For 2007, Chevrolet’s been busy with the Equinox, adding a number of safety, ride and convenience enhancements.
Safety-wise, StabiliTrak stability system and anti-lock brakes become standard on all models; the front airbags receive a passenger sensing system; four-wheel disc brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard; and the optional curtain airbags now have rollover detection.
Steering feel, ride and handling, and quietness have been improved; there are new front and rear fascias and rear spoiler; the cluster and centre stack have been revised; the uplevel sliding rear seat gains a centre armrest with two additional cupholders; there’s a new steering wheel; the driver information centre includes 20 standard features; and there’s an available remote start. OnStar now includes a turn-by-turn navigation feature; the theft-deterrent system is PASS-Key III; and there are new audio systems, and three new 17-inch wheels. New colours for 2007 are Granite Gray Metallic, Deep Ruby Metallic and Silverstone Metallic.
The Equinox continues into 2007 with its 3.4-litre V6 engine, mated to a five-speed automatic, with LS and LT trim, both available in front- or all-wheel drive, which runs in front-wheel until it detects slippage and transfers torque to the rear wheels. Although Chevrolet calls it a compact SUV, it’s really quite large; it shares its Theta platform with the Saturn Vue and Pontiac Torrent.
The base LS model includes air conditioning, ABS, power locks with keyless entry, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, roof rack side rails, 16-inch steel wheels, power windows, tilt wheel, and CD player with six speakers.
The LT adds roof rack crossbars, 16-inch aluminum wheels, cargo net, cruise control, floor mats, dual overhead console reading lights, and premium cloth seats with six-way power driver’s seat. A preferred equipment package is available for each line, and can add such features as heated leather seats, six-CD stereo, 17-inch wheels and auto-dimming mirror.
The Equinox’s considerable enhancements add a great deal to this package, while prices rise only marginally; improved steering feel and ride are a welcome addition, as the 2006 version tended to be too soft and wallowy, and with vague steering. This is a practical vehicle, especially with its fold-flat front seat and clever sliding rear seat, but be sure to test-drive its siblings: the Pontiac Torrent is arguably better-looking and has a tauter feel, while the Saturn Vue’s Honda-sourced V6 is an exceptional performer in this price range.
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