The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, refreshed for 2013, is a good value and a good drive with a nice assortment of features for young families wanting a solid compact crossover SUV.
Just in time for the Christmas holiday, Chevrolet delivered to us a factory fresh, Crystal Red Metallic, 2013 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LTZ to test drive for two weeks in central Texas.
Over the last two weeks, we drove this top trim level, nicely equipped, five-passenger crossover compact SUV as we finished our Christmas shopping and attended to related holiday activities around town and out in the country.
Our test vehicle was the LTZ trim level with front-wheel drive (FWD) and the 2.4L four-cylinder power plant with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Crystal Red Metallic exterior was matched with distinctive Light Titanium/Dark Black perforated leather appointed seating.
Outside, the Equinox LTZ featured 18-inch wheels, power programmable rear lift gate, power folding and heated outside mirrors, deep tinted glass, roof mounted luggage rack side rails, front fog lamps, halogen headlamps with projector beam, rear park assist, remote vehicle start and chrome accents.
Inside was leather appointed seating with heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat and power passenger seat. The second row seating was the Multi-Flex sliding design with 60/40 split and three position recline feature. Other items were tilt and telescoping steering column with leather wrapped steering wheel and audio controls, universal home remote, power windows, floor mats front and rear and air conditioning.
The Infotainment system was a Pioneer premium 250-watt 8-speaker system that included mid-range speakers in each door, tweeters in the A-pillars, a center channel speaker in the upper instrument panel and a sub-woofer on the rear shelf in the cargo area.
The optional Chevrolet MyLink system includes a 7-inch color touch-screen display with Color Touch display (includes the rear vision camera monitor), CD player and MP3, USB and AUX port and iPod support plus AM/FM/SiriusXM stereo. The system is Bluetooth enabled for hands free, voice activated use and includes Bluetooth audio streaming along with smart phone integration with Pandora and Stitcher radio.
On the safety side, the 2013 Equinox is a 2012 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with features like rear vision camera, Stabilitrak traction control stability system, tire pressure monitoring and forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems.
The 2013 Equinox is also equipped with OnStar Directions and Connections service that features automatic crash response and turn-by-turn navigation.
The base price (MSRP) for the 2013 Equinox FWD LTZ as equipped was $30,515.
Optional items on our test Equinox were the 18-inch Chrome-Clad wheels ($1,000), Crystal Red Metallic exterior ($325) and the MyLink Radio with Navigation ($795).
A sunroof is available for the 2013 Equinox for $900, but I would not have added that to this test vehicle. However, a family may want to consider adding the Rear Seat Entertainment option for $1,295 to make this Equinox more family friendly for travel.
With delivery, this 2013 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LTZ with the four-cylinder power plant priced at $33,460.
The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover SUV is a refreshed version of the second generation two-row/five-passenger Equinox that was new in the 2010 model year.
For 2013, the Equinox refresh adds several options including a new and more powerful 3.6L V-6 DOHC engine rated at 301 horsepower with 272 lb.-ft. of torque available on the LT and LTZ trim levels.
Standard on all trim levels is the 2.4L Ecotec DHOC I-4 four- cylinder rated at 185 horsepower with 172 lb.-ft. of torque. Both power plants are mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission.
EPA mileage ratings for the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox across the trim levels are:
• 2.4L FWD 22/32 city/highway
• 2.4L AWD 20/29 city/highway
• 3.6L FWD 17/24 city/highway
• 3.6L AWD 16/23 city/ highway
Driving several hundred miles for two weeks, we averaged just over 28 mpg in our 2.4L FWD Equinox.
For the 2013 Equinox, tires and wheels are 17-inch aluminum standard on all trim levels with 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum on the LT and LTZ. Optional with the V-6 power plant on the LTZ are 19-inch chrome-clad wheels.
Both power train combinations in the 2013 Equinox can tow with capacities of 1,500 pounds for the 2.4L and 3,500 pounds for the 3.6L V-6.
Other new available features for 2013 include: Chevrolet MyLink Radio with Navigation (on 2LT and LTZ trim levels), new FE2 suspension package (available with the V-6 on the LTZ), rear seat, dual-player DVD entertainment system with dual displays in the seat backs, eight-way power passenger front seat, power-assisted programmable lift gate and a safety package with forward collision alert, lane departure warning and rear park assist.
Three new colors are offered for 2013. They are Atlantis Metallic, Tungsten Metallic and Champagne Silver Metallic.
The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox five-passenger SUV is available both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel- drive (AWD) in four trim levels, LS (FWD MSRP $24,155), 1LT (FWD MSRP $25,800), 2LT (FWD MSRP $27,670) and LTZ (FWD MSRP $30,915). The up charge for AWD drive on all except the 2LT trim level is $1,750. The 2LT is just $950 additional for the AWD.