2016 Chevrolet Equinox Reports for Strictly City Duty

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is a small SUV engineered for strictly urban duty. Chevy’s sales pitch might put it out there that it can a little off-road adventuring and towing work, but there are better options for such duty. Keep the Equinox on the pavement.

The second step up in the Chevrolet family of SUVs and crossovers, the Equinox settles in about the entry level Trax and the mid-range Traverse. That keeps it at the more affordable end of Chevy SUVs. But, it’s not a cheap grab up with an MSRP starting just around $27,000 and topping out around $30,000.

The Equinox arrives in showrooms with four available trim levels – L (starting at that $27,600, MSRP number), LS, LT and LTZ (providing the $31,700 cap). The buyer adds bangs and whistles with each step up the ladder, but the base car starts with an inline four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

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However, there’s an optional 3.6-liter V6 engine in the LT and LTZ trims that makes a world of difference. The buyer should opt for that more powerful power plant in the elevated trim level as that inline four version feels underpowered. You’ve got to mash that toe down to get the LS Equinox up to freeway speeds. It would be difficult t manage any real towing capacity with that four doing the work.

Once you have an adequate engine working for you, the Equinox is a very serviceable, small, urban SUV. There’s plenty of room in the back and seating for five. The build quality is adequate, but a plastic heavy in the base trim. While infotainment systems depend on trim level, even the base models enhance the interior with power everything, cruise control and other expected driver comfort and safety features. 

The drive experience is somewhat soft and spongy, but that’s to be expected in what is by no means a performance vehicle. This is a machine exclusively intended for the young professional who wants to climb out of the hatchback or economy sedan world. Or, at the risk of using a cliche image, it’s also a family ride or a soccer-mom-mobile. That’s its intended use – city life.

Now, Chevy promotes the vehicle on its website and in advertising pulling trailers or taking handsome young people out into the wilds. There are better options for such duty than this Equinox. This machine should stay on the pavement, with the suburbs as the extent of its adventurousness. If that’s what you need from a vehicle the Equinox is a solid choice.

Chevrolet also promotes the Equinox as a fuel efficient SUV, and they got that right for a vehicle of its size — with final MPG numbers coming in at 22 city and 32 highway.