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A red 2023 Chevy Equinox RS is shown from the front at an angle.

How the 2023 Equinox Is the Perfect Car for Families With Teens

When the kids are young, the car almost buys itself: a minivan. Now that they’re older, different family members are starting to move in different directions, and some kids are beginning to drive, it can be difficult to determine the best vehicle to add to your lineup. This is a great stage in your family’s life to consider a crossover SUV. The small-to-midsize architecture makes for a ride that is sturdier, safer, and more convenient than a sedan, but it’s not like buying another minivan or a full-size SUV.

One compact crossover stands out as a prime candidate for families with teenagers and older children: the 2023 Chevy Equinox. In addition to its deceptively spacious interior and excellent fuel efficiency, the Equinox is a true leader in safety and connectivity technology, especially for teenagers. Now, parents, before you stand up and say, “technology is the last thing my kids need while driving!” I assure you that Chevy’s technology is designed to prevent your kids from getting distracted or making bad judgments. But those are far from the only advantages.

If you’re adding a car to your lineup to accommodate the different places people need to be, you want to make sure that your investment pays off. Ideally, you want to keep the prices low on both the front and back end. With a starting MSRP of $26,600, the 2023 Equinox is not a bank-breaker, but the better news is the payoff after the fact. With an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, the Equinox will keep your gas bills at a manageable level. You just have to make sure the kids don’t drive more than they should!

The interior of a 2023 Chevy Equinox Premier is shown from the drivers seat.

Interior Space

Even if this new car in your lineup is mainly used by your teenagers, having a vehicle that can serve functional purposes for family life is still helpful. Maybe you’re going on a family road trip and decide that two cars are better than one for this journey. Two cars are only better than one if the second car provides enough space. Though the Equinox is classified as a compact SUV, it uses its small amount of space very judiciously to provide an interior cargo capacity of 63.9 cu.ft. It sure doesn’t look like it could pull that off based on the exterior, but looks can be deceiving.

Of course, this maximum capacity is only possible with the rear seats folded. Since the Equinox seats five, you’re trading off between rear seating and maximum space. This isn’t an argument against the Equinox because, often, this isn’t an issue, especially when it’s a second car. Sometimes you’ll be driving with passengers, other times with cargo. In a crossover that’s an addition to your fleet, there will probably be very few times when you’re trying to haul as many people and as much cargo as possible simultaneously.

Even when the seats aren’t folded down, you’ll still have access to a decent amount of cargo space. When fully loaded up with passengers, all five people will have a comfortable ride with a passenger volume of 103.5 cu.ft. That’s an impressive number, especially for a compact SUV like the Equinox. When looking at a crossover, there’s an argument to be made that passenger volume should take precedence over cargo capacity. Because these cars are designed to be people movers more than cargo haulers, having that extra legroom, especially in the rear seating area, is a huge asset. The great news is that the Equinox can still haul plenty of cargo because of its SUV architecture!

Safety Features

The parents reading this probably don’t care what’s being hauled––the big question on your mind is, “is it safe?” The short answer is yes. The Equinox is very safe. Chevy Safety Assist comes standard on this crossover, including a bunch of advanced driver-assist features. Among these is Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking. About to get in an accident? Not anymore.

There is also Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and a Following Distance Indicator. The car always keeps a close eye on its surroundings so that it can react, even when you can’t. You may still be nervous about your teens learning to drive because, as good as the technology is, it doesn’t make up for a mistake your child might make. That is a fair point. But Chevy has you covered there, too.

The Equinox offers Chevy Teen Driver as a standard feature. If you’re unfamiliar with this package, I’d argue that it is absolutely worth it if you are anxious about your kids getting behind the wheel. With Teen Driver, your teen has their own specially-programmed key fob. Now, you may wonder who programs it? You do. You can set certain restrictions and limitations, including a maximum speed, acceleration, and audio volume, to ensure that your kids don’t take any risks they shouldn’t. It may frustrate your kids right now, but it will certainly pay off over time, and they may even come to thank you for it someday.

Thanks to Teen Driver’s report cards, someday may come sooner rather than later. These allow you to see a written record of your kids’ previous driving excursions, examining their habits and walking them through areas in which they are succeeding and areas in which they could improve. The great part about these report cards is that the kids can’t get anything past you, which can lead to a constructive dialogue about safe driving.

You want to give your kids freedom, but sometimes it is best to ease one’s way into certain freedoms. However, none of the restrictions are set in stone. That’s why it is “specially programmed.” You know your teen better than Chevy does, so you get to choose where to give them freedom and where to hold them accountable.

A red 2023 Chevy Equinox RS is shown from the front at an angle.

Connectivity Technology

When it comes to giving your teens freedom, it’s not bad to let them experience some of the more fun parts of the Equinox’s technology, of which it has plenty! Chevy is not only a leader in safety technology but also in infotainment and connectivity technology. The Equinox comes standard with the Chevy Infotainment 3 system, which means you’ll have the center touchscreen and all. At the highest level, the Equinox offers the Chevy Infotainment 3 Plus system with an eight-inch diagonal HD color touchscreen and navigation.

With the Infotainment 3 system, you’ll have access to connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which means your smartphone is synced with your infotainment screen. Rather than being tempted to look down at your phone, you’ll have access to calls, messages, music, podcasts, and favorite apps, all on the Equinox’s touchscreen. It may sound like an extension of the car’s safety technology (and, in some ways, it is), but it’s ultimately about your convenience and ability to enjoy the ride.

If you anticipate driving through areas with spottier service and are worried about the ability to enjoy such connectivity features, you can always take advantage of the Equinox’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. No matter where you are, you’ll have Wi-Fi because your car is the hotspot. The Equinox is at your service. Its goal is to keep your ride safe, efficient, connected, and enjoyable. What’s not to like about that?

Aiding the Transition

The teenage years are transitional ones. We all know they are transitional for the teens themselves. Not only are you observing it in your own kids, but we also share memories of the joys and difficulties of the teenage years. More than that, it’s a transitional time for parents. You’re beginning to grapple with the fact that your kids may be leaving home within the next few years, and you need to start giving them certain freedoms while still being a responsible parent. That’s why a car like the Equinox makes such a great addition to your family’s lineup.

The Equinox provides the perfect environment for kids to start moving toward independence while still having the extra parental hand they need. The space, efficiency, and connectivity make it an excellent fit for your family, while the safety features make it a great fit for your teens. Most teenagers are excited to have any car, as long as it has wheels. But why not give your kids more than wheels? Why not give them a helping hand? The Equinox provides both to you and them, which aids the transition to independence.