Head to Head: 2022 Chevrolet Equinox vs 2022 Mazda CX-5

The Chevrolet Equinox and Mazda CX-5 are a pair of compact crossovers that get a refresh for 2022. Neither of the fashions is strictly new in the marketplace, however they’re nonetheless each extraordinarily aggressive in a sizzling phase of the Canadian auto market and crucial to the businesses that construct them.

Simply how vital? The Mazda CX-5 was that model’s best-selling car final 12 months and simply missed cracking the highest 10 best-selling autos in Canada. The Equinox is the best-selling Chevrolet that doesn’t have a truck mattress, which means it’s not precisely sitting round on showroom flooring.

Each of those fashions have an identical purpose. To assist individuals, particularly households, do the roles {that a} Mazda3 or Chevrolet Cruze would have carried out a decade in the past. However to do it with extra space, higher options, and the potential of all-wheel drive.

Styling

Chevrolet has sharpened the nostril of the Equinox for 2022, giving it extra trendy ultra-slim headlights, with some tail gentle modifications to match. Regardless of the modifications, this isn’t a form that stands out from the gang. Whereas Chevrolet has gone daring with a few of its different fashions, the Equinox actually isn’t a lot of a looker. For some, that’s a profit, for others, possibly the black accents of the brand new RS trim are sufficient?

The Mazda CX-5 can also be refreshed, although we’re having a tough time telling 2022 and 2021.5 aside. It’s much less of a priority on the CX-5, although, as a result of it is a way more cohesive design. Extensive fenders and closely sculpted in profile because of Mazda’s Kodo design language, the CX-5 is a looker. Particularly in its Soul Purple signature paint color.

What we like most about these is that neither is pretending to be one thing it isn’t. Whereas so many phase rivals have moved towards wanting “powerful,” or “rugged,” or “macho,” with out the potential to again it up, these two appear content material to be what they’re. Massive household hatchbacks.

Inside, Equinox has massive buttons. Not flashy, they’re simple to make use of and (crucially on the steering wheel) the buttons are flush. They received’t refill with the grime that comes with placing many miles on a car with household in tow. Mazda’s buttons are smaller and look extra exact. It’s a high-tech cabin that’s clearly aspiring to be the posh providing within the phase.

The luxurious intentions are much more clear in the event you have a look at Mazda’s inside color decisions. Certain, Chevrolet has a light-weight and a darkish gray, and a maple sugar two-tone, however Mazda has cocoa Nappa leather-based, garnet crimson, and black with crimson distinction choices. Even a white leather-based seat possibility in the event you wish to stay dangerously. The CX-5’s cabin makes you are feeling just a little bit extra particular thanks to those and different small particulars which were carried out further nicely.

Efficiency, journey and dealing with

Chevrolet dropped one in every of its two four-cylinder engines for 2022, leaving solely the 170 hp 1.5-litre turbo-four and its six-speed computerized. The previous 252 hp 2.0-litre made the Equinox a fast compact ute, however not sufficient consumers had been ticking that field to maintain it going.

Mazda targets consumers who need their drive to be just a little extra partaking, so it continues to supply two decisions. A 187 hp 2.5-litre naturally aspirated 4 and a same-size engine fitted with a turbocharger to make 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. The turbo-four (which wants 93-octane to make these numbers and does 227 hp/310 lb-ft on 87) is the one engine on top-spec Signature and an possibility on our test-trim Sport Design.

Each manufacturers offer you a six-speed computerized transmission, and whereas that may appear outdated in a world of eight and nine-speed auto containers, they’re a reminder that typically much less is extra. A transmission with fewer gears would possibly rating barely decrease on authorities gasoline effectivity checks, however in the true world, the texture behind the wheel is extra vital.

The Mazda computerized was retuned this 12 months for faster shifts than earlier than, and it’s delightfully fast and exact every time it grabs a gear up or down. Chevrolet’s takes just a little extra time downshifting, particularly in conditions like a merge or yield signal the place you would possibly prefer it to be snappier however is sort of invisible the remainder of the time.

Mazda’s turbo-four is a delight. Waves of torque from wherever within the rev vary and easy energy supply make this crossover hustle, even when the ECU received’t let it get wherever close to the crimson line. The non-turbo model is equally easy, however the ranges of energy really feel extra “sufficient” than “sporty.”

Chevrolet’s 1.5-litre engine makes much less energy than Mazda’s entry engine, however with 203 lb-ft from 2,000 via 4,000 r.p.m., it feels pleasantly punchy in every day driving. Chevrolet has additionally programmed the automated to let the engine spin, so full throttle makes positive you utilize each little bit of the rev vary for greatest impact.

As an fanatic, I’m choosing Mazda’s 2.5T daily of the week. As somebody who has to pay for fuel, the Equinox engine has some fairly severe upsides to your pockets with out it being a slug on the freeway.

Mazda stiffened the chassis of the CX-5 for 2022 after which retuned the suspension to accommodate. Hefty steering weight, sharp turn-in, and a journey that’s positively tuned extra like a automobile than Equinox all make for a crossover that’s enjoyable to drive by phase requirements. The Chevrolet is plusher, although, so in case your solely exhausting cornering is parallel parking and also you’re extra more likely to hit a pothole than an apex, the bow tie might be the one you’ll need.

Mazda made all-wheel drive commonplace for 2022, whereas Chevrolet continues to let consumers decide. For those who don’t want AWD, Equinox can return an estimated 8.4 L/100 km mixed. AWD bumps that to eight.8, with Mazda’s rankings of 9.3 and 9.8 mixed exhibiting the consequences of extra displacement and heftier curb weight. The variations develop within the metropolis, so test the spec sheet under.

