We’re more likely to consider a crossover utility vehicle than a sedan, coupe, or convertible these days, which explains why manufacturers are abandoning car models in droves. Beyond the Camaro and Corvette, Chevrolet is doing likewise, by expanding its SUV offerings to fill nearly every niche possible.
The Chevrolet Equinox is one example of a crossover that targets new-car shoppers, by delivering an excellent combination of style, performance, utility, and value. The current-generation model rolled out in 2018 and has already undergone several changes, including newly standard safety equipment this year. With a starting price under $25,000, this five-passenger model avoids the sting of sticker shock.
Chevrolet Equinox Overview
Chevrolet offers the 2020 Equinox in L, LS, LT, and Premier trims. Prices range from $24,995 for the base model with front-wheel drive to $36,895 for the all-wheel-drive Premier with the upgraded engine. Discounts of approximately $4,000 are available on all but the base trim, essentially covering the cost of your upgrades.
The Equinox slots between the Trax and Blazer. Its competitive set includes the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Compass, Honda CR-V, and other models.
The Equinox supplies middle-of-the-road styling – it isn’t bland, but it isn’t especially memorable. It lacks the aggressive look of the Blazer, which shares some of its styling attributes with the Camaro.
Inside, the cabin is roomy, bright, and cleanly designed. Cloth seats are standard; leather is available. The upper section of the dashboard comes wrapped in soft-touch materials; the lower section features hard plastics. Lots of brightwork trim supplies definition. The available 63.5 cubic foot storage capacity is below average.
Tech & Safety
The Equinox comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but our review vehicle had the optional 8-inch display. This bundle includes an easy-to-discern interface, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. Six speakers are the norm; a Bose sound system is available.
Chevrolet includes four standard USB ports, two 12-volt outlets, and a 120-volt, three-prong outlet. Wireless phone charging is available on the Premier trim.
This year, the Equinox caught the competition by offering numerous driver-assist features as standard equipment. All models now have automatic high-beam control, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision warning, front pedestrian braking, and automatic emergency braking. Optional features on upper trim models include lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.
On the Road
Chevrolet equipped our Premier edition model with the upgraded 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It seemed nearly as strong as the V6 it replaced, delivering a robust 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power travels to the wheels utilizing a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Fast off the start, the Equinox delivers excellent passing power too. The transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, and the engine never strains. Oddly, the Equinox’s all-wheel-drive system doesn’t automatically kick in. Instead, it’s activated by the driver on demand. What this means if you floor the gas pedal without the system engaged, no power is shifted to the rear wheels automatically. This also means you’ll encounter understeer, whereby the wheels suddenly shift from side to side to find traction. Chevrolet designed the system to save fuel, thus the reasoning behind it.
Don’t immediately overlook the base 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. Power is adequately distributed to the wheels utilizing a six-speed transmission. Its 4 mpg fuel economy edge adds up. Light, but accurate steering and a comfortable ride are two attributes of the Equinox.
Most North Carolinians can do without all-wheel drive, a $1,600 option that’s also not available with the base trim. The appearance upgrade with the Equinox LT along with a power driver’s seat and lumbar support makes this our choice, one that also supplies additional customization through available convenience and audio upgrades.
See Also — The Chevrolet Equinox Shows Its Versatility
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