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2020 Chevy Equinox: Making Sense of Mixed Reviews

Chevy has unveiled its practical, everyday driving SUV: the 2020 Chevy Equinox. Designed for mass appeal, this compact but roomy SUV combines the best of many of other models, including fuel economy, a low price, and good driving performance. But the 2020 Equinox has some mixed reviews.

Car shoppers who don’t have independent expertise in the automotive field may be conflicted when they shop at a Chevy dealer for a vehicle that has a mix of very positive and very negative press. How do you make sense of these reviews? Read on for the low-down on where the 2020 Chevy Equinox shines, where it disappoints, and our overall take on this popular car.

The Basics

The 2020 Chevy Equinox is a small SUV designed for everyday versatility and reliable performance. With a 1.5L Turbo engine that yields 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque in its standard build, it’s an excellent choice for city driving that can get you where you need to go with excellent handling. Best of all, it has an enviable fuel efficiency at 28 MPG. And with a starting MSRP of $23,800, the Equinox offers superior savings than even some used cars do.

Whether you need an automobile for your work commute, a family road trip, or daily needs, the Equinox is the well-rounded option for the average driver. Here’s how some big reviewers have responded to the latest Equinox.

A white 2020 Chevy Equinox is shown from the side in front of a modern house.

U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report gave the 2020 Chevy Equinox a glowing review, rating it in the top tier of available compact SUVs. They lauded its excellent gas mileage, stating that it’s among the best fuel economy in its class. The 2020 model also comes with attractive standard active safety features like lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and even pedestrian detection.

The 2020 Equinox’s easy-to-use infotainment system garnered positive praise too. Its attractive interface, touchscreen, and smartphone compatibility are sleek features for such a low-priced base model. Overall, U.S. News & World Report described this Equinox as a great choice for the American driver.

Not that they don’t acknowledge any inherent faults in the Equinox. U.S. News & World Report referenced its somewhat disappointing cargo space at 63.9 cubic feet––admittedly low even by compact SUV standards––as well as tight passenger space. Also, they considered the interior quality sub-par, with a mix of hard plastics and “low-rent” (to use their term) cloth upholstery. However, it’s worth noting that customizable interior upgrades are available, including quality leather seats and better temperature controls. The infotainment system is upgradeable as well.

Despite some of their critiques, U.S. News & World Report still considers the Equinox an excellent SUV. Their consensus was that it’s easy to drive, safe, and reliable. However, other outlets have had different takes.

The Car Connection

The 2020 Chevy Equinox earned a slightly above-average rating from The Car Connection, whose reviewers were disappointed by the lack of a diesel engine option––an offering in previous models years––and its somewhat meager base engine performance. However, they rated the optional Turbo engine upgrade positively, noting its smooth ride and handling. But bear in mind that this review considers paid upgrades from the base model.

As for the positives, The Car Connection acknowledged its great value as a practical, low-cost vehicle. However, they also referred to what you lose when you save money, like an attractive body style. They called the Equinox a vehicle that “leaves no marks––and leaves no impressions.” But bear in mind that styling is subjective, and no car expert can determine what every driver prefers. We personally feel that the 2020 Equinox is an attractive SUV with an affordable price tag.

Kelley Blue Book

A blue 2020 Chevy Equinox is parked on a gravel driveway.

The reviews for the 2020 Chevy Equinox from Kelley Blue Book are the perfect case for mixed reactions to this vehicle. While experts behind KBB’s professional ratings gave it an impressive 4.4-star rating, admiring the 2020 Equinox’s excellent performance and tow rating, many KBB consumers gave the car a lower rating, noting that these perks are only available when you upgrade the Equinox to one of its pricier trims. Experts appreciated new features like the available 9-speed automatic transmission, but aggregate consumer reviews offered reminders that you have to pay more than what the base model offers to truly experience the Equinox at its best.

There’s the occasional very poor review of the 2020 Equinox, as some consumers have relayed experiences like multiple breakdowns and poor suspension. For example, consumer reviewer Danny states that his 2020 model has been “disappointing when compared to the previous model Equinox.” As for its flaws, “cheap carpet and a sagging headliner are two things that come to mind.” Meanwhile, there are other odd reviews, like one by Jade, whose 1-star review states that their Equinox “will not start,” then complains that its sticky gears can’t shift into park properly.

There are other oddities in KBB’s consumer section, like one that states this car is only ideal for specific drivers like “European families of 4.” These reviews may be discouraging to those interested in the 2020 Chevy Equinox. However, these virtually anonymous reviews don’t indicate outstanding need-to-know factors like consumer driving habits and maintenance. They also don’t account for personal taste.

Our Take

So what does the staff at AutoInfluence think of the 2020 Chevy Equinox? We happen to agree with some of the above reviews that this vehicle offers good performance, towing, safety, and infotainment when compared to other compact SUVs. For all its perks, there are a few things that buyers should know about the 2020 Chevy Equinox.

First is availability. If you visit a local Chevy dealership, you may only find an Equinox with a higher trim, but that’s not unheard of since most drivers opt for a mid-level trim.

Also, while some consumer experiences in reviews can be considered oddities, many 2020 Equinox drivers have complained of the vehicle’s oil waste. Personal accounts state that it uses as much as a quart of engine oil per 1,000 miles. This may conflict with some reviews that call the Equinox a “reliable” compact SUV; when in reality, this is the average for many vehicles.

Overall, we feel that the 2020 Equinox was designed to be upgraded. The price for the base model, which you may not even encounter at your local dealership, seems like an excellent selling point. After all, many uninformed auto shoppers are lured in by low base model prices and often find themselves paying far more down the road.

The available upgrades vastly improve on any flaws. After all, the Premier model, with a 2.0L Turbo engine, 9-speed automatic transmission, and other performance upgrades make it an overall impressive and affordable compact SUV. And its interior upgrades like ventilated seats, premium leather, a Bose 7-speaker audio system, and a heated steering wheel are certainly attractive offers. Best of all, the souped-up model still starts at an attractive $31,400.

So go ahead and shop for a brand-new 2020 Chevy Equinox. Don’t be afraid to customize or upgrade it from the base model, either. The improvements come at an excellent value and a reasonable total price.

Give the 2020 Equinox a test drive, combine it with our carefully weighed reviews of the vehicle, and consider your needs and lifestyle. If the new Equinox is right for you, then you’ll enjoy driving it every day––and your own personal rating matters most.

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