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An orange 2023 Chevy Equinox LT is shown from the front at an angle.

The LS or LT: Which Chevy Equinox Trim Level Is Right for You?

When considering which small crossover to buy, the Chevy Equinox might pique your interest with its refined sense of style. The Equinox offers a star-studded array of trim levels—LS, LT, RS, and Premier—all four of which are abundant with attractive features and sophisticated design elements. But which trim fulfills your needs the best?

As you shop for a Chevy Equinox for sale, you’ll need to consider several factors, foremost of which is your budget. The easiest trims on the wallet are the LS and LT; they’re close enough in price and are similar enough to warrant closer scrutinizing. However, there are key areas in which they differ—hence the different names. Knowing these differences can help you decide which trim level to buy.

That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the Equinox’s trim levels. No trim is inherently better than the others, but since everyone is unique—as are their needs—one particular trim will always be subjectively preferential over the others. With that being said, here are four core areas of the LS and LT that warrant discussion: mechanical specs, exterior elements, interior features, and safety technology.

Mechanical Specs

One important thing to know about the Chevy Equinox is that each trim includes the same turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine. It has a maximum power output of 175 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. This engine is a dual overhead cam layout with direct injection and variable valve timing, and it comes matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The available all-wheel drive (AWD) system can simultaneously direct power to all four wheels. This system continuously monitors the SUV’s wheels, adjusting for maximum traction as driving conditions change. When you encounter slick road conditions, AWD gives you more traction to keep you on the road.

Automatic Stop/Start is standard on both the LS and LT trim levels. This turns the engine off when you are at a stop [with your foot on the brake pedal] to conserve fuel. When you remove your foot, the engine automatically reignites. If this feature doesn’t appeal to you, or you find it irksome with time, there is a button you can push to deactivate it.

The one mechanical feature found on the LT that you do not get on the LS is LED daytime running lights. These are helpful since they illuminate when your vehicle is on while the headlights are off; thus, you get some luminance—primarily so other drivers can better detect you—in murky lighting conditions that aren’t harsh enough to require the headlights to be on.

A white 2023 Chevy Equinox is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a dealer that has a Chevy Equinox for sale.

Exterior Elements

A quick glance at the LS and LT might have you thinking they’re indistinguishable from one another. However, the more you look at them, the more nuances you will notice. Both come with automatic headlights, heated power side mirrors, and body-colored door handles. IntelliBeam can automatically dim your Equinox‘s high beams when oncoming traffic is detected, then return them to full luminosity when the road ahead is clear. What’s more, the standard LED headlights enhance low-light driving conditions and better illuminate the environment before you.

A few exterior features are available on the LS that will come standard on the LT. While black mirror caps are standard issues on the LS, they are body-colored on the LT. Rear privacy glass with a deep tint is also available on the LS and standard on the LT.

The bright lower window trim is one thing you do get on the LT but cannot get on the LS. It might not seem obvious at first, but when you take a closer look, this little detail sets the two trim levels apart. On top of that, the LT adds bright moldings and beltlines with bright DLO (Daylight Openings, the glass panels that span the sides of your vehicle).

Additional options for the LT include the ‘Hit the Road’ Package (which adds roof rails and molded assist steps), a black front grille with a matching black surround, and integrated turn indicators in the side mirrors. Mosaic black mirror caps are also available for the LT. All in all, the LT has more options for customizing the Equinox, although the LS provides buyers with a robust foundation.

Interior Features

Chevy outfits the Equinox with a slew of creature comforts for its cabin. Both the LS and LT trim levels come with Active Noise Cancellation, which absorbs and blocks external sound from entering the cabin. Microphones built into the cabin detect undesirable powertrain noise and employ countermeasures to deter that from infiltrating the cabin as well.

Keyless open and keyless start are both standard features. The former lets you keep the key fob in your pocket or purse when locking or unlocking the doors—and you won’t lock your keys inside the car thanks to lockout protection. The latter lets you keep your keys in your purse or pocket to start the Equinox. Altogether, getting into the Equinox and getting it started is super convenient.

Where the LS and LT differ is in terms of power-operated seating. Upgrading to the LT means you get an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support. The LT also has a 4.2-inch driver information display in multiple colors. The driver and front seat passenger get treated to two illuminated vanity mirrors on the visors.

A lengthy list of options is available on the LT. You can opt for a Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. An upgraded version of the Infotainment 3 Plus system (with built-in navigation), dual-zone automatic climate control, and a heated steering wheel are just some of the add-ons you can include on the LT.

The black interior of a 2023 Chevy Equinox is shown from the driver's seat.

Safety Technology

Chevrolet offers a robust array of active and passive safety features on the Equinox. Numerous advanced driver assistance technologies are standard on the LS and LT thanks to the Chevy Safety Assist suite; these include Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Detection, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.

Both the LS and LT trims can give you OnStar and Chevrolet Connected Services for that extra peace of mind while driving. A standard rear vision camera shows you a digital view of what is behind the Equinox, and it offers selectable dynamic guidelines to help you maneuver in reverse.

You can opt for more advanced driver assistance features on either trim level. Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert assists in avoiding other vehicles while changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns you of passing vehicles when your vehicle is in reverse. The LS also lets you opt to equip Rear Park Assist, which, at low speeds, alerts you to objects behind the vehicle when you have it in reverse.

Which Trim Level Has Everything You Need?

It is hard to go wrong with either the LS or LT. Both trim levels are well-equipped with features that keep you comfortable and safe while you go about your daily routine. These two trim levels are fairly close in terms of price and standard features, so making the final decision will likely boil down to how much you want to customize your Equinox.

If you want to go more in-depth with add-ons, then the LT trim might be the one for you. However, if you are comfortable with only the base features, the LS will certainly suffice.