|5||NHSTA Rating (stars)||4|
|103.5||Passenger Volume (cu.ft.)||101|
Life is often all about getting the balance right. That is why more and more drivers are discovering the benefits of small SUVs and comparing options like the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Nissan Rogue. These versatile vehicles combine the convenience and fuel economy of a compact car with the roominess and safety of a sport utility vehicle. A compact SUV has to be able to give you great fuel economy without taking away from your vehicle's acceleration. Similarly, their compact size makes them convenient for parking in tight spaces without being cramped or lacking sufficient trunk space.
Two of the automakers that seem to have gotten the balance right are Chevrolet and Nissan. The 2021 Chevy Equinox is a great little SUV that has so much to offer drivers, making it ideal for everyone from a first driver looking for a bit of luxury to an older couple who wants to downsize from a full-size SUV. Similarly, the 2021 Nissan Rogue is a sporty compact SUV with many fine features. For example, both models feature their company's respective infotainment, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system on the 2021 Equinox and the NissanConnect system on the 2021 Rogue. However, when it comes down to it, the Chevy Equinox edges ahead in many key areas.
Both Nissan and Chevrolet offer their compact SUVs in a great assortment of trim levels to suit drivers with different lifestyles. However, the 2021 Chevy Equinox clearly offers more options at a better overall price point than the Rogue.
The base trim on the 2021 Nissan Rogue is the S with an MSRP of $25,750. This is almost $2,000 more than the base trim on the 2021 Chevy Equinox L, which has an MSRP of $23,800. Nissan goes on to offer three additional trims of the 2021 Rogue. The SV adds an Intelligent Around View Monitor, ProPILOT Assist safety technologies, and 18-inch alloy wheels for an MSRP of $27,440. The Rogue SL has an MSRP of $32,100 and includes 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a Motion Activated Liftgate, and a Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof. The top trim of the 2021 Rogue is the Platinum. It has an MSRP of $35,530, with built-in navigation, leather seats, and digital gauges on its dashboard.
Not only does the 2021 Chevy Equinox have a lower price point, but it also offers two additional model choices. That is because Chevy offers the 2021 Equinox in two special editions, while there are no special editions of the 2021 Nissan Rogue. The base model Equinox L is followed by the LS with an MSRP of $26,300. This model adds a large number of options, allowing you to customize your Equinox to your needs. The Equinox LT adds high-intensity discharge headlights and a power driver seat with a lumbar control for added comfort for an MSRP of $27,500. The top trim is the Premier, with an MSRP of $31,400. It includes 18-inch bright aluminum wheels, leather-appointed heated front seats, and a hands-free power liftgate.
Chevy also offers two great special editions of the 2021 Equinox. The Midnight Edition is built on the LT trim and adds a Mosaic Black Metallic exterior color, 19-inch black aluminum wheels, a black grille with black surround, black fog lamp bezel and surround, and front and rear black Chevy bowtie emblems. The Equinox Sport Edition is also built on the LT trim and has many of the same special features as the Midnight Edition but a different choice of special exterior colors. Both of these Equinox special editions have an MSRP of $30,485.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox and 2021 Nissan Rogue both have a standard powertrain for all trims. The 2021 Chevy Equinox is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged and intercooled I-4 gas engine. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual shifting mode. The Chevy's engine has a double overhead camshaft configuration (DOHC) with 16-valves in an aluminum engine block. It utilizes direct fuel injection and a turbocharger to produce 170 horsepower and generate an impressive 203 pounds to feet of torque.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue has a larger engine than the Chevy Equinox, but its 2.5-liter I-4 is not turbocharged, so it will feel less responsive. The engine on the Rogue also has a DOHC configuration for its 16-valves, utilizing continuously variable valve timing and direct fuel injection to produce 181 horsepower and 181 pounds to feet of torque. The Nissan engine is also matched with an Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) rather than a traditional automatic transmission. Intended for good fuel economy, CVTs have a reputation for a bland driving experience.
The decision of Chevy to emphasize torque when designing the engine for the 2021 Equinox shows when comparing its towing capability to that of the 2021 Nissan Rogue. While the Rogue can tow only up to 1,350 pounds, the 2021 Equinox can help you tow up to 1,500 pounds of trailer. This is a very impressive figure for a small SUV and adds a bit of extra utility to the Equinox.
Both the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Nissan Rogue are very fuel-efficient. The Rogue has slightly better overall fuel economy figures than the Equinox, although it paid a high price in driving dynamics and vehicle performance to get them. Each is front-wheel drive standard with available all-wheel drive. If you opt for the all-wheel drive, you will get better traction in both vehicles at the expense of a little fuel economy.
The front-wheel drive Rogue gets 27 miles per gallon in city driving and 35 miles per gallon on the highway, while the all-wheel drive model provides 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon in highway driving. In contrast, the front-wheel drive Equinox can get 26 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway, while the all-wheel drive Equinox provides 25 miles per gallon in city driving and 30 miles per gallon in highway driving.
Both Chevrolet and Nissan offer a great suite of active safety features as part of a designed system. The Chevy system is called Chevy Safety Assist, and it is standard on all trims of the 2021 Equinox. Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking will alert you if the system detects a possible collision with a vehicle in front of you and will automatically engage the brakes to reduce the risk or mitigate the damage from a crash. Front Pedestrian Braking works in a similar fashion, except it applies to pedestrians who cross in front of your Equinox.
Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning will alert you if you drift out of your lane and provide subtle steering adjustments to keep your Equinox centered on the road. Following Distance Indicator will let you know if you are following too close to the vehicle in front of you. Finally, Intellibeam auto high beam assist will automatically turn your high beams on when you enter an area with low light and then turn them back off if it detects another vehicle on the road.
Nissan has its own suite of active safety features called Safety Shield that is similar to Chevy Safety Assist. However, its best feature, ProPILOT Assist, is not available on the base model 2021 Rogue S, meaning that you will need to buy a Rogue SV to get this key safety feature. Moreover, the Rogue S does have some excellent safety features like Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Braking, Blind Spot Warning, and Lane Departure Warning.
But while both of these SUVs are filled with modern safety features, only one of them scored a perfect five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Nissan Rogue fared poorly in crash tests, only eeking out a four-star overall rating and receiving a remarkably low two-star rating in the front passenger side collision test.