KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com or its employees.

After a week of driving the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS AWD, I wondered who this SUV is designed for. Its docile nature certainly won’t satisfy everyone, but there are strengths. It’s comfortable, with plenty of rear-seat legroom and cargo space. Drivers wanting something efficient will value the safety and fuel economy. It’s also decently equipped, with enough technology to keep the driving experience simple. 

Price and Value 

The MSRP range for the Chevrolet Equinox is $28,595-$33,795. It comes in four trim levels, with a suite of standard features including a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, Chevy Safety Assist and keyless entry. Some of the major differences in trim levels are noted below. 

LS: $28,595

  • 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen
  • Push-button start
  • Rear vision camera

 LT: $29,695

  • LED daytime running lamps
  • Power driver seat with driver lumbar
  • Second-row mechanical seat release levers in cargo area

 RS: $32,895

  • Black Chevrolet emblems
  • 19-inch dark painted wheels
  • Rear power liftgate

Premier: $33,795

  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • 8-inch diagonal color touch screen
  • 18-inch machined-face wheels

The Equinox is priced higher than some of the competition, but the features outweigh the difference. Trim prices are close enough that I recommend getting the RS or Premier level. Chevy’s warranty is the industry standard, with 3-year, 36,000-mile basic coverage and 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain coverage. 

Photo Credit: GM Media Archives

Performance 

The Chevrolet Equinox is not intended to be a performer. Instead, it’s all about simplicity. Power? Overrated. Space? You got it. The RS trim handled fairly well, without too much roll. If only it had the power to match the handling. 

Engine

Chevy’s tiny 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is the weak link in the Equinox. You can feel the motor straining for every ounce of power that just isn’t there, like coming up for air after being underwater too long. The engine generates 170 horsepower — 40 less than it should — and 203 pound-feet of torque. Although rated to tow 1,500 pounds, that seems unwise given the exasperating attitude of the engine.

Fuel Efficiency 

One of the major selling points of the Equinox is fuel efficiency. The EPA rates the Equinox at 25 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. Not bad considering the vehicle’s size. My week with the Equinox yielded similar numbers, leaving me impressed with its fuel economy. 

Drivetrain

The RS tester was outfitted with all-wheel drive, although the Equinox is available in front-wheel drive as well. Interestingly, the vehicle allows you to toggle the all-wheel-drive system on and off at will. When enabled, it did a decent job providing power to the appropriate wheels in slushy conditions. All trim levels are equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration and Handling 

Pedal mashed to the floor, the Equinox wallows its way to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds (as recorded by Car and Driver), or roughly as fast as grandpa’s 1998 Buick Park Avenue. Where acceleration struggles, the handling shines when it comes to cornering.

Braking

The Equinox excels as a safe transporter. Car and Driver measured its braking stop from 70-0 mph in just 161 feet. All models come standard with Chevy Safety Assist, which includes brake assist features like automatic emergency braking and front pedestrian braking.

Photo Credit: GM Media Archives

Interior Comfort and Convenience 

The Equinox shines in the backseat and cargo areas. Front-seat occupants have a decent amount of leg and shoulder room, but the seats are narrow and uncomfortable. Rear seat occupants have sufficient legroom and will be comfortable for a jaunt around town. 

Seats

Springing for the RS trim gets you into leather seats. They look nice; if only they were more comfortable. Medium to large-sized drivers should look elsewhere. The heating elements worked well, as did the heated steering wheel. Ventilated seats are not an option. 

Climate Control 

The Equinox has easy-to-use climate controls, including lots of physical buttons and dials. My RS tester had dual-zone automatic climate controls that heated the cabin quickly and without much fan noise.

Cargo Space and Cabin Storage 

Cargo space is another big selling point of the Equinox. Boasting 29.9 cubic feet of storage behind the second row, and 63.9 feet behind the first, it feels downright cavernous inside. The center console and door pockets are a bit smaller than average but can hold some basic necessities. 

Infotainment System 

Chevy’s infotainment continues to be one of the more user-friendly and simple systems on the market. It’s easy to use, looks nice and has all the basics most drivers need. My tester was fitted with an optional 8-inch display, made available with the Infotainment Package that also included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bose stereos are always nice, and the optional seven-speaker system did not disappoint. 

Photo Credit: GM Media Archives

Exterior Appearance and Functionality 

Continuing the theme of blending in and maintaining the status quo, the Equinox in RS trim looks decently attractive, but not distinct from other SUVs in the segment. The tester’s charcoal paint suited the vehicle well. Other color options are mostly monochromatic, except for Chevy’s Blue Glow Metallic paint and Cherry Red Tintcoat. 

Towing Capacity 

As mentioned previously, the Equinox is capable of towing 1,500 pounds, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Just ask Jeff Goldblum.

Wheels 

My RS model was equipped with the RS trim’s exclusive 19-inch “dark android” aluminum wheels. While they looked cool, they did make for a rougher ride than expected. 

Lights and Turn Signals 

The car is well named. Between LED headlamps, daytime running lights and tail lamps, the Equinox put out a lot of light. Mine also had the handy Intellibeam feature, which automatically adjusts high beams based on surrounding traffic.  

Cameras and Side Mirrors

My test ride came with a rearview camera with nice resolution, but I wish more cameras were included in the price. A Forward Collision Alert system uses a front camera for collision detection. The heated side mirrors are activated when the rear defogger is engaged. Both side mirrors are power-activated.

Front and Rear Windshield 

The Chevy Equinox has a large front windshield for clear viewing. The rear windows come factory-tinted and are easy to see through. Standard defrost features are included. 

Safety 

One of the Equinox’s strengths is its safety. Given its docile personality, coupled with a nice suite of safety features and robust safety ratings, it would be difficult to get into too much trouble with it. 

Features 

The Equinox RS I tested had a number of notable safety features. 

  • Front and rear park assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lange change alert
  • Automatic emergency braking 
  • Forward collision alert

Awards and Ratings 

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS received a 5-star overall vehicle safety score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest safety rating of “Good.” 

Photo Credit: GM Media Archives

Final Impression 

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox is in a crowded and highly competitive playing field. While it lacks the power some may want, it excels in rear-seat space, cargo capacity and safety features. If it were my money, I’d go for the RS or Premium trim, given its decent value proposition. Find 2022 Chevrolet Equinox listings on KSL Cars.

FAQs 

Who should buy the Chevrolet Equinox? 

If rear-seat room, cargo space, fuel economy and safety are your priorities, you’ll find a lot to love with the Equinox.