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In this update of our long-term 2019 Holden Equinox, we take the SUV from Melbourne to Shepparton for the weekend to see family, where the majority of the trip is spent on the Hume Freeway with some occasional back country roads.
To get the full lowdown on our Equinox, check out the introduction here.
The $44,290 medium-size SUV has a pretty big boot at 846L, so a small suitcase, a duffle bag, and backpack had no problems fitting into it before the journey began.
Venturing from the city on a Friday afternoon, heavy traffic was never going to be far away. The nine-speed automatic transmission dealt with the low-kilometre crawl with ease and no jerkiness.
The phone was plugged in using Apple CarPlay and Google Maps to try and find the best way out of the city, and voice command was spot on when doing this on the move.
Spotify was pumped through the Bose premium audio system, which had a good sound to it. It’s a good standard feature in the LTZ for long trips.
Free of the city traffic and out on the open freeway is where the Equinox’s driving technology comes into play. The lane-departure assist is gentle and not too sensitive, and slowly pulls the car back into the lane.
If you are a regular ‘head-checker’ before changing lanes, the C-pillar is rather thick, and the back headrests block out some vision, so blind-spot monitoring is helpful in this instance.
Using cruise control was easy, and it stuck to the nominated speed very well, but adaptive cruise control would’ve been a nice option.
At 110km/h, tyre roar is very noticeable and the 19-inch wheels thud over bumps.
Once off the freeway, it does not handle rough country roads with comfort, and makes you think perhaps the 17-inch wheels on the entry-level LS would improve the ride more, despite the suspension being tuned for Australian conditions.
The leather-appointed seats with the heating function were needed for a cold country day, and with it set on the lowest setting for the 2.5-hour drive each way, it was very pleasant.
There’s plenty of power in the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, with 188kW and 353Nm, which is more than enough to overtake slow-moving trucks on single-lane highways.
The design of the Equinox is polarising, and the family thought the Tuxedo Black ($550 option) added some smartness to its styling.
They were impressed with its performance, how quickly the heated rear seats warmed up, and how bright the LED headlights were. However, they were less than impressed with its 12.7m turning circle.
Over the 413km return trip, fuel economy readout dropped to 9.9L/100km – still more than the claimed 8.4L/100km, but it's worth noting we haven't reset the meter since we picked up the Equinox from Holden a few months ago.
It isn’t cheap at the bowser either, as it requires a minimum 95RON premium unleaded, and with its 59L tank it cost around $90 to fill.
The Equinox was comfortable on this long journey, but it is probably more at home doing the daily drive to and from work or school, with loud tyre roar and an unsettled ride at higher speeds.
2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD
- Odometer: 6181kms
- Distance travelled since last update: 997kms
- Fuel consumption (indicated): 9.9L/100kms
MORE: Long-term report one: Introduction
MORE: Long-term report two: Interior space and features
MORE: Long-term report three: Infotainment and tech
MORE: Long-term report four: Urban driving
MORE: Equinox news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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