Some decisive new-car shoppers make it look easy to pick a new crossover SUV. This size, that brand—done.
What happens if you’re wishy-washy like us—when the usual factors aren’t so clear-cut? Allow us to introduce you to the quandary that exists between the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer and 2020 Chevy Equinox.
The 2020 Blazer ushers in a new turbo-4 in this, its second year on sale after a 2019 revival. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10. The 2020 Equinox shares that 6.2 rating, though it’s smaller on the outside, older, and to some eyes, the less attractive of the pair.
The quandary comes in utility and comfort. To civilian eyeballs, the Equinox looks to be much smaller than the Blazer. Where size matters most in a family crossover—in rear-seat and cargo space—the two are nearly identical. The Blazer sports 30.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its sliding second-row seat, and 64.2 cubic feet when the back bench is folded down. The Equinox? It’s 30 and 63.9 cubic feet respectively, or few gallon-jugs of milk less in all.
2020 Chevrolet Equinox
2020 Chevrolet Equinox
Space isn’t everything, granted, but the Blazer and Equinox pull up shy in other ways that require a family sit-in to make a decision. The Blazer’s broader and its second-row seat slides to flex passenger and cargo space, but the seats themselves are hard, narrow, and short at the bottom. The Equinox has better front seats, but no sliding second row and a narrower body that’s best for three children across the back. Neither has a particularly ritzy feel unless you’ve spent into the Premier trim level.
What makes the Blazer a worse value yet is in safety gear. This year Chevy made automatic emergency braking standard on the Equinox, but it remains an option on the Blazer, and is only available on more expensive trim levels. In safety and in space, the Equinox lands a haymaker on the newer, prettier Blazer.
The Blazer does outrun the Equinox in style and in, well, running. The Blazer’s wedgy, lithe shape and sporty interior puts the dowdy Equinox body on the trailer. In RS spec, the Blazer’s rorty 308-horsepower V-6 engine, trick AWD system, and taut handling deliver peak Chevy crossover road manners. Even in the uprated 252-hp turbo-4 trim, the Equinox goes light on excitement, though it outpaces the Blazer handily in fuel economy by up to 5 mpg combined.
Both the 2020 Blazer and 2020 Equinox get touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; both can be optioned up with leather, heated seats, big wheels, more horsepower, and nicer interiors. The least expensive Blazer we’d choose—one equipped with automatic emergency braking—stickers at more than $40,000. An Equinox LT with some upgrades checks in around $32,000.
Either of these crossovers makes for a useful replacement for a mid-size sedan or minivan. With better standard safety gear the Blazer would be a stronger value and likely would be a clear winner. It wouldn’t win on size alone, though.