2022 Chevrolet Equinox Review: Dutifully Serving

Design | Comfort | Technology | Performance | Safety | Fuel Economy | Pricing | FAQ

Fresh off a mid-cycle update and with an all-electric version on the horizon, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox remains a vehicle that is as competent as it is average. But while it excels in no particular area, there’s a reason Chevy moved almost 350,000 of the things in 2019 (just 35,000 behind the Honda CR-V), the last normal year before our COVID-created rollercoaster.

The turbocharged 1.5-liter engine is punchy around town, but it drones when pushed. The interior is super roomy, but it’s composed almost exclusively of cheap, black plastic. The ride is pleasant, but the car is rather noisy. For all the Equinox giveth, it also taketh away some of the things you’ll find on competitive vehicles. This is not a vehicle to get your blood pumping (even in the tranquillizingly dull world of compact crossovers), but it simply and adequately does everything the consumer could ever ask, and without breaking the bank.

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Gallery: 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS: Review

  • Exterior Color: Blue Glow Metallic
  • Interior Color: Jet Black
  • Wheel Size: 19 Inches

A light facelift for 2022 has smoothed out the Equinox’s previously harsh lines, with newly attractive headlights that remain split by extensions from the grille surround. The new design is cleaner and more modern than the angular lamps of the old car. It’s a similar story out back, where revised taillights and updated LED signatures create a more modern look

The RS trim replaces much of the Equinox’s brightwork with darkened trim, which includes a gloss-black grille treatment, black badges, and gunmetal wheels. Red RS badges on the nose and tail round out the sporty style tweaks.

Where competitors offer flashier, brighter upholstery treatments, the Equinox RS is available exclusively in black with red contrast stitching and piping. While it fits the sporty mission well enough, brighter alternatives – even the Equinox Premier’s Maple Sugar/Black scheme – would be a welcome addition to the sportier member of the Equinox range. Material quality is disappointing, but splashes of leatherette on the dash add some textural changes. And the various controls have a logical layout, with easy to interpret gauges and simple climate controls.

  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
  • Cargo Capacity: 29.9 / 63.9 Cubic Feet

The Equinox’s front chairs are wide and well cushioned but lack support. The second row is a more accommodating place, but the lack of adjustments for the bench – be it for the backrest or the bottom cushion – is disappointing. Still, the total amount of space in the cabin is strong for the segment. The Chevy isolates occupants from impacts well, but dull thuds still resonate throughout the cabin over every imperfection and the turbocharged engine is buzzy when pushed.

  • Center Display: 8.0-inch Touchscreen
  • Instrument Cluster Display: 4.2-inch
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: No

Every Equinox comes standard with 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, but an 8.0-inch display is optional. My tester had the latter, but the huge bezels make the screen look smaller than it really is. The screen responds quickly and there are physical controls for things like the volume changing tracks. The operating system is common with other GM products and benefits from an uncomplicated layout, but the graphics and colors trail more modern (but also fiddlier) setups.

Four USB ports, a 120-volt outlet, and a Bose audio system help the Equinox stand out, but the overall tech experience in this compact is average rather than exciting.

  • Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-liter I4
  • Output: 170 Horsepower / 203 Pound-Feet
  • Transmission: Six-Speed Automatic

The Equinox is only available with a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine (at least until an EV model arrives in the near future). The powerplant’s performance is strong off the line, but the swell of torque fades as the engine speed climbs and it feels like the Chevy will run out of steam quicker than a comparable crossover, like the Honda CR-V. A six-speed automatic is unobtrusive, executing shifts as expected, but never with any sense of haste or excitement.

The Equinox’s handling is unremarkable on smooth roads and imprecise and unlikable while cornering on rougher surfaces. The suspension struggles to isolate the wooden steering, so hitting a bump with one side of the chassis loaded leads to an aggressive and uncouth sidestep. Still, stability on smoother roads is far better, where the Equinox reveals predictable body roll and modest brake dive.

  • Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 1
  • NHTSA Rating: Five Stars
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick: No

Every Equinox comes standard with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and front pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams. That trails some rivals on the standard safety front, but adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera are affordable as part of a $650 package and bring the Equinox closer to parity.

  • City: 25 MPG
  • Highway: 30 MPG
  • Combined: 27 MPG
  • Base Price: $25,800 + $1,395 Destination
  • Trim Base Price: $31,745
  • As-Tested Price: $36,470

Prices for the 2022 Equinox start at $27,195 (including a $1,395 destination charge) for a front-drive LS and $32,645 for a top-end Premier. And in between those two trims is the Equinox RS featured here, starting at $31,745. Add $1,600 across the board for all-wheel drive.

While my tester included $3,125 in option packs, the only one that really feels worthwhile is the $650 Advanced Safety pack, which is a reasonable sum to pay for a surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control. The $895 Infotainment pack’s larger touchscreen and heated steering wheel is a solid value, although I’d pass completely on the $1,580 RS Leather pack for its optional hides and seven-speaker Bose audio.

Equinox Competitor Reviews:

  • Ford Escape: Not Rated
  • GMC Terrain: Not Rated
  • Honda CR-V: 8.6 / 10
  • Hyundai Tucson: 9.0 / 10
  • Jeep Compass: Not Rated
  • Kia Sportage: Not Rated
  • Mazda CX-50: 7.6 / 10
  • Mitsubishi Outlander: 8.3 / 10
  • Nissan Rogue: 9.7 / 10
  • Subaru Forester: 8.5 / 10
  • Toyota RAV4: 7.6 / 10
  • Volkswagen Tiguan: 8.4 / 10

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