2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2020 Acura RDX

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 Acura RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Equinox and the RDX 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, lane departure warning systems, 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 Acura RDX:

Equinox

RDX

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

159

300

Neck Injury Risk

17%

26%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

262 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

23 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/349 lbs.

328/464 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

26%

30%

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

84 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

362/441 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 RDX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 11 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Acura 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 RDX.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The RDX 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 56 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

Engine

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

Equinox

RDX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

RDX

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Equinox 2.0T’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

Equinox 2.0T

RDX

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

The Equinox stops much shorter than the RDX:

Equinox

RDX

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the RDX A-Spec 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 1.5 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Acura RDX.

The Equinox is 3.7 inches shorter than the RDX, making the Equinox easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 RDX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Equinox has .4 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear hip room than the RDX.

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

Towing

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

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 RDX does not have an oil pressure 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 RDX doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its AcuraLink can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Equinox Premier has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 RDX 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 RDX 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 RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the RDX, including $85 less for front brake pads, $95 less for a starter, $107 less for front struts and $578 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 $976 to $7988 less than for the Acura RDX.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Acura RDX by over five to one during 2018.

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

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