2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

 

2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS First Test: A Little Bit of Rally, Not Much Sport

This Equinox is held back by its turbo I-4 engine, lazy transmission, and limited cargo room.

2022 Chevy Equinox RS 39
chevrolet equinox Full Overview

Pros

  • Great passenger room
  • Good handling
  • Decently equipped

Cons

  • Laggy and weak engine
  • Tiny cargo area
  • Slow transmission

Throughout Chevrolet’s history, the Rallye Sport (or RS trim) has always essentially been an appearance package, but it was used on vehicles that at least had some performance. Expanding the RS brand across the company’s offerings has cheapened the name a bit, but putting it on the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS really reveals how disappointing it can be.

Sure, you get a sharper-looking body and selectable all-wheel drive, but you get it with the anemic 1.5-liter turbo I-4 engine and less sporting six-speed automatic transmission. Although the little crossover SUV handles well from the factory as a modern vehicle should, the engine and transmission bring back memories of turbo lag and long shifts that aren’t what you expect today.

2022 Chevy Equinox RS 36

The Good

Let’s start with the positive parts about the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS, because if you’re willing to ignore the weak engine and slow-shifting six-speed, the Equinox is a competent little SUV. It has plenty of passenger room, comfortable seats, and a decent standard setup. Outside, you get LED lights all around, including the headlights, plus a power liftgate.

Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels in Dark Android come as part of the RS package. You also get black roof rails, window surrounds, black “Bow Ties” and badging, and the unique RS grille. Combine all this with the Cherry Red paint our test vehicle wore, and the Equinox is a good-looking vehicle. The interior is still all Equinox but features RS touches like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an “RS” red-badged shifter, and contrasting red stitching.

Our 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS test vehicle boasted the optional RS Leather package, which includes a Bose premium seven-speaker system and Jet Black RS leather seats (with red stitching), and the optional Infotainment package, which includes a heated steering wheel, USB data ports in the center console and bin, and a 120-volt outlet. It also included the Infotainment 3 Plus package, which delivers an 8.0-inch HD touch screen with functionality for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Additionally, the Advanced Safety package included HD Surround Vision, heated outside mirrors, and adaptive cruise control. Everything found in those packages is a can’t-miss item, especially the surround vision, which makes parking so much easier. Not only do you get front and rear cameras, but you also get a top-down view that allows you to make sure you’re not parking too close to other vehicles or a curb.

The only oddball was the adaptive cruise control, which worked well most of the time. But sometimes it behaved aggressively and followed other vehicles quite closely, even when dialed to the maximum following distance. Other times, it decided to not be aggressive enough when set to its closest distance. It seemed to behave its best with taller vehicles such as box trucks, big rigs, and midsize SUVs; it tailgated much more when dealing with anything smaller than a midsize sedan.

Running The Numbers

From a standstill, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS didn’t get going well until about 2,500 rpm, and its long 4.58:1 first gear seemed to hold on forever. The shifting felt a little better once out of first gear, but we managed a best 0-60-mph time of only 8.9 seconds. If you loved the feeling of turbo lag from your childhood, you’re going to feel right at home.

Then there’s the Equinox RS’ gas mileage: 25/30/27 mpg city/highway/combined ratings. Those numbers fall a bit short compared to the 2022 Honda CR-V AWD and 2022 Toyota RAV4 AWD. The CR-V is also equipped with a 1.5-liter turbo I-4 but delivers 27/32/29 mpg, while the RAV4’s larger 2.5-liter I-4 gets 25-27/33-34/28-30, depending on trim.

The Chevy’s six-speed automatic just isn’t a great match for its engine, whereas the Honda uses a CVT and the RAV4 gets two additional gears (it comes with an eight-speed automatic). The two competitors also produce quicker 0-60-mph times, with the RAV4 getting to highway speed in 8.0 seconds and the CR-V needing 7.8 seconds.

2022 Chevy Equinox RS 34

Reasonable Handling

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS’ engine and transmission frustrations are amplified when you realize the Equinox is an otherwise reasonably fun vehicle to drive. Its suspension damping is a bit harsh for making quick turns into steep entryways, something we encounter frequently in Southern California. Barring that, it’s enjoyable to drive with some aggression on twisting, winding roads.

Driving at night, the Equinox gives you confidence with not only its handling but also the field of view it provides, as the LED lights offer plenty of forward and side vision for tight corners. Its automatic high-beams also work wonderfully and can distinguish between most bright driveway and house lights versus car headlights.

It’s all fun until you need to stop or pull out of an aggressively tight corner—if you allow the engine to fall below 2,500 rpm, the 1.5 turbo lags, and the transmission doesn’t downshift aggressively enough to get the four-cylinder out of its dead zone.

Less Reasonable Storage

Forget about the engine and transmission, though. More disappointing is the Equinox’s limited cargo room. With the rear seats up, you only have 29.9 cubic feet of cargo area, which isn’t much. Hauling a 20x24x24 box unfolded required us to drop the rear seats to gain another 34 cubic feet (69.9 total when they are down), which isn’t surprising. But the Chevrolet Equinox’s main all-wheel-drive competitors offer more capacity with their seats folded up, as the 2022 Honda CR-V has 33.2 cubic feet and the 2022 Toyota RAV4 37.5.

