The Chevrolet Equinox vs Kia Sportage
The car class with the biggest market share gain in recent year, the crossover segment, is one of the most competitive environments in the car manufacturing industry. And that's great news for you, the buyer since everyone wants to impress clients and get in their good graces by spoiling them for choice.
Crossovers today are some of the best built and well-equipped vehicles out there. Let’s take a look at two popular models, one from Chevrolet, the Equinox, and one from Kia, the Sportage.
First off, the Equinox. Its exterior design combines feminine, chic-modern curves with a very aggressive, manly and wide front two-tiered grille. It blends the two styles well, and the end result is a look that will be appealing to a wide number of buyers.
Inside the Equinox clients will find a quality look and feel with a curved dash that hosts plenty of tech, and soft-touch materials as far as the eye can see. There's plenty of room to comfortably seat 4 adults, plus some of the best in class cargo space for a crossover. Behind the second row, there are 30 cubic feet and a whopping 63,5 behind the front seats.
The good news keeps on coming when we look at engine choices. We're talking about a standard powertrain in the form of a reliable 1.5-liter inline-4 capable of putting out 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. Coupled with a 6-speed automatic, you'll find it accommodating for city drives and un-soliciting commutes. A step up though we find a powerful 2.0-liter turbo-4 that will produce 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It won’t feel exactly sporty, but you’ll have tons of fun behind the wheel with this under the hood, not to mention the Equinox will pull upwards of 3500 pounds while equipped with the 2-liter.
For those who need a commute-friendly engine, Chevrolet introduced a 1.6-liter turbodiesel that doesn’t excel at horsepower, with an output of only 137 but has an impressive pound-feet of torque figure, sitting in at 240 at 3000 rpm. It’s also worth mentioning that the diesel engine has a combined 30 MPG gas consumption, ideal for budget-wise commuters.
As with all crossovers, the list of available features is massive. A standard 7.0-inch touchscreen dominates the dash, and Apple CarPlay plus Android Auto are standard across the line. Many premium features can that can quickly turn the Equinox into a luxury-crossover contender can be fitted to the car. Things like a state-of-the-art Bose sound system, SiriusXM satellite radio, or the myChevrolet mobile app which allows users to start/stop the engine, lock/unlock the doors, honk the horn and flash the lights from a distance can make their way onto your vehicle.
There's also Chevrolet's famous Teen Driver pack that allows parents to limit the maximum speed, or the maximum radio volume, plus sends live reports that include details about the route, average speed or potential collisions.
For the most part, Kia’s Sportage keeps up with the Equinox, but there are places where it falls terribly short. That, combined with the fact that it can only match some specifications of the Chevy, never exceed them, make it the second choice between these two crossovers. Don’t take our word for it, let’s look at the figures.
The good stats? Almost identical cargo space between the two models, with 30.7 cubic feet available behind the second row of seats and 60.1 if you fold those down. A good engine base between a naturally aspired 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that creates a fair 181 horsepower, and 175 pound-feet of torque, plus a 2.0-liter turbo-4 upgrade that puts out 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
The bad stats? Tech features and overall look and feel. An exterior look so daring that we suspect it won’t be in the graces of too many buyers. Awkwardly placed headlights, at a fraction the size of those on the Equinox and a front grille that screams “inferiority” are not things prospective buyers tend to look for in a car. The list of tech is even worse off than the design. What car manufacturer can equip a crossover, in 2019, with a 5.0-inch touchscreen and expect that to pass as acceptable? The available upgrade is an insult, at 7.0-inches it takes you to what the Chevrolet offers as a standard feature. It's bad. It's really bad.
Not everything about the Kia is second-tier, but enough of it is to make it seem like the younger brother who'll never amount to half the older brother's value, no matter how much it tries. The choice can be described as between a champion and a wanna-be, Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman.