2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ 2.4 AWD
On sale since July 2009, the Chevrolet Equinox has been one of the strongest and best-selling vehicles in the compact SUV/CUV market.
Key competitors are the Toyota Rav4, Ford Escape and Honda CRV, so let’s figure out, if this Chevrolet is as balanced as it’s name suggests.
Built in Canada, the Equinox tries to be the real life implementation of what our true needs in a vehicle are, rather than being a fancy-schmancy road warrior.
It is Sensibly priced, available in in three trim levels, all three can be selected in FWD or AWD , 4-Cyl or 6-Cyl. Prices start at $26,935 and go all the way up to $37,955, which make the Equinox rather affordable.
It looks great, with nicely curved headlamps, sporty looking bumpers, adequate ground clearance and tinted rear windows. The chrome package makes it look pimp as it adds that extra bling to it.
The LTZ trim comes with extra awesome 18” rims, MyLink™ entertainment system, neat tricks like mirrors with lane departure control and rear view camera, amazing leather seats, all around airbags, ABS, ESP, Hill Hold and Intelligent AWD. The list of standard gear is too long for me to go through and the selectable options are even more.
Inside the surprisingly large cabin, 5 adults and their luggage will feel very comfortable, as the rear 60:40 folding seats are very accommodating and the huge 889 lt cargo space behind them is more than enough and amongst the largest in the class. The premium Pioneer dozen speaker sound system is impressive and can add a nice soundtrack to the cabin.
Interior build quality is acceptable, the materials used are all hard plastic but the finish between them is good and overall the Equinox feels durable. Rattles and squeaks are absent and combined with the silent operation of the suspension the overall interior quality feels better that what it is.
Visibility towards all directions is good, the steering is adjustable for height and reach and the driver’s seat can be adjusted in every possible way as well so feeling comfortable in the Equinox is kind of easy.
On the road, the 182 BHP 2.4 4-cyl direct injection gasoline engine produces enough torque to keep the Equinox moving on a swift pace. The 172lb-ft of torque combined with the modern 6-speed automatic gearbox with electronic range select make the equinox feel agile and light despite its 1,781kg and at the same time, fuel economy remains within reasonable figures such as 11.1lt/100km city / 7.5lt/100km highway of regular unleaded. The 3.6lt V6 option is a lot more powerful, punching out 301BHP and 272lb-ft of torque, but feels a bit too powerful for the chassis and fuel economy is much worse. The steering is light and I could do with more feedback and the brake pedal feels a bit spongy. Typical GM, but at least female drivers will appreciate the effortless drive.
The front and rear independent suspension has been tuned to be quiet and comfortable, the hydraulic bushings work well and stop the knocks and your spine will appreciate the effort put in my GM engineers. Handling is safe, the ESP interferes discretely when needed and overall the equinox feels sturdy on its feel. It will turn in well and grip beyond expectations, but it is not happy when you get sporty with it.
So overall, the Equinox is a very balanced vehicle, it really does pack everything we really need for a workhorse daily commuter and the flexibility in purchase options will make it work for everyone.