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If you’re considering buying an SUV on a budget, you may have come across the Chevy Equinox.

With a low starting price and discounts readily available, the Equinox seems too good to be true. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine why Chevy Equinox SUVs are so affordable.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s the short answer:

Chevy Equinox SUVs are inexpensive because they are mass-produced with cheaper materials, have fewer features than competitors, and high incentives from GM to move inventory.

High Volume Production Keeps Costs Down

One of the main reasons why Chevy Equinox SUVs are so cheap is because of their high volume production. The more vehicles that are produced, the lower the cost per unit becomes.

This is due to economies of scale, which allow manufacturers to spread their fixed costs over a larger number of units.

In the case of the Chevy Equinox, the high demand for this popular SUV has enabled Chevrolet to ramp up production, resulting in lower production costs.

Basic Design Allows High Production Volumes

The basic design of the Chevy Equinox is another factor that contributes to its high volume production. The Equinox is known for its simple yet functional design, which allows for efficient manufacturing processes.

By keeping the design relatively straightforward, Chevrolet is able to streamline the production line and reduce the time and cost required to assemble each vehicle.

This ultimately translates into savings that can be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices.

Global Platform Lowers Per-Unit Costs

Another reason why Chevy Equinox SUVs are so affordable is because they are built on a global platform.

This means that the same basic components and manufacturing processes are used across different markets worldwide.

By standardizing the production process, Chevrolet can achieve greater efficiency and reduce costs.

Additionally, using a global platform allows Chevrolet to take advantage of economies of scale on a global level, further driving down per-unit costs.

Lower Quality Materials Than Competitors

One of the main reasons why Chevy Equinox SUVs are priced lower than their competitors is due to the use of lower quality materials in certain areas of the vehicle.

These materials are typically cheaper to produce and result in cost savings for the manufacturer, which are then passed on to the consumer.

All-Plastic Interior

The interior of the Chevy Equinox is predominantly made of plastic, as opposed to the higher quality materials used in some of its competitors.

While this may not affect the overall functionality of the vehicle, it can give the interior a less luxurious feel.

However, it’s worth noting that the use of plastic can also make the interior easier to clean and more resistant to wear and tear.

Less Noise Insulation

Another area where Chevy Equinox SUVs may cut costs is in noise insulation.

While competitors may use more advanced soundproofing techniques to minimize road and engine noise, the Equinox may have less insulation, resulting in a slightly noisier driving experience.

However, this may not be a significant issue for those who prioritize price over absolute quietness.

Fewer Premium Features

Compared to some of its competitors, the Chevy Equinox may have fewer premium features.

While it still offers a range of modern amenities and technology, such as touchscreen infotainment systems and advanced safety features, it may not have the same level of luxury features found in higher-end SUVs.

This allows Chevy to keep the price more affordable for consumers who don’t require or prioritize these additional features.

It’s important to remember that while the Chevy Equinox may have lower quality materials in certain areas, it is still a reliable and functional SUV that offers good value for its price.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase the Equinox or a higher-priced competitor comes down to personal preferences and priorities.

Inventory Management Incentives

One of the reasons why Chevy Equinox SUVs are so affordable is due to the inventory management incentives provided by Chevrolet to its dealerships.

These incentives are designed to encourage dealerships to sell a higher volume of vehicles, which in turn helps to reduce the overall cost of the vehicles.

By offering these incentives, Chevrolet is able to keep the price of the Equinox competitive in the market.

High Incentives to Dealerships

Chevrolet provides high incentives to its dealerships for selling the Equinox SUV. These incentives can include cash bonuses, discounted financing rates, or even additional vehicles for the dealership’s inventory.

These incentives motivate dealerships to sell more Equinox SUVs, which benefits both the dealership and the consumer.

Dealerships are more willing to offer lower prices and better deals when they have the opportunity to earn additional incentives.

Frequent Sales Events

Chevrolet frequently holds sales events for the Equinox SUV, offering special discounts and promotions. These events are designed to attract potential buyers and create a sense of urgency to make a purchase.

During these events, customers can take advantage of reduced prices, low-interest financing, or other incentives.

The availability of these sales events allows customers to purchase a Chevy Equinox at a more affordable price.

