We first saw the Chevrolet Equinox in 2005, when it had its big debut. The SUV was well received, but it never gained instant popularity, at least not as much initially as some of its rivals. To fix that, Chevrolet gave it a major redesign for the 2010 year which improved the SUV significantly. 5 years later, in 2015, it got another large upgrade, this time leaving the rest of the class in its dust. The 2016 model saw few changes, and the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox follows close, building on a successful platform with subtle tweaks. But you know what they say, small changes can add up to make a huge difference.
The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox is more of an evolution rather than a revolution. Chevrolet took what was already a great midsize SUV from 2016, and tweaked it so that it’s even better. The LTZ trim is renamed to premier, and the LT receives two option packages (Midnight package with black wheels, paint and exterior accessories, and Sport package with the same wheels, accents and leather, but different white paint). The exterior looks a lot fresher and the interior design is more appealing and cleaner, with less clutter.The overall result is a SUV looking much more youthful, attracting a younger and wider audience, which was Chevy’s goal from the beginning. They listened to the customer’s feedback, leaving all the positives aspects of the vehicle and changing those which were deemed to be inadequate. In a world where manufacturers rarely listen to customer feedback, we can’t praise Chevy enough for that.
The exterior of the 2017 Equinox is bold, but in an elegant and understated way. It’s not an aggressive design, but then again, it’s not supposed to be. Most of the people who buy it aren’t looking for something overwhelming. It looks exactly like a midsize SUV should. For example, front end features most of the recent changes. There’s the new projector headlights with LED daytime running lights for the LT and LTZ trims, brand new fog lights as well as a new grille which is noticeably larger than before.
The rear of the Chevy Equinox hasn’t been modified as much as the front, but it does have a few nice elements. The first thing you’ll notice are the new taillights which have a dual-element design. Below them, there’s a new appliqué for the license plate resting on a lower bumper which is built from the ground up. The V6 exhaust tips have been changed too, but they still emit the same glorious soundtrack.
Perhaps the biggest achievement is the fact that the 2017 Chevy Equinox still looks exactly like an Equinox. It hasn’t lost any of its charismatic charm the old SUV had. In updating it, Chevrolet has pulled off one of the hardest things to do when it comes to a redesign: keep the old vehicle’s spirit intact. Given that we probably won’t see brand new generation Equinox for two to three years, Chevrolet has done an amazing job ensuring the current generation car won’t lose any of its appeal during that period.
And while the exterior received plenty of changes, the same can’t be said for the interior. But in all honesty, we, as well as most other reviewers, didn’t feel like it needed a change. It has a great flowing design through the entire center stack, as well as dashboard. The control graphics have been updated last year, and thankfully, they haven’t been changed, because they were superb.
The materials are great, and everything you touch feels soft and expensive. There are no cheap plastics within sight, and even the ones that do feel different, are more than up to par with the rivals’ interiors. The seats are nice and comfy, you could easily do hundreds of miles without getting tired at all. This thing was made to be driven, you can tell just by getting inside.
The 2017 Equinox comes equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio display that also displays the screen for the rearview camera which is standard on the L and the LS. The safety packages offer extra features and system for those looking for extra safety and security for your family safe. There’s 31.4 cubic feet of cargo room if you have the seats up, or 63.7 if you have them down.
The engine of the 2017 Equinox has remained the same as last year’s model. The trusty 2.4 liter four-cylinder produces 182 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 172 pound-feet of torque at 4,900 rpm. The 2.4 unit is a great motor, but you can definitely feel a need for more power if you do a lot of highway or B roads driving and simply need the grunt to overtake or get up to speed quicker. It feels great on its own, but heavy loads are its Achilles heel. It will never let you down, it’s just that it doesn’t feel as fast as it should be. Mind you, it’s still on par with the equivalent rivals.
The optional 3.6 liter V6 in the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox is the one to go for if you want the most power out of the Equinox. It develops almost twice the power of the 2.4 liter, with figures of 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. It’s a beast of an engine, giving you an instant shove in the back as soon as your right foot demands it. Both engines come with a six-speed auto, and sadly, there’s no manual in the cards. Power is sent to the front wheels, unless you have the AWD system in which case, it goes to all four corners.
The 2.4 liter four-cylinder returns 9L/100km on the combined run in front-wheel drive configuration, and that number increases to 10L/100km if we’re talking about the AWD-equipped Equinox. The V6 is slightly thirstier, returning 11.7/12.3 liters per 100 km for the FWD/AWD versions respectively.
The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox is a great SUV, especially for places like Kitchener and Southern Ontario, where the added capabilities and safety the AWD system offers in colder months come into play.