Chevrolet Equinox — Refreshed with new sportier RS trim

By Paul Borden

(July 23, 2022) After being fully redesigned a few years back, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox gets a mid-cycle refreshing this year that includes new headlights, a new grille, updated bumpers and the addition of a new RS model that has some distinctive style features of its own.

One of the best sellers in the compact SUV segment through the first six months of this year, nosing out the Honda CR-V for the No. 2 spot in sales behind only Toyota’s RAV4, the 2022 Equinox has gone through some interesting changes since its introduction as a 2005 model.

The original Equinox shared its platform with the Saturn Vue and came with a V6 engine as standard. An early Sport model even was tuned to crank out 264 horsepower over the standard V6’s 185, but by the first redesign for 2010 the standard power source was a turbocharged 4-banger with the V6 as an option.

An optional, torque-heavy diesel was added to the base 1.5-liter 4-banger and upgraded 2-0L 4-cylinder as engine choices for 2018. The diesel was dropped for 2020 and the 2.0L was not offered for 2021.

The 2022 Chevy Equinox is available only with 1.5L turbo4 that puts out 170 horsepower and a top 203 pound-feet of torque and is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The bow-tie people also say and all-electric version of the Equinox is on schedule for the fall of 2023.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox with all-wheel drive available.

In addition to the RS trim that this review is based on, the 2022 Chevy Equinox also is offered in LS, LT, and top-of-the-heap Premier versions. The RS is the sportiest of the bunch, the Premier the fanciest and most expensive (but not by much over the RS).

My test 2022 Chevy Equinox RS came with all-wheel drive (activated by a button on the console) and included as standard automatic dual zone climate control, keyless entry and push-button start, a height-adjustable power rear liftgate, remote vehicle start, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar support, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and LED headlights, taillamps, and daytime running lights.

Safety features included automatic emergency braking and frontal collision alert, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, front and rear parking assist, blind-spot assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The starting MSRP of $31,700 covered all that.

Among extras were an RS-leather package that included a Bose Premium Sound System to go with the RS-inspired jet-back interior, an infotainment package that added a heated steering wheel and USB and 120-volt power outlets, Chevrolet’s 3-Plus infotainment package that included navigation (but with only an 8-inch screen), and adaptive cruise control.

The options and $1,295 destination and delivery charge ran the final bottom line to $36,515, which puts the 2022 Chevy Equinox RS among the higher price options in the compact SUV segment With the LS and LT models starting in the mid-$20,000 range, however, the Equinox is competitive when it comes to price.

What I liked about the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS: The infotainment features are friendly enough (except for one thing — see below), and the ride is comfortable, especially when cruising an expressway. It’s pretty roomy for a compact SUV, though cargo space when the second row is in place is limited compared to several segment rivals

What I didn’t like about the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS: The exterior got most of the attention when it came to updates. More attention should have been give to the interior. The cabin has the ambiance of a 15-year-old pickup. The 4-cylinder engine could use more pop. I would prefer a knob to surf the radio dial instead of having to push buttons.

Would I buy the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS? Not likely. The interior just turns me off. It also seems bigger than a “small” SUV when it comes to maneuvering in a tight parking lot.