Head to Head: 2021 Nissan Rogue VS. Chevrolet Equinox

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2021 Nissan Rogue VS. Chevrolet Equinox

When it comes to affordable compact crossovers, this might be the year where you have more options than ever before. However, when you narrow down your choices, there is a large chance that the Nissan Rogue and the Chevrolet Equinox are on your consideration list.

The 2021 Equinox may not have received any update from the 2020’s model as Chevy focuses on the facelifted 2022 version. Yet, it is still packed a lot of punch. Meanwhile, the latest Nissan Rogue generation arrived this year, complete with a totally redesigned exterior and the latest tech.

This makes us curious about how both of these compact crossovers perform in a duel. Can the Equinox keep up with the all-new refreshed Rogue?

Price

Winner: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

2021 Nissan Rogue

2021 Chevrolet Equinox

Trims

Price

Trims

Price

S $25,750 L $23,800
SV $27,440 LS $26,300
SL $32,100 LT $27,500
Platinum $35,530 Premier $31,400

Both variants are offered in four trims, and straight away, we can see that the redesigned Nissan Rogue starts at a higher price than the refreshment-needed Chevrolet Equinox. The Equinox starts from the entry-level L, only available in FWD. The AWD models are available starting from LS trim and above at an extra $1,600. Meanwhile, the Rogue has both FWD and AWD models on all trims, with the AWD costing a more reasonable extra $1,400.

For the maximum value, we would recommend getting the Nissan Rogue SV and the Chevrolet Equinox LT.

Performance

Winner: 2021 Nissan Rogue

Only a single-engine variant is available for both crossovers. Although the Nissan Rogue is all-new with its third-gen, the engine and gearbox layout is fairly similar to last gen’s model. It features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine paired to an Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). However, the power output is slightly higher than the last gen’s, producing 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque.

The CVT gearbox is known for its sluggish behavior. Hence, the 0-60 mph figure is not so inspiring, completed within 8.2 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Chevy Equinox used to have a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that will smoke the Rogue without a doubt. However, Chevrolet has discontinued that engine for the Equinox this year, only offering the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged unit that puts out 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque—significantly less than the Rogue.

As a result, 0-60 mph takes a tiny bit slower 8.9 seconds. However, considering that this is a smaller engine, we’d say it’s quite punchy. The turbo delivers more torque, and the 6-speed automatic transmission is more sprightful than the Rouge’s CVT.

Regardless, numbers don’t lie, and in general, the Rogue delivers a better performance figure than the Equinox.

Fuel Economy

Winner: 2021 Nissan Rogue

The fuel economy of these crossovers is decent and far from poor. The Equinox managed to get 26 MPG/city and 31 MPG/highway with its small and turbocharged engine, with an expected range of 417 miles.

Anyhow, the newer Rogue still takes the throne. Despite having a bigger engine, the CVT helps it achieve a good economy at 27 MPG/city and 35 MPG/highway, with a slightly higher expected range of 435 miles.

On AWD models, both crossovers are slightly thirstier than the FWDs, but even so, the Nissan Rogue is the better fuel saver.

Passenger Space

Winner: 2021 Nissan Rogue

In terms of passenger space, both offer adequately large space. However, the Nissan Rogue has the advantage over the Chevy Equinox, with 101 cubic feet of total passenger volume versus 99 cubic feet.

Although short of 2 cubic feet of space, the Equinox does offer slightly more rear legroom, making sitting at the back more bearable for long-legged passengers.

Cargo Space

Winner: 2021 Nissan Rogue

It is the same case with the cargo space where the Nissan Rogue is superior at 37 cubic feet, compared to Chevrolet Equinox’s at 30 cubic feet with all the seats upright.

Folding down the rear seats would create a flat floor on both crossovers, but the Rogue still excels by giving 73 cubic feet of cargo volume, compared to Equinox’s at 64 cubic feet.

Interior Features

Winner: 2021 Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue’s higher entry price reflects on its redesigned interior, which looks modern and feels posh to the touch. Aside from having a roomy vibe, the Rogue over-delivers on the usage of materials in the cabin. The higher trims are equipped with quilted leather seats and an intuitive digital driver’s display as standard. Moreover, cubby spaces are plenty to find, making it more practical.

Although we prefer the dashboard layout of the Chevrolet Equinox, its design feels a little bit outdated. The usage of hard plastic is also more noticeable, and although adequate, the number of small storages is lower than on the Rogue. We still appreciate the dashboard’s physical buttons, though, as they are easier to use than the touch sensitives controls found on the Rogue.

Both crossovers also offer similar infotainment functionality, and both 360-degree camera systems are quite satisfactory. But overall, the Rogue has more features, making the interior a more pleasant place to be.

Ride Quality

Winner: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

Both crossovers provide fairly comfortable rides, but the driving characteristics are quite different. The Nissan Rogue has a softer suspension, making it more comfortable on bumpy roads. However, its steering is too light, and it tends to give very little feedback. The CVT also makes the Rogue less sporty than you may expect it to be.

Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Equinox offers more excitement when it comes to driving. Its steering is sharper, and the suspension a little bit firmer; however, that improves the handling, and the 6-speed automatic that allows you to change gears yourself sequentially makes it a sportier SUV to drive.

Overall, if you care about the driving experience, the Rogue is somewhat bland, to say the least. On the other hand, the Equinox is more exciting while offering a similar comfort level.

Towing Capacity

Winner: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

Despite having a smaller engine and lower power output, the Chevrolet Equinox has better towing capacity at 1,500 lbs than the Nissan Rogue, at 1,350 lbs.

Moreover, Nissan also did not offer a tow hitch as an optional extra. In contrast, accessories such as hitch ball, hitch ball mount, hitch receiver lock, and wiring harness are optional on the Equinox.

Safety and Driver Assistant

Winner: 2021 Nissan Rogue

Both SUVs are similarly equipped in the safety and driver assistance department. Both of them features vehicle stability control, forward collision warning with auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear parking camera as standard across all models.

However, the newer Nissan Rogue has more standardized features such as hill start assist, blind-spot warning on the side mirrors, rear parking sensors, and automatic rear braking. Furthermore, the Rogue feels safer, with 10 airbags instead of just 6 in the Equinox.

Warranty

Winner: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

Both the Nissan Rogue and Chevrolet Equinox offer a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. 24-hour roadside assistance is also available on both, with Equinox’s valid for a longer period of 5 years/60,000 miles and the Rogue’s valid for a shorter period of 3 years/36,000 miles.

Additionally, Equinox has the slight advantage of providing complimentary maintenance for the first visit during the first ownership year.

And The Winner Is …

2021 Nissan Rogue

Although the Chevrolet Equinox is a strong contender in the compact crossover category, the feeling of its outdatedness began to take a significant effect, especially when compared to the redesigned Nissan Rogue. We may expect this issue to be resolved in the upcoming facelifted model, on sale from 2022.

The Nissan Rogue is a very compelling option, especially if you seek a large cabin, great interior quality, good performance and economy, more advanced safety bits, and an overall more modern feel. It is an SUV loaded with features despite its affordable price, making it a very reasonable purchase and a great value for money.

However, the Chevrolet Equinox is still nowhere near a loser, as its lower pricing scheme, fun-to-drive characteristic, and better warranty may be more attractive traits for some people.

Gallery: 2021 Nissan Rogue

Gallery: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

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