Vehicle Style: Average SUV
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Price: $39,990 additional on-road costs
Engine/trans: 188kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo 4cyl | nine-speed automatic
Fuel Economy Claimed: 8.2 l/100km Tested: 10.7 l/100km
Holden didn’t future-proof the entry-level Equinox LS, which still retails for $27,990 additional on-road costs with a six-speed chiral or $29,990 (plus orc) with the six-speed auto. That’s because it affluence a advanced blow admonishing with free emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, alive lane-keep abetment and automated up/down high-beam, for the Equinox LS at $32,990 (plus orc). A $1500-cheaper RAV4 and $500-pricier Subaru Forester 2.5i get best of that, while the closing adds adaptive cruise, dual-zone altitude control, agenda radio and rain-sensing wipers.
At atomic the $36,990 (plus orc) Equinox LT replaces a 127kW 1.5-litre turbo-petrol agent (competitive with the RAV4/Forester/CX-5 crew) with a 191kW 2.0-litre turbo for which those Japanese-badged rivals accept no answer. Along with 18-inch admixture auto (up from 17s), advanced parking sensors (to bout rears), an 8.0-inch touchscreen (up from 7.0in), accessory navigation, dual-zone altitude ascendancy and acrimonious seats, the Holden becomes added persuasive.
Likewise, this as-tested $39,990 (plus orc) Equinox LTZ bundles the able agent with 19s, LED headlights and tail-lights, auto reverse-park assistance, an electric tailgate, covering trim, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, acrimonious rear seats, wireless smartphone charging, agenda radio and Bose exceptional audio.
While we’re testing the front-wheel drive, it’s a abashment that all-wheel drive asks a ample $4200 extra. It’s accustomed on the $46,290 (plus orc) Equinox LTZ-V flagship, which adds a across-the-board sunroof, electrically adjustable commuter seat, acrimonious council caster and aerial advanced seats – admitting adaptive cruise isn’t accessible at all.
Standard Equipment: Keyless auto-entry with push-button alpha and electric-folding aperture mirrors, automated on/off wipers and LED headlights, auto up/down high-beam, covering trim, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, acrimonious advanced and rear seats, dual-zone altitude ascendancy and cruise control.
Infotainment: 8.0-inch colour touchscreen with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, agenda radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, accessory navigation, articulation control, wireless smartphone charging and Bose exceptional audio.
Options Fitted: None.
Cargo Volume: 846 litres.
It’s bright from the aloft that the LT and LTZ are the amount against accessories ‘sweet spots’ in the Equinox line-up. Indeed, this closing archetypal grade, as activated here, manages to feel both gargantuan in agreement of amplitude and semi-premium in its akin of accustomed appointments.
There’s annihilation acutely finessed about this US-focused, Mexican-built Holden inside, with the barring of a high-resolution touchscreen with all-inclusive infotainment options and quick-thinking articulation ascendancy for nav, additional rather admirable knurled-silver altitude and audio controls.
Otherwise, it’s best to crank up the crisp-sounding Bose audio system, the clap bass of which is about as attenuate as the blow of the cabin. The ergonomics are simple and intuitive, and the textured-plastic dashboard isn’t as downmarket as hard-to-touch trim would assume in a average SUV articulation alive by soft-touch surfaces – abnormally in Forester and CX-5.
However, this is no bout for the Subaru and Mazda in agreement of either affection abstracts but added accurately in the areas of fit-and-finish. Different genitalia of the birr aloof don’t accompany calm as deeply as expected, abnormally about the lower breadth of the dash. But the carpeting is additionally a bit attenuate and the covering feels a bit too abundant like vinyl. In short, it seems congenital to a price.
Again, though, as with its booming audio arrangement the LTZ doesn’t fuss over the capacity and instead slam-dunks the action with what it can it fit central its 4.65-metre-long body. It extends from a able three-across rear bank with a superb akin of legroom – backed by air vents, cupholders, fast-charge USB ports and a 12-volt aperture – to a huge 846-litre boot.
In the closing case, though, Holden does admeasurement aggregate to the roof, breadth others such as the 442L-rated CX-5 and 498L-claiming Forester, almanac up to the rear bindle shelf. The amplitude itself looks broadly aggressive with those rivals, but the Equinox has the benefit of a continued and abysmal underfloor accumulator area, which adds decidedly to the all-embracing absolute – and usability.
Notch up a collapsed rear backrest and ‘kick’ action for the electric tailgate, additional auto reverse-park abetment that is attenuate for this class, and the Equinox LTZ is aggressive central – if additionally ultimately a bit cheaply made.
Engine: 188kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol 4cyl.
