2021 Chevrolet Equinox: Taking After Big Brother

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2021 chevrolet equinox taking after big brother

Maybe Corey’s grandmother should have waited. As the Chicago Auto Show kicks off in the Windy City, General Motors unveiled a mid-cycle refresh of one of the most popular compact crossovers on the market.

For 2021, Chevrolet’s Equinox cosies up a little closer to its big brother, the Blazer, adopting a meaner-looking face and offering, for the first time, a sport-oriented RS variant. A CUV that’s lacked attitude since its inception now wears a snarl.

There’s only so much an automaker can do to differentiate a refreshed model from its predecessor, so the entirety of the exterior changes take place fore and aft. The Blazer-esque grille pairs with a redesigned lower fascia and rejigged rear. Back there, the taillights mercifully take on a new design (or adopt one at all), appearing like a set of LED barbecue tongs that became warped after grabbing a too-big slab of meat.

The front end’s the bigger story, with designers opting to spear the leadlamp array with the grille’s crossbar. LED light strip above the border, driving lights below. A grille that doesn’t plunge quite as deep in the center and a wider lower air opening erases much of the visual derpiness that once plagued this model’s visage.

Powertrains are a carryover. With the Great Diesel Experiment now over, the only choice of motivation is the usual 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinders, mated to either a six- or nine-speed automatic. Front- or all-wheel drive, take your pick. Trim levels, like before, include base L, LS, LT, and a range-topping Premier (now with more interior tinsel, a black-and-chrome grille treatment, and LED lamps), but 2021 brings an RS version into the fold.

As you’d expect, especially after perusing the Blazer version, this option is a feast for the eyes, not the soul. Sporting blacked-out everything, the RS dons 19-inch wheels and a boatload of red stitching stitching to lend a touch of visual menace, setting your ride apart from the other Equinoxes waiting outside your kid’s school at 4 p.m. Power doesn’t change, but stay clear of those quad tips just in case.

Standard on all Equinoxes for 2021 are automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, and a following distance indicator. Of course, there’s a rear-vision camera, too. Niceties like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert will require an outlay of additional dollars, depending on trim.

The Equinox remains an enormously important product for GM, one whose popularity seems to know no ceiling. Some 346,048 Equinoxes rolled out of dealerships last year — a significant jump from 2018, making the model nearly three times as popular as the entire Jaguar Land Rover lineup. Put another way, the Equinox moved more than double the volume of the Chrysler, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo brands. It came close to outselling the combined might of Cadillac and Buick.

The 2021 Equinox lands in dealerships this fall. Updated pricing will roll out sometime before then.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 18 comments
  • Akear Akear on Feb 06, 2020

    Why is GM bringing back the Aztec styling trend of making the top headlights so thin.

  • Redgolf Redgolf on Feb 06, 2020

    I'm leasing a 2020 LT, 1.5 T, after 3 months I'm getting use to the start/stop technology ( which can be by passed) and liking all the other safety add-ons, it runs and drives great with no issues, I blacked out both the front/rear Chevy bow ties along with the wheel cover bow ties and added a black hood bug deflector, my next step is going to add a black grill with fake RS badging if I can order them, why you may ask, because I don't like being like "the other Equinoxes waiting outside your kid’s school at 4 p.m." ;-)

  • Kcflyer The solution is harsh punishment, long prison terms, for car thieves. I suggest two weeks for first offense (unless they run from the cops or commit other offenses. Second offense, thirty years hard labor. That should do it.
  • Oberkanone Installing immobilizer is the answer. It's not hard. It's not expensive.
  • MrIcky Out of the possible Jeep recalls to bring up on this site, I'm surprised it's this one and not round 2 of the clutch recall.
  • Dukeisduke I saw a well-preserved Mark VII LSC on the road not too long ago, and I had to do a double-take. They still have a presence. Back when these were new, a cousin of mine owned an LSC with the BMW turbo diesel.
  • Dukeisduke I imagine that stud was added during the design process for something, and someone further along the process forgot to delete it after it became unnecessary.