2015 Chevrolet Equinox

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox carries over largely unchanged. There's a new trim level, the L, and OnStar now includes a 4G LTE connection with an in-car WiFi hotspot.

The Chevrolet Equinox received its last redesign back in 2010, which is a pretty long time in automotive terms. The 2015 Equinox still stands out for its comfort-oriented ride and optional V6 engine. But is that enough to keep it out in front of its newer competitors?

If you're shopping for a crossover that's great on road trips and highway journeys, the Equinox is better than most at dealing with America's underfunded road infrastructure, and it's one of the quieter vehicles we've tested at highway speeds. The aforementioned V6 engine is a peach too, with plenty of power on tap for passing maneuvers and uphill slogs. Some competitors offer turbocharged four-cylinders that are similarly powered, but there's something to be said for a tried-and-true naturally aspirated V6. Properly equipped, the Equinox can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is also impressive. And while the Equinox isn't a class leader for overall roominess, it has a decent amount of space in the back for rear passengers.

Exterior Highlights
Compact crossover SUV available in L, LS, LT and LTZ trim levels

The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV that's offered in four trim levels: L, LS, LT and LTZ.

Standard equipment on the entry-level L includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a driver seat with power height adjustment, a 60/40-split second-row seat that slides and reclines, cruise control, a trip computer and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. In terms of onboard electronics, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar communications (with an in-car 4G WiFi hotspot) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio input jack and an iPod/USB interface are also standard.

The Equinox LS is very similar but has a few extra minor features, the most notable being satellite radio.

The LT trim level is split into two subsets: 1LT and 2LT. The 1LT adds heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rack side rails, premium cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system that has a 7-inch touchscreen (Chevy's MyLink interface), Bluetooth audio connectivity, voice controls and smartphone integration for Internet radio apps such as Pandora.

Moving up to the 2LT gets you foglights, remote start, automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a Pioneer sound system with eight speakers.

At the top of the line, there's the LTZ, which further adds 18-inch chromed alloy wheels, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, an eight-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, a lane departure warning system and forward collision alert. LTZ models equipped with the V6 engine also get firmer suspension tuning.

Many of the standard features of the upper trim levels can be added to the less expensive models as options. Other stand-alone options include 19-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels (LTZ V6 only), a sunroof, a navigation system (2LT and LTZ) and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system (LTZ only).

Stylish and well laid out interior, dual-cowl design, good seating comfort touchscreen interface, MyLink system with smartphone app compatibility

Much like the rest of Chevy's current lineup, the inside of the 2015 Equinox is generally stylish and well laid out. There's a distinctive dual-cowl design that looks all the more appealing with the available two-tone color scheme.

Seating comfort and legroom are good all around, and the sliding and reclining second-row seats allow you to expand the amount of legroom in the rear. The audio system's touchscreen interface (1LT and above) features customizable menus similar to those on modern smartphones and it is relatively easy to use. The MyLink system incorporates Bluetooth streaming audio capability, which allows it to work with popular smartphone apps like Pandora and Stitcher.

Standard safety features on the 2015 Chevy Equinox include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is GM's OnStar emergency communications system, which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance. A rearview camera is standard on all trims except the LS. Standard on the LTZ and optional on the 2LT are rear parking sensors and frontal collision and lane departure warning systems.

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