2012 Chevrolet Equinox Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

Whether you're moving into the Equinox from a mid-size car or from a more trucklike SUV, you'll find a lot to like in the cabin design. The driving position is excellent--upright yet carlike--and the seats are better and more supportive than those in a lot of small crossovers. The cross-stitched dual-tone perforated leather you get in top LTZ models feels quite luxurious. And in back, there's adult-size space, with good headroom and reasonably good (for the class) legroom), and seatbacks are adjustable for rake.

The four-cylinder versions' noise cancellation system is one piece of clever engineering that gives these models a smoother, quieter feel without adding even more noise insulation. It works like noise cancellation headphones and helps eliminate coarse sounds and even mild vibrations. Door openings with triple seals and glass with integral sound damping further quiet things down inside, helping create a driving experience that feels more Cadillac-like than bargain-basement.

Practicality and comfort are right on the money for family use, though there are signs of some cost-cutting if you're a stickler for detail.

Overall, the Equinox would make a great highway vehicle for a small family; the ride feels more settled, less pitchy than some other compact to mid-size crossovers. And for vacations or daily duty, there's plenty of space for stuff; the in back the Equinox includes a retractable cargo cover, stretchy net, and two deep cargo wells, and the center console well is very deep. One other criticism is that the cargo floor of the Equinox is a bit higher than you might expect.

While we have few complaints about the Equinox interior, and it's mostly handsome and tightly constructed, we're not so fond of the base "premium cloth" seating. There are also a few surprising details that break from the higher-quality ambiance in front, like some thin trim pieces, and the small latch for the big storage bin up top, which you have in view all the time, done in thin, jagged plastichrome.

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