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2022 Chevrolet Equinox: Style and Equipment in Progress, 2.0 Engine Out

Chevrolet managed to put many nice cars on wheels, yet their qualities have sometimes left customers with the impression that just a little bit more would have been great. Want more than this? You’ll have to pay more – it’s so easy to forget that before blaming the compact Chevy SUV for being a bit dull or unpretentious. However, what the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox has to offer is proof they are not unaware about the situation at Chevrolet.
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Approach
Chevrolet is one of those pillar brands of the American automobile industry. Some of its model series have become legendary through the decades and generations: Malibu, Camaro, Corvette, Blazer – just to name some of them. Yet, things cannot just stay the same forever. As Heraclitus said: “The only constant in life is change.” The already mentioned model series names are still there because their concepts adapted to change.

But also new concepts came to fulfill the requirements of the third millennium way of life in the western hemisphere. The Chevrolet Equinox is particularly relevant seen from this perspective. Its career started with the 2005 model year. Yet, something really wrong happened back then: rushing to meet the growing demand for compact SUVs, the GM management had chosen a compromise path.

The first generation of the Equinox used to share its technical platform and, visibly, some body parts with the Saturn Vue and Pontiac Torrent (come on, Pontiac SUVs should have never happened!) and the Suzuki XL-7. That technical platform, called Theta, was taken over for the second generation of the Equinox in 2009. Again, an obvious compromise approach. Yet, things started to get better, thanks to a better personalized design and to the addition of a six-cylinder engines.

Finally, the third generation of the Chevrolet Equinox was presented in 2016, on the autumnal equinox – the 22nd of September – and, beyond any possible confusion, it really looked like a Chevrolet compact SUV. Of course, GM uses its technical platform called D2 for another bunch of cars, yet a clear identity of the Equinox model series had crystallized. Less funny: the six-cylinder engines are gone on the background of the downsizing trend. Related to the 2022 upgrade, the downsizing strikes again, killing the 2.0 turbo version.Ambiance
Thanks to the facelift, the Chevrolet Equinox finally found its best ever design calibration. We didn’t say “the best possible,” yet it's no longer the car you're starting to examine with the idea "now, let's see what's quirky there" in your mind. At a first glance, its interior doesn’t look like saying “welcome to the Ritz.” After getting inside, it’s something like being favorably surprised by the good accommodation conditions of a moderate-price franchise hotel. The high level RS and Premier trims will definitely offer a nicer atmosphere, yet the'll be expensive.

There is plenty of space and the things you see on the dashboard seem already familiar. The fit and finish of the various elements is not impressive, yet it is more than decent. Those in quest for an advanced note will be disappointed: the instruments cluster is almost completely analog and the command module of the heating/ventilation has a very classic layout, with physical buttons.

The multimedia system (standard touchscreen of 7 inches, optionally 8 inches) is nicely integrated in the superior part of the center console and has a friendly software. The cup holders between the seats are one more invitation to cool down and feel relaxed.Thrust
Four cylinders, that’s all you can get under the hood of your 2022 Chevy Equinox and it is no longer possible to choose between two gasoline-fed turbo mills of 1.5 and 2.0 liters. The 1.5 turbo will be all alone in the supply. We are talking about 170 hp and a peak torque of 203 lb-ft (275 Nm) at 4000 rpm – we have to agree, nothing really impressive here. This engine is paired with an automatic 6-speed transmission. The FWD configuration is standard and the AWD is available. In order to obtain some convincing accelerations, the 1.5-liter engine has to be seriously pushed and this might raise the fuel consumption.

The reason why the 2.0-liter engine was dropped were the low sales (about 8% of the total sales of the Equinox). Paradoxically, the 2.0-liter turbo mill used to provide 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque between 2500 and 4500 rpm and encountered good reviews. In its case, a 9-speed automatic transmission allowed a better use of these generous power resources. Great with AWD also. Well, not any more…What to pay for
Four trim lines will be available for the 2022 Chevy Equinox: LS, LT, RS and Premier. Intriguing: they gave up to the powerful 2.0-liter unit, but the sporty-oriented RS look is about to be introduced! For sure, the Equinox RS will be a tempting crossover due to a consistent collection of personalized design details: gloss black grille, black badging, black bowties, 19-inch black wheels, RS shift knob and black upholstery with red stitching. The Premier line will give the Equinox a more than ever clear premium touch.

We are talking about gloss black grille with chrome inserts, new dedicated 19 inches wheels, high black gloss finish on the center console, leather upholstery with French stitching and logo projection liftgate. Beyond any doubt, the RS and Premier will act like people magnets inside the showrooms, yet the more realistic acquisitions will be the LS and LT. Probably, many of the customers will try hard to stay nearby the $30,000 threshold with their Equinox configurations.

Right now, the base version of the Chevrolet Equinox LS FWD is rated at $26,995 and this score includes a $1,195 destination charge. The Chevrolet Safety Assist package, infotainment system with 7-inch touchscreen, rearview camera and the keyless entry are standard. It’s quite a car for those who consider the budget as a serious priority. Adding the AWD supposes spending $1,600 more – do not spare this expense if you’re going to use the car for weekend trips beyond the limits of the tarmac. At $28,095, the price of the Equinox LT FWD stays under the $30,000 thershold, but the amount they ask for the standard Equinox Premier goes quite far beyond it, reaching $32,195. Not funny, there are bigger SUVs available for this kind of money. Instead
The main competitors of the Chevrolet Equinox from all around the world are Citroen C5 Aircross, Ford Escape/Kuga, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Seat Ateca, Skoda Kodiaq, Subaru Forester, Nissan Rogue, Opel Grandland, Peugeot 5008, Renault Kadjar, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Venza, VW Tiguan. All of them have interesting arguments, wider engine ranges and they are not necessarily more expensive than the Chevrolet Equinox.

The upgraded Chevrolet Equinox might convince by its generously sized interior, the rather well thought out equipment and the strengthened identity with a clear American note. Well, as long as you don’t want an engine bigger than 1.5 liters or an automatic transmission with more than 6 speeds, that is.

 
 
 
 
 

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