2022 Chevy Equinox RS 4

Should You Buy It?

Overall, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS AWD is a great-driving crossover SUV that’s held back by its small yet thirsty and laggy engine, slow transmission, and relatively small amount of cargo room. Yes, it provides a fun driving experience, but that doesn’t put it above the Honda CR-V AWD and Toyota RAV4 AWD.

SPECIFICATIONS 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS AWD
BASE PRICE $33,345
PRICE AS TESTED $36,965
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 1.5L Turbo direct-injected DOHC 16-valve I-4
POWER (SAE NET) 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 203 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,519 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 107.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 183.1 x 72.6 x 65.4 in
0-60 MPH 8.9 sec
QUARTER MILE 16.9 sec @ 82.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 125 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.74 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.6 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 25/30/27 mpg
EPA RANGE, COMB 421 miles
ON SALE Now
Justin Banner – Writer / Brandon Lim – Writer / motortrend

2022 Chevrolet Equinox Starting at $27,445

7/10C/D RATING
  • HIGHS: Tons of passenger space, agile on-road behavior, generous infotainment features.
  • LOWS: Weak four-cylinder engine, pricier than most rivals, largest wheel size reduces ride quality.
  • VERDICT: The Equinox is an unremarkable compact crossover with myriad mainstream attractions.

Overview

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox is among the most popular compact crossovers, but mass consumption doesn’t mean it’s truly compelling. Sure, the Chevy has plentiful passenger room, a feature-laden infotainment system, and athletic handling. However, it falls short in terms of interior quality and storage space compared with its competitors.

While all-wheel drive is optional, all Equinox models are powered by the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The spendier trim levels push prices into expensive territory but people who are committed to the bow-tie brand and unfazed by mediocrity will appreciate the 2022 Equinox.

What’s New for 2022?

A refreshed front end highlights the changes to the 2022 Equinox. The makeover brings more distinctive headlights, a new grille design, and updated front and rear bumpers. Chevy also adds an RS model, which includes sporty styling cues such as dark 19-inch wheels and blacked-out exterior trim. Its interior boasts a unique shift knob, red stitching, and black upholstery.

The top-tier Premier also has spiffier cabin details, such as French stitching and gloss-black trim on the console. The more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is no longer offered, leaving the turbo 1.5-liter engine as the sole offering. This update to Chevy’s compact SUV was originally intended for the 2021 model year, but has been delayed to 2022 because of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Pricing and Which One to Buy

LS
$27,445
LT
$28,545
RS
$31,745
Premier
$32,645

0$10k$20k$30k$40k$50k

Although the Equinox lineup adds the stylized RS near the top of the pecking order, we’d still recommend the mid-level LT. It comes standard with chrome exterior trim, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, high-intensity discharge headlights, SiriusXM satellite radio, and more. We’d also opt for the Confidence and Convenience package, which includes blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate, rear cross-traffic alert, and remote start.

 

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Underpowered and frequently out of breath, the Equinox’s turbo four-cylinder engine won’t win any fans with its sluggish performance. The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder makes 170 horsepower, and when paired with the optional (and heavier) all-wheel-drive system (front-wheel drive is standard), it takes a heavy foot to hustle the Equinox up to highway speeds.

The standard six-speed automatic shifts seamlessly, and in the interest of fuel economy, the gearbox is reluctant to downshift when extra power is needed. Agreeable and easy to drive, the Equinox handles competently, and its steering is accurate and direct. The ride is a bit harsh, particularly with the optional 19-inch wheels (17s or 18s are standard), and rougher stretches of road transmit some unpleasantness into the cabin. The Chevy can also tow up to 3500 pounds, when properly equipped.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates that the front-wheel-drive Equinox will earn 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive reduces both ratings by 1 mpg. We subjected the Equinox to our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy test route and with front-wheel drive, it returned 32 mpg on the highway; we saw 28 mpg with all-wheel-drive version. For more information about the Equinox’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

 

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Made from durable materials and nicely styled, the Equinox’s cabin should inspire broad appeal. Both front- and rear-seat passengers should find themselves comfortable in the spacious interior, with enough luxuries to keep them content on longer trips.

The cabin features plenty of cupholders, but most interior luxuries are offered as standard or optional equipment on higher trim levels; the base Equinox L is a price leader with very few features. Some rivals offer more space behind the rear seats, but we still managed to fit eight of our carry-on suitcases back there. Aside from a capacious center-console storage bin, the Equinox’s cabin storage is merely average.

Infotainment and Connectivity

A 7.0-inch touchscreen (an 8.0-inch unit is optional) displays Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment interface atop the Equinox’s dash; the system continues to impress with its ease of use and quick responses. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB connectivity, and an auxiliary input jack. Standard 4G LTE onboard Wi-Fi makes the Equinox one of the best-connected crossovers.

 

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

 

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

View Crash Test Results

The Equinox comes with a wide range of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Equinox’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard au
  • tomated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Chevy’s basic warranty package is just that—basic—but so is the coverage of its competitors. The Kia Sportage and its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tuscon, both offer longer protection plans. Chevy also provides one free dealer maintenance visit within the first year of ownership, which is a nice perk.

  • Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit

 

Specifications

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