A red 2022 Chevy Equinox is shown from the front parked in a modern gallery.

Why (Trusted) Third-Party Reviews Should Be Required Reading Before You Buy a New Car

The car purchase sales cycle is interesting and varied, with some buyers making lightning-fast decisions and others conducting exhaustive research before settling on a few final contenders. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, you’ll probably at least hit google to check out the buzz on the car you want. Type in 2022 Chevy Equinox, and you’re likely to get a first page hit from an automotive review site.

Reputable review sites contain unbiased on-the-road evaluations of new vehicles, and within each posting, you’ll find a wealth of data and expert opinions worth considering in order to make an informed decision. Some vehicles hit home runs with all different types of journalists. The 2022 Equinox is one such vehicle, winning points across the board for performance, interior features, and reliability.

Is a 2022 Equinox the car for you? We take a look at what the pros are saying and show you how to uncover the hidden gems of actionable intel contained in their reviews. Experienced reviewers are skilled at drilling down to the minutia and exposing quirks typically not revealed during the test drive; use their hard work to your advantage so you can make a sound lifestyle-specific choice.

Pay Attention to the First and Last Paragraphs

Most car reviews are broken into sections that cover the most critical – and comparable – vehicle characteristics. You’ll see a section for performance and another for safety, as well as sections for interior and sometimes even infotainment and in-vehicle technology. All contain valuable information, consistently formatted so comparing two or more vehicles through the lens of the review site is easier.

For example, the industry standard, Car and Driver, always includes a Highs, Lows, and Verdict summary at the top of each review. It’s a quick snapshot of the reviewer’s overall opinion of the vehicle. While this is extremely helpful, especially for skimmers, it’s rather general and doesn’t tell the entire story. It’s always best to read the entire review.

The first paragraph of most reviews serves as an introduction to the more detailed sections. Regardless of the review site, the overview/introduction is where you’ll find the most relevant keywords (generally adjectives) that establish the reviewer’s primary impressions. It’s not uncommon to find words like athletic, overpriced, underpowered, or popular.

Skipping down to the last paragraph nets you the bottom line: the takeaway. Not all reviews are structured this way, but some will offer a very clear thumb’s up or thumb’s down to summarize the overall review. While we appreciate the shortcut, our advice is to take the time to read through the entire article. Remember, as skilled and experienced as automotive journalists are, they’re not you. What they dislike might be exactly the feature you’re seeking.

The front of a red 2022 Chevy Equinox shows a close up of the Chevy bowtie.

The Importance of Comparison

Reading a single car review in a vacuum isn’t the best way to utilize reputable review sites. Instead, take time to research other vehicles in the category you’re considering (not just the ones on your shortlist). Doing this allows you to keep an open mind, as well as potentially uncover a deficiency you weren’t previously aware of, such as a lower safety rating.

Let’s take the 2022 Chevy Equinox. One of its competitors is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. A cursory search netted important comparative data that we used to rule out the Eclipse Cross. First, we discovered that reviewers love the Equinox’s interior cabin but report that they experienced back discomfort after driving the Eclipse Cross for a few hours. This is incredibly important for drivers to know since a short test drive probably wouldn’t have uncovered comfort issues.

In a side-by-side specification comparison, we discovered that the 2022 Equinox offers superior fuel economy despite delivering more horsepower and torque, and in almost every size comparison, the Equinox wins. It offers more rear-seat head, leg, shoulder, and hip room than its competitor, as well as far more cargo capacity – 63.9 cubic feet vs 50.1 cubic feet – than Mitsubishi’s crossover.

Review sites help you shortcut the process of drilling down to important data like size and passenger volume. Then, they take it a step further by relaying their personal experience driving the vehicle and exposing it to real-world use, helping to illustrate how minor differences, like cargo capacity, can affect utility and hamper usability.

What Else We Learned About the Equinox

Our research for this article netted a lot of actionable intelligence about the 2022 Equinox. For starters, Chevy completely refreshed the exterior for the 2022 model year, including refining each trim to enhance the already substantial differences among them. These changes will help buyers identify the specific trim they want, depending on factors like budget, aesthetics, or luxury.

The Equinox is a universally appealing compact SUV because of its varied trim range and refined exterior styling. Offered in the base LS, the LT, the sporty RS, and the high-end Premier, all Equinox models are priced well under $35,000. Of the interior cabin, Car and Driver reports it’s “spacious” and “nicely styled.” Kelley Blue Book’s reviewers loved the “supportive and comfortable” driver and front passenger seats and the “good legroom” in the back. Spirited ride handling and steering accuracy were common accolades across most review sites, making the Equinox a standout in the category. Most compact crossovers offer lackluster performance in favor of better fuel economy and affordability, but Chevy manages to ratchet up the fun-to-drive quotient without abandoning practicality.

Another frequent observation is the high quality of Chevy’s infotainment technology. Infotainment and connectivity are huge considerations for today’s new car buyers. Specifically, ease of use. Car and Driver notes that Chevy’s Infotainment 3 System “continues to impress with its ease of use and quick responses.”

Infotainment system reviews are a great example of how automotive journalists can provide insight you may not gather during a test drive or cursory look at a vehicle on the showroom floor. Relying on respected third-party reviewers is a great way to dig deeper into the vehicle features and characteristics that matter most to you so you don’t end up regretting buying the car that will sit in your driveway for the next several years.

A red 2022 Chevy Equinox is shown from the rear driving on a modern road.

Learn All You Can, Then Shop

Page after page of content is available to buyers with a simple google search, but if you don’t know how to interpret its value, all the reviews in the world won’t amount to much as you consider which vehicle to purchase. Take a little extra time to read through reviews of other vehicles in the category, making sure to pull them from the same source for consistency.

Checking multiple sources is always ideal for eliminating any individual reviewer’s bias, but with that said, you may find the review format of one is more readable and relatable than another. Most car buyers don’t choose car reviews as leisure reading, so know that the format and content will take some getting used to, but once you follow the rhythm of the review, you’ll glean an enormous amount of helpful information.

In the case of the 2022 Chevy Equinox, we were able to quickly eliminate other contenders after learning key information from expert reviews. Namely, we learned that other vehicles in the category aren’t as comfortable for drivers and passengers. We also learned that Chevy’s infotainment system is superior, a fact that carries a lot of weight given the importance of connectivity.

In short, the reviews allowed us to consider factors that may not have been obvious at the showroom but that would have negatively impacted our ownership experience. The other side benefit: they gave us peace of mind knowing that our selection of the 2022 Equinox is rooted in good sense, practicality, and – most important – hard data.