Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2023 Chevy Equinox is shown driving on an open road during a 2023 Chevy Equinox vs 2023 Honda CR-V comparison.

A Buyer’s Challenge: 2023 Chevy Equinox vs 2023 Honda CR-V

Deciding to purchase a new SUV is the fun part; trying to decide which one can be a bit tougher. For many buyers, it often comes down to two similar vehicles. When this happens, a list can help you decide and make an informed decision.

Take, for instance, a 2023 Chevy Equinox vs a 2023 Honda CR-V. They are great-looking small to midsize SUVs with similar curves and performance features. However, while the 2023 Chevy Equinox can be yours starting at $26,600, you’d have to spend over 30K to pick up the 2023 Honda CR-V. So there has to be something going on. Where is that extra five grand or so going? Is it on features you need or don’t need? Overall is it worth it?

To make your day a little easier, we’ve gotten a headstart on comparing the 2023 Chevy Equinox and the 2023 Honda CR-V to see where exactly that extra 5k is going. Is it going to much-desired performance and safety features or just extras you could do without? Doing your homework is essential when you’re shopping for a new vehicle. It can help you save money and pay only for the features you want or help you avoid extras you know you’ll never use.

A close up of the side of a red 2023 Chevy Equinox RS is shown.

The Basics

The SUV and crossover craze began in the mid-1990s and has shown no sign of slowing down. This can be a great thing because of all the competition between car companies to make newer, better, more efficient vehicles, but it can also make buying an SUV more challenging. There are many similar vehicles out there. When you’re on the look for a new SUV, looking at the basics can really help narrow the field.

The 2023 Chevy Equinox begins at $26,000. You can expect a light refresh for the 2023 Equinox, which means drivers get a reliable, updated vehicle that’s budget-friendly. Drivers get a standard Turbocharged 1.5L engine that gives them 26/31MPG city/highway. This engine delivers more horsepower and torque than the previous year. Performance-wise, the Equinox is top-notch when it comes to responsive steering and smooth handling. While front-wheel drive comes standard on the Equinox, drivers can opt for switchable all-wheel drive.

But let’s not forget about the Equinox’s challenger, the slightly larger midsize 2023 Honda CR-V. The Honda CR-V has also gotten an overhaul for the new year, reflected in the higher price tag of $31,110. It’s worth noting that the 2023 CR-V is the first in the sixth generation. This fact might raise a few flags for drivers simply because the first year of a generation can often have mechanical issues or recalls that need to be fixed. Often it’s thought a wiser decision to buy a model near the tail end of a generation because they are more likely to have the kinks worked out. The 2023 CR-V is a great-looking vehicle with a standard 1.5L engine and a fuel economy of 28/34 MPG city/highway. Front-wheel drive comes standard, but drivers can choose to upgrade to all-wheel drive for enhanced performance.

Something else that can be overlooked but is also essential is a vehicle’s cargo space and overall interior comfort. The 2023 Equinox has a roomy cabin that seats up to five passengers with a large cargo area. There’s room for everyone and everything with up to 63.9cu ft of cargo space. The CR-V was redesigned with a larger wheelbase for 2023, so while this might give the SUV more cargo, 76.5cu ft, with the seats folded down, it also means you’re getting a bigger vehicle overall. Additional size could be ideal or not, depending on your driving situation. If overall space for hauling is what you’re looking for, the CR-V delivers. However, if comfort is top on your list, the Equinox is there when you need it, making it a compact, versatile vehicle for an active family.

All The Trimmings

While the Equinox and CR-V deliver a great basic model that any driver would enjoy owning, both offer great special editions and trim packages that drivers can choose from to customize their ride to their needs.

Chevy brought back two special editions for 2023: The head-turning Midnight edition, composed of glossy black trim, tires, and emblems, and the sporty Redline Edition, which offers a sharp white body with sleek red and black detailing that carries over into the interior. Drivers can take their experience to a new level with the Redline Edition’s black window surrounds, Black Ice interior, and 19-inch all-season Blackwall tires.

The Equinox has four great options if you’re looking at trim levels. The standard LS begins at $26,600. Even at a base level, the Equinox is a great buy, coming loaded with the Chevy Safety Assist suite that has you covered from all sides. Its Teen Driver Technology is a feature that really helps the Equinox stand apart from the competition. When a teen starts driving, peace of mind can be priceless for parents. The Equinox’s Teen Driver Technology lets parents limit speed and music volume to help their teens develop responsible habits behind the wheel.

From the base LS, drivers can level up to the LT, which starts at $27,700. This trim offers a few more interior features, like a driver seat with lumbar support, which can be ideal if you spend a great deal of your time behind the wheel on a daily basis. The RS model is new for 2023 and is one level up from the LT, and can be yours for $30,700. You get more driver assist features like a power liftgate and front and rear park assist. The Premier is the top trim level for the 2023 CR-V, costing $31,800, only a little more than the base model for the 2023 Honda CR-V. The Premier delivers when it comes to tech options, advanced safety features, and all-around performance.

As we stated above, the 2023 Honda CR-V base level, the EX trim, begins at $31,100. You get features like 18-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights. However, any extras, like a power lift tailgate that you’d get on higher Equinox trim levels, aren’t available. For those additions, drivers will have to upgrade to the EX-L package starting at $33,760, which offers features like the power liftgate, wireless phone charger, and adjustable driver’s seat with two-way memory. Overall the EX-L offers nearly the same features as the less expensive EX.

The CR-V offers a trim level that Equinox does not have in its Sport Touring Hybrid. This model can take drivers farther on less, plus deliver up to 204 hp, smashing the rumors that hybrids aren’t as powerful as the gas-drinking competition.

A grey 2023 Honda CR-V is shown from the side driving on a city street during a rain storm.

Safety Is Always First

One thing that both Chevy and Honda can agree on is safety, and a lot of it. Both the 2023 Chevy Equinox and the 2023 Honda CR-V boast a handful of first-class safety features.

The Equinox comes standard with Chevy Safety Assist, which delivers all the features drivers want in a car. It comes with Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, plus Front Pedestrian Braking. Both features help prevent or reduce potential collisions. At the same time, Lane Keep Assist With Lane Departure Warning and a Following Distance Indicator assist drivers on long road trips or mundane everyday commutes by alerting them if they’re drifting from their lane or getting too close to the car ahead of them. If night driving stresses you out, Chevy is on it with Intelli Auto High Beam Assist, which can auto-dim your headlamps when it senses approaching traffic, so all you have to focus on is driving.

The CR-V comes equipped with Honda’s Sensing Suite, a range of safety features including Collision and Road Departure Mitigation systems. The features help prevent accidents, apply brakes when collisions appear unavoidable and make you a safer driver by helping you stay in your lane during long drives.

Take Home

Comparing two sleek, sporty SUVs and picking the best one isn’t easy. On the one hand, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly compact SUV that gives you the most bang for your buck, you’ve got to go with the Chevy Equinox. However, what if you’re looking for a hybrid? Or just a tad more space for hauling? Then the CR-V has you covered with a long wheelbase and hybrid option. It all depends on what you want to spend your money on, and if you think a little more space and performance are worth it.

The good news? With such a diverse compact and midsize SUV market, there is something for everyone’s lifestyle and budget. What is the best way to choose? Get behind the wheel and test drive one to find out; until then, it’s all just research. For drivers across the globe, there is no substitute for an in-person experience. Your top choice might fall to the bottom of your list if you don’t like how it handles or if it’s just too big, while a crossover you were on the fence about might suddenly be your #1 choice.