2020 Toyota Highlander vs. 2020 Chevrolet Equinox

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 2020/07/14

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Highlander 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 Highlander has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Equinox doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Highlander has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Equinox doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Highlander Limited/Platinum has standard Automated Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Equinox doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Highlander AWD’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Equinox doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

The Highlander’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 Highlander and the Equinox 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The Toyota Highlander weighs 480 to 1176 pounds more than the Chevrolet Equinox. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 82 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Equinox is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

© 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 2020/07/14

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander 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

© 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 2020/07/14

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 25th.

Engine

© 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 2020/07/14

The Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 125 more horsepower (295 vs. 170) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 203) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder. The Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 43 more horsepower (295 vs. 252) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 260) than the Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Highlander is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder:

Highlander

Equinox

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.5 MPH

81.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/07/14

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

The Highlander has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.9 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Highlander has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.9 vs. 15.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/07/14

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

Highlander

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The Highlander stops much shorter than the Equinox:

Highlander

Equinox

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/07/14

For better traction, the Highlander has larger tires than the Equinox (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander L/LE/XLE has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Equinox. The Highlander Limited/Platinum’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Equinox Premier.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the Equinox (112.2 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Equinox.

The Highlander XLE AWD 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 Highlander XLE AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Equinox LT AWD (27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Highlander has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Equinox (8 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the Highlander to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/07/14

The Highlander has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Equinox can only carry 5.

The Highlander has 38.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Equinox (141.3 vs. 103.2).

The Highlander has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 3 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom, 5.3 inches more rear hip room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Equinox.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/07/14

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

Highlander

Equinox

Third Seat Folded

48.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

29.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.3 cubic feet

63.9 cubic feet

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

Towing

© 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 2020/07/14

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

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/07/14

The Highlander Platinum has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 Highlander’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 Highlander 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.

The Highlander Platinum’s standard 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 Highlander’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Equinox’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Highlander Platinum has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Equinox doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Highlander 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.

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