One of the things that a lot of shoppers take into consideration is the cost of scale: How much more can they get for a slight increase in price? Is adding the leather upholstery option worth the price hike? Can you stretch the budget for a larger infotainment suite or a leather-wrapped steering wheel? These are questions that people ask themselves as they consider what’s worth the price—and how much they should pay for these extras. Today, I’m comparing the 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Honda CR-V.
What sort of features can you get in the luxury category of each model—for the cheapest price available? If you were thinking about either compact SUV due to the budget-entry costs, but also thought about scaling up to get the most for your money, I’ll break down both—and whether one may offer more than the other. This includes a look at what sort of luxury features you can tack onto existing trims, or whether going with the top-tier trim is the better option overall. When it comes to cost-to-feature ratios, it’s best to budget for what works for you—and what gives you the best value for your buck. Are additional comfort features or packages worth the price of admission?
Touring vs. Premier: All-in-One Luxury
The 2022 Honda CR-V comes in five different trim formats, with the top-most trim being the Touring. This is the trim that you go with if you want all of the luxury features the CR-V has to offer in one big package. The Touring has a starting MSRP around $36,200, which is quite a significant jump over the 2022 Chevy Equinox’s Premier trim (by more than $5,000). What you get with the CR-V Touring, however, is larger wheels, more tech, and more alluring comfort features.
Specifically, the CR-V Touring sports 19-in. alloy wheels. A heated steering wheel, heated interior seats, as well as wireless charging for Qi-compatible smartphones also comes standard. You have a one-touch power moonroof; leather-trimmed seats; and a special, 9-speaker, 330-watt, surround-sound audio system. The infotainment suite is also slightly larger with the Touring compared to the other trims—offering a 7-in. display touchscreen, as opposed to the 5-in. screen available in the other trims. The Touring also comes standard with the premium Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, which includes a robust traffic and navigation suite for the CR-V.
The Chevy Equinox, meanwhile, offers luxury in the form of the Premier trim. It’s one of four available trims for the Equinox, so you have an easier time with the choices. Basically, they keep it simple: You have the entry-level base trim, the customizable mid-trim, the rugged trim, and the high-end luxury trim. That being said, the Premier has a starting MSRP of about $31,000. So there’s a much lower cost of entry for the Equinox compared to the CR-V. Of course, the big question is, do you get fewer features for the lower price?
Surprisingly, the Equinox Premier trim holds its own against the CR-V. It comes with 18-in. wheels, but you can opt to have glossy 19-in. machined-faced aluminum alloy wheels installed. Heated outside mirrors with turn signals and IntelliBeam headlights come standard, while a power moonroof is available, too. So there is a lot of symmetry between the CR-V and Equinox uppermost offerings.
On the inside, the Premier comes with two HD displays, including a 4.2-in. driver information display unit, and an 8-in. HD display touchscreen. Much like the CR-V, you have wireless integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available Bose surround-sound speaker system and an integrated navigation app suite. The Premier comes with an HD rear vision camera, built-in OnStar support with the Chevrolet Connected Services, a power driver seat with lumbar support, along with fine leather upholstery.
Equinox vs. CR-V: Luxury Packages
If either vehicle seems to be missing certain features, there are ways to compensate for that with the available packages. Equip a few extras when you buy or custom-build your own version of either SUV. If you opt to go with the Honda CR-V Touring trim, the only available packages that you have are some color and exterior additions, as well as utility packages for trailering.
Interestingly enough, if you want the hands-free power tailgate for the CR-V Touring, you will need to tack on the Utility Package B for the CR-V, which will run you an extra $1,615. However, the Equinox Premier includes a hands-free gesture-based liftgate as a standard feature, at no extra cost. So that’s another luxury feature in favor of the Equinox, which also helps keep purchase costs down.
Now, if you did want adaptive cruise control or 8-way power front passenger seating for the Equinox Premier, you will need the Confidence & Convenience II package, which will add around $1,745 to the total costs. The Honda CR-V does have adaptive cruise control as part of its Honda Sensing suite, though. So, this particular feature does favor the CR-V.
The Touring trim for the CR-V also comes with the Honda Satellite-Linked service, whereas the equivalent to that on the Premier trim for the Equinox would be the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System with Navigation. The downside is that you would have to purchase the Infotainment II Package to get your hands on that feature for the Equinox, which would run you $1,125. There is a way around this conundrum for the Equinox, though, which follows.
Customizing Trims for Luxury
When comparing the 2022 Chevy Equinox vs the 2022 Honda CR-V, take a close look at their economical luxury features. The Equinox takes a rather decided lead in one category above the CR-V: customization. With the CR-V, what you see is what you get, for the most part. The various trims do offer utility and color packages. However, if a certain trim doesn’t come with a certain luxury feature, then you’re fresh out of luck.
Remember how the 2022 Equinox has a mid-tier trim designed for customization? That would be the LT trim. With the LT, you can essentially mix and match certain packages to get what you want. If the Premier might be just outside your price range, you can still opt for the LT, which has a starting MSRP around $26,900. It would be equivalent to either the CR-V’s Special Edition, which starts at about $27,600, or the EX, which starts at about $28,910, as a mid-tier trim option. Yet, the big difference between the Chevy’s LT and the Honda’s EX or Special Edition is that you can add luxury features to the LT at fairly low entry costs.
For instance, the LT trim’s Infotainment Package is actually well under $1,000. This set comes with additional USB data ports, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System, and built-in navigation. So, if you really want the navigation support, you can access it via the Infotainment Package with the LT trim—for several thousand dollars less than the CR-V Premier trim. Alternatively, you could go with the base Confidence & Convenience Package for the programmable liftgate and leather-wrapped steering wheel for only $1,795. Or, choose the Advanced Safety Package with HD Surround Vision and adaptive cruise control for just $650.
The scalability of the Equinox is what makes it so economically enticing. If you were interested in a compact SUV with some luxury-oriented features, you could go with the CR-V, but then you would pay more up-front—while still missing out on access to certain features. Alternatively, you could opt for the Equinox and either get all of the luxury-oriented features you want with the Premier trim, or customize the features you want with the LT or RS trims. Thus, the 2022 Chevy Equinox is the more versatile and overall cheaper choice between these two compact SUVs.