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A red 2023 Chevy Equinox RS is shown driving on a road after winning a 2023 Chevy Equinox and the 2023 Honda CR-V comparison.

Not Your Average Commuter Vehicle: How the 2023 Chevy Equinox Stacks Up Against the 2023 Honda CR-V

The small crossover SUV segment is a competitive one, full of strong choices for affordable daily drivers. At the top of the pack are the 2023 Chevy Equinox and the 2023 Honda CR-V. As far as rivalries go, theirs is quite fierce as both automakers put up a good fight. In the battle of the 2023 Chevy Equinox vs 2023 Honda CR-V, only one can reign supreme.

Honda’s overhaul of the CR-V for its entrance into the sixth generation is impressive. It has calm and reserved manners on the road, and the revised styling cues put it more in line with the competition. However, there are some drawbacks, such as the underwhelming base turbocharged engine, that keep the CR-V from besting the Equinox.

Let’s dive in and examine the ways in which the Equinox outperforms the CR-V and why it should be high on your list of vehicles to test drive this year.

A blue Honda CR-V Hybrid Sport Touring is shown driving on a highway.


Performance is always a point of contention in the small crossover segment, and the Equinox’s base 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine puts the CR-V’s to shame. This four-cylinder engine generates a maximum power output of 175 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. Variable-Valve Timing (VVT) and Direct-Injection accompany this dual overhead cam setup. It comes paired with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. A 3.87:1 axle ratio is standard, and the four-link rear suspension helps smooth out all manner of road imperfections. Wheel lock-up is reduced by the 16-inch four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, providing improves control while braking on slippery surfaces.

All-wheel drive (AWD) comes standard on all Equinox trim levels, which is something you will not find on all vehicles in this segment. Having AWD on a small crossover provides more stability and traction when you encounter snow, sleet, or rain. It also comes in handy when you go off the beaten path. This AWD system continuously monitors each one of the Equinox’s wheels, adjusting for maximum traction in various driving conditions.

The 2023 Honda CR-V is powered by a base 1.5L turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine. Although it delivers 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, acceleration feels more sluggish than it does on the Equinox. This is both because of the CR-V’s continuously variable transmission instead of a traditional automatic, and the higher torque the Equinox produces. The Hybrid CR-V has a combined 204 total horsepower, 247 lb-ft of torque, and feels stronger thanks to the electric motor assistance. But it costs significantly more, starting at $32,400 instead of the Equinox’s more reasonable $26,600, and does not include AWD as standard equipment like the Equinox.

A gray 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Hybrid is shown driving off-road.

Off-Roading Capabilities

While off-roading might not be something you’d think about doing a lot of in a small crossover SUV, both the Equinox and CR-V can handle a light amount of it. However, with standard AWD, the Equinox has the advantage. The SUV’s 17-inch all-season blackwall tires paired to the aluminum wheels provide ample grip for driving along winding dirt roads.

Although the 2023 Honda CR-V does have a sliver more in ground clearance, 8.2 inches as opposed to the Equinox’s 8.0 inches, it does not offer standard AWD. You will have to pay more to get it equipped, and depending on where you live, that might be necessary.

Towing Capacity

While most buyers do not get small crossovers for their dynamic towing capabilities, this is still something you might want to consider while shopping around. The Chevy Equinox, when properly equipped, can tow up to 1,500 lbs.

Likewise, the Honda CR-V can also tow up to 1,500 lbs. However, it is important to bear in mind that if you choose one of the Hybrid trim levels, that max towing capacity drops down to just 1,000 lbs. That will limit you on what you can effectively tow behind the CR-V.

Interior Design

Both the 2023 Chevy Equinox and the Honda CR-V have spacious cabins, but what separates them is how the interiors are laid out. The materials used in its design feel sturdy, and there are enough soft-touch surfaces to give the Equinox a high-quality vibe. Occupants can enjoy basking in the comfort of some padded seats sculpted for spinal support.

Behind the rear seats, you get enough cargo space to fit about eight pieces of carry-on luggage. The center console has a deep bin that allows for plenty of storage space. Every control you will use on a regular basis is placed within reach from the driver’s seat. What’s more, there are plenty of optional packages and stand-alone features you can tack on to help customize your ownership experience.

As for the 2023 Honda CR-V, it has a slew of standard interior features, but it is hard to customize this vehicle due to the lack of available packages. If you want an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, you will have to buy one of the higher trim levels. You might want to skip the base LX trim since it only offers a manually height-adjustable driver seat. However, the CR-V does offer a bit more room for your cargo than the Equinox.

The black interior and dash of a 2023 Chevy Equinox is shown.


In-vehicle technology is in high demand, and Chevy delivers on this front. There is a standard seven-inch touchscreen display, with an eight-inch model available, that works with the Chevy MyLink infotainment system. Smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard as well. The infotainment system is quite easy to use with a clean interface, and the responses to your inputs are swift. The Equinox also has standard USB connectivity, phone and audio streaming with Bluetooth, an auxiliary input, and 4G LTE onboard Wi-Fi.

Honda tries to keep up with the times, but ends up falling slightly short. A seven-inch color touchscreen display comes standard on the first three trim levels, meaning you have to jump to the mid-tier EX-L to get the nine-inch version. You also have to opt for the EX-L in order to get Qi-compatible wireless charging.

Safety Ratings and Features

Safety is a big deal when it comes to buying a new vehicle. The 2023 Chevy Equinox received a five-star overall rating from NHTSA and multiple ‘Good’ marks from IIHS in their assessments. This crossover comes with a slew of standard safety features, including lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking with built-in pedestrian detection.

The 2023 Honda CR-V has not yet been rated by NHTSA. The 2022 model, the first of this generation, also earned a five-star NHTSA rating, and the 2023 model is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Yet, if you look at the complaints listed on NHTSA’s website, you’ll see more than you should for this new of a vehicle. Complaints already exist regarding forward collision avoidance, the electrical system, and vehicle speed control. So, while the CR-V does have a decent smattering of safety features equipped, not all of them seem to work as they should.

Why the 2023 Chevy Equinox Is the Better Bet

When it comes to practicality and affordability, the 2023 Chevy Equinox has the 2023 Honda CR-V beat. It makes for a solid daily commuter while still being a vehicle in which you can have fun cruising around. With enough ground clearance and standard AWD, this is a compact crossover you can take on or off the beaten track.

The 2023 Honda CR-V isn’t a bad vehicle, by any means. You and your family will be quite safe whether you choose the Equinox or the CR-V. But given that there are already some concerning consumer complaints making the rounds, the CR-V just isn’t quite up to speed with the user-friendly Equinox.