2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Nissan Murano

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 Nissan Murano doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

Both the Equinox and the Murano have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Nissan Murano:

Equinox

Murano

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

159

342

Neck Injury Risk

17%

28%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

223 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

34 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

78 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 Nissan Murano:

Equinox

Murano

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

357 lbs.

392 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

17 inches

HIC

377

439

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

41 G’s

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 Murano’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Nissan 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 Murano’s 550-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 Murano was rated third 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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the Nissan Murano:

Equinox

Murano

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

19.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

92 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

119 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Equinox

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

Murano

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 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 Murano 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 Murano doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Murano:

Equinox

Murano

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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 Murano SL/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Equinox’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Murano’s (58.8% to 41.2%). This gives the Equinox more stable handling and braking.

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the Murano Platinum AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Equinox’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Murano’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Equinox has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Murano (7.9 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 550 pounds less than the Nissan Murano.

The Equinox is 9.7 inches shorter than the Murano, making the Equinox easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Passenger Space

The Equinox has .1 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the Murano.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Equinox easier. The Equinox’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.6 inches, while the Murano’s liftover is 30.7 inches.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan Murano is limited to 1500 pounds. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Equinox has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Murano doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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 Murano does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Equinox and the Murano 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 Murano 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 Murano’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

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 Murano doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its NissanConnect can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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 Murano doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Equinox’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Murano and aren’t offered on the Murano S.

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

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 Murano 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 Murano is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

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 Murano only retains 41.28% to 43.8%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Murano because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the Murano, including $21 less for a water pump, $49 less for a starter, $143 less for front struts, $78 less for a timing belt/chain and $390 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Equinox will be $4294 to $8084 less than for the Nissan Murano.

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 Murano was rated third in its category.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Nissan Murano by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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