The Chevrolet Equinox was ranked the best compact SUV in J.D. Power’s 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study.
Equinox owners reported the least amount of problems with their vehicles in J.D. Power’s dependability survey, placing the Chevy just ahead of its premium cousin, the GMC Terrain. The Equinox and Terrain share the same General Motors D2XX platform and also have the same available powertrain combinations: a turbocharged 1.5L LYX inline four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic, or a turbocharged 2.0L LTG inline four-cylinder and GM’s nine-speed automatic. While it’s unclear how many more problems Terrain owners reported than Equinox owners, the Terrain is positioned as a more upscale product and is more likely to feature additional technology over the Equinox, potentially making it more susceptible to problems. Coming in third in the compact SUV segment was the Toyota RAV4.
With this study, J.D. Power found that crossovers and SUVs “still have slightly more problems than cars, but the gap is narrowing.” On average, crossover and SUV owners will experience problems at a rate of about 134 per 100 vehicles, compared to 127 per 100 vehicles for car owners, but this gap has “narrowed considerably from 2019,” J.D. Power says. The company also said that “with crossovers and SUVs now accounting for more than 50% of new vehicle sales annually, it is critical that automakers achieve the same level of quality and dependability as for cars.”
For the 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study, J.D. Power surveyed owners of three-year-old vehicles, asking them to report the number of problems they had experienced in the past 12 months. The company then ranks brands and models based on the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP1000). J.D. Power’s survey asks owners to identify “problem symptoms” in eight categories, which include exterior, features/controls/displays, seats, interior, driving experience, technology, HVAC and engine/transmission. A “problem symptom” could be something small, like the infotainment system freezing, or something more serious, such as a transmission shift problem.