Small SUVs are the hot and trendy vehicle right now, so it’s no surprise that Chevy has renewed the Equinox for 2020. For those who prefer the rounder, subtler styling of a sport utility vehicle over the boxy, square look of many other models, the Equinox has a sleek aerodynamic appeal. Adding a pair of sexy new editions to the line-up of options, the 2020 Chevy Equinox is revving up for attention. Base pricing begins with an MSRP of $23,800 with gas mileage at 26 in the city and 31 on the highway, and Chevy goes all out on safety features with their Driver Confidence Package. Cargo capacity on the interior is 63.9 cubic feet, with the front headroom at 40 inches. Additionally, the Equinox comes in four trims: L, LS, LT, and Premier. Ready to look deeper? Let’s dive into the details.
The Equinox comes standard with front-wheel drive, with the option to add all-wheel drive on the LS, LT, and Premier models. When set up to use the fuel-economy mode, the Equinox will automatically prompt the driver to switch over to all-wheel drive when conditions require more traction. Otherwise, it saves on gas by remaining in front-wheel mode. Engine choices are between the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, which gives you better gas mileage, or the 2.0-liter turbo, which gives you a towing capacity up to 3,500 pounds. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with the 1.5-liter engine, a nine-speed on the 2.0L engine.
Infotainment and Tech
Looking strictly at the base model (L), what comes standard for tech and entertainment is fairly expansive. Starting with the infotainment system, Chevy has included a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming for two devices (phones must be compatible), voice command pass-through to phone, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All of this can be controlled through smartphone apps that connect through the infotainment system. A noise cancellation system that senses engine sound will automatically block, absorb, and dampen exterior noise to make the cabin quieter. Seriously? When will houses come with this feature?
Two USB data ports with an auxiliary jack are located in the center console storage area, and two 12-volt outlets are located in the front and cargo areas to ensure devices can be charged. The Equinox also comes standard with a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, six-speaker audio system, and is On-star capable.
If you upgrade to pricier models, options for an 8-inch HD touchscreen, a Bose seven-speaker audio system, and on-board navigator can either be added or come standard, depending on the model. If you upgrade past the base model, Chevy offers a rear-seat screen with a DVD player for the back seat passengers as an option to add. Also optional is a rear-seat warmer, but that’s only for the Premier model.
For those who drive at night a lot, the option for auto-dimming rear-view interior mirrors is available for the LT and Premier models. Power seats are either an option or standard for all models except the L version. Remote start comes standard only with the Premier and is optional only for the LT.
Keyless open and start are a nifty bit of tech if you love the idea of the car unlocking itself as you approach, or starting up as you slip into the driver’s seat. No need to fumble with the fob anymore; all you need is to have the fob in your possession (in your pocket is fine) when near the vehicle, and it automatically senses the fob to open and start the car. Once in the car, you do need to follow the directions to operate it. To make things even easier, you have a preventative measure built into the key: if you get out of the car without the key, the car won’t lock. Nice.
The Driver Confidence Package is Chevy’s suite of tech-assisted safety features, and all models of the Equinox come standard with this package. It includes a solid set of helpful options, like automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, and IntelliBeam headlamps that automatically dim when passing cars at night.
If you upgrade to the LT or Premier, you can opt for the Confidence and Convenience Package, which offers up rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, remote start, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, universal home remote, power programmable liftgate, and front fog lamps.
As with most cars in modern times, the Equinox comes standard with an airbag system to keep all passengers safe if an accident occurs. A parent-oriented safety feature is a rear-seat sensor meant to alert the driver in case of a child in the back. If you get out without the little one, the Equinox will remind you to check the back seat. It also alerts the driver if the back door opens or closes, among other added extras. Of course, the 2020 Equinox comes standard with a rear back-up camera in all models. Going for the gusto in safety overload, the Premier has the option of a safety alert seat for the driver. So, if you want the seat to buzz when you’re in danger of a collision, this feature can be yours if you go with the highest price tag.
Midnight and Redline Editions
For those drivers who feel the desire to stand out in a crowd, Chevy is providing buyers with two stand-out choices of models, which give the Equinox a little more character. The Midnight Edition rolls out with a mosaic black metallic exterior, 19” gloss black aluminum wheels, dark finish fog lamp bezel surround, and black grille and mesh with black surround. On the interior, the Midnight Edition dresses the seats with jet black perforated leather. The addition of memory settings and exterior heated, auto-dimming mirrors rounds out the offerings of this particular model. Only the LT model can be ordered with this upgrade.
The Redline Edition is for the Premier model only, and also comes with the mosaic black metallic exterior, 19” gloss black aluminum wheels, dark finish fog lamp bezel surround, and black grille and mesh with black surround like the Midnight. The stand-out feature of this exterior is the red outline on the Equinox badges. As with the Midnight, the interior is trimmed out with jet black perforated leather seats. Again, this model comes with memory settings, exterior heated auto-dimming mirrors, and adds the inside rearview auto-dimming mirror. This model is meant to be “street-inspired” to be more sporty for a potentially younger vibe.
As a smaller SUV, the Equinox can dress to impress with plenty of technology for those who love the extras that allow for easier access, safer driving, and the comfort of knowing your car can remind you of the little things you might forget. This vehicle could make a great family trip experience for camping with a small tow-behind, especially if you opt for the back seat entertainment system. With the option to add all-wheel drive, it will live up to the standard of an SUV in winter weather or tough driving conditions. Honestly, the safety features of the 2020 Chevy Equinox are about as good as it gets, especially when compared with other SUVs in this price range. Keyless entry might become your new favorite thing if you buy an Equinox, especially when you come out of the store with your arms full. No hands needed.