Both SUVs are attractive, but which is better in that category is simply a matter of taste. The Ford offers more choices, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. For anyone who wants to go green, the Ford Escape is their only choice.
The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox is a fantastic vehicle, but the Ford Escape beats it in most categories. Sorry Chevy fans, its close, but Ford wins this time.