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A grey 2020 Honda CR-V, which wins when comparing the 2020 Honda CR-V vs 2020 Chevy Equinox, is driving past an ocean inlet.

A Fierce Competition Among Compact SUVs: 2020 Honda CR-V vs 2020 Chevy Equinox

Compact SUVs are among the most versatile vehicles on the market thanks to their size, affordability, and features. This is also what makes them among the most popular vehicles on the road today, but which two compact SUVs are the most awarded, and how do they fare against one another? We’ve answered that question in this comparison of the 2020 Honda CR-V vs 2020 Chevy Equinox.

In terms of awards, the Honda CR-V and the Chevy Equinox are top in their class. The Honda CR-V is widely considered the benchmark for crossover SUVs thanks to its modern styling and powerful turbocharged engine. This has earned it several awards, including the “2020 Best Buy Compact SUV” from Kelley Blue Book and the “2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money” from US News and World Report. The Equinox, which is Chevy’s second best-selling vehicle, enjoys similar praise as JD Power’s “Most Dependable Compact SUV” three years in a row.

Beyond their many awards, the 2020 Chevy Equinox and the 2020 Honda CR-V offer many similarities. This makes comparing the vehicles especially helpful. That’s why we’ve broken down the models to compare trim packages and pricing, safety features, and technology.

Trim Packages and Pricing

One of the most popular aspects of both the 2020 Honda CR-V and the 2020 Chevy Equinox is their affordable price tags. The Honda CR-V base trim, the LX, starts at $25,150, and the Chevy Equinox base trim, the L, starts at $23,800. The models are incredibly affordable and offer plenty in terms of comfort and features. Let’s look at the other trims in the Honda CR-V and Chevy Equinox lineups.

The 2020 Chevy Equinox LS is a step up from the base model and starts at $26,300. The LS features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, LED daytime running lamps, and Teen Driver Technology. From there, Chevy offers the Equinox LT that starts at $27,500 and features heated driver and front passenger seats, upgraded high-intensity discharge headlights, and a power driver seat with lumbar support. The Chevy Equinox Premier is the top of the line and starts at $31,400 with leather heated front seats with driver memory, a hands-free power liftgate, and 18-inch bright aluminum wheels.

The next step up from the 2020 Honda CR-V LX base model is the EX that starts at $27,660 and includes dual-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a blind spot information system. The EX-L is the next trim, starting at $30,150 and featuring a leather-trimmed interior, a power tailgate, power-adjustable seating, and an automatic dimming rearview mirror. The Touring trim is the top of the line and starts at $33,350 with a hands-free access power tailgate, wireless phone charging, and a heated steering wheel, among other features.

Engine and Performance

A red 2020 Chevy Equinox is parked in front of a low stone wall and blue sky.

When it comes to performance, the 2020 Honda CR-V and the 2020 Chevy Equinox go head to head with capable engines, modern all-wheel drive systems, and smooth-shifting transmissions. However, while the CR-V has a slight edge in fuel economy, the Equinox takes a definite lead when it comes to raw power and towing ability. Now, let’s talk about engines and performance.

Honda made a significant upgrade to the 2020 CR-V by making the formerly optional 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection engine standard across all four trims. The long-running 2.4-liter engine is no longer available, which means more power and better fuel economy for the 2020 CR-V lineup. The now-standard 1.5-liter turbocharged engine offers 190 hp at 5,600 rpm and 179 lb.-ft torque at 2,000 rpm.

The 2020 Chevy Equinox also comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection engine, but the Chevy design produces 170 hp at 5,600 rpm and 203 lb-ft torque at 2,500 rpm. These figures make the two engines fairly comparable, with the CR-V offering a bit better performance at high speed while the Equinox has the edge at quick acceleration.

However, if power is desired, then the Equinox also offers a far more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection engine as an option. This engine produces 252 hp at 5,500 rpm and 260 lb-ft torque at 2,500 rpm. Further, it is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission instead of a continuously variable transmission, providing a more engaging driving experience. Not only does the 2.0-liter engine offer unmatched speed and acceleration, it also allows the Equinox to tow up to 3,500 lbs while the CR-V can only manage 1,500 lbs.

Safety Features

Chevy and Honda are both committed to safety with an array of features on the Equinox and the CR-V, most of which overlap. All new 2020 Equinox models come standard with Chevy Safety Assist, which includes six advanced safety technologies that help drivers detect and prevent potential accidents before they occur. Honda offers the Honda Sensing package that features various collision warnings and a collision mitigation braking system.

The 2020 Equinox and the 2020 CR-V include standard lane keep assist and lane departure warning to help drivers avoid crashes from unintentionally drifting out of the lane. However, the Equinox also comes standard with a following distance indicator and automatic emergency braking, which help prevent front-end collisions. The higher trims of these two SUVs are even better equipped with blind-spot warnings and adaptive cruise control, offering convenience and peace of mind on the highway.


The dashboard in a 2020 Honda CR-V is shown.

Much like their safety features, the Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V do not disappoint in terms of technology. The models offer a long list of intuitive technology features that allow you to seamlessly and effortlessly integrate your smart devices at the touch of a button. But is it really that easy? Let’s find out.

The 2020 Chevy Equinox features the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 with an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that makes connectivity easier than ever before. The Equinox also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as an available wireless charging system and six USB ports that give new meaning to technology on the go. The features don’t stop there with the Equinox offering a rear-seat reminder that reminds you with five audible chimes and a message in the Driver Information Center to check the backseat. For teen drivers, Chevy pulled out all the stops with Teen Driver Technology that acts as an assistant by activating enhanced safety features and providing an in-vehicle report to show how the teen performed during each trip.

Much like the Equinox, the 2020 Honda CR-V offers plenty in terms of connectivity and technology. The hub of technology is the Display Audio touchscreen that comes standard on the EX and above models. The CR-V also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as seamless connectivity through a front USB port. This makes playing your music and receiving phone calls even easier, but what really sets the CR-V apart is its powerful 330-watt premium audio system with nine speakers that deliver high-quality sound.

Making Your Decision

If you’re in the market for a compact SUV, the 2020 Honda CR-V and the 2020 Chevy Equinox are solid choices and offer many similarities in terms of pricing, performance, safety, and technology. A few other things to consider before you make your purchase are the Equinox’s larger interior cabin, higher tow rating, and optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. On the other hand, the Honda CR-V does offer a slightly better fuel economy. However, it is hard to go wrong with either option, and there is a reason why these are considered two of the best SUVs on the market.

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