Chevy Equinox Eclipses Toyota RAV4

Toyota’s RAV4 has long been a dominant force in the compact crossover SUV market, but the Chevy Equinox has stolen much of the RAV4’s thunder in recent years, outperforming it in terms of performance and driver and passenger comfort. Indiana residents searching for a great small SUV for their families would do well to visit the Spencer Chevrolet dealership and take a look at the 2017 Equinox.

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The RAV4 deserves some respect for pioneering the compact crossover market. Originally launched in 1994, the RAV4 successfully combined the increased visibility and space of an SUV with the fuel economy and maneuverability of a car. Time moves on for us all, however, and, in recent years, the RAV4 has become a little stagnant while other manufacturers have innovated.

The Chevy Equinox has clearly outpaced the RAV4 in giving consumers what they want. Chevy has relentlessly tinkered, tweaked, and improved the Equinox since introducing the second generation of the vehicle in 2010. The result for 2017 is a swift, elegant vehicle with many creature comforts that easily outshines its Japanese rival.


For consumers looking for a fun-to-drive crossover SUV, the Equinox delivers. The 2017 Chevy Equinox is powered by a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder V6 engine that produces 182 horsepower and 172 ft-lb of torque. Consumers can also upgrade to a 3.6-liter V6 engine that cranks out 301 horsepower and 272 ft-lb of torque. The standard engine provides good getting-around power, but the V6 engine delivers truly satisfying acceleration. The V6 comes only in all-wheel drive models of the Equinox, but that’s fine, as the all-wheel drive version truly lets you enjoy the added power.

The 2017 RAV4 offers consumers just one engine choice, a 176 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The standard engine on the Equinox provides slightly more power, and the V6 version vastly outclasses it. On the road, the RAV4 provides sluggish acceleration compared to the Equinox, and drivers have also complained of excessive road noise. The Equinox offers a far smoother ride.


The Equinox is designed for drivers who enjoy a quiet, even ride. The suspension will make you feel as if you’re driving on air and braking is smooth as silk. The RAV4 isn’t that much fun to drive. Acceleration is just adequate, and the transmission can be a little rough on inclines.

For families with boats or who want to tow campers, the Equinox is definitely the better choice. The RAV4 can tow just 1,500 lbs. The Equinox’s V6 version can tow more than 3,500 lbs.


The 2017 Chevy Equinox has a gorgeous interior with lots of great creature comforts. Seating is plush and comfortable, even for long trips. Interior surfaces and materials are of excellent quality. Families with infants will appreciate the vehicle’s easy-to-use LATCH connectors.

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With regard to controls and the dashboard, the Chevy Equinox is intelligently designed. All controls are intuitive and easy to reach.

Space is where the Equinox’s interior truly shines. The Equinox provides ample head and leg room for all occupants and also has enviable cargo space. The vehicle offers 31.5 feet of cargo space behind the second row, and, if you fold down the seats, you can boost that to 63.7 cubic feet.

The Toyota RAV4 falls far short of the Equinox when you compare interior materials. The RAV4 uses cheap-looking plastics throughout the cabin. Also, unlike the Equinox, the RAV4 does not offer buyers the option of leather seats; instead, it uses a substitute that’s very fake looking.

Consumers have also voiced complaints concerning the RAV4’s rear seats, saying that they are too low to the vehicle’s floor.


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The 2017 Chevy Equinox is a very safe automobile and obtained a four-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Equinox also received a Good rating, the highest rating available, from the independent Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Every Equinox comes standard with a rearview camera, and its advanced trim level includes blind spot monitoring, a rear parking sensor, a rear cross traffic alert, and other electronic features.

The 2017 RAV4 is also a very safe vehicle, obtaining excellent ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS. In fact, the RAV4 and Equinox are very comparable in terms of safety—a testament to both manufacturers’ commitment to making quality automobiles. Equinox has the RAV4 beat in some other areas, however.


The Equinox offers some outstanding tech options, including a standard USB port, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, OnStar, and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also opt for rear parking sensors and a variety of electronic safety features, and smartphone app integration. The RAV4 offers a comparable array of tech features, leaving this category a draw between the two competitors.


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Although Toyota has a reputation for reliability, the Equinox outclasses the RAV4 in terms of dependability. The new Equinox recently obtained a reliability score of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, a respected evaluator of automobiles. The RAV4 got a score of just 3, making it about average compared to other vehicles in its class.

Now available at the Spencer Chevrolet dealership, the new Equinox is covered by a three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Chances are that you won’t need the warranty, thanks to the Equinox’s impressive reputation for reliability.


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Auto consumers searching for a bargain will find one with the Equinox. Not only is it a better vehicle than the RAV4, in many circumstances it’s also cheaper. The RAV4 starts at around $24,410. The Equinox starts at around $23,100.

The Equinox’s reliability and performance, and the superiority of its cabin make it a solid pick compared to the RAV4. The lower price of the Equinox should help seal the deal with value-conscious consumers. The Equinox holds its resale value well in the pre-owned market, making it an excellent investment.

Chevy Equinox History & Sales

The American car-buying public has increasingly embraced the Chevy Equinox, as sales of the vehicle have increased tremendously in the last decade. The Equinox was first introduced in 2004 to help Chevrolet and its parent company, General Motors, capitalize on the crossover SUV trend that was popular at the time and which remains popular today.

The vehicle is produced in Ingersoll, Ontario, and it is currently in its second design generation. The 2017 model is the final year of the current design generation, and 2018 will see the advent of a new Equinox.

The final year of a design generation is typically a great year to purchase a vehicle, as manufacturers typically have all the bugs with a design worked out toward the end of its lifecycle and likely have added some interesting features to keep it fresh.

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox is a great example of GM’s emergence from the Great Recession as a stronger, more customer-focused auto manufacturer. In 2010, U.S. sales of the Equinox were just under 150,000 units. In 2016, Chevrolet sold more than 242,100 Equinoxes—an increase of almost 100,000 vehicles in just six years. The American public knows a great car when it sees one and has acknowledged the Equinox as a truly excellent value.

If you’re interested in test-driving a new Chevy Equinox, Community Chevy, a Spencer Chevrolet dealership, is the place to do it. Community Chevy has a staff dedicated to making your next car buying experience as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, and the dealership’s top-notch service department can help you with all maintenance and repair needs after the sale. Visit today to find great deals on new and pre-owned Chevys like the Equinox.