2013 Chevrolet Equinox Road Test Review
One way to liven up a mainstream crossover is to give it more power, and Chevy has done just that with the 2013 Equinox by dropping an optional 3.6-liter V-6 under hood to replace last year's optional 3.0-liter mill.
That's the biggest change for 2013, although the Equinox also adds Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, an available sport suspension for models with 18- or 19-inch models, some new safety features, and some new convenience and entertainment features.
Not much changed, but that didn't stop us from taking a spin anyway. Duty calls.
Features & Prices
There are three trims on Equinox: LS, LT, and LTZ. In addition to MyLink, other available features include a power liftgate, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, OnStar, Bluetooth, a rear-seat entertainment system, navigation, an engine-block heater, a sunroof, leather seats, and more.
Pricing starts at $23,755, not including the $825 destination fee.
On the Road
In addition to the V-6, the base engine is a carryover 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 182 horsepower. We spent our time in the 3.6, which has 301 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is optional with either engine.
The extra power (last year's 3.0-liter had 264 horsepower and 222 lb-ft of torque) is appreciated, as the Equinox lunges from the line in a manner that we're unaccustomed to from a small crossover.
Pleasant surprises continue on the country roads. The steering is lighter than we'd like, but not by much, and it's better weighted than some of the competition. Braking is only a bit above average, but it does the job. Body roll is muted in corners, and the handling is surprisingly competent. It doesn't look it, but the Equinox is actually engaging in the twisties.
Stick to the highway, and the ride is well balanced between sport and comfort.
The styling is virtually unchanged, which is fine with us, since the Equinox is a handsome little crossover. Buyers who want a more "macho" look can opt for its platform-mate, the GMC Terrain.
We like the cabin materials and overall design, but we couldn't help but notice both wind and tire noise during our drive.
Headroom and legroom pose no problems, either up front or in back.
Safety & Fuel Economy
The Equinox comes equipped with the usual complement of airbags and suite of safety goodies, such as ABS and traction control. Fuel economy is rated at 22/32 for four-cylinder front-wheel-drive models (20/29 with AWD) and 17/24 for front-wheel-drive V-6s (16/23 AWD).
There's no doubt that for fuel economy, the four-cylinder is the better choice, at least based on the numbers and our previous experience. For those who like sporty driving or have a need to tow (the V-6 tows 3,500 lbs vs the four-cylinder's 1500 lb capacity), the V-6 makes a solid case.
Overall, the Equinox continues to impress as a well-balanced compact crossover. It's not as fun to drive as its Ford Escape rival, nor does it have that car's runway model looks. But no matter. The Equinox does its job well, and the shot in the arm provided by the V-6 makes it that much more appealing.
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