2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2020 Mazda CX-30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Mazda CX-30 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 CX-30 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 CX-30 only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Equinox and the CX-30 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 and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Equinox’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-30’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 15 points higher than the CX-30.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CX-30 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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, 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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 186) than the CX-30’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 66 more horsepower (252 vs. 186) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 186) than the CX-30’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Mazda CX-30:

Equinox

CX-30

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

88.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 CX-30 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (14.9 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.6 vs. 13.5 gallons).

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-30.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Equinox’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-30:

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

CX-30

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

10.4 inches

The Equinox stops much shorter than the CX-30:

Equinox

CX-30

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Equinox has larger standard tires than the CX-30 (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16). The Equinox Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-30 (235/50R19 vs. 215/65R16).

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 CX-30 Select/Preferred/Premium’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Equinox has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-30. The Equinox Premier’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the CX-30 Select/Preferred/Premium.

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Equinox has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-30 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the CX-30 (107.3 inches vs. 104.5 inches).

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the CX-30 Premium AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Equinox has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-30 (7.9 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Equinox has 9.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-30 (103.2 vs. 94.1).

The Equinox has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-30.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Equinox’s rear seats recline. The CX-30’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-30 with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 20.2 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-30 with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 45.2 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Equinox LT/Premier’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The CX-30 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 CX-30 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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The Equinox has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-30 has no towing capacity.

The Equinox can be flat towed on all four wheels (dingy towed), 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. The CX-30 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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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 CX-30 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 CX-30 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Equinox and the CX-30 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 CX-30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

On a hot day the Equinox’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-30 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 PIN entry system. The CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN 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 CX-30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Equinox’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-30 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Equinox’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-30 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Equinox and the CX-30 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 CX-30.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 2020/07/10

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chevrolet Equinox, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mazda CX-30 isn't recommended.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Mazda CX-30 by almost 385 to one during 2019.

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

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