Shopping for a new Chevrolet Equinox?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
“Front buckets are far more comfortable and supportive than the chair-shaped balloons that came with the last Equinox”
Car and Driver
“Families will appreciate the ability to slide the rear bench seat almost eight inches”
“You get solidly constructed rubberized plastic—like all the competition”
Chevrolet claims that the second-generation 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is a mid-size crossover, but after spending some time in the spacious cabin, you’ll realize there’s significantly more than mid-size room for both passengers and cargo.
The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is designed to accommodate five occupants, and the airy passenger compartment and flexible seating arrangement makes getting all five situated comfortably a breeze. Autoblog loves that the Chevy Equinox is “especially roomy relative to [its] competitors,” and Car and Driver is pleased to report “the front buckets are far more comfortable and supportive than the chair-shaped balloons that came with the last Equinox.” Jalopnik reviewers are inclined to agree, noting that they “sat in complete comfort for hours of driving” in the Equinox Chevrolet. MyRide.com adds that “the front seats are comfortable and supportive, and they have 10 inches of travel, so drivers of all sizes [will] fit.” While lengthy travel is nothing new for front seats, the fact that the rear seats also travel significantly is a major plus for the Chevy Equinox. Autoblog notes, with the Equinox Chevrolet, “GM has retained the sliding rear seat that can move fore-aft a total of eight inches,” meaning “when pushed back, the 112-inch wheelbase allows for positively luxurious legroom.” Automobile Magazine reviewers say “rear-seat comfort is also aided by a flat floor and seatbacks that recline at three different angles.”
With all the space dedicated to passenger room, you might wonder if the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox sacrifices some cargo-carrying utility in the name of driver and passenger comfort. Fortunately, TheCarConnection.com’s research shows there is still more than ample room for all the gear that five people would need for a long weekend trip. In the rear of the cabin, Cars.com points out “a split-folding backrest lets you partially extend the cargo area to carry a golf bag, for instance, or you can fold down both sections of the seatback to expand the cargo area to 63.7 cubic feet.” Jalopnik reports the Equinox Chevrolet boasts “plenty of storage,” and although Edmunds says trunk space is rather large with the rear seats folded, it’s still “about 6 cubes shy of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but still bigger than the smaller utes like the Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue.” In the passenger area, Car and Driver notes “lots” of “storage cubbies” for whatever small items you might need to stow, and the “elbow-deep center console is equipped with a power port, USB and aux jacks, and, most important, a light in the event that you drop something into that deep abyss.”
One of the areas where GM has made significant improvements of late is interior quality, and the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is at or near the top of the class in nearly every regard. Car and Driver is surprised to find that the materials quality exceed that found on most Toyotas, and “the fact that the Equinox outshined the Honda [CR-V] was unexpected.” Jalopnik is slightly less impressed, but they note “we have to keep price point in mind when we’re talking about this segment, and while we’d have loved soft-touch plastics, you get solidly constructed rubberized plastic—like all the competition.” Unfortunately, MyRide.com feels “the interior materials look and feel like hard plastic.” TheCarConnection.com’s editors can shine some light on the competing descriptions here by pointing out that, although the majority of the Chevy Equinox’s cabin is bathed in top-of-the-class materials, there’s still a stray piece of trim or two that seems too plasticky.
Although not all of the materials can be considered luxurious, there is one element of the Equinox Chevrolet that rivals even the best from Lexus: interior noise levels. A near lack of cabin noise is easily the single biggest surprise reviewers find when testing the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, with Car and Driver raving about the “whisper-quiet Equinox” that is “shockingly calm and vibration-free inside.” Jalopnik adds that “what’s missing from the cabin is noise,” since GM’s “acoustics engineers bent over backwards to make [the Equinox Chevrolet] insanely quiet…the end result is a remarkably quiet cabin. Not just for the segment, for the market.” The trick, according to Automobile Magazine, is an “Active Noise Cancellation system” that “works much like your over-priced Bose Noise Cancelling headphones, using the stereo speakers to emit waves that cancel out certain frequencies.”
Ride quality suffers either moving to the V-6 or models with larger wheels, with Edmunds pointing out “the larger wheels add a little too much impact harshness,” although overall the Chevy Equinox’s “ride is generally civilized and comfortable.”
With a generous amount of passenger space and one of the quietest rides available, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is perhaps more deserving of a Cadillac or Buick badge than a Chevy bowtie.