I've got a 2017 Essence FWD with the 2.5. My mom just bought a 2019 Equinox Premier with the 2.0 Turbo.
I got to drive her Equinox not long after she got it and took her on a 6 hour drive to my home, a trip I've made a few times with my Buick, so i got a great opportunity to compare the two cars.
I like the interior of the Buick better. The dash is covered in leather where the Equinox is hard plastic. I think the Buick rides slightly better, and I find my seat more comfortable, although that could be because I've spent more time adjusting it to fit me best.
I get much better gas mileage with the 2.5 than the 2.0 Turbo. I use my trip computer to show my best mileage over 50 miles, and on the trip down the mountain from my mom's in my car I got over 45 MPG (best 50 miles). The 2.0 Turbo I wound up just over 36. By the time I got home, my car will be near 34 MPG for the trip, the 2.0T Equinox was under 30. Same driver, same trip.
The Equinox Premium does have all of the latest in driver assistance, including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and brake assist. I got to play with these features on the Equinox. One of the things I found using the adaptive cruise is that I didn't pay as close of attention since I knew the car would maintain following distance. I noticed that if traffic in the right lane fell far below where I had set the cruise I wouldn't be aware of it right away.
The vibrating seat indication for vehicles near the vehicle was odd and startling. It always made me wonder if there was a problem with the car at first as I sensed a problem with the car ("what's that vibration in the driveline") versus recognizing the nature of the warning. I think I would have gotten used to it with enough time.
I did like the headlights on the Chevy Equinox Premium, but I think these are standard on all of the Envisions now, as well as the 9 speed transmission. Although I did not notice any real driving differences between the 6 speed I have and the 9 speed on the Equinox.
I also drove a GMC Terrain SLT Diesel when they first came out. I really liked the car, and the test drive is what got me looking to replace my 2012 Cadillac SRX (same car my mom replaced as well). I liked the outside styling a bit more on the Terrain, but the Buick was a left over 2017 with a huge discount, and since I liked both vehicles about the same, I went with the Buick.
Long term, for me, I think the Buick was the best choice. And the dealer had one in red with the tan interior, which is what I really wanted. I'm tired of silver / gray cars, and wanted some color. If Buick had offered a Blue I might have wanted that, and the Equinox is available in a sharp looking blue.
At the end of the day, the Envision, Equinox and Terrain are all good cars, each with slightly different character. To go slightly more upscale the cadillac XT4 is worth a look as well.