2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Volvo XC40

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 Volvo XC40 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 XC40 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Equinox and the XC40 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Equinox 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC40. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the XC40 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 10 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Equinox’s reliability 11 points higher than the XC40.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The XC40 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th, 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 89 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 6 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 65 more horsepower (252 vs. 187) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the XC40 T5:

Equinox

XC40

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Equinox gets better fuel mileage than the XC40:

MPG

Equinox

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

XC40

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Equinox uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. engine for maximum performance). The XC40 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (15.6 vs. 14.2 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the XC40.

Brakes and Stopping

The Equinox stops much shorter than the XC40:

Equinox

XC40

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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 XC40 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Equinox’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the XC40’s (57.9% to 42.1%). This gives the Equinox more stable handling and braking.

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 450 pounds less than the Volvo XC40.

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 XC40 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 XC40 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Equinox has 1 inch more front headroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room and 3.8 inches more rear legroom than the XC40.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Equinox’s rear seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC40 with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 20.7 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC40 with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

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 XC40’s liftover is 29.7 inches.

The Equinox’s cargo area is larger than the XC40’s in almost every dimension:

Equinox

XC40

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/67.4”

34.9”/65.7”

Max Width

53.7”

47.8”

Min Width

40.7”

39.5”

Height

31”

29.4”

Ergonomics

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 XC40 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 XC40 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its Volvo On Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the XC40 because typical repairs cost less on the Equinox than the XC40, including $65 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Volvo XC40 by almost 27 to one during 2018.

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

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