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!