It’s a crossover – that’s about it. The Chevrolet Equinox has long lived its life blending in with the crowd. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is no exception. It was supposed to get a refresh to add some extra style and keep it up to date, but COVID-19 forced a delay to 2022.

For 2021, buyers are stuck looking at the carryover Equinox, which is about vanilla a crossover as there is. Remove the grille and Chevy bowtie, and the Equinox would blend in nicely at any dealership. Despite its bland design, the Equinox shines in other areas, especially base-level value, making it an intriguing proposition for buyers.

A strong value that quickly fades in higher trims. With a base price of $24,995 including destination, it’s easy to write off the Equinox as a stripped-down people mover. However, it’s surprisingly well-equipped in the base L trim level. Its standard equipment includes automatic emergency braking, power features, cloth upholstery, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and more. The only real downside is it’s only available in white or silver.

Moving up to the LS bumps the base price to $27,495, and all it offers are two additional at-cost options: a power driver’s seat and 19-inch wheels. If you aim for the clouds, a fully loaded range-topping Equinox Premier crests the $40,000 mark. That’s a lot of scratch for a warmed-up Chevy.

Buyers who want to load up their crossovers with features will find the Honda CR-V or Hyundai Santa Fe are more satisfying options.

A roomy cabin that lacks any controversy. Inside, the Chevy Equinox has plenty of space with 39.9 inches of rear legroom and enough of second-row width to tote three kids – three adults is pushing it.

This rear leg room trumps the Toyota RAV4 (37.8 inches) and Subaru Forester (39.4 inches). If you plan to haul adults, you may prefer the even roomier CR-V (40.4 inches) or Ford Escape (40.7 inches). Sadly, the Equinox’s rear seat loses it sliding function in 2021, taking away some of its flexibility.

The Equinox has decent cargo room at 29.9 cubic feet with the rear seats upright and 63.9 with the rear seats folded. Buyers who need more cargo room can go to virtually any competitor to get it. The Escape offers up to 65.4 cubic feet, the CR-V checks in at up to 75.8, and the RAV4 offers up to 69.8.

While the space is ample, the style is a little too careful. Chevy appears to have taken great care to offend no one with the Equinox’s symmetrical interior design. There’s absolutely no drama or anything to catch the eye. Some buyers may love this simple look, but many will prefer the more exciting Escape or daring RAV4 design.

Capable engines but no electrification. The Equinox offers two very capable powertrains. The base 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivers 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. That’s a little light on horsepower, but the punchy low-end torque gives it acceptable acceleration. The optional 2.0-liter turbo four-pot delivers a punchier 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Buyers seeking more base power can look to the 180-hp Escape, 190-hp CR-V, or 203-hp RAV4. At the top of the engine lineup, only the 250-hp Escape comes close.

The big issue with the Equinox’s powertrain options is its glaring hole in the electrification department. The CR-V offers a hybrid, and the Escape and RAV4 offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. The Equinox has no electrified powertrains, leaving eco-friendly buyers in the cold.

Final thoughts. If you want a well-equipped crossover that does its point-A-to-point-B job with good value, the 2021 Chevy Equinox is the rig for you. Its base L trim comes with a surprising amount of equipment, and its toned-down design keeps things simple.

However, in a segment that’s flooding the roads, many buyers are looking for some design creativity. These shoppers will find this in the Escape or RAV4. Buyers who are focused on fuel economy can skip the Chevy dealership altogether, as there’s no hybrid Equinox. Head straight for the Escape, RAV4, or CR-V.

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