Fuel Economy: 22 City / 32 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $24,520
Inside the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox:
The 2015 Chevy Equinox is 6 years removed since the last redesign but remains one of the most popular compact crossovers on the market. But in the famous words of Bert Lance, former Director of the OMB, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Sales numbers along with awards in safety and value prove the Equinox is far from “broke.” The entry level version, Equinox LS, comes with a 2.4L dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine with 182 horsepower. A V6 upgrade is available with 301 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque. Additional trim packages include the 1LT, 2LT and LTZ.
The only change from the previous 2014 Equinox is an impressive one. Passengers in the Equinox can now enjoy the power of a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 7 devices. The Equinox adds two new fun color options with Blue Velvet Metallic and Sea Grass Metallic. Rumbling from some sources say we will see an overhaul on the Equinox in the next year or so, which has us chomping at the bit in excitement. Until then, the Equinox comes with many standard features including StabiliTrak stability control, SiriusXM Satelite radio, and a safety package that includes six airbags on all trim options and a rear back up camera on all but the LS model.
Fuel Economy: 22 City / 29 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $22,195
Inside the 2015 Subaru Forester:
The 2015 Subaru Forester has been completely overhauled for 2015, despite the 2014 redesign. Subaru took the best features from the last update and packaged them up with a ton of other upgrades. Nevertheless, this 2015 sees some major improvements and has been collecting awards faster than Michael Phelps in the pool at the Beijing Olympics. The base model includes a 2.5L, 170 horsepower Subaru Boxer engine which sits lower in the chassis for weight distribution and better handling. The upgrade engine is a 2.0L turbocharged beast-of-an engine that shreds the streets with 250 horses ad 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Trim options include the base 2.5i with upgraded 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring.
Changes for 2015 include a rear view backup camera in the base 2.5i model and power moonroof in the Premium edition. The suspension has greatly improved for better overall driving in any weather condition, which if you have ever driven a Forester before, is a tough feat as handling was already superior for a compact crossover. Tech savvy car buyers will love the features Subaru has to offer, which include GPS navigation system, harmon/kardon amplifier and speakers and EyeSight Driver Assist System with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning.
Our Pick for Winner:
Base Model: Subaru Forester
While the Subaru Forester is priced significantly less than the Equinox, the base package with strictly standard features is what we looked at for this category. The Forester with Boxer engine gives it a superior driving experience and combined with the standard rearview backup camera, give it the win.
Upgrades: Chevrolet Equinox
While the Subaru Forester offers a manual option on the 2.5L engine, this option is not available in the turbocharged 2.0L 250 horsepower option which makes us sad. The Equinox upgrade rings in at 301 horsepower with a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs, which for a compact crossover is very impressive.
This was easily one of our favorite matchups that we’ve looked at as the competition stacked up well against each other. But when tasked with the tough decision, we had to give the edge to the Forester as they have improved on an already great vehicle for the 2nd year in a row with a complete redesign. While the Equinox will likely see a massive change in the near future, Subaru has continued to listen to the wants of car buyers.