2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2020 Dodge Durango

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/07

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 Dodge Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango 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.

Both the Equinox and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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 Dodge Durango:

Equinox

Durango

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

17%

34%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

251 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

26 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/349 lbs.

427/350 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

123 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

404/224 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 Durango:

Equinox

Durango

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

86

119

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

22 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

.7/.1 kN

5.3/2.5 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

6%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.47/.51

1.53/.59

Tibia forces R/L

1.2/.2 kN

1.9/1.4 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 Dodge Durango:

Equinox

Durango

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Equinox the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Durango is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

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

There are over 22 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Equinox have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

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 33 points higher than the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Durango 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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 8th.

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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6:

Equinox

Durango

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

86.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Equinox

Durango

2WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/31 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/29 hwy

n/a

4WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

Regardless of its engine, the Equinox’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Dodge only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Durango V6.

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 Durango doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Equinox higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Dodge Durango (3 to 7). This means the Equinox produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Durango every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Equinox stops much shorter than the Durango:

Equinox

Durango

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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 Durango doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Equinox’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Durango’s (37.4 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1400 to 1750 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

The Equinox is 1 foot, 6.1 inches shorter than the Durango, 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 Durango 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 Durango doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Equinox has .1 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Durango.

The front step up height for the Equinox is 3.3 inches lower than the Durango (17.2” vs. 20.5”). The Equinox’s rear step up height is 3.1 inches lower than the Durango’s (17.5” vs. 20.6”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume than the Durango with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 17.2 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 Durango’s liftover is 32.2 inches.

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

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Equinox Premier’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Durango doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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All models of the Equinox can be flat towed on all four wheels, allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Equinox can be unhitched and driven around locally. Only the Durango V8 4WD can be dingy towed.

Ergonomics

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The Equinox’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Durango’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 Durango’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 PIN entry system. The Durango doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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 PIN entry system. The Durango doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Equinox’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Durango’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

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 Durango doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Equinox owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Equinox will cost $290 to $2010 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Durango because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the Durango, including $32 less for a starter, $265 less for front struts, $123 less for a timing belt/chain and $58 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 $5015 to $5135 less than for the Dodge Durango.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/07

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chevrolet Equinox, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Dodge Durango isn't recommended.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Dodge Durango by over five to one during 2019.

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

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