Families who don't need a third row should find the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox to be about the right size. It's more manageable to park than the larger Traverse crossover, but it's more spacious than most compact crossovers on the market today.
Front seating, as well as the driving position in the Equinox, are excellent. We like the upright, supportive setup no matter what, but the cross-stitched dual-tone perforated leather on upscale LTZ have an added luxury look and feel. In back, there's adult-size space, including good headroom, a seatback that's adjustable for rake, and decent legroom.
Ride quality is good too, and there's plenty of stow space for larger and smaller items, which altogether makes the Equinox a good family vehicle for highway trips and vacations. A retractable cargo cover, stretchy net, and two deep cargo wells all help keep items in place and out of site, and there's a deep center console for electronics and purses. The only downside, we think, is that the cargo floor is just a little too high--or at least higher than we might expect.
Cabin and materials and trims are, with a few exceptions, far from bargain-basement--although a few odd bargain-bin details here and there let it down. While we're fans of cloth seating, generally, we're not so fond of the base seating in the Equinox. And there are a few too many things right in sight of the driver--like the thin, jagged, plastichrome trim at the edge of the storage bin, front and center--that remind you this definitely isn't a Cadillac.
The level of cabin refinement and quiet in the Equinox is perhaps closer to Buick or Cadillac standards, so you're likely to be pleasantly surprised. Thanks to a clever noise cancellation system that actively helps eliminate coarse sounds and even mild vibrations, four-cylinder models feel nearly as quiet and refined as V-6 models once you're underway (you do head the clatter of the four a bit more at idle). Wind noise is well shut out, with triple door seals and glass with integral sound damping.