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A red 2023 Chevy Blazer RS is shown driving on a city street after leaving a Chevrolet dealer.

Equinox or Blazer? Which Chevy SUV Is Right for You?

There is no doubt that SUVs are popular, and Chevy is capitalizing on their popularity. Visit a Chevrolet dealer, and you’ll find no fewer than eight different SUV models on the lot. Of course, this means that there is a lot of overlap in the lineup. If you want a subcompact, you have to choose between the Trax and Trailblazer, and if you want a three-row model, then the Traverse, Tahoe, and Suburban are all options. However, the hottest segment right now is the compact SUV, and when it comes to these middle-of-the-road Goldilocks models, Chevy gives you two choices: the Equinox and the Blazer. But which one is right for you?

Between these two models, the Blazer is positioned as the more upscale option. It is bigger, has more powerful engine options, and wears a considerably higher price tag. In contrast, the Equinox is the practical choice, and its affordability has made it Chevy’s single best-selling SUV option by a wide margin. In practice, though, these two models are closer than you might expect, offering a similar level of versatility and sharing many of the same features. So which one makes the most sense for your budget and lifestyle?

How Much Room Do You Need?

Perhaps the single most important question when car shopping is figuring out how much room you need. If you don’t have enough passenger and cargo space in your SUV, it can make your life a real hassle. The Equinox and the Blazer are two-row SUVs with seating for five passengers, and despite the larger size of the Blazer, they offer nearly identical amounts of cargo space. In the back of the Equinox, you will find 29.9 cu.ft. of cargo volume, while the Blazer provides 30.5 cu.ft.––not a huge difference. Fold down the back seat, and the story remains the same: 63.9 cu.ft. for the Equinox and 64.2 cu.ft for the Blazer. So if you need more space than the Equinox provides, stepping up to the Blazer won’t cut it––you will need to opt for the three-row Traverse to fit more passengers or cargo.

Now, you might expect that the Blazer simply used its larger size to provide roomier passenger accommodations at the cost of cargo space, but a quick look at the numbers proves this isn’t exactly the case. The wider stance of the Blazer does give you an inch or two more shoulder room and hip room, but when it comes to head room and leg room, these two SUVs are again nearly identical. In fact, the Equinox actually offers a touch more front headroom and rear legroom, although the difference is measured in fractions of an inch and is unlikely to be noticeable in person.

A set of golf clubs are shown in the trunk of a red 2023 Chevy Blazer RS.

A Difference in Power and Efficiency

The real, quantifiable differences between the Blazer and Equinox come down to the available engines. As a more upscale and somewhat sporty model, the Blazer offers considerably more power than the Equinox. On the other hand, the down-to-earth Equinox will provide you with better fuel efficiency than the Blazer can supply. Which one matters more to you will likely play a large role in deciding between these two Chevy SUVs. If possible, try to test drive the two models back to back at a Chevy dealer so you can get an accurate feel for the differences in acceleration.

The 2023 Chevy Equinox comes standard with a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder across its lineup. This engine has been upgraded slightly for the new model year and now produces 175 hp instead of 170 hp. Despite the added power, this still isn’t the fastest vehicle on the street, taking nearly nine seconds to reach 60 mph. The Equinox will also fall short if you need to do any towing. While it can be equipped with a tow hitch, it tops out at 1,500 lbs of towing capacity, which will limit you to very small trailers.

In contrast, the 2023 Chevy Blazer offers two different engine options. There used to be a third option that was more comparable to the engine in the Equinox, but it was discontinued after the 2021 model year to improve the Blazer’s sporty character. For 2023, the base engine is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 228 hp. That’s enough power to give the SUV a zero to 60 mph time in the seven-second range and will allow it to tow up to 3,250 lbs.

The second engine option for the Blazer is a 3.6L V6. This engine is not available on the base 2LT trim and only comes standard on the RS trim, but it is worth the added cost if you want a more powerful SUV. With 308 hp, a V6 Blazer can accelerate to 60 mph in the low six-second range and tow up to 4,500 lbs. In real-world terms, that means you have plenty of passing power on the highway and can easily haul a small camper or boat. If that appeals to you, then the Blazer is the clear choice over the Equinox.

Of course, there is the inevitable downside of more power––greater fuel consumption. While the 2023 Equinox is rated for up to 28 MPG combined, the Blazer is a much thirstier vehicle. With the base 2.0L engine, the Blazer can achieve an estimated 25 MPG combined, while the even larger V6 engine tops out at just 22 MPG combined. With the current high gas prices, that could add up to a several hundred dollar difference in fuel bills every year. Still, that’s the price of power.

Plentiful Features in Both Options

The good news if you are interested in the Equinox is that despite its low price tag, it is loaded with many of the same standard features as the Blazer. Both models come standard with the Chevy Safety Assist suite, a collection of driver-assist technologies designed to help prevent accidents and stress on the road. Both models also come standard with the Chevy Infotainment 3 system, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, where the Equinox offers either a seven-inch or eight-inch touchscreen interface, the 2023 Blazer has a standard 10.2-inch display. So you do get some extras for your money if you pony up for the more expensive SUV.

A similar story is seen throughout the interiors of these two Chevy models. In most cases, you can get the same features in both vehicles, but the Blazer has a longer list of standard equipment. For instance, the 2023 Blazer has standard dual-zone automatic climate control––a feature that is only found as a higher-trim option in the 2023 Equinox. And while the Equinox tops out with a seven-speaker Bose sound system, the Blazer offers an eight-speaker Bose setup. The Equinox is far from a bare-bones budget model, but the Blazer is undeniably a touch more luxurious.

A red 2023 Chevy Equinox RS is shown parked in the mountains.

Which One Should You Choose?

There is a lot of overlap between the Blazer and the Equinox, and most drivers will find themselves pleasantly surprised by either option. If five seats and roughly 60 cu.ft. of cargo space are enough for your needs, then both SUVs are worth considering. However, these models have different personalities. The Equinox is frugal, giving you a lot of bang for your buck with its affordable pricing and solid fuel economy. The Blazer is flamboyant, with its powerful engine options, extra luxury features, and––let’s be honest––more attractive styling. Which Chevy SUV is the better fit for you will depend on what you desire out of your next vehicle.