|26 / 31||Fuel Economy (MPG)||22 / 29|
|260||Max Torque (lb-ft)||252|
|6 or 9-Speed Automatic||Transmission||6 or 8-Speed Automatic|
SUVs are popular for several reasons, not the least of which is the convenience of space and the versatility of performance. And both the 2020 Chevy Equinox and the 2020 Kia Sorento are SUVs geared toward the family car segment. Each of these SUVs has plenty to offer a family seeking a car-like driving experience with a little sportiness and the comfort you want and need for being in the car for long periods of time. But which one is the better buy? Well, if we compare the 2020 Chevy Equinox vs 2020 Kia Sorento, in the end, the Equinox comes out on top.
When it comes down to features and the usability of the space and seating, the Equinox has an advantage. Adding to that, the convenience of the option for a rear-seat entertainment system for the Equinox makes the Kia fades just a little more. And going just a little deeper into territory like fuel consumption and pricing will bring the 2020 Chevy Equinox right over the top as a clear front-runner in this comparison. From outer appearance to inner comfort and safety, the Chevy Equinox is the way to go for a family crossover SUV. And this more in-depth analysis will only further prove that fact.
The exterior of the Chevy Equinox is slightly boxy and aggressive, which is the appearance buyers like for a modern SUV to have. Its body has some curve to it to scale back the sharpness of edges, but it is definitely sporty with the available roof rails, the curvature of the lines from the grille and headlights on the front end, and the rear spoiler in the back. The Equinox also features LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a shark fin antenna, ten exterior color choices, an acoustic laminated windshield to cut down on exterior noise, heated wing mirrors, and IntelliBeam headlights, which automatically change from high to low with oncoming traffic. Upgrading to higher trims offers a hands-free powered liftgate, fog lights, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and the option of special edition packages.
In comparison, the Kia Sorento's exterior is longer due to the third row of seats, which some may feel detracts from the sportiness of its appearance. The Sorento certainly shares the SUV look, with its somewhat bold front end, its available roof rails, the spoiler in the rear, and the overall package of its exterior. The exterior of the Sorento comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a solar-absorbing windshield, LED daytime running lights, heated wing mirrors, nine choices of exterior color, privacy glass in the rear windows, and LED turn signal indicators. And upgrading to more expensive trims will add features like the acoustic laminate windshield, powered liftgate, panoramic sunroof, special appearance features, and powered folding wing mirrors.
Both the Equinox and the Sorento have the option of all-wheel drive for any trim except the base, and both bodies are four-door SUVs with rear liftgates. In upper trims, options for larger wheels are offered to potentially improve the vehicle’s performance and handling. In general terms, though, the Equinox comes with more standard features on the base trim, and for a lower price than the Sorento, making it the better option.
Chevy’s Equinox has a well-laid-out interior, with steering wheel-mounted controls, a center stack of infotainment and climate controls which are easy to use, and the driver’s display is a good size for visibility. Standard options for all 2020 Equinox buyers are features like cruise control, a 60/40 split rear seat which folds flat, keyless open and start, a manual tilting and telescoping steering column, powered windows and locks, and a rear window defogger. Upper trims offer additional features such as heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, two-tone interior color options, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver’s seat memory functions, and remote start.
Kia’s Sorento also has an attractive layout for the driver’s command center, with a similar type of center stack for the infotainment and climate control and a bright display for driver’s information. Standard features for the interior of the 2020 Sorento are powered windows and door locks, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, sliding and auto-folding second-row seats, 40/20/40 split second-row seat, and 50/50 split third-row seat. Upper trim options include a smart key with push-button start and engine immobilizer, leather upholstery and seating, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, and driver’s seat memory functions.
For both vehicles, the rear seats fold down for more cargo space when needed, though the third row of the Sorento may only be good for cargo unless you have very small children. The Sorento’s cargo area behind the third row is only 11.3 cu.ft., which is smaller than an average sedan trunk size, in comparison to the Equinox's 29.9 cu.ft. So if you plan to travel with passengers in all of the available seven seats, you won’t have much room for luggage in the Sorento. That said, if you need tons of great features along with perfect distribution of space, the Equinox is the best choice.
In our modern age, technology has become so integrated with our daily lives; it almost goes without saying that new vehicles need to incorporate it to stay relevant in the market. Fortunately, the Equinox and Sorento both incorporate technology into the interior and safety features of these SUVs, even for the base trim levels. In some ways, the Equinox and Sorento are well-matched for tech, but then when it comes to the driver-assisted safety features, they will diverge quite a bit.
Standard tech features for the Equinox include excellent connectivity with Bluetooth, 4G LTE hotspot, two power outlets in the front and back of the cabin (including one in the rear cargo area), two charging ports for the rear seats, Chevy Connected access, a six-speaker audio system, a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice command pass-through, and OnStar capability. Upper trim options will add HD radio, a rear-seat infotainment system with or without a DVD player, Sirius XM radio trial, universal home remote, universal tablet holder, a premium Bose seven-speaker audio system, and wireless charging.
In contrast, the Sorento standard tech is also generous with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a USB auxiliary jack, a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, and four 12-volt outlets for charging located throughout the cabin. Upper trim tech features include wireless charging, UVO link with voice-command controls for navigation and audio systems, and a premium Harmon Kardon stereo system. With that, the technology is relatively similar between the two vehicles and will satisfy most modern drivers. But the Equinox's inclusion of a back-seat entertainment system does allow it to pull ahead.
Where safety is concerned, the Equinox takes the cake again. Driver-assisted safety features are becoming the norm for any new vehicles on the market. Chevy has made it their business to incorporate these safety features on even the base trim for the Equinox. Kia has a few electronic features on the base trim, but nowhere near the comprehensive safety suite of the Equinox.
On the base trim, the Equinox sees features like automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, following distance indicator, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, a rear camera, rear seat reminder, and teen driver. Upper trims see features like HD rear vision camera, HD surround vision, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a safety alert seat, OnStar Safety and Security, and lane change alert with side blind-spot alerts. That’s a lot of safety features.
The Sorento's base trim includes a rear camera, a rollover sensor, electronic traction and stability control, hill start assist, and a brake assist system to add more brake pressure when the system senses it is needed. This list is far shorter than the standard options for the Equinox. In all fairness, the next trim level does include three driver-assisted safety features, but that still pales in comparison to what the Equinox includes for every trim level.
It takes going to the upper trims on the Kia to gain these features: blind spot collision avoidance-assist, blind spot collision warning, driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance, smart cruise control with stop and go, surround-view monitor, and parking distance warning for front and rear. That said, the Equinox offers many of these features earlier on in its trims, making it the safer and better-equipped vehicle.