We’re a few months into our loan with ‘Pablo’ the 2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD, so we’ve had plenty of time to play around with some of the tech and gadgets on hand.
These days, the amount of toys a car has is as important to buyers as the engine and cost of purchase.
Luckily, then, the Equinox has plenty to offer.
Standard features include an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen running GM’s ‘MyLink’ software – albeit an older version compared to the larger Acadia – which sports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
There's also inbuilt satellite navigation, AUX (x1) and USB (x4) inputs, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, DAB+ digital radio, and a six-speaker Bose premium audio system.
While the native interface isn’t as pretty as those offered by some rivals, the Equinox’s infotainment works well, offering quick response times and logical menu layouts. Graphics are of a high resolution, too.
Apple CarPlay has worked well from our experience, though we haven’t tried Android Auto as yet. We’d assume there’d be no issues there, though.
The Bose sound system may not have the speaker count of some other ‘premium’ systems, but we’ve found the sound quality to be clear and crisp.
Speaking of the sound, Holden (and Chevrolet) have employed a peculiar way to adjust the volume and change song, putting the controls where you would normally find paddle shifters rather than having the buttons on the face of the steering wheel.
It can take a little getting used to, and occasionally you’ll forget that the left side controls the track skipping or scanning while the right controls the volume, but once you master it, it works well.
Beyond the media suite, there are cabin features like wireless phone charging – which doesn’t accommodate larger phones like my iPhone XS Max – a colour 4.2-inch driver’s multifunction display, heated seats front and rear, keyless entry with push-button start, remote engine start via the key fob, and a rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines.
The Equinox also has a pretty decent amount of active safety and driver-assistance technology on board, too, including low-speed autonomous emergency braking with forward-collision alert, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, and LED headlights with automatic high-beam.
Obviously, there are some systems that are either hard to test or we try to avoid testing (namely AEB for obvious reasons), but everything seems to work well without being overbearing or annoying like you might find in some rival vehicles.
We haven’t been brave enough to trial the semi-autonomous ‘Advanced Park Assist’ system either in fear of kerbing the wheels.
Something worth noting is how the Equinox alerts you when reversing or trying to use the parking sensors up front. Instead of audible warnings like you’d expect, the Holden vibrates the driver’s seat at varying intensity depending on how close you are to an obstacle or how serious the warning is.
I often find myself getting an initial fright as I’m in and out of several different cars, though I would think someone who has bought the Equinox as their main vehicle would get used to such a system. It does take a little getting used to, but it works.
One glaring omission, however, is the lack of adaptive cruise control in any form, despite it being available on certain grades in North America.
The standard cruise-control system works fine, and plenty of prospective buyers probably don’t care, though it’s a shame it’s not available on any Equinox variant given most rivals fit it as standard at this end of the segment – some even from the base level (like the Toyota RAV4, for example).
Stay tuned for the next update!
2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD
- Odometer: 4785km
- Distance travelled since last update: 1078km
- Fuel consumption (indicated): 9.9L/100km (indicated)