|1,500||Max Towing Capacity (lbs)||1,350|
|6-Speed Automatic||Transmission||Xtronic CVT|
The battle for dominance in the SUV market is seemingly never-ending, and it’s a battle that has only grown in size as more SUV models make their way onto dealership lots. It’s because of this substantial list of SUVs available today that the decision is often never cut-and-dry but rather takes plenty of consideration on the customer’s part. The comparison which gets brought up more often than not these days is the battle between the 2021 Chevy Equinox vs 2021 Nissan Rogue, and drivers who are currently shopping for an SUV may find themselves comparing these two before making their purchase. Shoppers may be pleasantly surprised to find a host of similarities between these two vehicles, but the differences are clear, and the most important one is the cost.
Each vehicle is offered in four trim levels, and the base model for both vehicles comes with 17-inch wheels, an infotainment center, and plenty of advanced safety features that come standard through Chevy Safety Assist and Nissan’s Safety Shield 360. The L is the base Equinox trim, and the S is the entry-level Rogue; however, the Equinox starts at a lower MSRP of $23,800, while the Rogue starts at $25,750. To some drivers, this price difference may not seem too drastic, but it’s what’s inside the vehicle and under the hood that matters. Both vehicles are targeted at the same demographic of drivers, but one of them clearly does outshine the other.
Powering the Equinox and Rogue are two highly different powertrain configurations. For the 2021 Equinox, Chevy has opted for a turbocharged 1.5L 4-cylinder that is much smaller than the Rogue’s non-turbocharged 2.5L 4-cylinder. Paired to the Rogue’s engine is a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT), whereas the Equinox receives a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission. The main takeaway between these two engines is that Chevy’s offering manages to surprise drivers with its performance, especially when the actual size of the turbocharged engine is that much smaller than the Rogue’s.
With these engines equipped, there’s a couple of noteworthy advantages that you’ll have with the 2021 Equinox, most notably is a greater torque output along with a larger maximum towing capacity. The Equinox’s engine can output 203 lb-ft of torque, and the Rogue outputs 181 lb-ft of torque. This 12% increase in torque output is one of the reasons why the 2021 Equinox can tow a maximum of 1,500 lbs when on the road, leaving the Rogue with a smaller towing capacity of 1,350 lbs. This leaves customers looking for the most performance within their budget with one option as Equinox can outperform the Rogue in these aspects at a lower price.
There are a host of similarities between the 2021 Equinox and Rogue when talking about the interiors. Firstly, both vehicles can seat five passengers at the most, with foldable rear seats to maximize your cargo space. Cloth is the standard material for both vehicles, but higher-tier trims such as the Equinox Premier and the Rogue Platinum will swap this out with genuine leather trim, not synthetic. Additionally, both vehicles can upgrade their manually-adjustable driver’s seats to an 8-way power-adjustable seat. Yet, the Rogue limits the front seat passenger to a 4-way power-adjustable seat, whereas Equinox customers can swap this out with an 8-way, much like the driver’s seat.
Each vehicle comes with an infotainment center with an available 8-inch screen for the Equinox to match the Rogue’s screen; otherwise, it’s 7-inches in size, which shouldn’t detract from the experience. Both infotainment centers include functionalities relating to Bluetooth and its wireless media capabilities; however, the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is only standard on the Equinox, while Rogue drivers will have to shell out an additional fee for this feature. This again brings up a point of contention between the two models as the Equinox starts at an MSRP of $23,800 and the Rogue starting at $25,750, meaning the cheaper vehicle gets additional features such as Wi-Fi for its base trim. It’s decisions such as this that forces some aspiring shoppers to pass on the Rogue and opt for the Equinox as these features appear at no additional fee, which is simply a confusing choice by Nissan.
Both the Equinox and Rogue include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with USB ports that allow for charging your wireless devices or syncing to your infotainment center to take full use of these features. The Equinox can support charging for multiple devices at any given time as each model comes standard with four USB ports compared to the two USB ports on the Rogue, one of which is the newer USB-C port. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fantastic additions to an already thriving set of features. Their inclusion on the cheaper Equinox only furthers the appeal for many drivers on a tighter budget.
Drivers who are looking for an SUV that provides a safer driving experience will likely be happy with both the 2021 Equinox and Rogue for their included features. Each vehicle comes equipped with a suite of safety features, many of which are seen on both vehicles. Both the Equinox and Rogue include both Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking. Each vehicle will send you a warning ahead of time if your vehicle has an impending impact, and Automatic Emergency Braking can force your vehicle to apply the brakes in these situations to minimize the impact. These two features are combined with Front Pedestrian Braking on each vehicle which utilizes the same function as Automatic Emergency Braking, but for pedestrians instead.
Each vehicle also comes equipped with Lane Departure Warning that will alert you if the vehicle detects that it’s leaving its intended lane due to drifting, which can be highly useful to maintain your alertness when on the freeway. Both the 2021 Equinox and Rogue also come with a rearview camera to give you a video feed of the backside of your vehicle when reversing. Both vehicles also allow for this feature to be upgraded to multiple cameras that support an array of different angles, including an immensely versatile birds-eye view. Additionally, automatic headlamps are also included that will adjust in brightness accordingly when driving at night.
There are a couple of safety features that come standard with the Rogue that are available as upgrades for the base Equinox, and these are Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Warning. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert will help protect you from bypassing traffic in situations such as reversing out of a parking space in a busy lot by utilizing a mixture of cameras and sensors. Blind Spot Warning can alert you to any obstructions in your blindspot before you switch lanes, essentially granting you an extra layer of visibility and awareness. These two features being relegated to upgrades on the Equinox makes sense when considering its lower MSRP, so their omission on the base model isn’t as detrimental.
Teen Driver is only present on the Equinox, and this feature could very well be the make-or-break deal for a certain subset of drivers who live with a newly licensed teenage driver. What this feature does is grant parents peace of mind, and with a list of restrictions that the parent can set ahead of time, your safe-driving rules will follow your child wherever they go. Parents can adjust the vehicle to not go over a certain speed limit, set volume level limits, and more. Furthermore, the vehicle will prevent the teenage driver from accessing functions such as the radio for some time until they’ve buckled in. Parents also won’t have to worry about their child disobeying their road rules, as a detailed report will be sent to the parent after each ride that details their performance. The inclusion of Teen Driver on the Equinox makes it a much greater offer for those who would like features such as these while still paying less than the competing model.