The Equinox is Chevrolet's second biggest selling vehicle, and it's number 5 in the U.S. cross over market. It's an extremely important vehicle for the company. It's an extremely competitive segment with Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Ford offering up high quality options. Chevy has responded with improvements to the current version of the Equinox, that make it about four inches smaller on the outside and about 400 pounds lighter, but inside they've retained all of the interior space offered by the previous version. Chevy has re-engineered the chassis to be lighter, and they're using lighter materials on many of the parts.
The Equinox is available exclusively with turbocharged four cylinder engines. A 1.6 litre turbo diesel delivers a reported 40-miles per gallon on the highway. There is also a 1.5-litre turbo option, and then there's this 2.0-litre turbo, which is what came in our test vehicle.
Inside the cabin is spacious. Everything is laid out logically. There is adequate leg room for rear passengers. Open the rear hatch and you get 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space. That's a little less than most competitors, but pull a lever and flip down the rear seats and the cargo area opens up to a much larger 63.5 cubic feet.
The Equinox has an entry level L trim option which gets you front wheel drive, 17 inch alloy wheels, auto headlights, LED daytime running lights, a fuel-saving engine stop-start system, rearview camera, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a driver information display, height-adjustable front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Chevrolet's Teen Driver watchdog modes, Bluetooth, OnStar a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The L trim option is special order though, so most people will find LS Models stocked on most dealer lots. It adds a few more options, and makes All Wheel Drive an option at the lowest possible price.
Our test vehicle came with the top of the line trim package which provided bigger 18 inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, fog lights, auto-dimming mirrors, roof rails, a hands-free liftgate, chrome exterior trim, ambient interior lighting, driver-seat memory settings, perforated leather upholstery and wireless device charging.
But wait there's still more! Yes you can add even more options to the Premier package, with things like a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree camera, and a driver's alert seat which vibrates to alert you to road hazards. You really can customize the Equinox.
Some will call this a cross over, others will call it an SUV. Either way this is a solid all around vehicle. It is so good it will most certainly give Honda and Toyota a run for their money in this very competitive class of vehicle.
The 1.5 litre engine produces about 170-horsepower, but the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine really performs with 252 horsepower and a nine speed transmission. That extra power makes a big difference especially on the highway, and if you're going to use the vehicle to tow anything you will really appreciate the extra power. The 2.0 litre turbo engine option doubles the towing capacity to 3500 pounds. The all wheel drive system is computer controlled, applying traction where it's needed most.
The Equinox is the most aerodynamically efficient vehicle in it's class. Our test vehicle provided about 32 miles per gallon on the highway. This is a very comfortable vehicle. The suspension strikes just the right balance between good road feel and comfort. The Equinox handles surprisingly well. You'll take twisty winding roads with confidence, and navigate through parking lots and into parking spaces with ease.
The panoramic sunroof provides an additional dimension of luxury to the Equinox. With such a rich range of features and options you can really order an Equinox to fit your lifestyle. From basic transportation to a fully loaded luxury vehicle you can order your Equinox exactly the way you want it.
The more we drove it the more we liked. After a week behind the wheel I can honestly say I didn't want to give this Equinox back. Chevy redesigned and re-engineered this Canadian built vehicle in an effort to carve out more sales in this small SUV segment. The result is a solid all around performer that is absolutely worthy of consideration.
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