High Residual Value Helps Lease Deals

The Chevy Equinox has a high residual value, which makes it an attractive option for leasing. The residual value is the estimated value of the vehicle at the end of the lease term.

A higher residual value means lower monthly lease payments.

By offering a high residual value, Chevrolet is able to make leasing an Equinox SUV more affordable for consumers. This helps to attract more customers who are interested in leasing rather than purchasing the vehicle outright.

Minimal Advertising Budget

One of the reasons why Chevy Equinox SUVs are priced so affordably is their minimal advertising budget.

Unlike some other car manufacturers who spend millions of dollars on flashy commercials and print ads, Chevy takes a different approach.

They rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing and prioritize their resources on other aspects of the business.

Reliance on Word-of-Mouth

Chevy understands the value of positive customer experiences and the power of word-of-mouth recommendations.

By focusing on delivering a quality product and exceptional customer service, they encourage satisfied customers to spread the word to their friends, family, and colleagues.

This organic form of advertising not only helps to keep costs down but also builds trust in the brand.

Additionally, Chevy Equinox SUVs have gained a reputation for their reliability and durability.

Many owners are happy to share their positive experiences, further enhancing the word-of-mouth marketing for the brand.

This positive buzz around the Chevy Equinox allows them to allocate less money towards traditional advertising and more towards improving the vehicle itself.

Lower National Ad Spend

While other car manufacturers invest heavily in national advertising campaigns, Chevy takes a more targeted approach. They focus their advertising efforts on specific regions or markets where they see the most potential for sales.

By narrowing their scope, Chevy can minimize their national ad spend and allocate resources more efficiently.

This strategy allows Chevy to tailor their advertisements to specific demographics and target audiences, ensuring that their message resonates with potential customers.

By avoiding the high costs associated with national advertising, Chevy can pass on these savings to consumers in the form of lower prices for their Equinox SUVs.

It’s important to note that while Chevy may have a minimal advertising budget compared to some of its competitors, this does not mean that they neglect marketing altogether.

They still invest in various marketing channels, including digital marketing, social media campaigns, and targeted promotions.

However, their strategic approach to advertising allows them to keep costs down and offer more affordable prices for their vehicles.

The Downsides of a Cheap SUV

While the low price tag of a Chevy Equinox SUV may be enticing, it’s essential to consider the potential downsides before making a purchase. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Poorer Predicted Reliability

One of the drawbacks of a cheap SUV like the Chevy Equinox is its predicted reliability.

According to a study conducted by Consumer Reports, the Equinox has received below-average ratings for reliability compared to its competitors in the compact SUV segment.

This means that owners may experience more frequent mechanical issues and potentially higher maintenance costs in the long run.

It’s important to consider this factor, especially if you plan on keeping the vehicle for an extended period.

Less Passenger Space

Another trade-off of a budget-friendly SUV is the potential compromise on interior space.

While the Chevy Equinox offers seating for up to five passengers, some competitors in the same price range may provide more spacious cabins.

This could result in a slightly cramped feel, especially for taller individuals or those who frequently travel with a full passenger load.

If ample legroom and comfort are a priority, it might be worth considering other SUV options that offer more generous seating arrangements.

Outdated Infotainment System

One aspect where the Chevy Equinox falls short is its infotainment system.

While it may have some standard features such as Bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen display, the system itself is often criticized for its outdated interface and lack of intuitive controls.

This can be a significant drawback, especially for tech-savvy individuals who value a seamless and user-friendly multimedia experience while on the road.

If having the latest technology and a modern infotainment system is important to you, it might be worth exploring other SUV models that offer more advanced and up-to-date features.

It’s important to weigh these downsides against the affordability of the Chevy Equinox. While it may be cheaper upfront, it’s crucial to consider the potential long-term costs and your specific needs and preferences.

Ultimately, finding the right balance between price and quality is key when making a decision about purchasing a budget-friendly SUV.


In summary, the low sticker price on the Chevy Equinox is made possible by GM’s focus on high-volume manufacturing, cheaper materials, frequent sales incentives, and lower advertising costs.

While you get an affordable SUV, the tradeoffs include lower quality, fewer features, and poorer reliability compared to competitors.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully as you shop for your next SUV within your budget.

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