Vehicle Profile: 2013 Chevrolet Equinox

The go-to compact crossover gets even better

Following a comprehensive redesign in 2009, the Chevy Equinox has become one of the best-selling five-seat crossovers on the market. In 2011 alone, more nearly 200,000 drivers chose the Equinox, and those numbers jumped even higher last year. To build on that winning trend, the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, on sale now here at Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio, raises the bar on key crossover elements, ranging from safety and efficiency to power and technology.

The 2013 Chevy Equinox––already an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “Top Safety Pick” thanks to standard equipment like four-wheel antilock disc brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with Traction Control and Rollover Mitigation, and six airbags––ups the ante with a new Safety Package that includes radar-based Rear Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert, a system that constantly monitors the distance to the vehicle in front and alerts the driver if a collision is imminent. If an accident can’t be avoided, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response feature is on hand to notify first-responders and direct them to you.

The Equinox delivers equal measures of power and efficiency thanks in part to its newly available direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 engine, which replaces last year’s 3.0-liter six-cylinder. The V6’s 301 hp and 272 lb/ft of torque are increases of 37 hp and 50 lb/ft of torque over the outgoing 3.0-liter. In their initial test drive of the 2013 model equipped with the new 3.6-liter V6, the editors at Motor Trend wrote, “In a segment filled with strong competitors, the Equinox’s V6 option provides an asset few can match.” Another asset: Even with the increase in power and displacement, the 3.6-liter V6 actually matches its predecessor in fuel efficiency, offering an EPA-estimated 24 mpg highway.

The standard engine on the Equinox remains the direct-injected Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which is good for 182 hp and 172 lb/ft of torque. A miser at the pump, the 2.4-liter returns up to 32 mpg highway and is E85 FlexFuel compatible. Both engines are paired with a smooth and efficient six-speed automatic transmission. In four-cylinder models, the automatic gains an “ECO” mode that alters the shift pattern to maximize fuel economy. Front-wheel drive is standard, while the available all-wheel drive system enhances handling year-round and boosts driver confidence even on the worst winter roads.

The new FE2 Suspension Package available with the V6 delivers dual-flow front dampers that enhance ride and handling by automatically honing the responsiveness of the shocks to match road conditions.

Expanding its suite of advanced infotainment technology, the Equinox now offers the Chevrolet MyLink Radio with Navigation, winner of the “Best of CES” award in the car category at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. MyLink features Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone integration controlled via enhanced voice recognition, as well as a seven-inch color touch-screen. Available Autonet Mobile Wi-Fi delivers full internet access that extends up to 150 feet from the vehicle.

According to the automotive website, “The Chevy Equinox boasts a stylish cabin filled with premium touches.” The available two-tone color schemes earned special praise from editors, who called them “eye-catching, and a perfect complement to the dashboard’s elegant, swooping dual-cowl design.” Active noise cancellation, acoustic laminate glass and triple door seals also help to make the interior one of the quietest in this class.

Travel with family, whether the haul is long or short, and you and your brood are sure to appreciate the spacious cabin, which offers the most rear-seat legroom – 39.9 inches – in its class ( called it “limo-like”). If serenity behind the wheel is paramount, order is easily maintained by the new Rear-Seat DVD Entertainment System, which features displays in each of the front seatbacks.

The 60/40-split Multi-Flex rear seat slides eight inches forward and back. With the seat up, maximum cargo space tops out at 31.5 cubic feet; lower the rear seat and the total jumps to 63.7 cubic feet. When towing is a priority, outfit your Equinox with the V6 and available trailer hitch for a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The available Trailer Sway Control system improves stability at speed, while standard Hill Start Assist ensures safe launches on steep inclines.

Chevrolet delivers value in the Equinox, which starts at an MSRP of $24,225. Even the entry LS trim offers a generous slate of standard features, including Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with controls for audio and cruise, an AM/FM/CD sound system with auxiliary jack and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (includes complimentary three-month trial).

The 1LT (MSRP $25,870) expands the roster to include premium cloth seats, a rearview camera, heated side mirrors, roof rack side rails and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 2LT (MSRP $27,740) sweetens the pot with automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, heat for both front seats, foglamps and a premium 250-watt Pioneer sound system with eight speakers and custom-tuned equalization.

The top-level LTZ (MSRP $30,985) crowns that list with items such as leather trim; projector-style halogen headlamps; chrome trimmed door handles, roof rack side rails and exterior mirrors; body-color bumpers with brightwork on the lower fascias; and 19-inch chrome-clad aluminum alloy wheels.

The new Power Convenience Package (available on the 2LT and standard on the LTZ) nets you an eight-way power front passenger seat, a universal home remote and a power-assisted programmable liftgate.

To experience the enhanced comfort, efficiency, power and convenience of the new 2013 Chevy Equinox crossover, call or come in today to schedule a test drive.

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