2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport:

Equinox

Outlander Sport

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

159

208

Neck Injury Risk

17%

29%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

412 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/349 lbs.

334/511 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

26%

43%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

221 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

91 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

394/494 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Outlander Sport:

Equinox

Outlander Sport

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

22 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.7/.1 kN

3.43/.93 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.47/.51

.68/.36

Tibia forces R/L

1.2/.2 kN

1.9/1.9 kN

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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport:

Equinox

Outlander Sport

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

109

163

Hip Force

357 lbs.

518 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

288

349

Hip Force

630 lbs.

794 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

17 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

730 lbs.

807 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Equinox the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Outlander Sport was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

There are over 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mitsubishi 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 Outlander Sport’s 530-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 Outlander Sport 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (170 vs. 148) and 58 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 145) than the Outlander Sport ES/SE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl. The Equinox’s 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (170 vs. 168) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 167) than the Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl. The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 84 more horsepower (252 vs. 168) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 167) than the Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the Outlander Sport 2.0 4-cyl. (automatics tested):

Equinox

Outlander Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.1 MPH

78.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Equinox gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander Sport:

MPG

Equinox

FWD

Auto

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

Outlander Sport

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/28 hwy

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Outlander Sport.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Equinox’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander Sport:

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

Outlander Sport

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Outlander Sport:

Equinox

Outlander Sport

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Equinox Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander Sport (235/50R19 vs. 225/55R18).

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 Outlander Sport’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Equinox Premier offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Outlander Sport’s largest wheels are only 18-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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Outlander Sport (107.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

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

The Equinox’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Outlander Sport’s (59% to 41%). This gives the Equinox more stable handling and braking.

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the Outlander Sport SE 4WD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Outlander Sport SE 4WD (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Equinox uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Equinox has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander Sport (103.2 vs. 97.5).

The Equinox has .6 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear hip room than the Outlander Sport.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Equinox’s rear seats recline. The Outlander Sport’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Outlander Sport with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 21.7 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outlander Sport with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 49.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Equinox LT/Premier’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Equinox has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Outlander Sport has no towing capacity. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Equinox and the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport’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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Equinox has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander Sport only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Outlander Sport has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Equinox has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Outlander Sport’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 Outlander Sport offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Equinox and the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport.

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Equinox and the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Equinox Premier offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Equinox owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Equinox will cost $235 to $2150 less than the Outlander Sport over a five-year period.

The Equinox will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Equinox will retain 46.06% to 49.61% of its original price after five years, while the Outlander Sport only retains 42.4% to 43.19%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Outlander Sport because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the Outlander Sport, including $56 less for a water pump, $63 less for a starter, $113 less for front struts and $359 less for a power steering pump.

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 Outlander Sport isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport by over 8 to one during 2018.

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

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