14 different trim levels
Shouldn’t there be an Equinox for every taste and price point?
Starting out at a little over $26,800 MSRP, it’s hard to ignore a comfortable 5 passenger SUV regardless of creature comforts or high tech gadgets.
We have various Equinox’s in FWD and AWD trims and this was a little above the bare $23,500 L trim. This LT version starts at $3,300 more. After perusing the Chevrolet website, the differences are minor with quite a big jump in cost. I don’t think SiriusXM radio, HID headlights, deep tinted rear glass, roof mounted luggage carrier provisions(?), spare tire instead of inflating kit, and rear carpeted floormats warrant that price increase.
Chevy did a good job of disguising near to basic LT version from the top tiered AWD Premier Diesel that stickers for over $7,000 more. This pictured area left of the steering wheel is usually where carmakers stick optional overrides for traction control, adaptive cruise control, etc. A refreshing change from the norm, this Equinox appears as if there’s no other trim choices available.
The center console is very typical Chevrolet. Electronic parking brake, small cubby for spare change, 6-speed automatic gear shifter, 2 standard sized cupholders, and a giant storage area under the center armrest that could easily swallow an iPad. The “L” on the shifter is a little misleading. That actually activates the sport shifter buttons on the top of the shifter, although it does default to 1st gear when at a stop.
I think it’d be challenging for anyone but a seasoned Chevrolet salesperson to differentiate between a Cruze, Malibu, Equinox, and Impala dashboard. I’d like to consider myself as a car fanatic, but all the Chevy dash pics I’ve taken for this blog blend together now. Most notably, this Equinox has no redline on the RPM gauge.
As expected, the center stack is very sparse on this base “L” version. There’s not an automatic climate control in here, but the fit and finish are such that it seems normal. The fan delay from cranking the heater from off to high was unusually long even after it’s completely warmed up.
The fuel door is the GM capless filler system found in most of GM cars, trucks and SUVs current lineup. I’m still perplexed of the what seems to be an auxiliary port to the right and hope to find out soon.
I was pleasantly surprised by the interior comfort, ride, and performance of the Equinox. The power drivers seat was instantly comfortable with minimal adjustments even more so than the Cadillac XTS of last week, but at this price point, the passenger seat is manual. This would be a good choice for 5 people on a lengthy road trip or a city tour due to ease of entry and departure from the cabin plus the cavernous cargo area. Some of the interior materials felt really cheap, but quilted seats felt and the A/C vents looked better than expected, respectively.
The back seat was also sparse in creature comforts. There was a power outlet and 2 A/C vents, but that was it.
The rear cargo area is huge, but not quite big enough for a 3rd row seat. The cargo capacity is nearly 30 cubic feet with the seats up and 63 1/2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The right side wheel well cover was very cheap plastic only comparable to an early 80’s station wagon.
The 170hp 4-cyl turbo was no where near a rocket ship, but the 30mpg I achieved on my mixed city/highway day with the Equinox was an acceptable balance. There’s an available 2.0 4-cyl turbo with 82 extra horsepower and a 9-speed automatic, but that comes with a minimum $3500 premium from this LT trim.
70 out of 100 –
75 out of 100 – basic, but well thought out and easy to quickly read.
65 out of 100
90 out of 100
65 out of 100
80 out of 100
65 out of 100
RECOMMEND TO RENT:
75 out of 100
RECOMMEND TO BUY:
40 out of 100 – “L” trim is a much better value, but there’s an identical black one on ebay now for $8400 off of MSRP.