The inside of the cabin got a lot of attention this year, with Chevrolet trying to improve on one of its greatest weaknesses. The materials got better across the board, but the Premier is definitely the classiest model. There are also more standard features, such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The high number of advanced safety features is great, too, and the infotainment is comprehensive, if not overly easy to use at first. Many of the eastern brands like Toyota and Mazda are starting to lean more heavily into using premium materials and sprucing up their interiors; the American brand still has not reached this point, even though an Equinox will cost you more.
Cabin space in the compact SUV segment is an interesting give and take of acknowledging there's only space to seat five, but trying to keep those passengers comfortable. The Equinox does this job admirably, and while the middle rear seat gets tight for three adults, you could seat three kids in the back without trouble. Head and legroom is ample all around, and comfort levels are great no matter where you are.
Only the base LS forces you to adjust your front seats manually, while the rest of the lineup gets a power-adjustable driver's seat. As for visibility, the only place a driver might struggle to see is out the back, where thick rear pillars create unpleasant blind spots.
|Chevrolet Equinox Trims||LS||LT||RS||Premier|
|Headroom Front Seat||40 in.||40 in.||40 in.||40 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||40.9 in.||40.9 in.||40.9 in.||40.9 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||39.9 in.||39.9 in.||39.9 in.||39.9 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||57.2 in.||57.2 in.||57.2 in.||57.2 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||55.5 in.||55.5 in.||55.5 in.||55.5 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||54.2 in.||54.2 in.||54.2 in.||54.2 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||51.7 in.||51.7 in.||51.7 in.||51.7 in.|
While the quality of materials and trims have improved across the board, the choice of colors hasn't. The base LS is only available with Medium Ash Gray premium cloth. The LT adds Jet Black as an additional color option but keeps fabric upholstery as standard. The RS is all about black, so it only allows you to choose the Jet Black premium cloth as a standard option, but you can pay $3,125 to upgrade to the Jet Black perforated leather, which adds advanced safety features and infotainment upgrades as part of the deal for the price. The top-of-the-range Premier has perforated leather right from the get-go, also in Jet Black, but you can choose to throw in some Maple Sugar along with the Jet Black if you want a splash of color. It's worth noting that the RS also gets some racier red stitching on the upholstery and a specific shift knob, while the Premier boasts a specific interior trim finish with French stitching.
When it comes to practicality, the Chevrolet Equinox is hard to fault. With all the seats filled with bottoms, you still have 29.9 cubic feet of space left in the trunk for groceries, kids' school bags, dad's golf clubs, and mom's yoga mat. True, the Mazda CX-5 has this beat by a full cube and the Honda CR-V embarrasses both with its 39.2 cubic feet, but you really shouldn't need more space for most daily problems. In a pinch, you can fold down the rear seats in the Chevy to free up a total of 63.9 cubic feet of cargo room.
Around the cabin, you get all the essential small-item storage solutions. This includes a couple of bins in the console, a center armrest cubby, a glove box, and four door pockets. There are enough cupholders for every passenger, too.
Now that the LS is the entry-level model, you get a few more standard features than you did last year. Highlights include a 3.5-inch driver info display, four-way manually adjustable front seats, cruise control, keyless entry and start, and single-zone manual climate control. The safety suite is where the real value lies; it includes forward collision warning with front pedestrian braking, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, and teen driver system. Once you upgrade to the LT, you get an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat and a larger 4.2-inch driver info display. The RS may seem like a mostly cosmetic upgrade, but it adds a whole lot of extra safety features. These include front and rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert, and blind-spot alert. It also installs a remote start function, while upgrading the single-zone climate control system to a dual-zone one. Lastly, it adds a power programmable liftgate. The range-topping Premier adds a 120-volt power outlet to the already available 12-volt one, front USB data ports, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and memory functions for the new driver's safety alert seat. Although heated seats are available for the Equinox, some vehicles built after November 15, 2021, will not have this feature, presumably due to a supply issue.
The first three trims come standard fit with the smaller seven-inch infotainment display. Enabled functions include Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and voice commands. Chevrolet has upgraded to wireless smartphone integration, at least. The Premier upgrades to a larger eight-inch HD screen and also comes with USB data ports. You can create a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, regardless of trim level, and a six-speaker sound system is standard across the range. However, the upper-tier RS and Premier can upgrade to a seven-speaker Bose audio setup. Navigation is an optional extra on all trims besides the base LS.