2020 Toyota 4Runner 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 2019/10/23

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota 4Runner 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 4Runner has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Equinox doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 4Runner 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Equinox doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The 4Runner’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 4Runner 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 four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

The Toyota 4Runner weighs 735 to 1531 pounds more than the Chevrolet Equinox. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 Toyota 4Runner is safer than the Chevrolet Equinox:

4Runner

Equinox

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

41

109

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

195 G’s

Hip Force

233 lbs.

357 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

288

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

381 lbs.

630 lbs.

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

Warranty

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The 4Runner’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Equinox’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Equinox.

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 4Runner’s reliability 37 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

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

Engine

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The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 100 more horsepower (270 vs. 170) and 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 203) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 18 more horsepower (270 vs. 252) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 260) than the Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota 4Runner is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.:

4Runner

Equinox

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

9.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

82 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Equinox with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The 4Runner has 8.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 4Runner has 7.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 15.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 4Runner’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Equinox:

4Runner

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.3 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The 4Runner’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Equinox are solid, not vented.

The 4Runner stops shorter than the Equinox:

4Runner

Equinox

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4Runner has larger standard tires than the Equinox (245/60R20 vs. 225/65R17). The 4Runner’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equinox (265/70R17 vs. 235/50R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4Runner Limited/Nightshade has standard 20-inch wheels. The Equinox’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Chevrolet Equinox only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The 4Runner has a standard 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.

Suspension and Handling

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The 4Runner has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 4Runner flat and controlled during cornering. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road/Venture offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Equinox doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 4Runner has engine 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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4Runner’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the Equinox (109.8 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 4Runner is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Equinox.

The 4Runner’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.6% to 46.4%) than the Equinox’s (56% to 44%). This gives the 4Runner more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Equinox (9.6 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The 4Runner offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Equinox can only carry 5.

The 4Runner has 24.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Equinox (128 vs. 103.2).

The 4Runner has .8 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Equinox.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the Equinox.

4Runner

Equinox

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

29.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

63.9 cubic feet

The 4Runner 5-Passenger’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The Equinox doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s cargo area is larger than the Equinox’s in almost every dimension:

4Runner

Equinox

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42”/66.3”

34.9”/67.4”

Max Width

57.7”

53.7”

Min Width

42.4”

40.7”

Height

39.5”

31”

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the 4Runner. The Equinox doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The 4Runner’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Equinox’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The 4Runner’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Equinox’s (5000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The 4Runner 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.

The engine in the 4Runner is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Equinox. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The 4Runner’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 4Runner 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Equinox can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Economic Advantages

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The 4Runner will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4Runner will retain 61.48% to 71.13% 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 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Equinox because it costs $727 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the Equinox, including $490 less for a muffler, $162 less for front brake pads, $94 less for fuel injection, $132 less for a fuel pump, $29 less for front struts and $310 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 2019/10/23

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The Equinox has never been chosen.

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

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