Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - that earns a passing grade.
For the 2022 model year, Chevy has thrown several visual and technology upgrades at its entrant in the murderously competitive compact crossover segment. Machines like these are the bread and butter of every major car manufacturer, so let’s see how this bowtie brother stacks up in its most affordable trim.
Kicking things off, as it does with most Chevrolet SUVs and pickup trucks, is the LS model. It’s priced at an attractive $26,498 and is equipped with a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine which offers 170 horsepower and just over 200 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic, a gearbox which gives up some gear count when compared to a few of its competitors but has the distinct benefit of not being a miserable CVT. At this price, only the front wheels are driven; all-wheel drive is a $2,400 option.
The base Equinox is easy to spot in traffic thanks to its lack of fog lights, flat black window trim, and dark side mirror caps. Its wheels are the same as more expensive models, however, as is its grille features. Some customers may prefer their vehicle denuded of this brightwork, especially when painted a dark colour. Speaking of styling, the LS is available in an array of paint hues, including the Blue Glow Metallic shown here. Anything other than white or silver is a $495 option, by the way.
Infotainment is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen, a span which might seem a mite smaller than some of its competition but comes packed with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This feature should not be overlooked especially since there are others at this price point which don’t even offer this level of smartphone integration in any form – let alone wirelessly. USB ports provide places to plug in – including two for rear-seat ankle biters – and satellite radio capability is part of the deal.
Front seats and mirrors are heated, though it’s worth noting GM’s COVID-related supply chain challenges currently force them to install the wiring for heated seats but not the ability to turn them on. Seriously. Chevy says dealers will be responsible for fitting the appropriate microchips at a later time. We’ll see. Power windows, single-zone air conditioning, and active safety kit like forward-facing automatic emergency braking are all included as one might expect these days.
What We'd Choose
We’ll note that every 2022 Equinox sold today has exactly the same engine, meaning one does not get more grunt even if they splash out nearly ten grand more on a high-zoot Premier. Opting for all-wheel drive is a personal preference, though your author is of the firm belief that a good set of winter tires trumps all-wheel drive on all-seasons every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Stepping up to the next-rung LT rim is a $2,100 walk which brings items such as the aforementioned fog lamps, power driver’s seat, better gauges, and tinted glass. In order to get goodies like dual-zone climate control and a power rear liftgate, a further $1,400 must be spent on an optional package. If one can live without those items, the Equinox LS brings a lot of features to the table for its $26,498 price tag.