Car Buyer Labs

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A blue 2021 Chevy Equinox is parked in front of trees after winning the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Toyota RAV4 comparison.

Perfect Family Vehicles: The Chevy Equinox Rises Above the Competition

If your family is growing, many changes need to occur. The three-bedroom house was plenty big when you bought it several years ago, but now you need something with more bedrooms and added space. You will also have to upgrade your vehicle since the old sedan just won’t suffice anymore. The first consideration might be upgrading to a minivan, but that may not be the best choice. While minivans do have a certain appeal to some families, it doesn’t mean they are for everyone. Some people don’t want to drive around a car the size of a minivan but need something that is going to provide enough space for the family and their belongings. That’s where SUVs like the 2021 Chevy Equinox or 2021 Toyota RAV4 come in. But, which one is going to be better for your family?

SUVs are Fun to Drive

Many of you thought we would cover something like safety features, technology, or ride comfort right away. And while those are all legitimate features to look for when shopping for an SUV, you won’t enjoy any vehicle you buy if it isn’t fun to drive. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why families are moving away from the minivan and onto SUVs.

Buying a vehicle is a big deal. It is, after all, one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. That said, you will want something that is going to make you happy, which is why the style, maneuverability, and power of an SUV might be just what you have been looking for. SUVs also often offer better engine choices with more power.

For example, the 2021 Chevy Equinox offers a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that boasts 170 horsepower and is paired with a six-speed transmission. And while front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available on most trims. Driving becomes less of a chore and a lot more fun when you have a little power under the hood. You can also tow up to 1,500 lbs with this engine. While the RAV4 has a slightly larger 2.5-liter engine, it also only has a max towing capacity of 1,500 lbs, so you really don’t get more capability with this option.

Smashing the Competition With Style and Price

A father is next to a grey 2021 Chevy Equinox while two kids sit in the open liftgate.

It’s difficult to hold your head high when you drive something you really don’t like because of how it handles or how it looks. The Chevy Equinox incorporates a functional suspension that absorbs bumps and other road anomalies, making driving a smooth experience. The Equinox also handles better than the average SUV, giving you the confidence to unleash your full driving potential.

Chevrolet gave the Equinox a new front and rear fascias that only add to the sporty and aggressive character. Overall, the Equinox offers drivers sleek lines and a cool exterior that glides through the streets. On the other hand, the Toyota RAV4 also looks sporty but in a different way. The RAV4 has a more square exterior that looks more at home on a truck. If you like a more blocky exterior, then the RAV4 may be for you; however, if you like sleek, aerodynamic style, then the Equinox is the perfect choice all the way.

Not only that, but the Equinox is overall much cheaper than the RAV4. When you have a family, every dollar counts, and Chevy has long been the perfect companion for anyone that wants excellent capability and style while on a budget. Just look at the numbers. The Chevy Equinox starts at just $23,800 for the base model, leaving you with plenty of wiggle room to add the features you want most. Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 starts at $26,150, giving you less space to add features.

SUVs Have Excellent Safety Features

Safety features in vehicles are often overshadowed by features like horsepower, towing capacities, and exterior colors. But when you have children, suddenly, safety features become more important than the latest metallic color available for the model year. Whether you are taking your kids to school, piano lessons, or soccer practice, you want an SUV loaded with safety features that make driving safer.

The list of standard safety features in the Chevy Equinox is long and impressive as Chevy has shown a strong dedication to safety in its recent model releases. Chevy Safety Assist comes standard and provides tons of excellent starting safety features like a Following Distance Indicator, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist. You also get Front Pedestrian Braking, Automatic Emergency Braking, and a Forward Collision Alert. And these are just the standard features! You can also add other exciting features like the Adaptive Cruise Control, High Definition Surround Vision, and the Safety Alert Seat.

If you do happen to choose a RAV4, you will also get some excellent safety features in the form of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This suite of safety features includes similar things like Automatic High Beams, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection. You also get Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, and Road Sign Assist. As you can see, both of these vehicles offer excellent safety features. While we are certainly partial to the Chevy Equinox and its suite of features, we can’t deny that Toyota also delivers in this category.

Pack It All In

As any parent knows, there is a lot of stuff you need to store in your SUV when traveling with the kids. Many families have a huge checklist of things they need to pack when traveling with children, including strollers, diaper bags, and playpens. If you own a sedan, it can be quite difficult to stuff everything you need in the trunk. An SUV is roomy with plenty of cargo space for the items you need.

The Chevy Equinox features a longer wheelbase than the competition, and that translates to plenty of cargo space; a total of 63.9 cu.ft. when all the seats are down, to be exact. It also means there is plenty of room for the family to sit comfortably. The Equinox offers 103.5 cubic feet of total passenger volume compared to 98.9 cubic feet in the RAV4, so your family will experience a roomier ride in the Equinox and still have 29.9 cu.ft. of space to store cargo in the trunk area.

A father and son are at the back of a grey 2021 Toyota RAV4 with a bike on the roof at the ocean on a foggy day.

Amazing and Practical

The best part about choosing an SUV as your family vehicle is all of the exciting modern features you will have at your fingertips. You can enjoy your music, have plenty of room to bring the kids or your friends on a trip, and you get to be in a vehicle that looks good. Plus, modern tech features make driving even more fun.

All Equinox models come with a standard 7-inch touchscreen driven by Chevy’s Infotainment 3 software so you can enjoy Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi capability. The Equinox also boasts four USB ports, two in the front and two in the back, and you can bet those come in very handy when traveling with kids, especially older ones who have their own electronic devices. A six-speaker audio system is standard, but if you choose a higher trim, you can upgrade to an 8-inch touchscreen with a wireless charger, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and an HD radio. The RAV4 also offers many of the same convenience features, but remember that they will also be coming at a higher price tag.

Drive Your Family Around In the 2021 Chevy Equinox

In terms of power, features, and cargo space, the 2021 Chevy Equinox and 2021 Toyota RAV4 are comparable. However, we think that the Equinox offers a better look and a more comfortable interior, all for a lower price tag. The Equinox is priced well below the RAV4, which is a big deal when the two SUVs are so similar.

There are plenty of reasons to justify choosing an SUV over a minivan or sedan for your family. SUVs are a safe, economical, and fun choice when it comes to driving around town, doing errands, commuting back and forth from work, and enjoying long drives in the country on the weekends. The 2021 Chevy Equinox is a true competitor in the SUV market, and it promises to deliver both functionality and value for families. Thanks to vehicles like the Equinox, it’s easy to see why minivans and sedans have dropped in popularity and SUVs have risen to market dominance.