For as long as we can remember, Ford and Chevy have been locked in one of the most classic battles in the automobile industry, but how does this decades-long rivalry translate to the compact SUV segment—one of the most competitive segments in all the industry? The Ford Escape is all-new for the 2020 model year, so the competition has tightened, as the Escape was starting to show its age, but is it enough to overtake Chevy’s compact offering, the Equinox? Well, that’s a good question. The compact segment is filled with many good options as the compact SUV is one that offers more utility for the price than almost any other segment in the industry, so let’s see which one of these takes the crown in this comparison: 2020 Chevy Equinox vs 2020 Ford Escape.
While the Ford Escape is all-new, the Chevy Equinox is only a couple years into its recent generation. This can be an advantage for the Equinox as buyers have more information available on the Equinox in terms of resale value and dependability, so making an informed decision can be an easier proposition with the Equinox. With the new Escape, you hope they have worked out all of the kinks, but you never know. This competition is so close; you will want to look at the small things when deciding between these two SUVs. So let’s get into the nuts and bolts and see how these two compare and if either one is able to overcome the fierce brand loyalty these automakers inspire.
Beginning with the powertrains offered, it becomes apparent just how close this competition actually is. Their offerings nearly mirror each other. The 2020 Chevy Equinox base engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, you can expect to return 26/31 MPG. This is a great base engine as it provides excellent power and impressive fuel efficiency. You will not find many base engines with more torque in this class—the 2020 Ford Escape counters with a similar engine for its base powertrain. Here you will find a 1.5-liter EcoBoost inline-3 with 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency is also impressive at 27/33 MPG. Both engines provide an impressive combination of fuel efficiency and power, with the Equinox taking the edge in torque.
If you are looking for more power from these two SUVs, they both have good options. The 2020 Chevy Equinox employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and with an impressive fuel rating of 22/29 MPG. This is a fast engine, and you will not be disappointed with how it gets off the line. You’ll also be impressed with its passing torque on the highway, as well as its impressive tow rating of 3,500 pounds. The 2020 Ford Escape offers a 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-4 with 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque that gets 23/31 MPG. With remarkably similar performance numbers, both the Chevy Equinox and Ford Escape offer intriguing powertrain options.
Stay Safe: Equinox or Escape?
Both the Equinox and Escape come standard with a host of safety features, but the Equinox takes it a step further by including Teen Driver as standard equipment as well. Parents will certainly appreciate this feature. Teen Driver allows you to monitor your kids when they are driving alone. With this feature, you can set a maximum top speed, which will undoubtedly give every parent more peace of mind when their young kids get behind the wheel. You can also make sure that the feature is not disabled and set up other parameters for them. Other standard safety features for the 2020 Equinox include automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and assist plus IntelliBeam automatic headlights. If you are looking for a family SUV, you can’t go wrong with the Equinox. Even with the base model, you will be sure to have the latest in driver-assist technology and safety features designed specifically for you and your family.
The 2020 Ford Escape also includes some safety equipment as standard. Here you will find their Co-Pilot360 suite of safety and driver-assist features. These include post-collision braking, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist. If you want more protection, optional features include parking assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-centering, and an evasive-steering assist.
It is hard to beat the standard Driver Confidence Package, however, offered by the Equinox. It’s an impressive bundle that includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, which are features that check the road ahead for you and ensure there is no danger of a collision with a slowed or stopped vehicle, or if there is a pedestrian in your path. If you do not react to these hazards, the Equinox will brake on its own to avoid a collision. Other features in this package, such as lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, use a camera to watch the lane markings so that if you drift in the lane, the system will alert you, and if you cross the line, it will guide you back into your lane.
The Various Trims
With such a close competition, it’s useful to look at how they compare in terms of their different trims. So let’s go straight to the highest trims for both SUVs and see what they have to offer when they are fully loaded—to see what luxury and convenience options you’ll have to choose from.
For the Chevy Equinox, you can expect a great deal of temptations when looking over the list of options: black perforated leather seating, and 19-inch gloss-black alloy wheels, as well as an 8-inch touchscreen. There’s also an upgrade for driver assists and safety features with a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, and a safety alert seat, which vibrates for many driver alerts. You’ll also find a power-adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats, as well as a Bose premium audio system. So no matter what your needs, you’ll be sure to find many options to outfit your Equinox.
The Ford Escape also brings a list of optional features. Climbing trims will offer a power liftgate, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and navigation. There is also the option to have leather seats, a B&O premium sound system, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and leather-trimmed sport contoured bucket seats. While both the Escape and the Equinox have lots to offer in terms of their highest trims, through all of the additional safety and comfort features, it seems the Equinox comes out on top.
Which One Should You Choose?
For overall performance, it seems almost too close to call. Both SUVs offer nearly identical base and optional engines. However, if you are looking for a hybrid, the Escape is the only one to provide this powertrain. For overall performance, though, both offer solid engines, with the Equinox bringing best-in-class horsepower. With it being so close, buyers will want to consider other options, such as standard safety features, and here is where the Equinox pulls ahead. With a competition this close, it really does come down to the little things, and with the added safety features designed specifically for your family, it’s hard to say no to the Chevy Equinox.