On its own, the 2023 Chevy Equinox is a competent mainstream compact SUV. Even the base LS trim offers plenty of popular features, including myriad infotainment and safety tech. The design of the Equinox is inoffensive, and its generously sized interior affords a lot of room for passengers and cargo. It’s more playful to drive than its looks suggest. However, an anemic 175-hp turbocharged four-cylinder limits driving enjoyment. Compared with many more flavorful competitors, the Equinox is bland. Alternatives such as the
Mazda CX-50, the Honda CR-V, the VW Tiguan, and the Ford Bronco Sport all have more personality and verve. Still, the Equinox remains one of the best-sellers in the bloated compact-SUV class. New-car buyers clearly appreciate the Equinox’s combination of roominess, features, and value to overlook its sleepy performance and low-key vibe.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What’s New for 2023?
For 2023, the Chevy Equinox receives only minor changes, including a gain of 5 horsepower for the turbo 1.5-liter, bringing it up to 175 ponies; torque remains the same at 203 pound-feet of twist. Three of the eight available paint colors are new this year as is the switch from a conventional vacuum-boosted brake system to an electronically assisted system that Chevrolet refers to as “E-boost.” Chevy also rolls out Sport and Midnight editions for the base LS model.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Although the Equinox lineup includes a value-packed base LS model as well as the Premier–which sits at the top of the pecking order–we’d opt for the mid-grade RS. Its standard features include blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate, rear cross-traffic alert, and remote start. You can get similar content in an LT by adding the Confidence and Convenience packages, but we prefer the darkened trim of the RS and think it justifies the price difference between the two.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Underpowered and frequently out of breath, the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder won’t win any fans with its sluggish performance, and it’s the sole offering for the Equinox. The engine makes 175 horsepower, and when paired with the optional (and heavier) all-wheel-drive system (front-wheel drive is standard), it takes a heavy foot to hustle the Equinox up to highway speeds. The six-speed automatic shifts seamlessly, though it’s reluctant to downshift when extra power is needed as it’s geared toward fuel economy. At our test track, our most recent Equinox test vehicle, an RS trim with all-wheel drive, needed 8.0 seconds to reach 60 mph. Agreeable and easy to drive, the Equinox handles competently, and its steering is accurate and direct. The ride can be harsh at times, particularly with the optional 19-inch wheels (17s are standard), and rougher stretches of road transmit some unpleasantness into the cabin. The Chevy can also tow up to 3500 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the front-wheel-drive Equinox will earn 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive reduces ratings by 2 and 1 mpg, respectively. We subjected an earlier Equinox model with the 1.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive to our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy test route where it returned 32 mpg. For more information about the Equinox’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Equinox’s cabin is nicely styled and put together from durable materials. Both front- and rear-seat passengers should find themselves comfortable in the spacious interior, with enough amenities to keep them content on longer trips. The cabin features plenty of cupholders, but most interior luxuries are offered as either optional equipment for LT models or standard content on RS and Premier models. Some rivals offer more space behind the rear seats, but we still managed to fit eight of our carry-on suitcases back there. Aside from a capacious center-console storage bin, the Equinox’s cabin storage is merely average.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 7.0-inch touchscreen (an 8.0-inch unit is optional) displays Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment interface atop the Equinox’s dash; the system continues to impress with its ease of use and quick responses. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB connectivity, and an auxiliary input jack. Standard 4G LTE onboard Wi-Fi makes the Equinox one of the best-connected crossovers.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Equinox earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it wasn’t named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The compact crossover also comes with a wide range of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevy’s basic warranty package is just that—basic—but so is the coverage of its competitors. The Kia Sportage and its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson, both offer longer protection plans. Chevy also provides one free dealer maintenance visit within the first year of ownership, which is a nice perk.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2023 Chevrolet Equinox RS AWD
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $33,695/$38,010
Options: RS Leather package (Bose premium audio system, black leather seat upholstery), $1580; power sunroof, $1495; Safety and Infotainment package (heated steering wheel, 2 USB data ports, 120-volt power outlet, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, surround-view camera, heated exterior mirrors, adaptive cruise control), $1200; front-license-plate bracket, $40
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 91 in3, 1490 cm3
Power: 175 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 203 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 11.8-in vented disc/11.3-in disc
Tires: Hankook Kinergy GT
235/50R-19 99H M+S TPC 3161MS
Wheelbase: 107.3 in
Length: 183.1 in
Width: 72.6 in
Height: 65.4 in
Passenger Volume, F/R: 52/47 ft3
Cargo Volume, Behind F/R: 64/30 ft3
Curb Weight: 3627 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 8.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 16.3 sec @ 85 mph
100 mph: 24.6 sec
120 mph: 46.2 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 8.7 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.0 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 125 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 159 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.82 g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 26/24/30 mpg