2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2020 Chevrolet Equinox

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The NX Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Equinox doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lexus NX Series are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Equinox doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Equinox doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series and the Equinox have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Chevrolet Equinox:

NX Series

Equinox

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

148 G’s

195 G’s

Hip Force

352 lbs.

357 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

49 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

303 lbs.

630 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Equinox was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

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The NX Series 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.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Equinox. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Equinox ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The NX Series’ 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Equinox runs out after 100,000 miles.

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 NX Series’ reliability 47 points higher than the Equinox.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

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The NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 24 more horsepower (194 vs. 170) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the NX 300h is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder:

NX Series

Equinox

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.5 MPH

81.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the Equinox 1.5 turbo AWD (33 city/30 hwy vs. 25 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Equinox doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The NX 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Equinox doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the NX Series’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the Equinox:

NX Series

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

The NX Series stops much shorter than the Equinox:

NX Series

Equinox

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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The NX Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the NX Series flat and controlled during cornering. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The NX Series 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 NX Series 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.

The NX 300h handles at .80 G’s, while the Equinox LT AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Equinox LT AWD (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The NX Series has 1.9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room and 2.2 inches more rear hip room than the Equinox.

Cargo Capacity

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

NX Series

Equinox

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36”/71.5”

34.9”/67.4”

Max Width

53”

53.7”

Min Width

44.3”

40.7”

Height

27”

31”

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the NX Series. The Equinox doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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The NX Series 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 36% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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The NX Series’ 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 NX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Equinox can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The NX Series 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 NX Series’ optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Equinox’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 NX Series’ standard headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Equinox’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the NX Series F Sport has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Equinox doesn’t offer cornering lights. The NX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The NX Series 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the NX Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the NX Series with a number “5” insurance rate while the Equinox is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The NX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the NX Series will retain 50.95% to 51.77% of its original price after five years, while the Equinox only retains 41.13% to 44.06%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the Equinox because typical repairs cost much less on the NX Series than the Equinox, including $200 less for a muffler, $170 less for front brake pads, $244 less for a fuel pump and $148 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

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

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

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