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2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

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Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes

We tested the Equinox RS just a few months ago and walked away impressed by its rear seat space, cargo room and fuel economy. The same holds true for the 2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier, although the near $40,000 price tag may turn away some buyers.

The Equinox is a hot seller for Chevy and after another week with one, we can easily see why. Its low-key, do-it-all and keep-it-simple demeanor is hard not to like and makes for an easy choice for the shopper who wants a straightforward compact SUV.

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

Price and value

The MSRP range for the Chevrolet Equinox is $29,595-$34,795. It comes in four trim levels, with a suite of standard features including a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, Chevy Safety Assist and keyless entry. Some of the major differences in trim levels are noted below.

LS: $29,595

  • 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen
  • Push-button start
  • Rear vision camera

LT: $30,695

  • LED daytime running lamps
  • Power driver seat with driver lumbar
  • Second-row mechanical seat release levers in the cargo area

RS: $33,895

  • Black Chevrolet emblems
  • 19-inch dark-painted wheels
  • Rear power liftgate

Premier: $34,795

  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen
  • 18-inch machined-face wheels

Equinox is priced higher than some of the competition, but the features keep it competitive. Trim prices are close enough that we recommend getting the RS or Premier level. Chevy's warranty is the industry standard, with 3-year/36,000-mile basic coverage and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage.


As we discovered in our time with the RS in 2022, the Equinox has no interest in being a performer. Power from the tiny, turbocharged 1.5-liter is merely adequate, producing 175 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. It frequently feels exasperated and runs out of steam long before you want it to.

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

Fuel efficiency

However, where the Equinox suffers in power, it excels in fuel economy. Our all-wheel-drive tester averaged about 28 mpg in combined driving, which is 2 mpg better than the EPA estimate. If efficiency is a priority for you, above driving dynamics and punch, you'll be thrilled with the Equinox's fuel-sipping tendencies.

Acceleration and handling

At odds with its deficient power delivery is its surprisingly agile handling. Tossed around some curvy roads, the Equinox was surprisingly capable and even — dare we say it — fun. Kudos to the engineering team behind the wheel. The Premier trim comes standard with 18-inch wheels, and Chevy aided in a nice, compliant ride. The same couldn't always be said about our RS tester's 19-inch wheels.


Other driving dynamics like braking and all-wheel drive performance worked well and naturally if a bit innocuous overall. Even still, there's a lot to like about the simple and straightforward demeanor of the Equinox, and the added luxury touches of the Premier trim make it a nice commuter to spend time in.

Interior comfort and convenience

The Premier trim does its best to dress up the Equinox's economy roots, and for the most part, it does a nice job. There are leather seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic dual-zone climate control and glitzy chrome trim inside and out.

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review


Our only minor complaint about the overall comfort of the interior is the narrow and shallow design of the front seats. They're comfortable enough for average people, but larger or longer occupants might find them confining and relatively unsupportive.

Cargo space and cabin storage

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

The rear seat space and the cargo area are also impressive. Long-legged travelers will have plenty of room, and there's plenty of space for hauling large loads of wholesale shopping sprees. Cabin storage is about average, and we appreciated the high center armrest and cavernous center console.

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

Infotainment system

The interior works pretty well in its standard Premier trim offerings, but the features you really want are found in the optional Confidence & Convenience and Infotainment II packages. Opting for these (totaling an extra $2,870) means you'll get things like an HD surround vision camera system, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a Bose stereo, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an upgraded 8-inch HD touchscreen. Whether it's worth almost $3,000 for those features will be up to you, but after having them, we think they're worth it.

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review

Exterior appearance and functionality

One cool feature of the Equinox is the ability to toggle off the all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive isn't necessary in most circumstances, so having the option to keep it off until needed was a bonus, especially if it saves a few bucks at the pump along the way.

Lights and turn signals

Everything works well together. The LED lights were bright and illuminating, the machined-finish wheels looked sharp and the overall functionality of the Equinox was tough to find fault with — just don't expect to tow much more than your grandma's Jazzy with it.

2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier test drive review


Contributing to its strong practicality, the Equinox is a safe vehicle. It feels solidly built and comes standard with a host of safety and driver assistance features.


The features, coupled with the Equinox's docile personality, make for a vehicle that would be difficult to get into too much trouble with.

  • Front and rear park assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane change alert
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward collision alert

Awards and ratings

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS received a five-star overall vehicle safety score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest safety rating of Good.

Final impression

After living with the 2023 Chevrolet Equinox Premier for a week, we're convinced of its appeal. It's docile, simple, straightforward, decently comfortable and economical. In other words, it checks just about every box most buyers are looking for.

While it may not be particularly exciting, the Equinox excels in innocuous practicality. Given the narrow price disparity between the most basic trim and our tester's Premier trim, we would recommend getting either the RS or Premier trims. Both offer good value for the money and have most of the features modern buyers want.

Curious about the 2023 Chevrolet Equinox? Check it out on KSL Cars.


Who should buy the Chevrolet Equinox?

If rear seat room, cargo space, fuel economy and safety are your priorities, you'll find a lot to love in the Equinox.

Is it fun to drive?

Not really. But, handling is surprisingly nimble and the steering is direct, which makes the Equinox more fun than its wheezy 1.5-liter engine would suggest.

Is the Equinox good for families?

For smaller families with young children, it's not bad. There is plenty of backseat space for at least two children. Rear-facing car seats might impede on the driver and passenger space a bit, but overall the Equinox is a good family hauler.

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KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of or its employees.

About the author: Having owned everything from a DeLorean to an E46 BMW M3 and a Toyota Land Cruiser, Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who loves sharing his passions as a teacher, automotive journalist, and social media manager. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press where he serves on the Board of Directors. Contact him at

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Jason Bell for KSL Cars


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