The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox has just about everything you need for a weekend getaway.
Do sociologists study how quickly we adapt to a luxurious, technologically advanced lifestyle? My grandmother grew up with a clothesline and a party line, where you couldn’t use the phone until your neighbor had finished her gab fest; my kids all have smartphones and a clothes dryer that detects when their towels are amply fluffed.
I’ll bet the first car my mother drove didn’t even have an AM radio – and I’ll also bet that my children have no idea what AM radio IS. They are enraged when we go through a long tunnel and a favorite song abruptly stops – WHAT? No satellite radio in this tunnel through the earth?
So the realization that we couldn’t access the Wi-Fi in our recent test drive of the Chevy Equinox left them dumbstruck. There was that tantalizing OnStar button, yet the data plan for the car had been exceeded and the Internet police (that would be me, payer of smartphone plans) reminded them that they were both at their data limit for the month.
We set aside those smartphones and settled in for a quick two hour 20 minute journey to my sister’s house. The quiet interior was conducive to conversation; even with the windows open and the sunroof cracked, we were able to hear each other from the front to the back seat.
Keystone Cops routine
We pulled up in front of our house to unload after our weekend and we had bags of farmers market produce held in place by the net bag. When I tried to pull my suitcase out, the wheels got stuck in the net bag. I unhooked the bag, but it got stuck in the trunk door. As I struggled with that, my Ricardo suitcase, with the 360 degree wheels, started rolling down the street. It was one of those moments I wish we could have captured on video.
OnStar vs Nav
OnStar is perfect for a driver who is alone in the car, but we discovered it has its limitations. We ate dinner in Newark, Delaware and as we headed home to New York, I used the OnStar button to find out which way to start our trip. Unfortunately, we were put on hold for five minutes and didn’t know which direction to go. Luckily, our address was already plugged into the navigation system from an earlier trip, so we were able to get directions before heading off the wrong way. But now I know that OnStar is not infallible.
The navigation system offers several screen options: full screen directions, a split map with your audio selection, and split map with turn by turn or upcoming exit information. You can easily toggle back and forth (best left to a passenger) but I like how you can customize the touchscreen to your needs.
The navigation offers critical information, like the speed limit, and a non-annoying audible warning when you have to turn or exit. My husband tends to get snippy when cars start beeping and tooting at him, but he didn’t mind the ‘ding’ when it was time to exit the highway.
Who should drive the Equinox?
The General Motors vehicle is perfect for small families. A crossover – a hybrid of a car and an SUV, the Chevy Equinox has creature comforts, room for 5 passengers AND their luggage, and it gets 30 miles per gallon the highway!
Plus, it looks great.
First world problem: only one plug
Since the Equinox is designed to haul several passengers, a few more plugs would be nice. Just one USB port, in the center console, seemed limiting. Again, first world problems, but most drivers expect to be able to charge multiple devices in new cars.
What We Loved
- Sporty, sturdy look
- Great sight lines – but forward collision alert and lane departure warning in case you aren’t paying attention
- Quiet ride
- OnStar (6 months included)
- Wi-Fi (as long as you pony up)
- Built in DVD player, with 2 screens for back seat passengers
- Excellent fuel economy for an SUV
- Fits 5 comfortably, with plenty of room for luggage (remove the privacy screen for even more space if needed)
What You Need To Know
- Base price $33,670. Price for the model I drove, with the sun roof, DVD player, touchscreen, trailer package and roof rail, $38,020
- Forward drive Equinox gets 22 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway; AWD gets 20 in the city, 29 on the highway
- Takes regular gas
- Chevrolet Complete Care: 2 year / 24,000 miles scheduled maintenance, 3 year / 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper warranty, 5 year / 100,000 miles powertrain