By Peter Ciani
This week the team at WheelsTV is driving the long-awaited 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS compact crossover.
The refreshed 2022 Equinox was originally set to go on sale as a 2021 model, in fact, it’s been over 2 years since it made its debut at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.
Unfortunately, when a pesky virus and lack of chip supply forced the entire auto industry to grind to a halt, GM’s second best-selling vehicle was not immune. Not only was the updated Equinox delayed a year, but getting production back to pre-pandemic levels has also been a challenge and sales have taken a hit. GM Authority reported an 82 percent drop in Equinox sales during Q4 2021, that’s all because of supply issues.
With its release pushed back a year and production delayed by plant closures throughout 2021, It’s been tough getting our hands on the new Equinox, even for a few photos. When we asked our car dealer friend if we could borrow one for a few hours to film, he pretty much laughed in our faces. Not only were they nearly impossible to get, but the ones they did get were sold before they rolled off the truck.
Fortunately, GM has begun to iron out its supply chain issues and production is gradually getting back on track. The 2022 Equinox is starting to make its way to dealerships and into the press fleets, which was great news for us as we finally got some seat time in the popular crossover.
For 2022 The Equinox gets restyled front and rear fascias. Upfront, the revised grille features a chrome bar that extends out to the corners, separating the headlight into two parts with available daytime running lights on top (LT, RS & Premier) and standard LED headlights below.
The lower bumper adds pronounced side intakes and vertical LED fog lights on the Premier trim.
The new grille and headlight design sharpen the look of the Equinox, especially on the new RS trim, which gets a blacked-out treatment complete with darkened headlights, a black mesh grille, and a black Chevy bowtie. The dark trim highlights carry throughout the exterior of the Equinox RS with its 19-inch Dark Android painted aluminum wheels, gloss black window trim, and black roof racks.
Our test model came in the available premium Cherry Red Tintcoat ($495). It’s a beautiful color that works well with the dark trim of the RS.
Other exterior updates include new LED taillights and a slightly revised rear bumper. The RS gets a trim-specific bumper with a body-colored lower section.
The 5-passenger interior of the 2022 Equinox hasn’t changed much, but it didn’t need to. The seats are comfortable and the dash still looks fresh, especially with the optional 8-inch touchscreen. No matter which screen size you opt for, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity now comes standard, that’s a big plus.
The control layout is simple and easy to operate – and yes, I feel old saying it – but you still get buttons, knobs, and a regular no-frills shifter. Not everyone longs for the touchscreen-only future.
The new RS trim gets a Jet Black cloth interior with red contrast stitching. The available RS Leather Package ($1,580) adds perforated leather-appointed seat trim and a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system. You also get a driver-side seatback map pocket. In this day and age, a map pocket seems unnecessary, but as most parents know “map pocket” really means broken crayon / stale Cheerios collector. So it’s still useful, even if it’ll never see a map.
Our tester was equipped with the available Infotainment Package. For $895 you get a heated steering wheel, additional USB ports, a 120-volt power outlet, and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system with an 8-inch touchscreen and connected navigation. Not a bad deal for under $900.
Cargo volume behind the second row tops out at 29.9 cubic feet, folding the rear seat opens up 63.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
The sole engine for the Equinox is a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive is optional on all trims. Towing capacity tops out at 1500 pounds, if you’re looking for more, you may need to step up to the Traverse which tops out at 5000 pounds.
The Equinox comes with a 3-year / 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and a 5-year / 60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.
Fuel economy ratings for the front-wheel-drive Equinox are 26 City / 31 Highway with a combined rating of 28 MPG. All-wheel-drive models are rated at 25 City / 30 Highway with a combined 27 MPG. This is right on par with what we were getting for the week.
Numerous standard safety features for the Equinox include Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Pedestrian Braking, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
That’s a pretty hefty list, but if that’s not enough, you also get standard Teen Driver Technology. What this does is allows parents to limit certain vehicle features and prevent some safety features from being turned off. Plus you also get an in-vehicle report card to help monitor driving habits. All of the Teen Driver functions can be associated with a key fob, so as long as your new driver is using that key, they are automatically activated.
If you want even more safety features, upper trims include Front and Rear Park Assist which gives you a little warning if you are getting too close to an object when parking. I wish every car in the Walmart parking lot had this feature.
Park Assist gets a little fancier in the Premier trim with the available Driver Confidence III Package. This includes Automatic Parking Assist which will help steer your car into a parking spot, it works for both parallel and perpendicular parking. This package also adds Automatic Cruise Control and an HD Surround Vision Camera with multiple camera angles including an overhead view.
With its sporty looks, functional cabin, and a long list of advanced standard safety features it’s not hard to see why the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox is such a popular seller in the GM line-up. If you’re like us, seemingly waiting forever for a test drive, don’t fret we’re starting to see them on the road as supply issues begin to level off.
The 2022 Equinox LS starts at $26,995, the Equinox RS test vehicle Chevrolet loaned us was optioned out to $36,515.