Chevy has got some new things in store for the future of its popular compact SUV, the Equinox. As the song goes, the future of the Chevy Equinox is so bright you’ve gotta wear shades when you stop into your local Equinox dealer. The Chevy Equinox first hit the roads in 2005, establishing itself as a sporty, efficient compact SUV model, providing drivers with great performance, a spacious interior, and solid fuel efficiency. Since then, Chevy has gone on to build two more generations of the Equinox, the second in 2010 and the third in 2018.
There has always been an understanding at Chevy that they cannot just leave a vehicle as is until the next generation is introduced. It is imperative to keep innovating and making incremental upgrades to an existing model. Chevy has taken that approach with the 2023 Equinox, making it better than previous years. This also entails giving drivers more options for features and trims available on the current model. These seemingly small upgrades often make all the difference for a driver looking for a vehicle that checks all their boxes. This is especially so with the increasingly crowded field of compact SUVs. Nevertheless, Chevy must be doing something right since the Equinox is currently ranked number two for best compact SUVs of 2023 by JD Power, outpaced only by fellow General Motors model, the Buick Envision.
New Equinox Features for 2023
With a commitment to provide drivers with better performance, Chevy has made an engine upgrade on the 2023 Equinox. While the same powertrain combination of the 1.5-liter turbo I-4 with a six-speed automatic transmission returns from the prior year’s model, this engine has been given a boost, now capable of producing 175 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. This slight increase in horsepower should improve acceleration while maintaining its solid fuel economy. In fact, the 2023 Equinox with front-wheel drive gets an impressive 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Opting for available all-wheel drive will only reduce this slightly to 24 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
The engine itself consists of a cast aluminum block with cast aluminum cylinder heads. The 16 valves are arranged in a dual overhead camshaft configuration, providing four valves for each cylinder. The turbocharger on the engine accounts for the high performance despite its small size, while the direct fuel injection system, variable valve timing, and automatic stop/start system help it achieve its exceptional fuel economy ratings.
Chevy has also improved the braking system on the 2023 Equinox. While prior models had acceptable performance, the new e-boost electronic power-assisted brakes should reduce braking distance for the Equinox, helping to reduce the chances of front-end collisions. When coupled with the six standard Chevy Safety Assist driver assistance features, the 2023 Chevy Equinox is set up to be one of the safest compact SUVs on the market.
For those who like to drive cars that stand out in the crowd, the popular Midnight and Sport Editions make a comeback with availability on the base-level LS trim. These special editions add strong color accents to the Equinox, such as a darkened look throughout the vehicle, wheel upgrades, and unique badging. By making these special editions available on the LS trim, Chevy has now provided this option to anyone buying a 2023 Equinox. It’s options like these that help the Equinox stand apart from other compact SUVs.
The All-Electric Equinox Coming in 2023
While an electric Equinox might sound like the name of a psychedelic rock band from the ‘60s, it is, in fact, the next step in the evolution of Chevy’s popular compact SUV model. Scheduled for release next year with the 2024 Chevy models, the Chevrolet Equinox EV is set to join the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV as the key BEVs (battery electric vehicles) in Chevy’s lineup. However, unlike the two Bolt BEVs, the Equinox EV is built on an existing platform, just like the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV, the BEV full-size truck.
The 2024 Equinox EV utilizes General Motors’ Ultium Platform. This battery architecture involves creating compartmentalized battery cells located safely in the lower frame of the vehicle. This has several key advantages. First, this location removes it from the rear seat and trunk, freeing up additional passenger and cargo space. Second, placing the battery pack inside the frame shields it from damage in the case of collisions. Finally, setting up compartmentalized battery architecture improves the ability to remove and replace cells in the event the need arises.
The key to the Equinox EV is that same battery pack. This lithium-ion battery powers the electric motor in the front axle of the Equinox EV, giving it an impressive 300 miles of range on a single charge. There is also an eAWD model with two motors, one for each axle, giving you the added traction of all-wheel drive in the Equinox EV. This model is expected to have impressive acceleration, going from 0 to 60 mph in only 6 seconds. It will also provide an estimated 290 hp from its dual electric motors.
You can also use Regen on Demand to recharge the battery pack while driving the Equinox EV. Each time you step on the brakes, kinetic energy is released by this action. The Regen on Demand function recaptures a portion of this energy and re-routes it to the battery pack, giving you a little boost along the way. This is why BEVs generally provide a better range in the city than conventional gas-powered vehicles. The 2024 Equinox EV will also feature One Pedal Driving. This allows you to speed up and slow down the Equinox EV by solely using the accelerator pedal. You can even bring the vehicle to a full stop by removing your foot from the accelerator. This will help reduce wear and tear on the Equinox EV’s brakes, giving you increased life on the brake pads.
Chevy has equipped each 2024 Equinox EV with a dual-level charging system. This allows you to charge using either 120 or 240 volts, depending on your home’s electrical panel. By using the standard 11.5 kW level 2 240-volt AC charger, you can get up to 34 miles of range for each hour your Equinox EV is plugged in. As a result, you can get up to a full charge in just over 8 hours, allowing you to recharge your Equinox EV’s battery while you get a good night’s sleep before your daily commute to work.
You can also recharge the battery on your 2024 Chevy Equinox EV while out on the road. Stop into any of the over 40,000 available DC Fast Charging stations across the country and get up to 70 miles in as little as 10 minutes of charging time. This will allow you to use your Equinox EV on road trips, getting the most out of this compact BEV SUV with its five-passenger capacity. The Energy Assist App that you can download onto the Chevy Infotainment system equipped on the 17.7-inch freeform display screen will help you locate the nearest DC Fast Charging station.
Changes for a Brighter Equinox Future
The name Equinox signals a balance, making it an apt name as the Chevy Equinox is a compact SUV with the right amount of passenger and cargo space, a powertrain that delivers efficient performance, and new features that are always improving the vehicle. With the changes to the 2023 Equinox providing incremental improvements, along with the Equinox EV on the near horizon, it is clear that you are going to need a pair of shades the next time you stop at your local Chevy Equinox dealer. While the dealership will have no problem getting you behind the wheel of an Equinox, you may have to spring for your own sunglasses.