In isolation, the Chevrolet Equinox appears to be a capable mainstream compact SUV. It offers plenty of features, even in the base LS trim, including numerous safety technologies, heated power side mirrors, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and LED headlights with automatic high-beam functionality. The design of the Equinox is inoffensive; a minor facelift was rolled out for the 2022 model year, giving it a bit of a facelift. It offers a spacious interior with plenty of room for passengers and plenty of cargo space. Underneath is a chassis that’s more playful than you might expect, but the Equinox’s anemic turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine limits how much driving fun can be had with the roughly 3650-pound crossover. In reality, the Equinox is bland and innocuous compared to the very tasteful compact SUVs it competes against, including stellar models like the Mazda CX-50, Honda CR-V, Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Bronco Sport. That hasn’t stopped the Equinox from being one of this large class’ best sellers. Clearly, the public appreciates the Equinox’s inoffensive combination of roominess, features and price enough to overlook its sleepy performance and low-key personality.
What’s new for 2023?
For the 2023 model year, the Chevrolet Equinox sees only minor changes, including a 5-horsepower gain for the 1.5-liter turbo, bringing it to 175 ponies; of torque remains the same at 203 pound-feet of twist. Three of the eight available paint colors are new this year, as is the switch from a conventional vacuum-boosted brake system to an electronically-assisted system that Chevrolet refers to as “E-boost.” Chevy also introduced Sport and Midnight edition models for the base LS trim level.
Prices and which one to buy
Although the Equinox range includes a value base LS model as well as the Premier – which tops the range – we’d go with the mid-grade RS. Its standard features include blind spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate, rear cross-traffic alert and remote start. You can get similar content in an LT by adding the Confidence and Convenience package, but we prefer the blacked-out trim of the RS and think it justifies the price difference between the two.
Engine, transmission and performance
The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, underpowered and frequently out of breath, won’t win any fans with its sluggish performance, and it’s the only offering for the Equinox. The beefed-up I-4 makes 175 horsepower, and when paired with the optional (and heavier) all-wheel drive system (front-wheel drive is standard), it takes a heavy foot to propel the Equinox down the highway. The six-speed automatic shifts seamlessly, although it’s reluctant to downshift when extra power is needed, as it’s geared towards fuel efficiency (pun intended). Pleasant and easy to drive, the Equinox handles competently, and its steering is precise and direct. However, the ride can be rough at times, especially with the optional 19-inch wheels (17s or 18s are standard), and rougher stretches of road convey some unpleasantness into the cabin. The Chevy can also tow up to 3500 pounds, when properly equipped.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the front-wheel-drive Equinox will earn 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive cuts the scores by 2 and 1 mpg, respectively. We subjected an earlier Equinox model with the 1.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive to our 75 mph real-world fuel economy test route where it returned 32 mpg. For more information on the Equinox’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, comfort and cargo
The Equinox’s cabin is nicely styled and constructed from durable materials. Both front and rear seat passengers should find themselves comfortable in the spacious interior, with enough amenities to keep them satisfied on longer drives. The cabin features plenty of cup holders, but most interior luxuries are offered either as optional equipment for LT models or as standard content on RS and Premier models. Some competitors offer more space behind the rear seats, but we still managed to fit eight of our carry-on bags in there. Aside from a generous storage bin in the center console, the Equinox’s cabin storage is only average.
Infotainment and connectivity
A 7.0-inch touchscreen (an 8.0-inch unit is optional) displays Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment interface atop the Equinox’s dash; the system continues to impress with its ease of use and quick responses. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB connectivity and an auxiliary input jack. Standard 4G LTE onboard Wi-Fi makes the Equinox one of the best connected crossovers.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
The Equinox earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it was not named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The compact crossover also comes with a wide range of standard and optional driver assistance technology. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane keeping assist with lane departure warning
- Adaptive cruise control available
Warranty and Maintenance Cover
Chevy’s basic warranty package is just like that – basically – but so is the coverage of its competitors. The Kia Sportage and its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson, both offer longer protection plans. Chevy also offers one free dealer service visit within the first year of ownership, which is a nice perk.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
More features and specifications