- Well designed interior
- Handsome, chiseled exterior
- Very good four-cylinder gas mileage
- Doesn't track well on the highway
- Some cheap trim details inside
- Optional Pioneer system doesn't sound premium
The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox is more refined and quiet than many of its competitors, while offering the versatility and value that a budget-conscious family would expect.
The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox doesn't miss any critical points, and although it's hardly exciting, it's a great pick for families who need affordability, ample cargo space, and flexible seating, as well as with good maneuverability and fuel efficiency.
And that even includes styling. With crisp, somewhat sporty details, and proportions that line up partway between Chevrolet's trucks and cars, the Equinox looks like it should: handsome but inoffensive. Inside, the look is a little jazzier, with vents flanking the radio and climate controls and more of the look that Chevrolet cars have recently been given.
Size it up briefly, and you won't be surprised why vehicles like the Chevy Equinox have become the workhorse family sedans of today. And among all the compact (to mid-size) crossovers, the 2015 Equinox is one of the better picks; whether purposed for carpool duty, weekend family getaways, or commuting and errands, it's fully up for such versatile use—with an affordable price, a spacious interior, plenty of safety and tech features, and more refinement than you might expect.
The fuel-efficient (and lower cost) four-cylinder models remain our recommendation. With 182 horsepower, the 2.4-liter four idles smoothly, albeit with a somewhat clattery direct-injection sound, and once underway it's agreeable and unobtrusive. The combination comes with a stellar 32-mpg highway rating, too. The Equinox doesn't track as confidently on the highway as we'd like, but this is first and foremost a family vehicle. Yes, the 3.6-liter V-6 is strong and smooth, but it's also far thirstier in real-world driving—and frankly more than most cost-conscious moms and dads are going to need.
The Equinox feels designed for the ins and outs of family use, from the seating layout to the durable (albeit not always luxury-caliber) up-close details. There's an excellent carlike driving position, while the cross-stitched dual-tone perforated leather in top LTZ models feels quite luxurious. Back seats have enough space for two adults to sprawl out into, with decent legroom, and the seatbacks are adjustable for rake. And there's space for smaller items, weekend finds, and grocery bags between the two deep cargo wells in back, the deep center console, the retractable cargo cover, and stretchy net.
Four-wheel disc brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, head-curtain side airbags, and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted bags are all included as standard equipment in the Equinox, a rearview camera system is offered in most models, and lane departure warning and forward collision warning alert systems are standard in the LTZ and optional on the LT. Neither of those systems fully makes up for one Equinox inadequacy: Outward visibility can be challenging due to the thick rear pillars. The Chevy Equinox has earned top 'good' ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in all categories, including in the tough small overlap frontal category (it's earned Top Safety Pick status); it's also earned top four- and five-star results from the federal government.
Considering its very affordable pricing, the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox has a very impressive set of the features that matter to price-conscious parents. GM includes a touch-screen audio system with a USB port across most of the lineup, and the voice-activated, touch-screen-based MyLink Connectivity system is an option. The MyLink package includes smartphone connectivity, integrated Pandora and Stitcher app compatibility, and hands-free controls.
For 2015, OnStar now includes 4G LTE connectivity, with the ability to create an in-car WiFi hotspot.