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Budget Buy $20,000: Ford Edge vs Chevy Equinox

What is the best used SUV for $20k? We compare the Ford Edge vs Chevy Equinox on performance, comfort, interior, and available features.

Specs: Ford Edge vs Chevy Equinox

Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox 3.6L V6 - carsforsale.com
2016 Chevrolet Equinox 3.6L V6 - carsforsale.com

You can get more than you might expect from a preowned Equinox for under $20,000. Did you know that a brand new 2022 Equinox basic model sells for just over $25,000? However, for $20,000 you can get a nicely equipped 2016 Chevy Equinox.

While the Equinox comes with a range of engines depending on which year you buy. 2016 Chevrolet Equinoxes come with either a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine or a 3.6L 6-cylinder. The 2.4 engine isn’t all that exciting, but provides good gas mileage. The 3.6L model provides better overall power for passing and merging on the highway at a higher price with less fuel efficiency.

Edge

2016 Ford Edge 2.0L Turbo I4 - carsforsale.com
2016 Ford Edge 2.0L Turbo I4 - carsforsale.com

The 2016 Ford Edge offers an option for a 2.0 turbocharged engine that is quicker than the base 2.4 on the Equinox. Ford adds a couple more options though: a 3.5L 6-cylinder engine with a good amount of power, or a twin-turbo 2.7-liter 6-cylinder with more serious horsepower and torque at 315hp and 350 ft-lb.

Read our review of the 2022 Ford Edge here.

Drivetrains

Both the Equinox and the Edge are available with front wheel or all-wheel drive.

Who wins the specs battle?

We feel the Edge wins the engine and specs battle, even compared to other models in this class. With a third available engine, and a reasonably high-end used vehicle budget for a practical SUV, we would take the 2016 Edge with any of the available engines. The Equinox 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine is great for being economical but slows you down otherwise.

Driving and Performance

Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox - media.chevrolet.com
2016 Chevrolet Equinox - media.chevrolet.com

The Equinox is, at the very least, comfortable. The crossover SUV doesn’t surprise you by taking sharp turns with great precision or having the best ride in the world, but it certainly provides a nice, relaxed drive. Chevrolet has done a good job of making the Equinox a good highway and city car without making it feel like it’s out of control in either scenario, and most drivers will appreciate that.

Edge

2016 Ford Edge - netcarshow.com
2016 Ford Edge - netcarshow.com

The Edge offers a little more variety. Especially in the 2016 Ford Edge Sport model. The turning is tight and precise – you’ll be able to take hard turns in the city without worrying about wandering off path onto a curb.

Who wins the driving and performance battle?

The Edge edges out the Equinox, but only by a bit. Their handling and driving is similar, but drivers who want to cruise around faster and in comfort won’t feel any difference between the Equinox engines while the Edge Sport stands out.

Read our comparison between the Volkswagen Tiguan and Chevrolet Equinox here.

Comfort and Interior: Ford Edge vs Chevy Equinox

Equinox

The 2016 Chevy Equinox has nicely bolstered seats for long and short drives. The adjustable power seats are also easy to use, and the controls are well within reach. One of the biggest selling features for a late model preowned Equinox is the multi-flex bench seat in back. The Equinox lets you slide the back seat backwards and forwards, and flip it down. Whether you are trying to create more leg room, more cargo space, or a bench, you are in luck.

Edge

The Edge has a slightly nicer cabin with fewer hard plastics. The Edge requires some upgrades to get to the same level as the Equinox for seating flexibility. Otherwise the rear seats fold down, but don’t do much else.

Who wins the comfort and interior battle?

We prefer the 2016 Equinox’s standard multi-flex seat to work in almost any situation. The seats also feel more comfortable to sit in for long road trips.

Trims

Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT - media.chevrolet.com
2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT - media.chevrolet.com

A late model preowned Equinox will generally be available with:

  • LS is the lowest priced package and comes with the standard engine, cloth seats, and the basics, including paint color choices.
  • LT offers the Convenience Package, which typically includes power adjustable seats, floor mats, and other creature comforts like heated seats and leather. Our frugal side would choose the LT for having access to both engine options and heated seats.
  • LTZ/Premier: You have the option to add navigation (should you need it), ventilated seats, and a standard 6-cylinder engine

Edge

2016 Ford Edge Sport - netcarshow.com
2016 Ford Edge Sport - netcarshow.com

A late model preowned Edge is available with the following trims:

  • SE offers the most basic package and is similar to an Equinox LS
  • SEL adds a 6-cylinder engine and optional leather interior, amongst others.
  • Sport modifies the suspension and offers all-wheel-drive. This is our choice!
  • Titanium offers more technology, like the LTZ and Premier, and more options for ventilation and heated seats.
  • The Edge offers a slightly larger variety within its trim packages. The disappointment here is that the Equinox doesn’t go out of its way to offer a trim like the sport.

Features and Tech: Ford Edge vs Chevy Equinox

Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox - media.chevrolet.com
2016 Chevrolet Equinox - media.chevrolet.com

The Equinox has a standard 7-inch infotainment touch screen. This is quite easy to each and also adjustable via a knob. The whole GM lineup, with the Equinox included, has a Wi-Fi Hotspot and OnStar built in, which is great for streaming movies or working while on the road.

Edge

2016 Ford Edge - netcarshow.com
2016 Ford Edge - netcarshow.com

The Edge has a smaller 4-inch available in earlier trims. While the Edge does have standard safety features with forward collision alert and others available, the Equinox offers similar results.

Who wins the battle of features and technology?

The question here is whether or not drivers will use the Wi-Fi hotspot and OnStar. Many do not resubscribe, but the Equinox carries the distinction of a larger base screen.

Read more about our favorite family car features here.

Final thoughts

2016 Ford Edge Sport - netcarshow.com
2016 Ford Edge Sport - netcarshow.com

We like the idea of a 2016 Ford Edge Sport with the twin turbo 6-cylinder engine. They are a fun drive! The Equinox certainly has its appeal with more gas efficient engines and a comfortable ride, in addition to better technology. We recommend the Ford Edge at the price point of under $20,000 because the technology is appealing, but not the focus of a sporty SUV.

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Ben Stewart

Ben Stewart knows cars. His passion for vehicles started with racing remote control cars, but evolved into writing articles about them, selling them, and putting his creative mind to use in automotive marketing. The best part about Ben's eight years of dealership experience was connecting people with the details they needed to make informed decisions. He's still keeping up with the specs, prices, and latest features, but now as an author. When it comes to writing, Ben specializes in vehicle history, car reviews, and head-to-head comparisons.

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