2020 Volvo XC40 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 2019/11/14

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s 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 Volvo XC40 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.

Both the XC40 and Equinox have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional 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.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Equinox doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply 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 XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake 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 XC40’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 XC40 and the Equinox have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 XC40 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Equinox was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The XC40 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 XC40’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Equinox’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo 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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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC40 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Equinox’s 700-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (187 vs. 170) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 203) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC40 T5 is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

XC40

Equinox

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

17.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

130 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2019/11/14

For better stopping power the XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Equinox:

XC40

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the Equinox:

XC40

Equinox

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the Equinox (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equinox (245/45R20 vs. 235/50R19).

The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equinox’s standard 65 series tires. The XC40’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 XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Equinox. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Equinox Premier.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC40 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the XC40 flat and controlled during cornering. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The XC40 offers an available 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 XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Equinox doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC40 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 track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Equinox.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Equinox LT AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Equinox (8.3 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The XC40 is 8.9 inches shorter than the Equinox, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The XC40 has .5 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Equinox.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The Equinox doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Equinox’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Chevrolet Equinox is only 3500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The XC40 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.

Ergonomics

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The XC40’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 XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or 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 XC40 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 XC40’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Equinox doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Equinox’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Equinox doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC40 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Equinox doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC40 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC40’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the Equinox because it costs $553 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the Equinox, including $79 less for a water pump, $445 less for a muffler, $106 less for front brake pads, $59 less for a starter, $232 less for fuel injection, $109 less for a fuel pump, $178 less for a timing belt/chain and $186 less for a power steering pump.

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

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