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Both the Discovery Sport and Equinox have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Equinox’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the Equinox.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Discovery Sport’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Equinox doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The Discovery Sport’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Equinox doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Discovery Sport and the Equinox 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Equinox’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Discovery Sport’s 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Equinox runs out after 100,000 miles.
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 76 more horsepower (246 vs. 170) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 203) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Discovery Sport’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 260) than the Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 34 more horsepower (286 vs. 252) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 260) than the Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Equinox doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Discovery Sport has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.7 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Discovery Sport has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.7 vs. 15.6 gallons).
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Equinox:
For better traction, the Discovery Sport has larger tires than the Equinox (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17).
The Discovery Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equinox’s standard 65 series tires. The Discovery Sport’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Equinox Premier’s optional 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Equinox. The Discovery Sport’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Equinox Premier.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Equinox, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.
The Discovery Sport has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Discovery Sport flat and controlled during cornering. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Discovery Sport has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Equinox doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Discovery Sport is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Equinox.
The Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the Equinox LT AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Equinox LT AWD (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Equinox (8.3 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Discovery Sport offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Equinox can only carry 5.
The Discovery Sport has .1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Equinox.
The Discovery Sport’s cargo area is larger than the Equinox’s in almost every dimension:
Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)
The Discovery Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Equinox’s (4409 vs. 1500 pounds).
The Discovery Sport uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Equinox uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional in the Equinox (except L/LS), the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Equinox doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Discovery Sport’s front and rear power windows all open or close 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 Equinox’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Discovery Sport the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Equinox can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Discovery Sport has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Equinox doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The Discovery Sport’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Equinox’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Equinox doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Equinox doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Discovery Sport has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning costs extra on the Equinox and isn’t available on the Equinox L/LS.
The Discovery Sport’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Equinox doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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