The Chevrolet Equinox is an impressive contender in the mid-size crossover segment. It has the same platform as the GMC Terrain and shares a general aesthetic with both the Chevy Traverse and the latest Malibu. The Equinox's rocker panels are integrated into the doors, which means the area over which a passenger must step is very narrow.
The Equinox benefits from two available engines that are both powerful and efficient, each making use of variable valve timing and direct injection. A standard 2.4L 4-cylinder makes an impressive 182 horsepower yet delivers 32 mpg on the highway. There is also an optional 3.6L V6 engine, which is capable of 301 horsepower and an estimated 24 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines. Front-wheel drive is the standard drivetrain, but all-wheel drive is available.
Storage areas are abundant and include an oversized glovebox, a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack and a closed storage bin under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer. The rear seats feature MultiFlex, which allows the seats to move back and forth a total of eight inches for the best rear legroom in the segment.
Standard equipment on all trims includes 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, StabiliTrak stability control, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, six air bags, an anti-theft system, an XM Satellite Radio-ready system, iPod and MP3 capability, Bluetooth and OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot readiness. Power windows, door locks, remote keyless entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, as well as power mirrors and automatic headlamps round out the generous standards list. A Convenience Package adds automatic climate control and remote start, while a Technology Package provides navigation.
Optional equipment on the LS trim includes deep-tinted glass and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The LT trim features a premium Pioneer 250-watt speaker system, power seats, steering-wheel audio controls, a remote starter system and a power sunroof as optional equipment. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is also available.
The top-of-the-line Premier trim includes chrome trim, projector headlamps and fog lamps, a power liftgate, deep-tint glass, Pioneer speaker system, an upgraded audio system and heated leather seats. With all this standard equipment, the Premier can also be outfitted with a navigation system, a power sunroof and 18- or 19-inch chrome wheels.
The Safety Package, which includes a forward collision alert, lane departure warning and rear park assist system, is available on the Equinox 2LT and standard on the Premier.