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Chevrolet Equinox (2013)

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The Chevrolet Equinox rolls into 2013 with a new, more powerful 3.6L V-6 engine, Chevrolet MyLink Radio with Navigation and other features that will help maintain its momentum as one of the industry’s most popular small crossovers.

The current body style debuted in 2010, so the current Equinox should be familiar to you, especially since Chevy sold 193,000 of them in 2011 and sales were up 15% in the first five months of this year. But in the highly competitive small crossover segment there seems to be an all-new or completely updated model coming out everyday and automakers are being pressed into keeping up with the Joneses every way.

I, for one, am a big fan of the available two toned dash. Along with the stylish layout of instrumentation and the center stack, the contrasting colors of the dash make the interior really pop. Another nice feature is the sliding rear seat that allows for more cargo behind it when it’s tucked up closer to the front seats and more legroom when pushed back.

Chevy’s MyLink system integrates Internet radio stations such as Pandora® and Stitcher SmartRadio® using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls through your Bluetooth-enabled phone. It also adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones. A high-resolution, seven-inch, full-color touch screen display makes media selection easy to navigate.

There are 3 trim level offerings, the LS, LT & LTZ, but if those prepackaged levels aren’t exactly what you want, then there is a long list of options to shop from. Or just go for the gold with the LTZ , select the high end MyLink and be done with it.

Ride and handling is another matter. Personally, I like it – although the turning radius is a little big. Others may say that it has dull handling and ride quality …doesn’t let you “feel” the road. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “feel” the road in an SUV. This isn’t a sports car that I’m expecting to carve a path on freeway fly-over ramps at 80 MPH.

Chevy offers two engine choices in the Equinox, a 2.4-liter I-4 with 182-HP or the new, direct-injected 3.6L V-6 that will put a smile on your face. Not only does the 301 horsepower engine deliver 14 percent more power than the outgoing model, it delivers the same fuel economy, 17-city and 24-highway. Both engines are connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission in either front wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. Towing capacity jumps too, from 1,500 to 3,500 lbs with the V-6. That’s good enough to tow a small camper.
If crossovers from Toyota, Honda or Kia are on your shopping list, do yourself a favor and stop by the Chevy store to check out the Equinox. Starting at $23,530, it may get you thinking “American” again.

Overall, I think the 2013 Chevy Equinox is an excellent choice as a small family hauler and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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