Crossover & Midsize

Don’t Bother With a 2021 Chevy Equinox When You Can Get a Mazda CX-5

Recently, the folks at U.S. News put together a list of 10 Alternatives to the Chevrolet Equinox. As they point out, compact SUVs are nudging out midsize cars as the best-selling vehicles in the passenger vehicle class. The Chevy Equinox is one of the more popular compact crossovers offered.

Nobody is picking on the Equinox per se. It has a lot to offer. But it’s nice to know that you have some great options if you’re shopping for the perfect SUV.

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

With nice driving manners, a lot of interior space, and good fuel efficiency, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a stylish crossover SUV that makes a perfect family vehicle. You have a choice of a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 2.0-liter that offers better performance. The SUV is front-wheel drive standard but you can get all-wheel drive with either powertrain.

The Chevy Equinox has an interior that complements its exterior with lots of nice infotainment and safety tech since the base models aren’t big on comfort features. There’s ample passenger space and it seats up to five. It also a perfect predicted reliability rating which is important.

Solid alternatives to the Chevy Equinox

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There are a lot of SUVs in the compact SUV class to consider beyond the Equinox. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have always been solid competition for Equinox. Lately, other strong competitors are challenging it like the Mazda CX-5. The competition tends to offer better performance and ritzier interiors.

One of the stronger competitors for Equinox is the 2021 Mazda CX-5. The team at U.S. News pointed out that it offers better performance than Equinox. They explain that it offers a better base engine with an option for a stronger engine and better handling. The CX-5 doesn’t have as strong a predicted reliability rating but its rating is average.

Performance isn’t the only advantage Mazda CX-5 has over the Chevy Equinox. The Mazda CX-5’s interior has a more upscale vibe than the Equinox. The touchscreen for the infotainment system is bigger. The CX-5 also has better safety features blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning. 

The U.S. News team found that when it comes to fuel-efficiency,  tow ratings, and space for cargo and passengers, the two SUVs are pretty evenly matched. The choice between the two comes down to your priorities. If you like a strong predicted reliability rating, Equinox is a better choice. If a posh cabin and spirited performance are more your vibe, then the CX-5 is a good deal.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5

There are several good reasons why the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is one of the best in its class. Its exterior is stylish, the interior is posh and visually appealing. Its ergonomics are as thoughtful as its driving precision.

The CX-5 has a refinement that many of its peers lack. The base engine doesn’t have the kick the available turbo-four does. Both are mated to a reliable transmission that gets better gas mileage than its EPA ratings according to U.S. News.

In 2021, the Mazda CX-5 got an upgraded infotainment system. The bigger 10.3-inch touchscreen is now mounted at the top of the dash.  The system now offers the new Mazda Connect system, Mazda Connected Services which amounts to a Wi-Fi hotspot and remote functions you can control using an app on your phone. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard.

There’s also a new Carbon Edition in 2021 with Polymetal Gray paint and red interior. The top-shelf Signature trim gives you a high-quality 360-degree camera, a driver attention monitoring system, and rear automated emergency braking. Regardless of the model, it’s lacking the cargo space of many of its top rivals, but it can stand toe to toe with any competitor on everything else.

The U.S. News team put the 2021 Mazda CX-5 on their 2021 10 Best lists for a reason. It’s a lot of SUV in a package that eclipses even more expensive peers in its class, including the Chevy Equinox.