2010 Chevrolet Equinox AWD 2LTPosted on October 4th, 2009
Latest Equinox will turn heads in Crossover Category
By Jim Woodman
For all of General Motors’ woes over the past couple years, you’d find it hard to believe they’re closing the gap on the Japanese and European imports. Even more surprising in the increasingly popular crossover category – which combines minivan, SUV and wagon attributes – is how the Chevrolet Equinox has become a serious contender.
While I’ve always wanted to support American manufacturers, and have purchased the Ford Explorer in the past, I’ve never put Chevrolet on my short list when car shopping. For a variety of reasons, GM cars always seemed late to the game and inferior from a materials and craftsmanship perspective.
For those who’ve been equally unimpressed with GM, and Chevrolet in particular, you may want to put away your biases and take a look at the completely remodeled 2010 Equinox.
Bold and Handsome Exterior
For one, the 2010 gets a very bold and handsome exterior with beefier fenders than its predecessor and eye-catching styling around front headlights and tail lights. The new Equinox is a very good-looking car.
But what I found even more impressive than its looks, is the exceptional fuel economy I got out of this all-wheel drive 4-cylinder engine. EPAs for the AWD version is 20/29 and front-wheel drive models get an astounding 32 mpg on the highway. That’s better than the Ford Escape Hybrid.
While I’d probably opt for the 6-cylinder version – basically because I like having a little more torque and horsepower at my disposal – others may feel perfectly adequate with the 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine. It puts out 182 horses and 172 foot pounds.
The six-speed automatic transmission shifts incredibly smoothly. In fact, with moderate acceleration I could barely feel the shifts. And the 2.4 liter engine does very well at highway speeds. The only time I really felt I needed a little more power is when accelerating from a dead stop, but that’s only because I’m a little more lead-footed than the average driver.
I was also very impressed with how tight the steering and suspension felt. Unlike previous GM and Chevrolet models, there was zero play in the steering wheel and the suspension absorbed speed bumps as if they were non-existent.
Inside the Equinox
Inside the Equinox, was an incredibly well-laid out console with all the creature comforts you’d come to expect in today’s high-tech vehicles: XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, rear-view camera, remote keyless entry, trip computer, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rear-seat dual DVD, USB port and power everything.
Only negative I noticed on the techy stuff was the delay in satellite radio playing when switching stations. For comparison, I own a Honda Pilot with XM Radio and get immediate response when switching stations. In the Equinox, it takes a second or two for the new station to play when switching channels.
Installing a car seat for my 4-year-old was a cinch. And the safety features on the Equinox are abundant. From anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, front, side and head curtain airbags as well as a tire pressure monitoring system.
The rear-view camera, which appears in the left side of the rear-view mirror is very convenient when backing up because I did notice there’s a pretty decent blind spot when looking toward the back pillars. Blind spots aren’t really a big deal when driving because the side view mirrors, when adjusted properly, eliminate any need to do rear head checks.
While the Equinox only seats five, putting my three children across the 2nd row of seats and still having room to load my bicycle in the cargo area was a huge plus. I also loved the fact I could still get 29 mpg on the highway in an all-wheel drive crossover. I don’t know any other decent-sized SUV that gets anywhere close.
As I’ve been looking into buying a smaller SUV-type crossover, the new Equinox, or its GMC sister, the Terrain, are definitely now on my short list.
My test model, loaded with just about everything except for navigation, came in at a very reasonable $31,025. And at $27K and change for a list price, the Equinox slots right in as an ideal all-purpose best value ALV.
Model: Equinox AWD 2LT
Base price: $27,195
As tested: $31,025
Horsepower: 182 Hp @ 6700 rpm
Torque: 172 lbs.-ft. @ 4900 rpm
Zero-to-sixty: 8.7 seconds
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: Yes
Towing: Yes (six-cylinder model only)
Fuel economy: 22/32 mpg city/highway
Leave a reply