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Equinox vs Escape: Which Is The Best Affordable SUV For 2022?

Pricing for compact SUVs is as competitive as ever. When deciding on what you want to buy and why, there are a plethora of options out there for you, especially in the subcompact, compact, and midsize SUV space. Nearly every major manufacturer is gunning for your wallet and vying for your patronage when it comes to SUV market share, especially in the Ford versus Chevy circles. But the highly competitive market segment can’t see every challenger and competitor as the winner. Some nameplates will have to be left on the dealership show floor as shoppers pick one vehicle over the other. In the compact SUV space for the latest model years between Ford and Chevy, there is an ongoing debate about which one customers should opt for between the 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Ford Escape?

If we’re talking about entry-level SUV trims and packages or pricing for those who want a complete vehicle that’s either brand new or Certified Pre-Owned, they’re not left standing on the sidelines with missing features or key components. But which one is better? Well, better is relative to the consumer’s budget. More specifically, what are you willing to spend, and how much are you looking to save for a 2022 model year? Well, if you need a breakdown of the pricing, features, and comparisons of entry-level options, you’ve come to the right place.

Equinox vs Escape: Starting MSRPs

The starting MSRP for both vehicles is fairly reasonable. Both compact SUVs start well under the $30,000 mark. This is good news for those of you looking to buy something affordable, with the option to scale up as you see fit. Both SUVs come in multiple trim formats at varying prices, depending on what you want. For both the 2022 Chevy Equinox and 2022 Ford Escape, the base MSRP for each trim is listed below:

2022 Equinox

  • Equinox LS: $25,800
  • Equinox LT: $26,900
  • Equinox RS: $30,100
  • Equinox Premier: $31,000

2022 Escape

  • Escape S: $26,760
  • Escape SE: $28,095
  • Escape SEL: $30,470
  • Escape Titanium: $36,880

A silver 2022 Ford Escape Titanium Hybrid is shown during a 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Ford Escape comparison.

What Do the Base Trims Have That the Other Doesn’t?

If you’re eyeing the top-end trims of either SUV, then it doesn’t really matter what either vehicle lacks. You get everything you could want with the Premier and Titanium trims, from leather-appointed power seating and an available moonroof to SiriusXM satellite radio and surround-sound audio systems. But the LS, LT, S, and SE trims are the ones where the features are a little more variable, and this can alter their prices based on what you get, what you want, and what you need.

With the base Equinox LS and Escape S trims, both come with all the basic entry-level safety and powertrain features. While the Escape S comes with a 4.2-inch digital driver information display cluster, the Equinox LS comes with a smaller 3.5-inch information center. You can, however, upgrade to an optional 4.2-inch driver information cluster on the LS, and the larger driver display comes standard on the Chevy’s LT trim. This all goes back to what you want, what you need, and what you’re willing to pay for when it comes to some of these features.

On the flip side, the Escape S only features the basic Ford SYNC technology, but it does not come with the capacitive touchscreen that’s available with the SYNC 3 tech for the SE and higher trims. The Chevy Equinox LS trim, however, does come standard with a touchscreen display. As part of the Chevrolet Infotainment System, the Equinox LS sports a 7-inch touchscreen display unit with Bluetooth, voice-activated controls, media support, and access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Both vehicles also come with their own unique safety systems, with the Escape using the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite and the Equinox utilizing the Chevrolet Safety System. The difference between the two is that every Equinox trim comes with the Teen Driver mode, whereas the Escape does not have that feature available for any trim. Where the Escape does get the leg-up on the Equinox is that the S trim comes with standard features such as blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, as well as lane change alert systems. Those are available features for the Equinox LS but standard on the Escape.

How Much Would It Cost for the Missing Features?

The benefit of trims is that each trim gives you the option to scale up based on what you need and want. Maybe the base trims are just missing some key features you want, such as adaptive cruise control or power driver and passenger front seats? Well, you can either upgrade to the next trim or take advantage of optional packages, which can add the missing features for a price.

Comparing the 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Ford Escape, you can get additional luxury, safety, and infotainment features for both via either upgrading to the next trim in the lineup or by buying a package or two. For the Equinox, for instance, if you wanted the 4.2-inch digital driver information display unit, you could purchase the LS Convenience Package for $785. Additionally, if you want the cross-traffic alert and blind zone alert safety features, those are available as part of the Driver Confidence II Package, which would run you $395. You can purchase either package separately or together if you want.

In the case of the Escape’s S trim, if you want an upgraded infotainment system like the Equinox LS trim comes with, you’re fresh out of luck. Want extra power driver or passenger seats? No luck. Want additional safety features? No such luck. If you want the features available in the LS Convenience Package for the Equinox, which includes an 8-way power driver seat with lumbar support, the 4.2-inch driver information screen, and deep-tinted rear glass, you would have to upgrade to the SE trim to access those features.

A red 2022 Chevy Equinox RS is shown driving during a 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Ford Escape competition.

How Much Do You Save Between the Equinox and Escape?

Obviously, comparing the 2022 Equinox vs 2022 Ford Escape favors the Equinox across the board in terms of savings. Why? Because the base entry-level Equinox LS trim is nearly $1,000 cheaper than the Escape, and you get additional features like Teen Driver and a touchscreen infotainment suite right out of the box. Maybe that does or does not make or break your intentions to purchase one over the other, but you then get far more features if you add on the Driver Confidence II Package and the LS Convenience Package. That brings the total price of the LS up to $26,980.

If you want the equivalent features for the LS with the Driver Confidence II Package or LS Convenience Package, you would have to get the Escape SE trim, which would bring your price up to $26,980. So that still makes the Equinox LS cheaper than the Escape SE, even with two additional packages added to the total price. Getting all the same features for over $1,000 less means the Equinox is an even better buy for your money.

The basic rundown is that both compact SUVs offer a lot at competitive pricing. However, you can squeeze by with the Equinox for a lower price, and the available packages let you add whatever you feel might be missing. Even with the package add-ons, you still end up paying less for the Equinox LS or LT than for the Escape S or SE. So that’s definitely something to consider if you’re shopping for a compact SUV and looking to get the most for as little as possible.