When Chevy introduced its long anticipated Equinox two years ago, it was close to a home run. Ultra easy in and out for rear passengers. A neat sliding roof rail system that almost anyone could maneuver with no problem.
For 2007 this five-seater crossover that's rated as a compact but is nearly mid-size in dimensions adds some welcome features and impressive safety ratings to the mix. While the exterior gets a rear spoiler and new front and rear fascia treatments, inside and below deck are where a lot of changes can be found. Among them are many safety improvements including new roof crush standards that helped Equinox get top safety ratings.
Tire pressure monitors and four-wheel disk brakes become standard for '07. So does GM's StabiliTrak stability enhancement. Models with GM's GPS communications/security OnStar system can tap into its new "Turn-by-Turn" navigation feature. For those frustrated by nav system programming challenges, there's a live agent who can set up guidance to talk a driver through the twists and turns of getting to a destination.
Among options: All-wheel-drive, side curtain airbags, leather trim, heated seats, rear seat entertainment and the Equinox's original double-deck cargo tray system. Chevy adds Granite Gray, Deep Ruby and Silverstone metallics to its exterior color palette.
With a more comfort- than sport-oriented ride, Equinox could be called a long distance driver's dream. The revised console features a customizable information center with 20 separate features. A center armrest with cupholders is added to the rear seat that retains an eight-inch forward-backward slide to add legroom for the truly tall. (Equinox had that feature before its competitors.) Cubic storage space that is 35.7' with rear seats up expands to 67.1' when they're folded flat.
Powering the Equinox is a standard, 3.4-liter V6, delivering 185-HP and 210-lb. ft. of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission. Fuel economy, using regular as recommended, is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 highway for front-drive. It loses one tick each with the optional, on-demand all-wheel-drive. Current pricing ranges from low to mid twenties.