June 23, 2014
2014 Chevrolet Equinox. Click image to enlarge
Review and Photos by Jeff Wilson
While a Big Mac may not be to everyone’s tastes, McDonald’s certainly sells enough of them worldwide to prove that they’re doing something right. A guilty pleasure for many perhaps, McD’s menu is ever-changing and as ol’ Ronald would like you to believe, ever improving.
But I still love the occasional good old-fashioned Big Mac meal no matter how low-brow or life-shortening it may be. It isn’t served with a white linen napkin. There’s no redundant parsley garnish. And there’s no snooty maître d’ pretending to be three classes above you at the door.
And no matter where we go, that Big Mac is going to taste exactly as we expect it to. No pretention. No attitude necessary. Just simple, convenient food.
Chevrolet’s Equinox is the Big Mac meal of the current assembly of crossovers for sale in Canada. I say this kindly and with due respect.
Out of seven of my neighbours’ houses on my street, four of them have current generation Equinoxes parked in their driveway (and another with a larger family has a Chevy Traverse). These are all honest, hard-working people with a variety of occupations and of various ages. But every one of them has a household with children suggesting that the Equinox makes a great default family vehicle.
Why is that?
For starters, GM dealerships (even still today) are as common as sesame seeds on a bun. This means potential customers don’t need to haul the kids two towns over to go test drive a new Equinox. Mom or dad could easily go pick one up from a dealer, swing by the house for spousal approval on a test drive, and go back to sign the paperwork. It also means that post-purchase servicing is local and convenient.
Next, Chevy makes it easy to buy them. The Equinox starts at just over 26 grand for a basic 2WD model. At the time of writing, Chevrolet is allowing people to pay for their Equinox over the next seven years at a little more than 2.5 percent – or slightly less than those daily cappuccinos at your local fancy coffee shop. Plus, with the General’s five-year, 160,000 km powertrain warranty, customers can feel confident in being protected for years of driving.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox dashboard, 2014 Chevrolet Equinox rear seats, 2014 Chevrolet Equinox cargo area. Click image to enlarge
While unglamourous, the Equinox is a practical family choice. The interior is remarkably accommodating in its size, especially in the back seat, which is mounted on rails enabling a limo-like amounts of legroom when at its rearmost position.
Happily, the big back seat still leaves plenty of space for a whole lot of McHappy Meal boxes (or possibly strollers, playpens and suitcases) in the cargo area that measures 892 L with the seats up and 1,803 L with them folded.
Up front, the driver and front seat passenger can store another impressive amount of loot in the capacious storage compartment at the bottom of the central dash, or the simply gargantuan console storage bin. I’d wager the latter could likely contain at least a dozen Quarter Pounder boxes (or an average size notebook computer).
The front seats are unremarkable with flat cushions and relatively unsupportive shape. In my test vehicle, they’re finished in a coarse fabric that should prove to be durable, but feel a little like fishnet stockings have been stretched over and glued to the seat base.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox front seats & 2014 Chevrolet Equinox dashboard. Click image to enlarge
The two-toned black and light grey colour scheme is contemporary and handsome though, and carried over to the dash and door panels with a sporty red stitching accent too. And the kind folks at the Ingersoll, Ontario CAMI plant have done a fine job assembling the materials they’ve been given with uniform gaps and seams that all line up. Unfortunately some of those materials look and feel a little on the cheap side. Metallic-looking trim bits are obviously painted plastic and some of the stiff plastic dash pieces creak and crackle over less-than-perfect road conditions.
Where Chevy didn’t skimp is on the MyLink infotainment system. The screen features crisp graphics and is responsive and easy to figure out. The Pioneer “Premium” sound system is a little muddy sounding, but plenty loud.