Think The Equinox Competes With The CR-V and RAV4? Think Again!9
Being the newest addition to Chevy’s line-up of CUVs, the Equinox has recently become the focus of much critical acclaim. However, many who reviewed the Equinox incorrectly identified its main competitors as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Let me set the record straight:
The Equinox does not compete with Toyota’s RAV4 or Honda’s CR-V. It competes in a size-class above those two vehicles, with its most direct competition being the Toyota Venza, Ford Edge, and Nissan Murano. How so?
The Equinox is eight inches longer than the RAV4 and a full eleven inches longer than the CR-V (see charts below). While most car shoppers don’t make a buying decision based on inches, they do unscientifically measure the car’s dimensions based on “feel.” In that regard, a buyer cross-shopping a RAV4, a CR-V, and an Equinox would feel that the Equinox is much bigger compared to the other two.
That said, the Equinox does compete in the compact CUV class (such as the RAV4, CR-V, Nissan Murano, and Ford Escape) in its price. Having a base price of only $22,440, it is in the ballpark of a base-price RAV4 ($21,500), a CR-V (21,545), and Ford Escape ($20,500). However, since the Equinox competes size-wise in the mid-size CUV class, it undercuts its primary mid-size competition significantly:
- Equinox base price – $22,440
- Toyota Venza base price – $25,975
- Nissan Murano base price (available with 3.5L v6 only) – $28,050
- Ford Edge base price (available with 3.5L v6 only) – $26,920
What those numbers tell me is that the Equinox is a mid-size CUV for the price of a compact CUV.
Sub-Equinox Theta-based CUV
Since the Equinox is currently Chevy’s smallest CUV, the Chevrolet product line-up has a gap when it comes to the competition: a CUV that slots in underneath the Equinox and truly competes in the compact CUV space with the likes of the RAV4, CR-V, and Rogue. I have called for the need for a sub-Equinox vehicle here as well as in this Chevy line-up analysis article. GM could bring such a vehicle to market very quickly by badging the now-discontinued Saturn Vue with a Chevy bow tie. Perhaps GM is waiting for Saturn dealers to run out of their Saturn Vue inventory before introducing a competing vehicle… after all, GM doesn’t want to kick one of its previous brands when it’s down (and out) by competing with it.
Nevertheless, a compact Chevy CUV would give the Equinox room to move slightly upmarket (and hence, give Chevy an opportunity to raise its price to be more in line with the above-listed mid-size CUVs, which isn’t necessarily a must).
So can we please stop talking about the Equinox in terms of the RAV4 and CR-V? It would certainly help if GM didn’t market it as such either!
What do you think? Talk back in the comments!
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I think it competes with all the vehicles then! Its all in one!! 🙂
It may well do that – but the problem with a “one vehicle fits all approach” is that it doesn’t really work. That’s why we have so many different models – they all serve a particular purpose and do one particular thing well (at least!).
As such, I think there’s space in the Chevy lineup for an even smaller CUV that would go against the Hyuindai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, etc. It can even use a smaller version of GM’s Theta platform of the Equinox. What do you think?
I agree with you. While the Equinox is perfect just the way it is for me, it’s one vehicle trying to play the role of two – a compact and midsize crossover. The Equinox should be made slightly larger to accommodate a third row seat and be a true midsize crossover, while something similar to the the old Vue should be introduced that directly competes with CR-V/RAV4. If GM does this they can also make some improvements to the Equinox and command a slightly higher base price, while still remaining competitive/least expensive in the segment since it is competing against the likes of Edge, Murano, etc.
Amen to that. And given how much the next-gen Escape and Edge will change, it will only be appropriate for Chevy to have one truly compact and one midsize CUV.
The Equinox is mid-size like the Ford Edge. We’ve been dedicated CR-V owners for years. But my husband is 6’4″ & the Equinox is the ONLY CUV that gives him the legroom he needs. We’ve checked out the new CR-Vs, the Edge, Escape, & Venza. Legroom in the Equinox is “expansive” in comparison to the rest. MPG equals the CR-V & supersedes the Edge. We’re sold on the Equinox.
I also don’t understand why people keep referring to midsize as having to have a third row seat. The Ford Edge is clearly a midsize vehicle and does NOT have a third row seat. Chevy is thinking about downsizing the equinox to put it squarely in the category of a compact. But I’m not sure what that solves either. Then it’ll have a compact Equinox and a full size Traverse but still no midsize competitor. Come on Chevy… You’ve got a good thing going with the Equinox. Shorten it by 5 inches and widen it by 2 inches and you got a true competitor to the edge. Plus it solves GeraGerald cargo space in the rear. You’ve got plenty of options for a compact.
*Sorry….speech to text fouled up….but the general idea is there, I guess.
@MAM I imagine that, besides more interior room, the biggest reasons for buying a midsize crossover over a compact one is the availability/presence of a third row. So while you’re absolutely correct in saying that the Ford Edge doesn’t offer a third row, I believe this to be a real disadvantage of the vehicle and the platform, especially while the Kia Sorento and — more importantly — the Toyota Highlander, offer a third.
Also, the reasoning behind moving the Equinox into the compact category is two-fold: one, the Equinox is a bit too big for some who want a small crossover; these consumers are turned off by its proportions and “feel”. Second, since the Equinox straddles the line between compact and midsize, fuel economy and other performance attributes suffer.
The real solution is to move the Equinox to the compact space, and down-size the Traverse to a mid-size CUV based on the next-gen E2XX/Epsilon vehicle architecture, while offering a third row in the process.
An equally attractive (if not more so) alternative to that would be to take Hyundai’s approach to creating a mid-size crossover with the Santa-Fe Sport and “normal” Santa-Fe: the sport can be a two-row midsize crossover (ala the Edge and Venza), while the “regular” Santa-Fe can sport three rows and big a true “midsizer”.
Out of curiosity, did you guys look at the Highlander? That’s the original mid-size crossover…
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I drove Trucks for about 25 years, downsized to an Expedition, then Tahoe(all used to cart my horse around.!!!! Then I retired, no more horses, and got a 2nd hand HIghlander(2007 AWD, 4 cyl. ).
NOW POINT is, I have never liked cars, I am on my 2nd Highlander. But cost of gas,is hitting my old lady budget. BUT I need good ground clearance and AWD or $WD , and something over 181 inches. Small compacts do NOT work. The Equinox, 4 cyl. is terrific. I do not need a 3rd row seat. There must be other humans out there who just plain do not want a small vehicle.
The 4cyl. AWD Highlander has been long gone, and the new Highlander is now 190 inches. Yes, women do check specs/!