DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Still a solid driver, the Chevy Equinox manages to hide its age relatively well -- this generation has been on sale for over five years now, an eternity in the competitive compact-crossover market. Selective updates and the inclusion of Chevy’s excellent MyLink infotainment suite have helped keep it current in the eyes of buyers, and the styling has aged very well -- the Equinox will trounce a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 in a beauty contest even if it can’t offer the refinement or real-world fuel economy of the Japanese front-runners.
Despite MyLink, the interior is where our Chevy’s age began to really show. All the requisite bells-and-whistles are present, but hard black plastic accented by hard silver plastic comprises nearly every surface. It’s a look that was once acceptable in the segment (these are utilities, after all), but competitors have found a few bits of cushioned upholstery and soft-touch points go a long way toward simulating a premium experience -- the Chevy feels very chintzy by comparison. It’s also loud, engine and road noise contributing to the din, though that’s a trait its competitors also share.
The 2.4-liter I-4/six-speed automatic combo in our Equinox is just adequate with the weight of AWD to haul around. Moving away from stoplights and navigating city traffic isn’t a problem, but highway passing and on-ramp entry is a buzzy, high-rpm affair. The trip computer showed right around 23 mpg in mixed driving, though, so it’s spot-on with Chevy’s estimates.
As for this car’s nearly $39K sticker, that’s obviously a laughable figure -- if you pay anywhere near that for a four-cylinder Equinox, you’re off your gourd. Your local Chevy dealer will no doubt adjust the price based on various incentive programs in order to be within a few bucks of a CR-V. Why Chevy doesn’t just competitively price its vehicles in the first place is beyond me, but I’m sure it has something to do with consumers being conditioned to expect a deal, etc.
Either way, knock the rear DVD system and extra-cost paint off the sticker, find a few grand in incentives, and suddenly you’ve got a perfectly nice compact crossover for the average American buyer.
An efficient six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models and an “Eco” transmission mode on 2.4L-equipped models alters shift points to improve fuel economy.
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Agreed. This Chevrolet Equinox is what, 5 years old now? Something like that. And, yes, it’s still a solid driver and does indeed hide its age OK. The exterior still looks modern and fresh.
The 2.4-liter four and six-speed auto are smooth enough, but as noted above the engine can get a little grouchy in the upper revs. The ride/handling mix is fine, and either it’s my imagination or this thing has better body control than a lot of other small SUVs. Feels buttoned up. Then again, at 3,700 pounds the Chevy likely outweighs most of them, so that might contribute to less bobbing around.
The interior might have been world class five years ago at launch and still looks good, but these days the materials could use an upgrade -- there’s a lot of hard plastic in there. MyLink is one thing I was happy to see, as was the sliding rear seat.
Again, for its age, the Equinox is fine. I’m sure there’s a replacement coming soon. For now I can say this: I’d rather drive this 5-year-than our long-term fresh-from-the-oven Nissan Rogue.
Article Source: this factual content has not been modified from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope that it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of commercial purposes of this blog.