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It was that time again for another business trip with my new company, but this time it was to Charlotte, NC. This trip would require more physical moving on our department since we were moving EVERYTHING from one office in Ballantyne Corporate Park to another brand new office about a mile down the road. We needed a SUV type vehicle for this and on enterprise’s list they had it down as a Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar. Over at FIN nruggiero requested a Jeep Grand Cherokee and that is what I was expecting, however they didn’t have any at all (sorry nruggiero). All they had was a new Escape and a new Equinox. I settled with the Equinox only because it looked like it offered more room than the Escape.
2013 Chevrolet Equinox LT
- 2.4L Ecotec 6 speed automatic with manual control
- FWD
- Cloth interior
- Chevy MyLink
- Remote Start
- Rear view camera
- Power windows with auto down
Performance:
The 2.4 did an adequate job of moving the Nox around however it did feel sluggish when really pressing it. I didn’t really get any wheel spin or any traction loss when accelerating hard when trying to beat traffic in an intersection which you might experience in other FWD models. The transmission as very smooth the whole time and didn’t have that annoying feeling of searching for the right gear which most 6 speeds have now a days. The Manual mode is on a rocker switch on the shifter and does have a slight delay when pressing it. Overall the ride was very smooth and quiet; one complaint was that the steering could have a bit more feel to it. One of the tests I like to do with all cars is see how quickly it responds when moving the wheel right to left while driving to see how much of a dead zone there is. With the Equinox there was a bit of a dead zone but you have to remember this is not a performance car so it wasn’t that bad. I would prefer a bit more feeling in there. Brakes were VERY strong and provided good feedback. I averaged 26.4 MPG with mostly city driving which I thought was pretty good for a vehicle in this class.

Interior:
Interior materials were adequate. There were some hard surfaces but they were textured well. Some don’t like stitching on door panels or dash boards but personally like it because it breaks up the design and gives some style as opposed to just solid plastic. The Equinox had nice red accent stitching on the door panels. Fit and finish could have used some work, the edges around the plastic shield above the navigation screen was a bit rough in some areas and the door panel gaps were uneven from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side which I found odd. We also must remember this is not a luxury SUV, I hope in the next refresh that these small things will be tightened up. One thing I loved was that the center console was lighted, very nice! Interior room was good. We had to make several trips but this was NOT the Equinox’s fault, in reality we needed something larger like a Traverse or suburban so we could have done it one shot. Folding the rear seats down was easy.

Technology:
The Nox was equipped with MyLink and it performed great. The touch screen was very responsive though I mostly used the steering wheel controls. One thing I suggest to Chevy is NOT to have buttons at the top of the screen where the shield is, I have large hands and it’s hard to hit those buttons. The rear view camera was VERY clear but there was a 5 second delay with it engaging and it disengaging, so when I started driving forward I could still see out of it for a few seconds. The radio picked up the stations and song titles perfectly and it could hold a TON of presets which I liked. The remote start did not work; I think it may have been disabled by the rental car company. This is not the first time I have noticed that my ‘13 Taurus rental I had earlier this year had the remote start disabled too.

Exterior:
The styling of the Equinox is not offensive at all. I think it’s got some good style to it but I am not crazy about the headlights personally. I would like to see an update to the face like the new Traverse got. Because this is a smaller SUV I was able to reach the roof easily and reach the roof racks, however we didn’t get to use them. I would have preferred a power tailgate but this model was sadly not equipped with one.

Overall:
The Equinox is a very solid product; I can see why people buy them. I would easily recommend it to someone who is in the market for a small SUV. Some small gripes but easily fixable and stuff you can live with and adjust to. And for a price around 25,000 with these features it’s not a bad deal at all.

Highs:
Quiet interior, smooth transmission, lighted center console, good city fuel economy, MyLink responds quickly

Lows:
Questionable fit and finish, weak acceleration with the 2.4, manual mode could be more responsive, only auto down on windows no auto up

Pictures:













 

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Just my luck! Last time when I was in New Jersey, I was hoping to get a Navigator but stupid Enterprise didn't have any so I had to settle for a Grand Caravan.

The gaps are very strange. It doesn't look like quality control is doing their job.
 
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