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2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ AWD Rocky Mountain Review By Dan Poler


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2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ AWD


2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ AWD Review

By Dan Poler
Rocky Mountain Bureau
The Auto Channel

Representing the small crossover category, the current Chevrolet Equinox was introduced for the 2010 model year. Not much has changed in the intervening time outside of availability of options and packages, but 2013 brings a nice update to an already-capable vehicle: The addition of GM’s 3.6-liter V6 as an optional engine choice. We got to spend an enjoyable week with a V6-equipped Chevrolet Equinox LTZ.

On the outside, the Equinox retains the same look it’s had since 2010. It might almost be described as cute, with the Chevrolet brand hallmarks like rounded corners evident everywhere, and the LTZ trim provides some nice touches like classy chromed wheels and carbon-look surrounds on the rear view mirrors

Inside, the Equinox is roomy, comfortable, and relatively quiet. The driver’s seating position is high with good visibility all around, although rear visibility is a bit obstructed due to the small window. The back seat is quite accommodating of taller passengers, much more so than other vehicles in this segment. Although there’s a lot of plastic throughout the interior, the LTZ trim includes upgrades like stylish red contrast stitching on the door trim and two-tone leather seats which are comfortable for longer trips. At night the cabin is illuminated in pale blue-green accent lighting. Initially we thought that the colors were a bit bright but they do grow on you and their brightness is much appreciated in navigating controls in dark conditions. Another nice touch is the exceptionally deep center armrest between the front seats which is more than capable of swallowing a laptop or tablet for out-of-view storage.

Not everything is perfect inside the Equinox, however. The navigation and entertainment system in the center console is monstrously complex, involving both a touchscreen and physical buttons for its operation. The system offers all manner of entertainment options including satellite and internet radio and seems to be trying very hard to be all things to all people by offering just too many options. We found that its operation was just too complicated, and the screen and buttons were hard to reach and angled in such a way that inputting the correct sequence for any given operation was challenging for the driver. We hope that GM will address this in a future revision to the Equinox.

Driving the Equinox is a fairly sedate affair. Power from that 3.6-liter V6 is pleasantly smooth, and although steering is a bit vague, the vehicle performs well on the highway. We did not get a chance to play with the all-wheel drive setup in inclement weather but we expect that it will handle with grace and composure. We averaged 22 MPG with the upgraded engine; quite nice given the size of the vehicle and an EPA estimate of 16 / 19 / 23 (city / combined / highway).

The 2013 Equinox comes standard with a host of safety features including anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. OnStar is included, providing includes crash notification, an emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance. The LTZ trim we had also includes a back-up camera, rear parking sensors, and warning systems for frontal collision and lane departure. The latter features can be somewhat unsettling – we found that the collision warnings were over-sensitive and required shifting attention to a display in the center console, causing some distraction.

All told, the Equinox wears its upgraded engine well and we recommend its consideration should you be in the market for a smaller crossover. While there are concerns with the collision warning and infotainment system, we hope that these will be resolved as their respective technologies continue to evolve.

Specifications

2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ V6

Base Price: $24,155.00

Price as Tested: $36,385.00

Engine Type: V6 SIDI

Engine Size: 3.6-liter

Horsepower: 301

Torque (lb-ft): 272

Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic

Wheelbase / Length (in): 112.5 / 187.8

Curb Weight: 3,993 lb

Pounds per HP: 13.27

Fuel Capacity (gal): 18.8

Fuel Requirement: Regular Unleaded

Tires: Michelin Latitude Tour; P255/55TR18

Brakes: Ventilated disc

Suspension, front/rear: MacPherson Strut / Multi-Link

Ground clearance (in): 6.9

Drivetrain: All-Wheel Drive

EPA Fuel Economy - MPG city / highway / observed: 16 / 23 / 22

Towing capacity (lb): 3,500

Base Trim Price: $32,365.00

Options and Charges

Engine, 3.6L V6 SIDI: $1,500.00

Wheels, 18” Chrome Clad Aluminum: $1,000.00

MyLink Radio with Navigation: $795.00

Delivery: $825.00

Price as tested: $36,385.00