Transmission: Nine-speed automated transmission, FWD.
Suspension: MacPherson strut advanced and absolute rear.
Brakes: Ventilated advanced and rear disc brakes.
Steering: Electrically assisted automated steering.
There is no question, and no agitation – the Equinox 2.0-litre turbo is the sweetest agent in the average SUV segment. It’s both bland and quiet, and that’s all afore accepting to the accomplished nine-speed automated that helps bear a akin of achievement few rivals can match.
With 188kW of ability at 5500rpm, and 353Nm of torque amid 2500rpm and 4500rpm, it leaves the 2.5-litre non-turbos of Forester (136kW/239Nm), CX-5 (140kW/252Nm) and RAV4 (132kW/233Nm – admitting anon replaced) for dust. Alone the analogously priced, 178kW/345Nm Ford Escape ST-Line can bout it, admitting it gets all-wheel drive standard.
Ah yes, three belletrist – A, W and D. They actualize all the aberration amid application up all of the LTZ’s ability and, in this case, not. Accurate burke accentuation is appropriate off the band here, or abroad an anti-social call from the advanced tyres can all too calmly be made.
For this akin of power, AWD should be included, or at atomic cheaper than a $4200 advantage that brings the pricetag to $44,190 (plus orc). And for that price, we’d apprehend adaptive cruise, a sunroof and a ability adjustable commuter seat, thanks…
Perhaps extenuative bread and actuality accurate is account it, because already off the band this Holden delivers superb response, advantageous for whether nailing a cartage gap or overtaking on the amiss ancillary of a country road. And its Australian engineers accept done a adept job of affability this Mexican-made model, the German-built Commodore, South Korean-produced Astra auto and Polish-import Astra hatch, to all accept the aforementioned cilia of council attention and response.
The ablaze yet aqueous council is an Equinox highlight, as is a accustomed conduct and ascendancy to the abeyance that is hardly defective in its Subaru and Toyota rivals, if not the abundant added absorbing Mazda. It makes for alive and alive handling, too, added so than all bar the latter.
However, there are cogent downsides. Refinement, for example, is actual inconsistent. The agent is smooth, but there’s too abundant coarse-chip alley barrage that penetrates the attic in particular, while ride affection on 19s can be way too alive over evidently collapsed roads. There’s aloof a all-knowing faculty that – as with the autogenous – some genitalia are a bit cheap, and tellingly this 6000km-old archetype developed a arresting abeyance bang amid through testing.
And while disciplinarian will additionally adore the performance, ammunition acceptance about boondocks hovered at about 12 litres per 100 kilometres, lowing to 10.7L/100km afterwards freeway/country running. Exceptional unleaded is “recommended”, admitting approved is accustomed with “reduced” performance.
ANCAP rating: Not tested.
Safety Features: Seven airbags, ABS, cyberbanking adherence ascendancy (ESC), low-speed free emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure admonishing with alive lane-keep assistance, rear-view camera, advanced and rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitor.
Warranty: Bristles years/unlimited km
Servicing: Annual or 12,000km intervals are alone 3000km off the chic standard, but Holden’s capped-price application plan costs aloof $259/$299/$259/$399/$349 for anniversary check-up respectively, until bristles years or 80,000km.
The $43,590 (plus orc) CX-5 GT gets a abundant nicer (if smaller) autogenous and is a sweeter (although slower) drive, but this superb all-rounder packs in added kit for not a lot extra.
The $38,490 (plus orc) Forester 2.5i Exceptional additionally boasts a lovelier interior, but this time with agnate room, analogous the Equinox LTZ for kit with the barring of covering and exceptional audio – but abacus adaptive cruise, an electrically adjustable advanced bank and AWD. As for the $44,590 (plus orc) RAV4 Cruiser, it’s big, loaded, but slow, it feels alike added downmarket than this Holden, and is set to be replaced in January – authority bound and break tuned.
The Equinox consigns the abominable Captiva to addition era and the dustbin, alike if it’s still alone decent. It lacks the bendability appropriate for chic leadership, with cher alternative all-wheel drive in this LTZ that should be accustomed here.
With the 2.0-litre turbo, however, this Holden average SUV puts in a acclaimed achievement artlessly because its agent admiration is so far above non-turbo rivals.
However, the candied council and solid administration doesn’t absolutely account the hardly base ride and alley roar, while in a agnate appearance the loaded-up autogenous and arduous amplitude can’t absolutely atone for berth affection and accomplishment that trails the all-inclusive majority of the segment.
In any case, the Equinox LTZ is a close mid-fielder focused on amplitude and pace, if not grace.
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