The Chevy Equinox is aerodynamically smooth, thanks to a subtle shaping of front and rear fascias as well as the rear spoiler. From the front, Equinox still looks the part of a Chevy truck, with its requisite single-bar grille sporting a large gold Chevrolet bow-tie emblem.
Sport models have a more menacing look akin to SS versions of the TrailBlazer and 2006 Silverado.
In the broadside view, Equinox looks different from the rest of the Chevy Truck family. The roof pillars and the sheetmetal above the windows but below the roof seem to be extra-thick, imparting a feeling of extra solidity and strength, important for a truck made on a car platform. When you shut the doors, the sound is more like the muted mating of plastic than the hollow clang of sheetmetal. It's a sound that no other Chevy truck makes.
The doors open wide for easy entry and exit, and the rear gate goes up and out of the way, allowing you to stand fully upright for easy loading of groceries, camping equipment, or dogs.
The Equinox looks solidly planted on its wheels. Equinox is based on a car-type platform, with unit-body construction rather than body-on-frame construction for better ride and handling.
The Sport reinforces this notion of stability with a lower stance, low-profile rubber and deeper bodywork, adding a sporty flair. With its lower clearance, the front end is more likely to drag on steep driveways, however.
The Chevrolet Equinox cabin is a clean and functional design. We found the quality of some of the interior materials and control interfaces in the 2006 Equinox disappointing, but Chevrolet addressed some of our concerns for '07 with a new instrument cluster, center stack, shift knob, steering wheel, and heater and ventilation (HVAC) controls.
For 2008, window switches were lighted and the compass moved from the mirror to the Driver Information Center that includes more than 20 personalization and vehicle information features, such as trip odometer, fuel range, outside temperature display and door locking programs. There were no significant interior changes for 2009.
The Equinox Sport gets special gauges.
Rear-passenger legroom in the Equinox is excellent. The rear seat rides on a track that allows it to slide back and forth up to eight inches, to bring kids or briefcases closer to the front, or to provide extra legroom for tall second-row passengers. With both front and rear seats in the full rearward positions, there's more rear-passenger legroom in the Equinox than you'll found in many larger SUVs: a full 40.2 inches. With the rear seat completely forward, there's 35.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind it. But even with the seat pushed back into limousine position, there's still plenty of room for your stuff. GM calls this innovative feature the Multi-Flex rear seat.
Because the rear seatback is split 60/40, Equinox can transport two rear passengers along with long cargo items. The front passenger seat folds flat, further extending cargo room length, so you can lay a ladder or other objects inside. When folded, the hard front seatback can be used as a table or desktop.
Rear passengers enjoy a 12-volt power outlet and a fold-down center armrest with two additional cupholders.
Cubby storage: Up front, Equinox carries flexible net storage pockets on both sides of the center tunnel. The center console/armrest has a small storage cubby and a coin holder for toll money. Dual cupholders pop out of the end of it, but they're flimsy and get in the way of the handbrake. The armrest flips up, providing better access to an open floor console that's a perfect place for a purse, briefcase or tote bag. The floor-mounted cupholder works well, while slots farther to the rear holds CDs angled forward for easy selection.
The Sport interior is trimmed in dark ebony, with the requisite leather-wrapped steering wheel and more heavily bolstered front seats. All the practical flexibility of the regular Equinox remains, however.
OnStar offers interaction with live human beings who provide information and respond to questions. You can ask them for the location of the nearest Italian restaurant, for example. OnStar's Turn-by-Turn Navigation service lets the driver or passenger to talk to a live adviser, who sends complete step-by-step audio directions, as needed, that can be played through the vehicle's stereo speakers after the OnStar operator hangs up. The directions are triggered as needed by the OnStar system's GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to find their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. OnStar operators will dispatch rescue crews to the scene should your airbags deploy and you fail to respond to their calls, an excellent safety feature for you or your loved ones. OnStar always knows the location of your vehicle. Simply press the blue button and a human operator responds, to provide directions and other assistance. They can unlock your doors if you lock your keys inside. They can direct you to the nearest gas station or help find a motel. If your vehicle is stolen, OnStar can pinpoint its location and direct the authorities to apprehend and recover.
XM Satellite Radio is especially when traveling cross-country because the stations don't change, offering 24-hour television news broadcasts (Fox News, CNN), sports, comedy, and city-specific traffic and weather.