WHY ARE CHEVY EQUINOX SO CHEAP? A TRUE VALUE FOR THE PRICE

August 28th, 2019 by

If you’re looking at a Chevy as your next car, you might be asking yourself why are Chevy Equinox so cheap? From a pricing perspective, it’s just a couple grand more than the compact Trax while starting at a significantly lower price point than the Blazer.

When buying a car, it usually pays to put down the extra cash to ensure you get a reliable, comfortable, and quality vehicle instead of a “cheap” one. So, your skepticism about the Equinox’s price tag is understandable.

You’re wondering why are Chevy Equinox so cheap? However, there’s a big difference between cheap and affordable. How a car compares to competitors in its class is a big factor in determining which category it falls under.

With that in mind, let’s look at whether the Chevy Equinox is a cheap car, or whether its just a good value for money.

Is the Chevy Equinox actually “cheap” to begin with?
The LT, which Chevy sells as their “standard” model, comes in at $28,695 while the cheapest trim, the L, starts at $24,995. However, with the L, you’ll be giving up a lot of the basics like a spare tire, the mechanical jack and tools set, tinted rear windows, etc. and you also won’t be able to choose most of the available add-ons.

The Premier comes with most of the bells and whistles. You get an HD rear vision camera, most of the safety and driver aid features, and the option to add the Infotainment II Package. All this luxury will cost at least $32,595. Except for the L, all models are also available in all-wheel-drive which usually costs $2,000 or more extra. The most expensive base model is the AWD Premier at $34,195.

This is pretty much in line with most of its competitors in the small-to-mid-sized SUV class. The Nissan Rogue starts with basically the same price at $25,020 but the most expensive Hybrid AWD model begins at $32,990, which is a bit cheaper.

The Honda CR-V is slightly cheaper than the Chevy across the board, with prices between $24,450 and $32,850. The Mazda CX-5, which is another popular vehicle in this class, comes in at $24,350 with the luxury Signature model costing upwards of $36,890.

However, the Equinox is considerably cheaper than its American counterpart, the GMC Terrain which starts at $28,400 and can go as high as $48,695.

Technically, the Chevy Equinox actually starts at a slightly higher price within its class. However, one of its saving graces is that you can choose between a decent selection of trims as well as three engine types and a diesel option to tailor the price tag to your means.

What level of luxury can you expect?
One area in which the Equinox may feel slightly “cheap” compared to its competitors is when it comes to luxury. Neither the exterior nor the interior design is anything to get too excited about. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many would appreciate the understated look as opposed to the sporty Nissan Rogue or curvy Mazda CX-5.

The interior is also pretty spartan with a mostly black finish and some silver trim here and there. The Premier comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, but you’ll need to pay extra to have anything else upholstered with it. The premier does come with dual-zone automatic climate control while you’ll have to make do with single-zone, manual control in the other trims.

The quality of the materials themselves also isn’t great and sometimes does feel downright cheap. Some also complain that the ride is a bit noisy with contributions from both the engine and the wind.

Overall, the Equinox does provide comfortable enough seating. It just lacks that refined touch that will give you that extra boost as you drive it. This is probably the one aspect in which it does feel slightly “cheap” compared to the competition.

What about ongoing costs?
If you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, the ongoing costs may be just as important is the initial ticket price. Fuel economy plays a big role in this, of course. The standard Equinox is rated to have an MPG of 26 in the city and 31 on the freeway, for a combined MPG of 28. The AWD model is understandably less economic with a combined MPG of 27.

Unfortunately, there is no hybrid option if you really want to maximize your fuel savings. Also, take into consideration that the 2.0L also has lower mileage than the standard 1.5L.

Again, the Equinox seems to be pretty average. Here is a table of the MPG values of its competitors:

GMC Terrain
City: 26
Freeway: 30

Nissan Rogue
City: 26 (Hybrid: 33)
Freeway: 33 (Hybrid: 35)

Mazda CX-5
City: 31
Freeway: 32

Honda CR-V
City: 28
Freeway: 34

Ford Escape
City: 22
Freeway: 29

The CX-5 and CR-V clearly lead the pack while the Equinox is pretty much on par with the Rogue and Terrain.

Reliability is another concern. After all, constant servicing can quickly rack up the car’s overall cost. According to Consumer Reports, Chevrolet is the 23rd most reliable car brand for 2019. That’s not great, but it’s not terrible either. Mazda and Subaru are some of the top brands that produce CUVs.

Chevrolet came 16th out of 30 brands in terms of maintenance costs over 10 years according to YourMechanic. However, the Equinox beat the average maintenance cost per year quite a bit at $241.

Chevy Equinox – Cheap or affordable?
As in many other aspects, it’s hard to brand the Chevy Equinox one or the other. As you can see, it’s a relatively standard crossover utility vehicle in many regards. Although the average price is slightly higher than most competitors, buyers do have more freedom to build their car according to their budget.

A word of advice: you should take care when building your Equinox as it can be tricky to make sure you get all the best value features in a single build. There are many options, and it can be a bit overwhelming to keep track of what is included where.

One answer to why are Chevy Equinox so cheap?
One of the reasons some might call this car cheap is because of the bland design. However, it’s a solid CUV that covers all its bases. It might just be a bit too safe for some people’s tastes. So, when you’re wondering why are Chevy Equinox so cheap, think about this. The Chevy Equinox is not cheap or expensive – it just is.

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