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Practical and Agile: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox on Everyman Driver

The Equinox is a compact crossover with a nice balance of features at a low starting price. Its spacious cabin is comfortable enough for long trips, and intuitive features take the guesswork out of daily operation. Chevrolet includes a few helpful driver safety technologies, and all-wheel-drive is available. The Equinox returns good fuel economy and a quiet ride. Some rivals have more innovative and refined cabin designs. The Premier trim has an excellent feature set, but it comes with a steep retail price. In all, the Equinox is a practical family vehicle with more cabin space than a small car.

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The Equinox is a compact front-wheel-drive SUV, available in four trim levels: L, LS, LT, and Premier. Buyers can add all-wheel-drive for around $2,000.

The base L trim starts around $24,000. It includes a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a WiFi hotspot, cloth upholstery, a split-folding rear seat, keyless entry/start, air conditioning, cruise control, heated side mirrors, and automatic headlights. It also gets Chevrolet’s suite of driver safety features, like forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a backup camera, and lane-departure warning.

The LS adds several popular features for about $26,500. It also gets upgraded body and cabin styling.

The LT retails for $27,500 before options. It adds an eight-way power driver seat, satellite radio, and more.

Shoppers wanting the most tech and convenience can opt for the roughly $31,500 Premier. It comes with driver safety features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors. It also gets LED headlights, fog lamps, memory side mirrors, a hands-free power liftgate, and roof rails. Cabin amenities include leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver-seat memory, remote engine start, dual-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and wireless phone charging.

Chevrolet employs a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 170 hp and 203 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Equinox returns an EPA-estimated 26/31/28 mpg city/highway/overall. Along with great fuel economy, the compact Chevy engine delivers decent power for driving around town and on the freeway. Some rivals provide better fuel economy with available hybrid powertrains, while others have larger engines and snappier acceleration.

The Equinox has traditional Chevrolet interior styling, focusing on passenger space, comfort, and easy-to-use technology. The cabin feels clean and modern. Buyers get standard air conditioning, push-button ignition, and power controls. Chevrolet adds in smart technology like a 7.0-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth. Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity allows users to connect their smartphones and access an incredible range of entertainment and productivity features. An available surround-view camera gives drivers extra peace of mind with a bird’s-eye view of their vehicle.

In-cabin storage is about average. There are cupholders, a center console bin, and a glove compartment, plus a small tray at the dashboard’s base.

The Equinox has excellent interior space for a small crossover. There are 40 inches of front headroom, with 38.5 inches in the back. The legroom is similarly generous, with around 40 inches of space for both rows. Busy families will like the vast cargo capacity, with nearly 30 cubic feet behind the rear seats. There is a small hidden storage area beneath the cargo deck.

The Chevrolet Equinox is the American carmaker’s compact SUV, delivering a roomier alternative to a small car. The two-row crossover has an economical engine, smooth transmission, and optional all-wheel-drive. Driver safety features are standard. Few competitors can match the Equinox’s great passenger and cargo space inside. Some rivals have more style and refinement, but the Equinox presents one of the better values in its category.

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