The compact crossover segment is perhaps the most competitive one in the North American market. Every automaker has a hand in this one and in order to keep up, they are constantly tweaking their offerings.
Case in point is the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox, which is now in its third generation and received a facelift for this model year.
The front and rear were given a refresh, including a new grille design, LED headlights and new LED daytime running lights.
And for the first time, the Equinox is offered in an RS trim which we got to experience it recently. It features some unique items like black exterior accents, 19-inch Dark Android Wheels on the outside, and the cabin gets red stitching with an RS-specific shifter.
The third of four available trims (Premier being the top tier), the RS has a starting price of $33,798. A few options pushed the final price to $40,588 with freight and PDI included – oh and including a $50 rebate for the missing heated seats even though the button is still in the dash.
The optional equipment on the tester included an engine block heater ($195), the RS Leather Package ($1,895) and the RS Plus Package ($2,750), which includes an advanced safety system, Bose premium 7-speaker audio system and a power sunroof.
Powertrain: The Equinox is powered by the same engine the model has had for a number of years, a turbo 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. It is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission that works quite well despite the fact it might seem outdated given some of the other gearboxes on the market these days.
Acceleration is not the quickest on this Equinox and even more effort is needed when getting up to highway speeds.
It is estimated to deliver a combined fuel efficiency of 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres, however I averaged 10.1 L/100km.
Exterior: The black trim on white contrast of the tester gave the Equinox RS some curb appeal even if that exterior colour choice is not the most exciting.
With the 19-inch black wheels and RS-specific front grille makes this a more attractive version of the crossover in my opinion.
The redesign for 2022 detailed earlier, while not a complete overhaul, does an adequate job of allowing the model to keep up with the competition.
Interior: The cabin also got some work for 2022 and it’s a solid effort. Especially in the RS trim with the red stitching and other touches, which thankfully breaks up a sea of black.
The layout of the controls is pretty straightforward, making them all easy to reach and operate.
Front seats are adequate but not the most comfortable for longer trips. The leather seating surfaces as part of the optional package are a good choice, however.
Rear legroom and headroom are both good, although I have to question the design of the middle seating position. The drop-down arm rest for the outer seats make it so the middle seat is very uncomfortable.
Cargo space is a big positive on the Equinox, with a very deep area that can handle a ton of gear.
Infotainment: This is a bright spot for the Equinox as I found the system to be responsive and easily understood and navigated.
The RS tester featured the larger 8-inch touchscreen (7-inch is standard) as part of the option package that also added the Bose audio system.
New for 2022 is a much-appreciated wireless capability for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although without wireless charging, it does not fully eliminate the need for cables.
Drive: The Equinox delivers an okay driving performance as it handles well, but is a bit rough in certain road conditions. The steering feel is good and despite a few bumps along the way, will get the job done.
Noise intrusion into the cabin is not a major issue, even when pushing the turbo engine hard to get moving.
On top of the large cargo area, when properly equipped the Equinox can also tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is a boost to its versatility.
Conclusion: The Equinox is in tough against some stiff competition. Despite the facelift for 2022, much of the underpinnings for this compact SUV remain the same.
The styling upgrades will certainly help, and the RS features are another step forward, so I would recommend this trim if you were considering an Equinox.
2022 Chevrolet Equinox AWD RS
Price as tested: $40,580.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 1.5-litre turbo 4-cylinder/ 6-speed automatic
Power/torque: 170 horsepower/ 203 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (59 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 8.8 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 10.1 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Ford Escape, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4
Link: Chevrolet Canada