In this update, we’re going to take a closer look at the interior of our long-term 2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD, and just how practical it is to live with day to day.
The cabin practicality of an SUV should be one of the top priorities when purchasing the next family car – after all, that’s where you spend the most amount of time. And, won’t somebody please think of the children? They need to be comfortable, too.
First, to the front seats of the $44,290 plus on-road costs SUV. The driver's pew has a two-position memory function, and in our daily commute we haven’t had any issues with the comfort of the leather-accented seats, although we have pushed the electric lumbar support out a bit for extra support. The heated seats take a while to warm up, and on the highest setting they can be too hot around the base of your back. Dial it back to the lowest setting, and you’re set for a toasty ride.
The feel of the cabin plastics is okay, but not as plush as some rivals in the segment. The top part of the dash is hard rubber mixed with soft padding and chrome plastic surroundings around the air vents, and scattered with orange stitching. The same can also be said for the door trims. The temperature gauges, however, are quite loose.
There are nice-to-touch rubber buttons on the steering wheel that control speed limit and cruise control on the left side, and the right is for voice control and accessing the driver information screen. Volume control is conveniently hidden behind the steering wheel (where you'd normally find paddles) and is easy to reach.
Door pocket storage isn’t all that big, with enough room for a water bottle and that’s about it. Above the rear-view mirror is a sunglasses holder, and the two cup holders between the front seats are quite deep. The centre console (with no connections) is large enough to almost fit your forearm. It’s spacious in there, but it does sit high, and you’ll find your left arm feeling awkward at times.
The standard Bose audio system sounds best with DAB+ radio or when streaming your own music, but use FM radio and it seems the aerial isn’t working at times, as the reception can be fuzzy.
The glovebox is a decent size, and thanks to the owner's manual not being very big, you can fit a couple of water bottles in it. There is also a small side mesh pocket – that almost came apart when we used it – that could fit a smaller phone.
There are connections galore, with two USBs, one auxiliary, 12-volt, and wireless charging. However, we had problems getting the wireless phone charger to work, and the pad is too small for a larger phone to sit.
The cabin plastics in the rear have some scratchy plastic on the top of the door trim, but the rest is the same soft leather-look padding as from the front doors, and the door pockets are the same size as the fronts, too.
Heated seats, with a choice of heating the base or back (or both), is a luxury for the two outboard rear seats, air vents bolstering the second-row amenities further.
There are two USB ports, a 12-volt, and 150W/230V connections, which is pretty impressive, and we’re sure it will help keep the kids entertained on long trips.
On the roof lining are two coat hooks and four pull handles. The map pockets behind each front seat aren’t too wide, and you can’t stretch them too much to fit bigger items.
There is a stack of room for adults to feel comfortable in the back, with a great amount of leg, knee, toe, and head room. Plus, the side windows don’t slope up too much, so vision is good for the kids.
The middle seat base is nicely padded, but the back is hard and was immediately uncomfortable. Plus, the middle-row headrest is stupidly big and chunky and impedes on rear-view vision. Just like the centre console in the front, the fold-down armrest, which includes two shallow cup holders, sits too high and is too short.
We did notice a large gap where the seatbelt buckles are placed that little fingers could get lost in or items like coins or keys.
The 60:40 seats can be folded down via levers accessed in the boot, but because of the bulky middle-row headrest, the ’60’ part of the seat won’t fold flat.
Once the powered tailgate is opened, the boot measures in at 846L (expands to 1798L with the seats folded down), which sounds a lot, and we are assuming that was measured to the roof instead of the window line. There is extra storage space under the floor, and beneath that is a space-saver wheel. A 12-volt socket, two metal tie-down latches, and a luggage cover round out a rather practical boot for the segment.
If back seat comfort, practicality, and room are important, the Equinox passes with flying colours. There are some small niggly things that you would get used to over time, but with the number of connections and storage (and all those heated seats!), those things can be overlooked.