The Toyota RAV4 and Chevy Equinox and compete in the compact SUV vehicle segment. Both are offered with more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines with more powerful V-6 options. Most of their competitors, such as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester do not offer V-6 engines, although the Forester is offered with a turbo-charged four-cylinder engine. What distinguishes the RAV4 from other compact SUV models is that it is one of only a few that offers third-row seating.
A 2011 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2011 Chevy Equinox comparison is worth doing if you are considering purchasing a smaller SUV. The Toyota RAV4 comes in three trim lines: Base, Limited, and Sport. All trims offer an optional V-6 and all-wheel drive, except the base trim line, which does not offer all-wheel drive with the four-cylinder engine. The RAV-4 base with front-wheel drive has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $22,025. It comes standard with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, and CD player.
The Equinox LS front-wheel drive has an MSRP of $22,995. However, it adds power seats as a standard feature. Both models have excellent safety features with standard ABS, traction control, electronic stability control and driver, passenger, and side airbags. Engine power is also very comparable. The RAV4 base has a 2.5-liter 179 horsepower four-cylinder engine while the Equinox LS has a 2.4-liter 182 horsepower four-cylinder engine.
The RAV4 is in its sixth year of its current generation and in some important ways, it shows. The RAV4 offers an antiquated four-speed automatic standard with the four-cylinder engine, where as the Equinox, which was significantly revised in 2010, offers a six-speed automatic standard. This makes a difference in fuel economy. The RAV4s EPA rated fuel economy is 22-mpg city and 28-mpg highway, where as the Equinox LS’ fuel economy is 22-mpg city and 32-mpg highway.
In top-level trim line, the RAV4 Limited V-6 with 4X4 has an MSRP of $28,335. Surprisingly at this price point, a sunroof, power seats, and leather seats are still optional features. This RAV4s V-6 has 3.5-liters and outputs 270 horsepower. It has a five-speed automatic transmission that returns fuel economy of 19-mpg city and 26-mpg highway.
The comparable Equinox 2LT AWD offers power seats as a standard feature but navigation is not available on this trim line. The 3.0-liter V-6 engine produces 264 horsepower. The engine has below average fuel economy returning 16-mpg city and 22-mpg highway.
In terms of cargo room, the RAV4 is the winner. The RAV4 is one of the largest compact SUVs, in terms of cargo room. It has 73 cubic feet with second and third row seats folded down, 36.4 cubic feet behind the second row seats, and 12.3 cubic feet with all seats up. This is compared to the Equinox, which has 31.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 63.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. The Equinox rear seats do slide about 8 inches forward and back, providing a range of useful options.
In making a 2011 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2011 Chevy Equinox comparison, the Equinox is appealing with its fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine. However, if you want V-6 power with ample cargo room, the RAV4 may be the better choice. There is no significant revision expected on the RAV4 until the 2013 model year.