The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox is an exciting contender in the mid-size crossover segment. It has the same platform as the GMC Terrain and shares a general aesthetic with both the Chevy Traverse and the latest Malibu. The Equinox's rocker panels are integrated into the doors, narrowing the area over which a passenger must step. The body is stiffened with single-piece side stampings plus high-strength steel in critical areas.
The Equinox benefits from two engines that are more efficient than ever, each making use of variable valve timing and direct injection. A standard 2.4L 4-cylinder makes an impressive 182 horsepower yet delivers 32 mpg on the highway. All but the LS offers an optional 3.6L V6 engine. This engine is capable of 301 horsepower and 24 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines. Front wheel-drive is the standard drivetrain, but all-wheel drive is available.
Storage areas are everywhere in the cabin, including an oversized glovebox, a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack and a closed storage bin under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer. The rear seats feature MultiFlex, which allows the seats to move back and forth a total of eight inches for the best rear legroom in the segment.
Standard equipment on all trims includes 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, StabiliTrak stability control, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, six air bags, an anti-theft system, an XM Satellite Radio-ready system, iPod and MP3 capability, Bluetooth and one year of OnStar service. Power windows, door locks, remote keyless entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, as well as power mirrors and automatic headlamps round out the generous standards list.
Optional equipment on the LS trim includes deep-tinted glass and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The LT trim features a premium Pioneer 250-watt speaker system, power seats, steering-wheel audio controls, a remote starter system and a power sunroof as optional equipment.
The top-of-the-line LTZ trim includes chrome trim, projector headlamps and fog lamps, a power liftgate, deep-tint glass, Pioneer speaker system, an upgraded audio system and heated leather seats. With all this standard equipment, the LTZ can also be outfitted with a navigation system, a power sunroof and 18- or 19-inch chrome wheels.
The optional Safety Package from 2012, which included a forward collision alert, lane departure warning and rear park assist systems, is now available on the 2013 Equinox 2LT and standard on the LTZ.
The Chevrolet Equinox hits 2013 with only one substantial change. The 264-horsepower 3.0L V6 of previous years is replaced by a more powerful 3.6L, which produces 301 horsepower and 272 foot-pounds of torque. The new engine is estimated to deliver 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Elsewhere, the Equinox LTZ receives a newly tuned suspension and the optional Safety Package from 2012 now standard on the LTZ and available on the 2LT.