How Much Weight Can A Chevy Equinox Carry?

The Chevy Equinox is a mid-size SUV that looks like it packs a powerful punch in terms of what it can carry. But what is this Chevy's payload capacity, and does it change based on trim or engine size? It's hard to find a clear answer to this in most online resources without much research. We researched all of the trims of the Chevy Equinox and how much they can carry so that we can provide you with an answer here in this post. 

The Chevy Equinox has a respectable payload capacity for a mid-size SUV with a smaller engine. There are nine total trims for the 2021 version of the Chevy Equinox. Factors like engine size and drivetrain make the payload capacity anywhere between 1114 and 1240 pounds. Here is a breakdown by trim level:

  • Premier trim FWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1114 pound payload capacity
  • Premier trim AWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1118 pound payload capacity 
  • LT FWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1139 pound payload capacity
  • LT AWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1152 pound payload capacity
  • LS FWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1165 pound payload capacity
  • L FWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1190 pound payload capacity
  • LS FWD with a 1.5-liter engine - 1190 pound payload capacity
  • LT FWD with a 2.0-liter engine - 1192 pound payload capacity
  • LT AWD with a 2.o-liter engine - 1240 pound payload capacity

That's the payload capacity of the various trims of the Chevy Equinox, but there's a lot more to learn about the importance of the payload measurement. Please continue reading to find out more details on the Chevy Equinox payload, why payload capacity is an important measurement, and Chevy's towing capacity.

white chevy equinox parked at the side of a tree lined road. How Much Weight Can A Chevy Equinox Carry

Payload Capacity on the Chevy Equinox

Payload capacity is the total weight that a vehicle can carry on its frame. So this means, within the car itself loaded into an interior space like the backseat or the trunk, or in an outside area within the frame like the bed of a truck. The payload capacity measurement is different from the towing capacity, which measures how much a vehicle can pull behind it. 

The Chevy Equinox, for example, has a payload capacity that ranges from 1114 to 1240 pounds, depending on the trim. Factors like drivetrain, weight, suspension, and engine size affect how high the payload capacity is. The AWD trims you see on the list above always have a few extra pounds of payload capacity added to their FWD versions. But it's not always a significant number. For example, in the Premier trim, the all-wheel-drive capability only raises the payload capacity by four pounds. 

The factor that influences the payload capacity of the Chevy Equinox the most is the engine size. The LT trim has an available 2.0-liter engine, giving you more horsepower, torque, payload capacity, and especially towing capacity over the 1.5-liter standard engine. But more on towing capacity later. 

Does Payload Capacity Include Passengers?

Yes, the payload capacity does include the weight of passengers in its measurement. The measurement of payload capacity accounts for everything inside the vehicle, meaning that the people inside also count as cargo. What this means is that just because a vehicle has a payload capacity of 2000 pounds doesn't mean you can load 2000 pounds of equipment in addition to your work crew or family. Everything that you put into a vehicle, including people, should not ever exceed the limit set by the payload capacity. 

How Many Passengers Does the Chevy Equinox Hold?

Even though some medium-sized SUVs have third-row seating, the Chevy Equinox does not. Consequently, the Chevy does have seating for five total passengers across two rows. There are two comfortable captain's chairs for the driver and front passenger and a bench-style seat with three places in the back row.

Despite the lack of a third row, the Equinox does have a sizable trunk that gives the owner plenty of cargo and storage space. The second-row seats even fold down completely flat to allow for more storage space. Altogether, the Equinox has a maximum cargo space that measures 63.9 cubic feet. 

How Important is Payload Capacity?

So, how important is the measure of payload capacity for the longevity and performance of your vehicle? A payload capacity is a number set by the manufacturer to keep you and your vehicle safe when carrying large cargo. Because of this, it is imperative to follow this guideline to get the best performance out of your vehicle when you are using it to haul great weight. Doing so makes your car handle better and reduces wear and tear on vehicle systems like your suspension. 

What Happens if you Exceed Payload Capacity?

Since payload capacity is an important measurement for your vehicle's performance, bad things may happen if you exceed it. If you load too much weight into your vehicle, like the Chevy Equinox, for example, you run the risk of breaking the suspension. Further, it's just not safe to operate your vehicle when it is above payload capacity. Your car will experience a drastic loss in maneuverability and handling when it's overweight. 

All of the metrics that come along with vehicles when they are produced have been assigned after testing the vehicle's parts to complete failure. So, if you want to avoid damaging your vehicle or having an accident, make sure to follow safety guidelines and restrictions like payload capacity. 

Can a 2021 Chevy Equinox Tow? 

Now that we know that the Chevrolet Equinox has an impressive payload capacity, but how does it do with towing or trailering? According to Chevy's website, the 2021 Chevy Equinox has a max conventional trailering weight of 1500 pounds. This rating is the same for all four trims across both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

This 1500 pound capacity is enough to pull small objects like jetskis, tiny boats, or even motorcycles. Unfortunately, you will not be able to tow large objects like other cars or travel trailers with the Chevy Equinox's towing capacity. 

In some places, you may be able to upgrade a 2021 Chevy Equinox to have a higher towing capability. Sunrise Chevrolet in the Chicago area offers an upgrade to a 2.0-liter engine over the 1.5-liter engine that is standard in the Chevy Equinox. This one change increases the maximum towing capacity to 3500 pounds. 

Does Towing Capacity Include Payload?

As we mentioned above, towing capacity is the measure of how much a vehicle can pull. But, does that measurement include the amount of weight being carried by the vehicle during towing? While this is a fair question to ask, the answer is no. Towing capacity only includes what can fit inside the vehicle's interior or truck bed in its measurement. There is another measurement, called the GCWR, that includes both the interior and towed trailer. 

What is GCWR?

Another metric that indicates the towing strength of a vehicle is GCWR. This acronym stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating, and it is used to represent the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can handle with its payload plus a trailer. You may come across this acronym on spec sheets for pickup trucks or SUVs like the Chevy Equinox. 

The 2021 Chevy Equinox has a GCWR of 5274 pounds in the trims with the standard 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with front-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive trim and the standard engine give you a 5467 pound GCWR score. But the upgraded 2.0-liter engine will increase the GCWR by over 2000 pounds to 7694 pounds. 

In Closing

The 2021 Chevy Equinox has the payload and towing capacity to carry medium loads and light trailers. If you need to tow something larger than a jetski, like a medium-sized pop-up camper, then you should seek out one of the 2021 Chevy Equinox with the upgraded 2.0-liter engine.

That significant increase in power will be exactly what you're looking for if your heart is set on an Equinox. Otherwise, always pay attention to the payload and towing ratings. They are there to ensure that you get what you pay for out of your vehicle in terms of longevity. 

If you found the information in this post helpful, please check out a few of our others:

What’s the F-150 Payload Capacity? [Various models]

Is The Chevy Equinox AWD? [The Answer May Surprise You!]

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