|252||Max Horsepower (HP)||235|
|8"||Infotainment Screen Size||7"|
|26 / 31||Fuel Economy (city/highway)||22 / 29|
If you are in the market for a budget-friendly compact SUV, you're not alone. These days, the SUV market is booming as many people have recognized the benefit of having a vehicle that performs great, is filled with features, and keeps the whole family safe. But with this growing interest comes a growing market, leading to many options for drivers to fish through. This can be challenging, and the best way to go about picking which one is the best is to complete a comparison such as the 2020 Chevy Equinox vs 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe. These two vehicles are perfect for small families, people with dogs, and even singles who need space for art, musical instruments, or sports equipment. But what sets them apart from one another?
Both crossovers have available seating for five people, but the cargo configurations vary. The 2020 Chevy Equinox has 29.9 cu.ft. of room behind the back row of seating. If you need more space, you can simply fold down that row to expand the cargo up to 63.9 cu.ft. On the other hand, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe offers 35.9 cu.ft. of space in the back. The maximum cargo area is measured at 71.3 cu.ft. once you fold down the second row of seating. While the Santa Fe may be a bit larger than the Equinox, there is a trade-off to gain that extra room, which will become apparent with a further comparison of the performance.
When it comes to compact SUVs, most people don’t expect much power. Power is usually held back for the big guys, but with these two small SUVs, power is included. And even though they are powerful, they are still efficient too. Let's look at which one combined performance and efficiency better.
First, the 2020 Chevy Equinox has two powertrain options. It is important to note that you can opt for AWD on all trim levels, with the exception of the base model. The standard is a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and FWD. Generating 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque, it has an average fuel economy set at 28 MPG combined (26 city/31 highway). The second option is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission with FWD that produces 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain features Tow/Haul mode, which enables it to pull up to 3,500 pounds. With this engine, the Equinox 25 MPG combined (22 city/29 highway), rounding it out to be a very strong and efficient model.
Next, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is also available with two powertrain options. The standard uses a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission and FWD. Pumping out 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, this vehicle has a much lower fuel economy set at 25 MPG combined (22 city/29 highway). The second powertrain is only available on the SEL and Limited trim levels. It is focused around a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with the same transmission and drivetrain. You may also opt for AWD here. Making 235 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, it has an even lower fuel economy set at 22 MPG combined (20 city/26 highway). The towing range is somewhere between 2,000 and 3,500 pounds depending on which powertrain you choose. With all of that in mind, the Equinox clearly has both the more powerful option and the more efficient option, leading to the Santa Fe falling behind in the competition.
One of the key features that can make or break a deal is the number of safety systems that are included with the vehicle. Most new models come with some sort of safety functions, but it’s the well-appointed ones that you want to look more closely at. So, let’s see what the 2020 Chevy Equinox and 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe have to offer in terms of safety.
Every new Equinox model comes equipped with a state-of-the-art suite of safety features. This includes a rearview camera to help with backing out of tight spaces, pedestrian detection with emergency braking to avoid hitting people and forward collision warning to prevent front-end accidents on the road. It also includes automatic high beams for optimized visibility at night and lane-departure warning to keep you driving within the designated lines.
Higher trim levels on the Equinox come with other safety features that have been added into the mix. For example, Teen Driver Technology is included at the LS trim and above. This allows you to set speed and volume limits, and it also provides you with a report card to know how well your teen driver is performing behind the wheel. At the LT trim, blindspot monitoring has been added as another safety measure. Lastly, the Premier trim comes with an advanced 360° parking camera system to give you the ultimate view of your surroundings. With all of these features, the Equinox is a very safe SUV, perfect for families.
Let’s switch gears and look at the safety systems that are included on the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe. Every trim level comes standard with automatic high beams, emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. While that is a good start, it pales in comparison to the safety features that are included on all Equinox models.
The mid-level SEL trim gets blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and safe exit assist, which keeps back seat passengers from opening the back doors if another vehicle is detected. Finally, the Limited models add the blind view monitor to the mix. This is a system that displays video feeds of both blindspots on the sides of the vehicle. It’s basically blindspot monitoring with visualization instead of just an audible warning. Again, these are fantastic features, but they pale in comparison to the Equinox's offerings.
Slipping behind the wheels of these two vehicles gives you a very different experience. For two crossovers that share the same class, they sure do have a lot of variations. The Equinox is available in four trims, and the Santa Fe is only offered in three. Let’s break them all down to gain a better understanding.
The Equinox L features keyless entry/ignition, a 6-speaker sound system, and a manually-adjustable driver’s seat. Displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen in the infotainment interface that works with a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The base model for the Santa Fe is the SE. It comes with reclining rear seats, cloth upholstery, and an infotainment system displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen. With compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it is almost on par with the Equinox L. However, it is missing the WiFi hotspot.
The second trim level for the Equinox is the LS. It has no competitor on the Santa Fe’s side. The main difference with this model is that it includes the aforementioned Teen Driver Technology. Other than that, it is similar to the L trim.
Next, we have the Equinox LT trim. It includes a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, a power liftgate, and a releaser lever for the back seats. As for the comparable Santa Fe SEL, this trim features leather upholstery, push-button start technology, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.
Finally, the top-of-the-line Equinox Premier comes with luxury features such as full leather seating that is heated, a wireless charging pad to reduce cabin clutter, and a hands-free power liftgate. You can also add a Bose sound system. On the other hand, the Santa Fe Limited model includes a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated back seats, and a larger 8-inch touchscreen interface. Overall, the Equinox has more interior features to offer than the Santa Fe; it is as simple as that.
Paint may seem like a cosmetic feature, but we can assure you that many people make their final decision to purchase a new car depending on the color options. Both vehicles have some nice choices. However, the 2020 Chevy Equinox is available in ten unique shades while the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is only offered in nine colors.
Let’s kick things off with the Equinox. Available in ten beautiful hues, these paint colors include Cajun Red Tintcoat, Mosaic Black Metallic, Cayenne Orange Metallic, Midnight Blue Metallic, Chocolate Metallic, Nightfall Gray Metallic, Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, Pacific Blue Metallic, Summit White, and Silver Ice Metallic. Most of these shades come in a metallic finish, which gives the vehicle a more luxurious look.
On the other hand, the Santa Fe is available in nine colors. These include Twilight Black, Rainforest, Quartz White, Portofino Gray, Shimmering Silver Pearl, Earthy Bronze, Lava Orange, Calypso Red, and Stormy Sea (blue). These colors are not available in a metallic finish. With all of that, it is safe to say that the Chevy Equinox is the better vehicle for those who want the opportunity to give their SUV personality.