In my driving, the Equinox AWD returned almost two full litres per 100 km higher than the turbo Mazda.

Practicality

These two compacts take up almost the identical quantity of room in a parking house, they usually have equally roomy cabins. The Equinox provides extra headroom, however each have sufficient house for tall passengers in each rows of seats. From the driving force’s seat, the CX-5 feels barely snugger, however that basically simply provides to the sensation that you simply’re in an enormous sports activities automobile and never a household mover.

Behind the rear seats, the cargo bays are nearly an identical — CX-5 edges out with 875 litres to 846 litres; however flip down the seats and the Chevy has 1,809 litres to Mazda’s 1,687 litres. Although the CX-5’s helpful triple-split-fold rear seat provides some flexibility to its capability. Each have giant openings and an enormous flat house to suit your gear, however solely Chevrolet provides a kick-open hands-free tailgate.

We’re massive followers of Mazda giving again seat passengers USB ports and heated seat buttons within the centre armrest as a substitute of far-off on the again of the entrance console. Helpful for shorter arms in automobile seats, however ineffective in the event you’re utilizing all three again seats and one thing to concentrate on.

Options

Although Mazda gave the CX-5 a brand-new infotainment system midway via final 12 months, this class remains to be a transparent win for Equinox. Mazda’s 10.25-inch display is bigger than both of Equinox’s two accessible shows (7.0 and eight.0 with navigation), but it surely isn’t a touchscreen. It additionally makes use of basically the identical interface as Mazda’s previous display. The system is managed by a dial within the centre console, and a few easy instructions like going up one station on the satellite tv for pc radio system take irritating quantities of presses and turns. The system provides Android Auto and Apple CarPlay however utilizing them is way more troublesome with out the power to the touch.

The Equinox’s system provides wi-fi variations of Auto and CarPlay commonplace throughout the board on a way more user-friendly touchscreen that provides giant textual content, easy customization, and fast responses. Each autos offer you bodily controls for many of the local weather options (and each have quantity knobs), and I thank them each for it.

Each of those value-focused crossovers come nicely geared up from base. Push-button begin, LED headlights, and driver help suites together with computerized emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping are all commonplace. Mazda’s base choices embrace radar cruise management, which Chevrolet makes an expensive possibility even on its high Premier trim. Although that expensive trim is inexpensive than Mazda’s. Heated seats for the 4 primary chairs can be found on each, as are a heated wheel and ventilated entrance seats, so right here it’s a matter of precisely which luxurious touches you need and the way a lot you’re prepared to pay to call both because the winner.

Worth

Due to non-obligatory AWD, the Equinox begins at a a lot cheaper price than the CX-5. The LS ‘Nox is $26,498 earlier than vacation spot whereas a CX-5 GX is $30,200. Add AWD and the Chevrolet is $28,898. On the high finish, the worth hole grows, with an Equinox Premier from $34,798 and a CX-5 Signature (with turbo) at $43,350. Begin including on the choices to provide the highest trims comparable tools and the hole shrinks once more. To get adaptive cruise, sunroof, Bose audio, and ventilated seats, you’ll want Chevrolet’s $4,295 Premier Plus bundle. With the hole nearer to $3,000, Mazda’s turbocharged engine, cocoa leather-based, and the extent of consideration to element tip the worth equation in favour of wanting the extra luxurious journey.

Verdict

Take value out of the equation, and the Mazda CX-5, particularly with the two.5T and in Signature trim is definitely the winner. Extra options, extra upscale, and extra enjoyable to drive, the CX-5 does a greater job of creating you are feeling particular on each drive. However on this phase, value issues. The Chevrolet Equinox provides extremely sturdy worth except adaptive cruise management is on the checklist of your must-have options. Mix that worth with Chevrolet’s a lot easier-to-use infotainment system, and Equinox ekes out the win.

The car was supplied to the author by the automaker. Content material and car evaluations weren’t topic to approval.

2022 Chevrolet Equinox

Physique type: 5-door compact crossover

Configuration: Entrance-engine, AWD

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo 4-cylinder, 170 hp @ 5,600 r.p.m.; 203 lb-ft @ 2,000-4,000 r.p.m.

Transmission: 6-speed computerized

Cargo capability (L): 846 litres with rear seat in place, 1,809 litres with seat folded

Gas economic system (L/100 km): (AWD) 9.4/8.0/8.8 L/100 km metropolis/freeway/mixed

Base value: Equinox LS $26,498 plus $1,900 vacation spot

Value as examined: Equinox LT True North Version $36,593 (Consists of $3,715 True North Version, $750 Superior Security Bundle, $495 Blue Glow Metallic paint, $460 18-inch wheels, $80 wheel locks)

2022 Mazda CX-5

Physique type: 5-door compact crossover

Configuration: Entrance-engine, AWD

Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, 187 hp @ 6,000 r.p.m.; 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 r.p.m.

(decide 2.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder 256 hp @ 5,000 rpm; 320 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm with 93-octane gasoline)

Transmission: 6-speed computerized

Cargo capability (L): 871 litres with rear seat in place, 1,680 litres with seat folded

Gas economic system (L/100 km): (2.5 I4 GX) 10.2/8.2/9.3 L/100 km metropolis/freeway/mixed

(2.5 I4 GS/Kuro/GT/Sport Design) 9.9/7.9/9.0 L/100 km

(2.5T) 10.8/8.7/9.8 — 93 Octane really useful

Base value: CX-5 GX $30,200 plus $1,950 vacation spot

Value as examined: Sport Design Turbo $42,800 plus vacation spot (Consists of $2,200 2.5T engine, $450 Soul Purple Crystal Metallic)