There was a time when safety, speed, efficiency, and passenger capacity were only loosely (at best) related. Fast forward a few decades. There is now an expectation that what were once almost mutually exclusive motoring concepts perform in harmony. Cars need to tick a significant number of boxes to meet the expectations of today’s discerning drivers.

Enter the Chevy Equinox, a small SUV that will carry a family and their stuff, provide a pleasing and quick driving experience, give more than a passing nod to safety and minimize time and expense at the pump.

The Equinox hits the road with a two-litre turbocharged engine that produces 252 horsepower. The Chevy’s engine works smoothly with a nine-speed automatic transmission equipped with available all-wheel drive. Power delivery from this powertrain is impressive. This is a reasonably quick small SUV.

From a standstill, the Equinox jumps from the line with enough authority to require a little driving adjustment that responsible drivers might make. On the highway it is planted, tracks very true, and has plenty of power in reserve. During a week of mixed city and highway driving, the Equinox is averaging 9.9 L/100 kilometres.

Somewhere in this Chevy’s recent lineage are performance-oriented, paradigm-shifting models that have been rivaling some other well known sporty marques. Even though the Equinox is a family hauler in the truest sense, the driving dynamics of its sportier cousins may have rubbed off on this SUV. It feels great on the road. Response to driver inputs are quick, steering isn’t overly damp, and body roll is relatively low.

The True North Edition set of options on this tester include a number of safety and security features. Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and Driver Safety Alert Seat (which causes the driver’s seat to vibrate in the event of something untoward happening while at the helm) are included with the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert functions.

Testing the Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist systems requires a little confidence. Letting go of the steering wheel to engage these features (they work) is not something I need to do again. However, in the unlikely event I suddenly become aware that I’ve stopped steering, I’m thankful the Equinox will lend a hand.

The Equinox boasts 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, understands my iPhone, has an easy-to-read 8-inch screen that is leveraged by an accurate navigation system and (in the True North Edition) provides a solid Bose speaker system.

The Chevy’s dashboard has a centre cluster (itself a very small multi-function display) that shares space with a tachometer and speedometer along with engine temperature and fuel gauge indicators.

With aluminum five-spoke wheels, dual exhaust, privacy glass in the back and just the right amount of silver accenting around the window frames the Equinox has curb appeal. Thanks to the All Wheel Drive on this tester – the Chevy will be appealing all year ‘round.

The Equinox’s driving dynamics and creature comforts together with its efficiency, myriad safety features and ability to ferry around a family enable it to tick the right boxes.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Premier 2.0T AWD
Base Price: $37,195.00
As Tested: $43,490.00
Drivetrain: 2.0L DOHC DI I4 Turbo with VVT
Performance: 9.9 litres per 100 km in mixed city/highway driving
VVUZZ Recommended: Eager to move, safety conscious, and efficient.

 

Images courtesy of the author.

 

 

Published on Apr 04, 2018