Because SUVs are so spacious and comfortable, many parents buy them as family vehicles. Of course, that means that shoppers are paying extra attention to safety features. If you’re going to be driving with your most precious cargo in the backseat, you want to make sure that your vehicle is well-equipped and ready for anything. When those kids grow into teenagers who can get driver’s licenses of their own, it’s important to have a vehicle that will keep them safe while they’re still learning the finer points of being behind the wheel.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the safety features of the 2023 Chevy Equinox. This small SUV is stylish, sporty, and spacious, so it appeals to a wide range of drivers. But for our purposes, we’re going to focus on families who might be looking at this model as a versatile vehicle that can handle everything from taking the kids to school and carrying large loads of groceries to going on long road trips during school breaks.
Basic Safety Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation that’s dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries from car crashes and keeping American drivers and their passengers safe on the road. The organization puts out safety ratings on a scale from one to five in order to help consumers take safety into account when shopping for a vehicle. The 2023 Equinox earned a five-star Overall Safety Rating on both the FWD and AWD versions of the powertrain. That means that it’s been deemed to be crashworthy from a variety of angles and that it comes with recommended safety technologies that meet NHTSA’s performance criteria. The Equinox features a high-strength steel safety cage in order to keep everyone inside safe in the case of a collision. It also has plenty of protective airbags to help cushion any impacts.
The second row features Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) so that you can securely install a car seat for your little one with a specially designed system. While older car seats relied on threading a seatbelt through, most seats made in 2003 or later are required to be compatible with the LATCH system. The Equinox also has a standard rear vision camera and an available HD version, so you can have full visibility while backing down the driveway or into a tight parking spot. It also comes standard with a rear seat reminder, which can sense the opening and closing of the rear doors, so if you open the door to put something (or someone) in the back seat before your drive, the system will remind you to check your backseat before you leave the vehicle.
Standard Driver Assistance Features
In recent years, driver assistance features have become more and more common across the auto industry. Chevy is no exception to this trend, and the company has a comprehensive suite of features designed to help keep you alert and out of danger while on the road. While these features aren’t a replacement for driver attention, they can provide some extra peace of mind and allow you to drive with confidence. The following features come standard on the 2023 Chevy Equinox across all trim levels:
- Forward Collision Alert lets you know when a potential collision is imminent, using both audio and visual warnings, so that you can take action right away.
Automatic Emergency Braking will activate under certain circumstances in order to help you avoid a frontal collision. The system can either apply hard braking to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision, or it can supplement your manual braking if you haven’t quite hit the brakes hard enough to slow down before the collision.
- Front Pedestrian Braking uses cameras to detect pedestrians and provides alerts and automatic braking to avoid hitting them.
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning helps prevent you from drifting out of your lane while driving on the freeway. The system can do this through both alerts and gently corrective steering. It’s designed to only react to unintentional drifts rather than intentional lane changes, so, for instance, it won’t go off if your turn signal is on.
- Following Distance Indicator lets you know, in seconds, how far away you are from the vehicle in front of you. This can help you be more conscious of keeping a safe following distance rather than tailgating.
- IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist automatically turns the brights on and off depending on the surrounding light and traffic conditions, so you can get the visibility you need on unlit roads without worrying about dazing the drivers around you.
In addition to the standard features, there are also some more advanced options that either come standard on higher trim levels or are available as optional add-ons. These features include HD Surround Vision, which uses several cameras around the vehicle to give you a bird’s-eye-view of the area around your Equinox, which can come in handy when parking, especially if you’re trying to avoid toys left in the garage or free-roaming pets. Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects vehicles coming from your right or left while you’re in reverse, so you can avoid collisions in busy parking lots. Front and Rear Park Assist gives you distance alerts when you’re getting close to obstacles near your vehicle.
Other features are designed for driving on a highway. Lane Change Alert kicks in if you turn on your turn signal or start to change lanes while a vehicle is in your blind spot, giving you a warning so you can wait until the coast is clear. Working with the Lane Change Alert, the Side Blind Zone Alert uses a visual in the side view mirror to let you know when another vehicle is either in your blind spot or quickly approaching it. Finally, Adaptive Cruise Control works similarly to standard cruise control, except that it maintains a set distance between you and the vehicle directly in front of you. So instead of driving at a set speed no matter what, it can react to changes in traffic patterns and slow down or speed back up as necessary.
As the name implies, Teen Driver is designed to help keep young, inexperienced drivers safe as they learn the rules of the road. The system is customizable, so you can adjust settings for your particular child and adjust them over time. The system can limit some vehicle features, like high volumes on the sound system, and it can also make certain safety features unable to be switched off. Buckle-to-Drive prevents your teen driver from shifting from park to drive for up to 20 seconds if their seat belt isn’t securely fastened. If your young driver is off on a solo outing, you can check in on their progress with an in-vehicle report card. You can also pair these settings to a particular key fob, so they’ll be in place while your teenager is behind the wheel but not while you’re using the vehicle.
Our Overall Impression
The Equinox’s wide array of safety features covers a variety of circumstances so that parents can feel secure no matter what. From the youngest of kids who need a LATCH system for their car seats to teenagers who are ready to drive on their own, the Equinox can handle every stage of your kids’ lives. From parking on a driveway to driving on a parkway, it’s ready for situations both mundane and out of the ordinary. It’s clear that Chevrolet made safety a high priority when designing the 2023 Equinox.