Compact crossover SUVs are some of the most sought-after automobile segments today. Comfortable enough to sustain long road trips, spacious enough to carry a significant amount of cargo, and yet small enough to fit into an urban parallel parking space, these five-passenger vehicles are ideal for a variety of situations and scenarios. Two of the most popular models to compare are the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Nissan Rogue, but how do they stack up?
The 2021 Equinox is largely unchanged from the 2020 model year as Chevy prepares for a fully redesigned version to hit the streets in 2022. However, the 2021 Nissan Rogue is all-new, with brand-new driver assistance technology and some engineering upgrades. Given their many similarities, comparing the 2021 Chevy Equinox to the 2021 Nissan Rogue may seem like a simple task, but drivers will soon discover that, in a side-by-side comparison, one vehicle may outshine the other for the coveted spot in the driveway or garage. While both models offer all of the features expected of a modern SUV, Chevy has paid more attention to the basics and offers a more powerful vehicle at a noticeably lower price point.
Engine and Power
One interesting feature shared by both the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Nissan Rogue is the absence of options when it comes to engines. Historically, these vehicles have been offered with a choice of a standard peppy engine, an available zippier engine, and in some years, even a diesel option. Still, it is clear that both Chevy and Nissan know what the consumer wants and have tweaked their vehicles’ engines to provide a very enjoyable level of power, with responsive acceleration and fine-tuned steering.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox comes equipped with a 1.5L Turbo inline-4 engine that provides 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. Designed with Direct-Injection and Variable Valve Timing technology, this engine has enjoyment and economy in mind. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. All Equinox models include a traditional six-speed automatic transmission, as well, for a pleasant driving experience.
The all-new 2021 Nissan Rogue includes a 2.5L non-turbocharged DOHC inline-4 engine. This engine provides a little more horsepower at 181 but falls considerably short when it comes to torque at 181 lb-ft. The lack of a turbocharger also means that Rogue’s engine has less low-end power than the Equinox’s 1.5L Turbo. Like the Equinox, front-wheel drive is standard on the Rogue, with all-wheel drive optional. However, the Nissan transmission is the brand’s standard CVT, which results in a decidedly less exciting driving experience that prioritizes efficiency over enjoyment.
Stowing and Towing
One of the draws of a compact crossover SUV is the “just right” cargo space and the ability to tow lighter loads. The 2021 Equinox has a towing maximum of 1,500 pounds, and the 2021 Rogue maxes out at 1,350 pounds. While neither can pull an extremely heavy load, the Chevy does have the advantage when it comes to taking your toys out for a weekend at the lake, campsite, or beach.
Inside, the Equinox adds space anywhere it can. With the folding 60/40 second-row bench seats folded, drivers will have plenty of cargo space in the main cabin. Hidden storage is available under the rear cargo floor, and a hands-free liftgate is an available option for those who need an extra hand in the loading and unloading process. Adding the optional “Hit the Road” package creates extra space for cargo, skis, bikes, and more with roof rack cross rails, as well as molded assist steps to make roof space access easier.
Nissan has also provided the 2021 Rogue with some impressive storage and access features. The cargo space behind the second row has increased from previous years, and extra storage features include door pockets with the capacity to fit a 32-ounce bottle or beverage, making it even more practical for road trips and carpooling. Nissan has also designed the rear doors to open wider than before, handy for helping little ones in and out, loading a child seat, or accessing larger cargo.
Trims, Features, and More
Deciding on the trim you’ll take home is often one of the toughest parts of purchasing a new car. Between the abundant standard features and the compelling options, many drivers like to take their time choosing the perfect combination for their driving needs.
Chevy’s 2021 Equinox is offered in four trims, including the base L trim, the LS, LT, and Premier. Standard features across the lineup include the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, including a large and easy-to-use touchscreen, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, voice command activation, as well as compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Premier trim upgrades these infotainment features with an even larger screen in HD color.
Safety is another area where Chevy sets a high standard, with all models of the 2021 Equinox coming standard with a range of advanced safety features from Automatic Emergency Braking to Chevy’s exclusive Teen Driver technology. The higher trims receive even more advanced systems, such as HD Surround Vision and Lance Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Other popular options include the expansive panoramic sunroof and premium Bose sound system with its crystal-clear audio quality.
The 2021 Nissan Rogue is offered in four trims as well, including the S, SV, SL, and Platinum trims. All models include a standard display screen that provides compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 package of driver assistance tools. The Safety Shield 360 package provides the Rogue with a similar set of safety systems as the Equinox, including Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and a backup camera. Also like the Equinox, the higher trims of the Rogue include some additional systems, such as an Intelligent Around View Monitor.
Another High-Value Vehicle from Chevy
While these two compact SUVs offer a similar level of features and technology, the Chevy model does so at a lower price. While the 2021 Nissan Rogue starts at $25,650, the 2021 Chevy Equinox begins at just $23,800. This substantial difference in starting price continues through the trim levels, with the top-trim Rogue Platinum coming in at almost exactly $4,000 more than the top-trim Equinox Premier. Although it is difficult to say that either SUV is outright better in terms of features, being able to get comparable technology at a significantly lower price is clearly the better option.
It may be hard to compare the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Nissan Rogue in an “apples-to-apples” type showdown since the Equinox is slated for a major makeover in 2022, while the Rogue has just received its model redesign. Still, many of the features of the two compact crossover SUVs are similar, especially in the base trims. For those looking for more comfort and convenience features, the higher trims might be worth serious consideration. This is one question to which there may not be a “wrong” answer, as both vehicles have stood the test of time and endured as some of the most beloved vehicles in their segment. But while the Nissan Rogue might be new and different, the proven Chevy Equinox provides substantially better value for your money.