2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Honda HR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Honda HR-V doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Equinox are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The HR-V doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Equinox Premier offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The HR-V only offers a rear monitor.

To help make backing safer, the Equinox (except L/LS)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The HR-V doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Equinox has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The HR-V doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Equinox and the HR-V have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Honda HR-V:

Equinox

HR-V

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

159

481

Neck Injury Risk

17%

19%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

244 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

41%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

218 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

574/500 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Honda HR-V:

Equinox

HR-V

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

109

148

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

288

357

Spine Acceleration

55 G’s

59 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

730 lbs.

799 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Equinox’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the HR-V’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Equinox has a standard 700-amp battery. The HR-V’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The HR-V isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. produces 29 more horsepower (170 vs. 141) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cyl. The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 111 more horsepower (252 vs. 141) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Chevrolet Equinox is faster than the Honda HR-V:

Equinox 1.5

Equinox 2.0

HR-V

Zero to 30 MPH

3.7 sec

n/a

4.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.6 sec

6.6 sec

10.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

6.2 sec

n/a

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

17.5 sec

15.2 sec

18.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

82 MPH

92.1 MPH

81.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Equinox’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The HR-V doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (14.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (15.6 vs. 13.2 gallons).

The Equinox has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The HR-V doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Equinox’s brake rotors are larger than those on the HR-V:

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

HR-V

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

11.1 inches

The Equinox stops much shorter than the HR-V:

Equinox

HR-V

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Equinox has larger standard tires than the HR-V (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R17). The Equinox Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the HR-V (235/50R19 vs. 215/55R17).

The Equinox Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the HR-V’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Equinox Premier offers optional 19-inch wheels. The HR-V’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Equinox has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The HR-V doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Equinox has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Honda HR-V has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the HR-V (107.3 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Equinox is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the HR-V.

The Equinox’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the HR-V’s (59.6% to 40.4%). This gives the Equinox more stable handling and braking.

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the HR-V EX-L AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Equinox has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the HR-V (7.9 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Equinox uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The HR-V doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Equinox has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the HR-V (103.2 vs. 100.1).

The Equinox has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom, 4.3 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the HR-V.

Cargo Capacity

The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the HR-V with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 24.3 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the HR-V with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 58.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Equinox LT/Premier’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The HR-V doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Equinox (except L/LS) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Equinox Premier, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The HR-V doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Equinox has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The HR-V has no towing capacity. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Equinox offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The HR-V doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Equinox (except L/LS), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The HR-V doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Equinox’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The HR-V doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Equinox’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The HR-V has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Equinox and the HR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Equinox is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The HR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Equinox’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The HR-V’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.

On a hot day the Equinox’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the HR-V can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior keypad. The HR-V doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Equinox’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The HR-V LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Equinox has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The HR-V has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Equinox detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The HR-V doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Equinox’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring.

When the Equinox with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The HR-V’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Equinox offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The HR-V offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Equinox and the HR-V offer available heated front seats. The Equinox Premier also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the HR-V.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Equinox Premier keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The HR-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Equinox Premier’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The HR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Equinox has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Equinox (except L/LS)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Equinox and the HR-V offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Equinox has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The HR-V doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Equinox (except L/LS) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The HR-V doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Equinox owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Equinox with a number “8” insurance rate while the HR-V is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the HR-V because typical repairs cost less on the Equinox than the HR-V, including $198 less for a starter and $50 less for front struts.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The HR-V isn’t in the top three.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Honda HR-V by almost four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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