Holden Equinox 2019 ltz (awd) (5yr)

2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD long-term review: Urban driving

$28,030 $33,330 Dealer
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We spend some time exploring the park roads and concrete playground of Melbourne in our long-term Holden Equinox.
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Our 2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD has spent many kilometres in and around the tight one-way streets of Cremorne at the site of our Melbourne CarAdvice office, and it’s been more than enough to gauge just how well the medium SUV can handle city life.

First, performance. Its 2.0-litre turbo is punchy and gets up to speed quickly if you need to get out of a tight situation at an intersection or roundabout. However, if it doesn’t kick into AWD, the front wheels will spin, which can get a little sketchy in the wet.

Although it’s been Australian suspension-tuned, it still crashes over ruts and speed bumps on its 19-inch alloy wheels, even at low speeds. Coffee cups beware.

Navigating tight corners or doing a quick U-turn can prove to be challenging. Its large turning circle, rated at 12.7 metres, will have you making more than a three-point turn, and there could be moments you will need another go at turning into a narrow driveway, as you overshoot it. Just a bit frustrating. Interestingly, the much-larger Holden Acadia has a smaller turning circle of 11.8 metres.

It’s got all the bells and whistles to park it, though. Although we haven’t had the chance to use the advanced park assist, it’s a handy feature to have, especially with that turning circle! The rear-view camera fills the 8.0-inch touchscreen and has guidelines. At the press of a button, parking sensors come into play as well, but don’t listen for beeps, the seats will vibrate instead. We’ve had the Equinox for months now, and that feature still takes us by surprise every time.

It does have blind-spot monitoring, but over-the-shoulder head checks are compromised by the small rear side window. And if there’s been a middle-seat passenger and the headrest hasn’t been pushed back down, it will completely block the vision of a car directly behind you. There have been many times I’ve stopped the car to push it back down so I could continue my drive.

A feature that I really like is the rear seat reminder, which is obviously good if you have kids, not that you should need reminding your loved ones are in the back. But it even sounds when you’ve left your handbag or other smaller items there, which I’ve forgotten on numerous occasions on short trips. Handy.

Overall, the Equinox can struggle at times with city driving. Its large turning circle and limited vision can be troublesome, but its engine is powerful enough to get you out of trouble, and you can never have too much parking technology.

We have a feeling the Equinox is probably more suited to highway driving, so stay tuned for the next update where we take it on a road trip to the country.

Second opinion: James Wong

The Equinox manages to be competent driving around suburbia, without doing anything particularly special.

The high driving position and plentiful glasshouse mean visibility is ample, bolstered by the large wing mirrors and a clear rear-view camera display. Parking isn't too much of a chore despite its size, though U-turns can be a pain due to its large turning circle.

There's plenty of power from the 2.0-litre turbo engine to get up to speed and zip through traffic, though you'll see the fuel use climb quite quickly if the majority of your weekly commute is spent in peak-hour. Keep in mind, the Equinox requires 95RON premium unleaded, too.

Insulation from road and wind noise is pretty good, too, despite the large 19-inch wheels and low-profile tyres. The caveat, however, is the firm ride around town, which picks up most imperfections and can even jar over sharper hits.

Something I've picked up during our time with the Equinox is that there's an annoying squeak coming from the dashboard somewhere on the driver's side, which seems to present itself under certain conditions. Turning up the volume on the sound system makes it less noticeable, but the high-pitched plastic-on-plastic sound is very unappealing.

Another quirk I'm not too pleased with is the vibrating seat base that substitutes audible warnings from the parking sensors. I'm sure if you owned the car you'd get used to it, but I constantly get a fright when reversing and suddenly get the pulses from under my bum without warning.

Considering this vehicle will generally be tasked with taking the kids to and from school, though, the Equinox is a competent urban performer that will serve you and your family just fine.

2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD

  • Odometer: 5184km
  • Distance travelled since last update: 399km
  • Fuel consumption (indicated): 9.9L/100km

MORE: Long-term report one: Introduction
MORE: Long-term report two: Interior space and features
MORE: Long-term report three: Infotainment and tech
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