Equinox vs. RAV4: Which Should I Buy?

The Chevy Equinox and the RAV4 are two of the most popular vehicles in the world of compact crossover SUVs. Each of these vehicles was designed with versatility in mind: vehicles designed to offer cargo and passenger space, without sacrificing too much when it comes to fuel efficiency and technology. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox has a starting price of around $23,000, while the RAV4 starts at around $24,500 invoice price. Here at Jim Keras, we believe that the Equinox offers a better value than the RAV4, and we've set up some comparisons to prove it to you.  

Key Dimensions

  2021 Chevy Equinox2021 Toyota RAV-4 
 Ground Clearance 8 in 8.4 in
 Wheel Base 107.3 in 105.9 in.
 Cargo Space 63.9 cu. ft. 69 cu. ft.
 Passenger Space 103.5 cu. ft. 98.9 cu. ft.
They Toyota RAV4 might offer more cargo space, but when it comes to passenger comfort and room, it can't touch the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox.

Top down view of a blue Equinox that is fully loaded with cargo. 

Powertrain and Fuel Economy

  Equinox   RAV-4
 Fuel Economy     26 mpg city / 31 mpg highway27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway 
 Fuel Tank 14.9 gal14.5 gal 
 Engine 1.5L Turbochaged 4-cylinder  2.5L 4-Cylinder (also available in Hybrid)
 Trailering Capacity 1500 lbs1500 lbs 
 AWD Available in LS, LT, and Premier  Available in LE, XLE, Adventure, and Limited

When comparing the powertrain and fuel economy of the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Toyota RAV4, you'll find that there isn't much difference between the two. The RAV4 offers slightly better gas mileage, and has a more expensive hybrid option, but the Equinox has a slightly larger tank and has an additional . We at Jim Keras believe that when you compare the two options, the powertrains of the Equinox are a push.

Left: under the hood of the 2021 Equinox. View of the RAV-4 engine under the hood. 

Safety Features

When it comes to comparing safety, there's no contest when you compare the Equinox to the RAV4. Both vehicles were rated as IIHS Top Safety Picks in the small SUV category; however, the '21 Equinox offers more standard safety features than the RAV4. These features include things like OnStar security, teen driver mode, automatic bright headlights that can detect traffic in front of you and turn on high beams for increased visibility at night, and automatic emergency and pedestrian braking. The RAV4 offers many of these technologies, plus a few extras like Road Sign Assist, but it does not come available on all trim levels. 

Comfort and Technology

When it comes to technology, it's basically a wash for the Equinox and the RAV4. Both offer Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and built-in Amazon Alexa control. Both Chevrolet and Toyota offer connectability with mobile apps that allow users to control the functions of the key fob from your phone (although, it is worth noting that the Toyota Remote Connect app requires a yearly subscription). Features like remote tailgate, HD digital backup camera/ 360° camera technology, and wireless charging are all available on mid-level variations of each vehicle.  All in all, when you consider the price difference between the two vehicles, we feel that the Equinox offers tremendously more value than the Toyota RAV4.



Both the Toyota and Chevrolet offer comparable warranties for all of their vehicles. Non-hybrid models of RAV4 can see basic warranties of 3 years/36,000 miles, as well as a 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid models of the RAV4 can see an extended battery warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles. Equinox has a standard 3yr/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a 5yr/60,000 mile warranty.