The 2023 Chevrolet Equinox is a likable compact SUV with a handsome cabin and drama-free controls, but the performance leaves much to be desired. The powertrain is slow and loud, and the ride is far from pleasant. Although Equinox’s multimedia system is a win, it offers fewer standard safety features and alternative powertrains than many competitors. It has been updated for 2022 with lightly revised styling and standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and carries over with minimal changes for 2023. However, an all-new Equinox EV is coming in 2024. Compared to the likes of the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Toyota RAV4, the Equinox fails to stand out in other areas.
The 2023 Chevrolet Equinox is a top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive Premier trim that offers a clean cabin with a two-tone, sharp design and decent materials quality. On the features side, you’ll find a heated steering wheel, hands-free power liftgate, heated front seats, and available ventilated front seats. To make your drive even smoother, the Equinox comes with an intuitive touchscreen, a 7-inch touchscreen in lower trims, and an 8-inch screen in the Premier trim. The menu is easy to navigate, and the graphics are clear and responsive. Connecting to wireless Android Auto is also easy. Below the touchscreen, you’ll find large audio buttons, a dial, and easy-to-use and glitch-free climate controls. All these features make the 2023 Chevrolet Equinox the perfect choice for a smooth and enjoyable ride.
The 2023 Chevrolet Equinox is ready for an upgrade. You can have a powerful and efficient ride with a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Despite turbocharging, the engine still offers a sluggish response from a stop and lacks the midrange power necessary for passing. With its refined efficiency, the Equinox is the perfect upgrade to your ride.
The Equinox may not be the zippiest car in the class, but its quietness makes up for it. Unfortunately, the Cabin can become quite noisy due to wind, road and engine noise, which can be accompanied by significant vibration in the steering wheel and gas pedal, particularly at highway speeds. Adding to the discomfort is an unrefined ride which tends to shake and bounce as it traverses bumps in the road.
Adding to Equinox’s unrefined experience is its stop-start engine system, which lacks smoothness. The engine lurches to life and shudders to a stop, making driving an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, there is an Off button near the climate controls, allowing drivers to disable the system easily. Unfortunately, the system re-engages every time Equinox is turned back on, which can be quite annoying.
The Chevrolet Equinox is a great compact SUV, but its stop-start system and fuel economy leave much to be desired. With an EPA-estimated 26/31/28 mpg city/highway/combined, it falls short of the competition, such as the Honda CR-V (28/34/30 mpg), Hyundai Tucson (26/33/29 mpg), and Toyota RAV4 (27/34/30 mpg). Those looking for a more fuel-efficient compact SUV can find it, though: the RAV4, CR-V, and Tucson offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. Fortunately, an all-electric Equinox EV is coming for 2024, offering drivers a more efficient option and keeping Equinox relevant among efficiency-minded shoppers.
The Cabin of the Equinox is comfortably roomy for up to four adults or five in a pinch. While competitors may offer more space, Equinox’s backseat still provides 39.9 inches of legroom, more than the RAV4 and less than the CR-V and Tucson. Regarding rear headroom, the Equinox offers 38.5 inches, slightly more than the CR-V and less than the Tucson and RAV4.
The Chevrolet Equinox has a roomy cargo area that is perfect for a full grocery run for a family of five – but falls short of its key competitors regarding volume. With 29.9 cubic feet of space behind its rear seat, the Equinox doesn’t match up to its rivals – the Honda CR-V (39.3), the Hyundai Tucson (38.7) and the Toyota RAV4 (37.6).
However, Equinox does have two features that make up for its lack of space. An underfloor storage space is perfect for keeping small items out of the way, and the split back seat can be folded quickly and easily, thanks to two handles inside the cargo area.
Value and Safety
The 2023 Equinox offers great value for money, with a starting price of $27,995 (including destination). That’s less than the base versions of the CR-V ($32,905) and RAV4 ($29,310) but slightly more than the Tucson ($27,745). Its rivals, however, offer more standard safety and driver-assistance features, making the Equinox an attractive option for those looking for a great balance of price and features.
The 2023 Equinox standard comes with Chevy Safety Assist, offering peace of mind with advanced safety features. Forward collision with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian braking protect you in an unexpected situation, while a following distance indicator helps maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Lane departure steering assists with lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights help you stay in your lane, and adaptive cruise control and blind spot warning are available as options for added safety.
The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are packed with advanced driver assistance and safety features, making them ideal for everyday driving. The CR-V has standard blind spot monitoring and a new Traffic Jam Assist system that automatically steers the car to help drivers maintain their lane position at speeds up to 45 mph. Additionally, the CR-V comes with a Honda Sensing suite of active-safety and driver-assist technologies. The RAV4 has even more standard safety features than the Equinox, including road sign recognition and full-speed adaptive cruise control with a lane-tracing assist, which provides light steering assistance to help keep the vehicle centred in its lane. With all these advanced safety features, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands when you’re behind the wheel of either the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4.
The 2023 Equinox offers no-nonsense controls and a car-seat-friendly backseat, but other competitors have these attributes and more – such as comfortable road manners and efficient powertrains. Equinox needs to step up its game and offer even more features and better performance if it wants to stay competitive.