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When looking for a new compact SUV, it makes sense to compare two of the most popular models on the roads and take a look at the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Toyota RAV4. SUVs are a great balance between a truck and a car, giving you good fuel economy, all-weather performance, and a high seating position. More importantly, SUVs generally offer much more passenger and cargo space than both cars and trucks. But with so many SUVs on the market, it makes sense to start with the most popular options.
You likely want a vehicle with plenty of space, great fuel economy, and the latest safety and technology. There are several options out there, but these two competing models provide you with some of the best features available. While both the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 have their good points, in the end, the Chevy model simply offers more for your money. With a similar feature set, more interior space, and a much lower price tag, the 2021 Equinox is a solid option for anyone searching for a compact SUV.
If you're looking for an SUV, style is important. You probably want something modern, with clean lines and the latest features. This is where the 2021 Chevy Equinox comes in. To begin with, this model is available in eight different colors, from the subdued Nightfall Gray Metallic to the hot Cajun Red Tintcoat. Additionally, you can add several different packages to your Equinox, including the Midnight Edition, Redline Edition, and Sport Edition.
The Midnight Edition comes in Mosaic Black Metallic with blacked-out exterior trim, black 19-inch alloy wheels, and black front and rear Chevy bowtie emblems. This imposing exterior is further complemented inside the cabin with optional Jet Black leather seats. The Sport Edition comes in all colors, with many of the same features that the Midnight Edition has. The combination of black trim and bright paint colors can make for a particularly sporty SUV. The Redline package is another unique aesthetic package, providing you with bright red accents on the wheels and badging.
However, the exterior of the Equinox does not stand out for aesthetics alone. You will find plenty of modern convenience features that help make this SUV an even better choice for the family or individual on the go. The available Hands-Free Gesture liftgate will open when you wave your foot under the rear bumper, allowing you to load up the back when your hands are full. The standard LED headlamps and taillights will give you superior visibility on even the darkest nights. Finally, the expansive panoramic sunroof will provide you and your passengers with light and fresh air.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 takes a more outdoorsy appeal with heavy plastic cladding around the wheel wells and more angular lines, so their styles are quite different. It also lacks the optional appearance packages that are available for the Equinox, making it a bit more difficult to stand out from other RAV4s on the road. Like the Equinox, the RAV4 includes LED headlamps and taillights. The RAV4 also offers other modern features on its higher trims, although you will have to pay significantly more to get them. For instance, the Hands-Free liftgate on the Equinox is available on the $27,500 LT trim and standard on the $31,400 Premier trim. However, the RAV4 only offers a similar feature as an option on its $34,680 Limited trim.
When safety is a concern, Chevy's got your back. The 2021 Chevy Equinox has an overall 5-star overall safety rating, and it's packed with standard and optional driver-assist features. Starting with standard driver-assist features, the Equinox has Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, which uses cameras to detect potential front-end collisions and warn you. If you don't heed its warnings, the Equinox will automatically apply the brakes when needed. Additionally, when you do apply the brakes in an emergency, the vehicle will provide additional braking force to bring you to a safe stop.
Similarly, the Equinox comes with Front Pedestrian Braking. This technology works similarly to Automatic Emergency Braking, but it detects people rather than vehicles. Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning will help keep drivers in the correct lane, helping to prevent drifting and side-swiping collisions. This feature is designed to detect unintentional lane drifting, sounding an alert and providing automatic steering corrections. Finally, the Following Distance Indicator monitors traffic flow and works to keep you a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
You can also add several driver-assist features by upgrading to the higher Equinox trims. These include HD rear vision camera or even HD Surround Vision for a clear picture of what is around your vehicle when parking and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert to warn you of vehicles in your blind spot when changing lanes. Adaptive Cruise Control lets you relax in highway traffic, automatically adjusting your speed on the fly to keep pace with the vehicle ahead of you. From top to bottom, the 2021 Chevy Equinox is an incredibly safe and family-friendly SUV option.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 comes with a 5-star overall safety rating, much like the 2021 Equinox, and offers a good suite of driver-assist options. These include a back-up camera, tire pressure warning, lane departure alert with lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking. However, it does not include all the features of the Equinox, such as Chevy's excellent Teen Driver system and Safety Seat technology. Generally, the RAV4 does include many safety features, but the Equinox is better for family driving and comes in at a much more affordable price.
The 2021 Equinox is packed with technology for both convenience and entertainment. Let's start out with convenience features. The 2021 Equinox offers eight-way power-adjustable heated seats for the driver and front passenger. Further, you'll get remote keyless entry and keyless start standard across every trim - no more needing to dig your keys out of your pocket or purse. You can also add towing equipment with Trailer Sway Control to safely use the Equinox's 1,500-pound towing capacity. Finally, the HomeLink garage door transmitter will allow you to open up to three separate garage doors via the click of a button. If convenience is something you're looking for, the 2021 Chevy Equinox won't let you down.
Now, let's look at the Equinox's entertainment features. First off, it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility standards. These tech features make it simple to connect your phone to the Equinox and use its features via the Chevy Infotainment 3 Plus system and the large central touchscreen, which is ideal for audio streaming. Further, Bluetooth connectivity allows drivers to make hands-free calls, and the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot allows multiple devices to connect to the internet at once. Finally, you can add SiriusXM satellite radio and enjoy a trial subscription with your initial Equinox purchase. Thanks to these features paired with active noise cancelation, the Equinox makes it easy to work from your vehicle and entertain your children and guests all at the same time.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 offers many tech features as well. These include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi connectivity, and Bluetooth streaming. However, it falls short in several ways. For instance, push-button start is only available on the higher trims, and the base trim only has a single USB port for charging your electronic devices (the base Equinox has four). Active noise cancellation is also missing, which makes for a lounder cabin at higher speeds. Simply put, the 2021 RAV4 is not as tech-savvy as the 2021 Chevy Equinox, although it does offer some neat tech features.