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A blue 2022 Chevy Equinox is shown from the side near a body of water.

Is the 2022 Chevy Equinox LS the Ideal Trim?

I’ve heard it time and time again: don’t settle with the base trim—it’s the worst value imaginable. Well, I’m here to tell you, while that may have been the case in the past, Chevy is here to prove everyone wrong. Meet the 2022 Chevy Equinox LS, the base-level trim for the venerable Chevy Equinox. What makes the Equinox so tempting on the surface is its spot within the lineup. The Equinox sits nearly $8,000 cheaper than the succeeding SUV, the Blazer, yet is far more capable than both the Chevy Trax and Trailblazer.

However, what I’ll be discussing today is whether or not you should spring for one of the pricier trim levels, or stick with the base model and see how you fare? As you’ll see, I think the LS is a fantastic option in its own right.

Before we get started, let’s take a moment and look at the pricing. The Equinox, in its base configuration, starts at an MSRP of $25,800. As mentioned, this is a substantial difference from the Blazer, which is the next SUV on the lineup and sports a starting MSRP of $33,400. Remember, these are for the base-level trims, and this is the first price that everyone sees when they’re shopping for a vehicle. Then, in many cases, shoppers proceed to move up the list of trims to find one that suits them best.

The LS, unlike many entry-level trims, has the tech, performance, and versatility to become your next SUV. With that out of the way, let’s talk about what you can expect from your Equinox LS.

A close up of the grille on a blue 2022 Chevy Equinox LS is shown.

High-End Performance

I feel one of the biggest selling points for the Equinox LS is its powertrain. Simply put, inside of your base level Equinox is the same engine that sits inside of the top-end model, the Premier. That’s right: You’ll get the same performance quality as you would with the priciest Equinox without spending the extra money.

So then, what can you expect? With your 2022 Equinox will come a turbocharged 1.5-L I-4 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This turbocharged engine is lightweight, meaning it’s quite fuel-efficient, and you can still tow 1,500 lbs if the need arises. Thanks to this engine, the Equinox LS—and, by extension, every other Equinox—gets 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque, which is a respectable amount.

What about fuel efficiency? Thanks to the turbocharged nature of the 1.5L I-4 engine, it is impressively fuel-efficient, whether you opt for a FWD or AWD drivetrain. How good are the ratings, you may be wondering? With your Equinox, you’ll be getting 26 MPG city and 31 highway with FWD, and AWD models achieve 25 MPG city and 30 highway.

If you ask me, this is excellent performance and efficiency for a vehicle so cheap and large. It gets to a point, especially for commuters, when gas station trips simply become cumbersome to your daily life. Since gas prices have never been set in stone, it’s better to have better fuel efficiency and not need it, than to need this cost-saving measure and not have it. However, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone complain about how great the mileage on their vehicle is; it’s usually the other way around.

Plenty of Upgrades

Just because you may decide to purchase the Equinox LS, that doesn’t mean that you can’t customize the experience a bit. An example of this is the seat you’ll be sitting on. By default, the 4-way manually-adjustable chair might elicit some distaste from shoppers, but fortunately, you have the option to swap these out. Instead of the 4-way manually-adjustable seat, you can opt for an 8-way power-adjustable chair, which I feel would be the right move if you plan on purchasing an Equinox LS. However, it’s worth noting that the 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat isn’t available on this trim. For that, you’ll be spending far more money to acquire the Equinox Premier.

Not that all quality upgrades are locked to high trims. What is standard on every trim level is Active Noise Cancellation, meaning your cabin will be so quiet that you can hear a pin drop, even when on the highway (as long as no windows are rolled down, of course.)

The 2022 Equinox LS also comes equipped with a host of safety features, but again, there are a host of optional upgrades you can opt for. Features such as Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning both come standard to keep you in your intended lane at all times and help prevent accidents. Standard on other trims but available on the LS is Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Lane Change Alert will, as the name suggests, alert you if it’s not safe to change lanes, and it does so by illuminating a warning icon on the mirror of whichever lane is occupied.

That’s not all, though, because the Equinox LS also comes with Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, along with Front Pedestrian Braking. It’s important to have these features for obvious reasons. You don’t want to collide with anything or anyone, and these features will assist you in preventing that thanks to their lightning-fast sensing times.

Available for the Equinox LS is the Driver Confidence II package, which comes standard on the succeeding trims. It’s encouraged that those who purchase the Equinox LS also opt to include this package because of the features that accompany it. With this package, you can expect Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist on your LS. Unfortunately, Front Park Assist isn’t available on the LS. Instead, you’ll have to opt for the LT, RS, or Premier.

A close up of the rear taillight of a blue 2022 Chevy Equinox LS is shown.

Flagship Tech

Something that I have found highly impressive about recent Equinox models is its inclusion of premium tech features. Tech progressed leaps and bounds when touchscreen infotainment centers became mainstream, and nowadays, most infotainment centers are a touchscreen. Whether or not this appeals to you, that’s entirely subjective. But, I can’t deny that the 7.0” and 8.0” infotainment centers available for the Equinox are worth admiration.

Although the Equinox LS doesn’t offer an 8.0” screen, you’re not losing many features aside from built-in navigation, cloud data, and a slightly larger screen. Don’t fret, because there’s still plenty to enjoy. For example, the 7.0” infotainment center, like the larger variant, still supports voice commands and Bluetooth connectivity, which can link to two devices simultaneously. This will forever change the argument of “Who gets the aux cord?” when driving around with your friends—because now anyone can be the DJ in your vehicle.

The Equinox LS comes standard with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—an inclusion I’m glad to see. Best of all, despite your 7.0” infotainment center lacking built-in navigation software, that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to perform the same function. Aside from the much-appreciated inclusion of Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, your Equinox LS also comes equipped with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. I can’t stress this enough: The price-to-feature ratio is simply outstanding with the Equinox LS, and this well-equipped base model certainly deserves a moment of any shopper’s time.