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A turquoise 2021 Chevy Equinox is driving through a city after winning a 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Honda CR-V comparison.

Battle of the Crossovers: The 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Honda CR-V

If you’re wading into the crossover waters hoping to find the best fit for your needs, eventually, you’ll end up comparing two closely matched contenders. This segment, in particular, is loaded with closely matched options. Sometimes, because the differences are so subtle, it’s hard to discern which one offers the most bang for the buck. One of our favorite ongoing which-one-is-better debates is the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Honda CR-V. These two contenders are legendary in their own right, but when it comes down to a feature-by-feature comparison, one ekes out the other in a few important categories. Spoiler alert: it might not be the one you think. Spoiler alert #2: technology is a key factor.

Any good comparison starts with a fair fight. That’s why the Equinox and CR-V are so fun to analyze. They’re both excellent, highly-rated crossovers. Owner satisfaction rates are high, and owners are brand loyal, which is the ultimate sign of quality. The fact that they’re hard to compare makes the process that much more interesting.

If you’re looking for the best compact crossover SUV, consider the Equinox and the CR-V. It may not be obvious to spot the differences, and a lot of buyers don’t have time to compare specs in exhaustive detail. Here, we’ve done the hard work for you, so you can walk away knowing the vehicle you choose truly offers the most for your money: the most value, the most features, and the most safety.

A silver 2021 Honda CR-V is shown from the rear driving next to the ocean.

Pricing at All Trim Levels

We’ll start off with an indisputable Equinox advantage: you’ll pay less when you go the Chevy route. The 2021 Equinox starts at just $23,800. Over at the local Honda dealer, you’ll shell out $25,350 for the base model CR-V. That’s a nearly $2,000 difference, one that will definitely show up in your monthly payment.

We do have to give the CR-V props for fuel economy, though, which is part of the cost-of-ownership equation. The CR-V delivers a 28 MPG rating in the city and a 34 MPG rating on the highway, compared with the Equinox, which delivers 26 MPG city and 31 MPG highway. Is it enough in fuel savings to overcome the higher sticker price? Probably not.

Some buyers want to add all the bells and whistles, which means they’re heading straight for the most expensive trim. Which model offers the most bang-for-the-buck at the high end of the price range? The Equinox wins again, with its Premier trim starting at $31,400. The similarly-equipped Honda CR-V Touring, Honda’s top-end trim, starts at $33,650. Add the optional all-wheel drive powertrain, and the Equinox Premier climbs to $34,295. The CR-V Touring with optional all-wheel drive stands at a price of $35,150.

Standard Safety Features

For the 2021 model year, all Equinox trims come standard with standard Chevy Safety Assist, Chevrolet’s suite of six driver-assist safety systems designed to help drivers avoid collisions and stay safer while on the road. Honda also offers a similar suite of driver-assist systems standard on the CR-V, but it includes just four systems. We certainly give props to both automakers for putting safety first, but more is simply better, in this case.

The Equinox includes Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, and IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist. Adaptive Cruise Control is available as an add-on, as is a Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and High Definition Surround Vision cameras. That’s a lot of features for you to take advantage of.

Honda Sensing equips all CR-V trims with a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and a Lane Keeping Assist System. Honda’s suite is comprehensive, but the Equinox folds in a few extra standard safety features that combine to provide a more robust overall package. It is notable, though, that adaptive cruise control is standard on the CR-V and optional on the Equinox; however, that is more of a luxury feature rather than a necessary safety feature.

The Equinox is equipped with another unique standard safety feature called Teen Driver. Designed to help teens develop safe driving habits, the system allows parents to set a speed alert and limit audio volume. The Buckle to Drive feature mutes the audio completely until seat belts are fastened, a potent cue to help young drivers stay safe. The system also generates a driving report card that parents can review with their teens to reinforce safe driving habits. If you have a new driver, this feature will grant you a certain amount of peace of mind.

A dark blue 2021 Chevy Equinox is parked in a warehouse.


Technology is prominent in most newer vehicles because today’s buyers expect to stay connected and integrate features from their smartphones – like audio streaming and navigation – with the onboard infotainment. Both the Equinox and the CR-V make it easy, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Equinox comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen and an available upgraded 8-inch offering. Onboard Wi-Fi is also standard.

The 2021 CR-V boasts the same 7-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard, except the base LX model, which receives a 5-inch color radio-only screen. The editors at Car and Driver report that Honda’s infotainment system is “frustrating,” while their experience with Chevrolet’s MyLink system “continues to impress with its ease of use and quick responses.” Trust us; this is an important difference. Connectivity and a robust interactive operating system are now a must for most buyers, which means the Equinox may have a significant advantage over the CR-V. Even buyers who don’t pay much attention to their infotainment interface would likely notice the difference in responsiveness since nothing is more frustrating than toggling through a menu that lags.

We continue to marvel at Chevy’s ongoing commitment to improvement, especially because the company’s focus is in areas that have historically not been a strength, like technology. Infotainment and connected technology are great current examples of Chevy’s success. Looking ahead, General Motors is aggressively tackling the electric vehicle market with industry-leading battery technology, another sign that the company is evolving along with consumer demand.

Two Good Vehicles, One Great Choice

The 2021 Chevy Equinox is living proof that Chevrolet is ready to compete with the big-name imports that have traditionally won market share in the crossover category. Imported brands, like Honda, enjoy a reputation for building reliable vehicles that are equipped with cutting-edge technology. Historically, Chevy has suffered from a bit of mistaken identity, as customers classified Chevy models as lower quality, lesser-equipped options.

Often these brand image revamps begin with small cues designed to hint at a company’s effort. With Chevy’s parent company, General Motors, that hint came in the form of a redesigned logo. In January 2021, the company revealed a new corporate logo in tandem with a marketing strategy geared toward an all-electric future.

Why is this significant? This is only the fifth time GM has changed its logo in 113 years. It’s a strong message aimed at a public that is primed for technology-enhanced vehicles, like the Equinox, that make driving safer, more enjoyable, and much more convenient. Choosing the 2021 Chevy Equinox gives buyers the keys to a piece of General Motors’ future. Exciting, indeed.