Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and carefully examines its entry-level version. If we deem it worthy of your consideration, we will let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that will get the passing grade.
For the 2022 model year, Chevy has made several visual and technological enhancements to its competitor in the extremely competitive compact crossover segment. Machines like these are the bread and butter of every major automaker, so let’s see how this bowtie sibling stacks up in its most affordable version.
The LS model kicks things off, as it does with most Chevrolet SUVs and pickup trucks. It is priced attractively at $26,498 and comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 170 horsepower and just over 200 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic, a gearbox that gives up a number of gears compared to a few of its rivals, but has the distinct advantage of not being a miserable CVT. At this price, only the front wheels are driven; all-wheel drive is a $2,400 option.
The base Equinox is easy to spot in traffic thanks to its lack of fog lights, flat black window trim and dark mirror caps. Its wheels are the same as the more expensive models, as are its grille features. Some customers may prefer their vehicle to be stripped of this bright work, especially when painted a dark color. Speaking of styling, the LS is available in a range of paint hues, including the Blue Glow Metallic shown here. By the way, anything other than white or silver is a $495 option.
Infotainment is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen, a reach that might seem a bit smaller than some of its rivals, but comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This feature shouldn’t be overlooked, especially since there are others at this price point that don’t even offer this level of smartphone integration in any form – let alone wireless. USB ports offer places to plug in – including two for ankle-biters in the back – and satellite radio capability is part of the deal.
The front seats and mirrors are heated, though it should be noted that GM’s COVID-related supply chain challenges currently require them to install the wiring for the heated seats, but not the ability to turn them on. Seriously. Chevy says dealers will be responsible for installing the appropriate microchips later. We’ll see. Power windows, single-zone climate control and active safety kit like forward-facing automatic emergency braking are all included, as you’d expect these days.
What we would choose
We’ll note that every 2022 Equinox sold today has the exact same engine, which means one doesn’t get more grunt even if they spend almost ten grand more on a high-zoot Premier. Going for all-wheel drive is a personal preference, although your author is convinced that a good set of winter tires trumps all-season all-wheel drive every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Upgrading to the next LT rim is a $2,100 step that brings things like the aforementioned fog lights, power driver’s seat, better gauges and tinted windows. In order to get perks like dual-zone climate control and a power rear liftgate, an additional $1,400 has to be spent on an optional package. If one can live without those items, the Equinox LS brings plenty of features to the table for its $26,498 price tag.