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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2022 Chevy Equinox RS is shown from the front at an angle during a 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Mazda CX-5 comparison.

SUV Showdown: 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Mazda CX-5

When you’re on top of the mountain, there are those who are eager to try to knock you down. If there’s one entity that understands this fact all too well, it’s Chevrolet. For generations, the brand has symbolized and embodied the blue-collar working class and, in doing so, has continually provided an expansive fleet that caters to every need of the average consumer. From the trucks that carry the workloads to the roadsters that win the important races, no matter what your individual tastes might be, chances are, there exists a Chevy to cater to them. Here in the new millennium, the rules of the game have changed considerably. Vehicles that are fuel-efficient, economically sound, ecologically friendly, and above all else, practical are in demand, and Chevrolet is all too eager to provide them. Naturally, there are more than a few competitors who would love to usurp the crown for themselves. Namely, Mazda. A few decades ago, the RX-7 gave the Camaro a run for its money in terms of high performance. And now, the Mazda CX-5 hopes to challenge the Chevrolet and the Equinox. Only one can prevail in this SUV contest. It’s the 2022 Chevy Equinox vs 2022 Mazda CX-5.

Gentlemen, start your engines! (Or at least, get ready to take some notes.)

Practical Matters

Rather than come right out of the gate and compare performance specifications or standard safety features, we’ve decided to look at both vehicles in terms of what the average consumer looks for—practicality. It’s safe to assume that while you’ll need a vehicle to handle your daily commute and leisurely activities on the weekends, there’s one certainty that comes with life—it’s uncertainty. The pandemic proved that life can change at the drop of a hat, and what’s planned can go out the window at a moment’s notice. For this reason, you need a vehicle that is versatile and comes in handy for more than one occasion, but several.

First, let’s look at fuel economy. One of the major uncertainties in life is the cost of gasoline. In the past several years, we’ve seen it go from moderately priced to unbelievably expensive. While your monthly insurance and car payments might stay at a consistent rate that’s easy to plan a budget around, the cost of fuel does not. Because gas prices ebb and flow like the tides, knowing that you’re getting the most out of a full tank is important. The Mazda CX-5 has a combined MPG of 26. While this certainly seems like a decent number that proves beneficial for consumers, the Equinox has it beaten by its combined MPG of 28. Two miles per gallon might not seem like a wide margin, but believe us when we say that every mile counts.

A grey 2022 Mazda CX-5 is shown from the front at an angle as it drives down a road in the desert.

This considerable difference can be attributed to one of the CX-5’s main selling points; standard AWD on all trim levels. While AWD is certainly advantageous for some situations, it does little to benefit the consumer who lives in an urban environment. AWD and 4WD tend to hinder gas mileage as the drivetrains are heavier and need more power to move them. (Which is why many SUVs in the mid-1990s had monstrous V8s.) The Chevy Equinox comes with the option of front-wheel drive and AWD, so consumers can choose what benefits them the most.

The other practical function of the SUV that consumers benefit from is having ample storage space when necessary. As with MPG, both models are neck and neck with one another in terms of storage capacity. And much like the previously mentioned comparison, it’s a matter of every inch of cargo count. It’s the difference between having room for that loveseat you just bought or having to tie it to the roof of your vehicle and cross your fingers it doesn’t rain. While the Mazda CX-5 offers ample space with an available 59.6 cubic feet, Chevrolet outdoes it by offering a higher storage capacity of 63.9 cubic feet.

With a superior combined MPG and more available storage space, it’s easy to see why Chevy holds the crown.

Safety and Driver Assistance

Those who are looking at the CX-5 or the Equinox most likely have families, or at least at any given moment, have more than a few passengers whose care they’re entrusted with. It’s for this reason that SUVs are designed with safety as a priority. No matter how fast you can drive and how much you can carry, nothing compares to the importance of arriving safely at your destination with everyone and everything in one piece.

Both the 2022 CX-5 and the 2022 Equinox received 5-star overall safety ratings from the NHTSA. This means that you’ll be safe in the event of a collision. Both models offer a wide variety of standard features such as vehicle stability and traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, and lane keep and change assistance. While many of the safety features are neck and neck depending upon availability, Chevy offers Onstar and covers the first maintenance visit. Chevy has also equipped its entire fleet with the Teen Driver program. Adding a way to instruct tomorrow’s everyday drivers by helping them develop effective driving habits is not just going the extra mile for Chevy customers but instilling responsibility in the next generation.

The black interior of a 2022 Mazda CX-5 is shown from the drivers door opening.

Cost-Effectiveness

Because so many of us don’t have access to a ton of disposable income, having a vehicle that’s cost-effective is key to maintaining a decent quality of life. As we’ve seen, the Equinox offers a better combined MPG than the CX-5. If we take a brief look at the MSRP, we can see that Equinox is also priced slightly lower at $25,800, compared to the CX-5, which starts at $26,250. To the casual observer, this doesn’t seem like a sizable difference, but we assure you that it is. The Mazda CX-5 starts at a price that’s relatively inexpensive, but in order to get the most out of the various amenities it offers, a higher trim line is required. Stretched over eight different trims, Mazda certainly makes things more difficult than they need to be, and the top trim costs an imposing $38,650. The Equinox comes in a total of four trims, with the top offering still being relatively inexpensive at $31,000. Once again, Chevrolet proves that it makes the ideal vehicle for the average consumer.

Our Final Thoughts

In the hard-fought contest between the 2022 Mazda CX-5 and the 2022 Chevy Equinox, there are many similarities. However, we feel that everything comes down to a matter of being practical and having access to the advantages that a reliable automobile can bring forth. While the Mazda CX-5 possesses several attributes that are positive and isn’t a bad choice in any way, the multiple trim levels and lack of choice in the drivetrain means that it might be convenient and useful to some but not to all. Chevrolet provides a lower price, better fuel efficiency, more storage, and rivals Mazda in terms of what it makes accessible to the average consumer. With all that it possesses, the Chevy Equinox manages to have options for every person and every budget, once again proving why Chevrolet is, was, and always will be a brand that Americans trust.

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