The Holden Equinox seems to be often forgotten in a heavily populated segment, so after spending six months with it, is it worth considering?
After six months and over 6000km, we will be saying goodbye to ‘Pablo’, the 2019 Holden Equinox LTZ AWD from the CarAdvice long-term test fleet. Over this time, the medium SUV has clocked around 7000km on the highway, in the city, and on a road trip, while we tested the cabin practicality and infotainment.
If you haven’t caught up on the details of this car, we will give you a quick recap.
The LTZ AWD petrol version starts from $44,290 plus on-road costs, and is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
It features a stack of standard kit, including 19-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, advanced park assist for perpendicular and parallel spots, automatic wipers, leather-appointed seats, wireless phone charging, heated front and rear seats, DAB+ digital radio, LED headlights and tail-lights, Bose premium audio, electric adjustment for the driver with lumbar and memory functions, and roof rails.
The only option available is premium paint, which makes the buying experience less confusing if you’re a procrastinator. Our car has the optional Tuxedo Black paint for an extra $550, and we must say it looks pretty smart.
Where the Equinox shines is its practicality. It’s spacious both in the front, rear and boot, and is the perfect chariot for the family. Cabin plastics/rubber can feel a bit cheap and loose, but you won’t be spending all your time in the car feeling these.
The heated seats are a luxury, but once they’re warmed up, turn it right down as the highest setting can be too hot around the base of your back. Lumbar support was pushed out a bit to improve posture.
The driver's seat also doubles as parking sensors, where they vibrate instead of your typical beeps. A strange feature that will surprise you every time, and some in the office turned it off opting for audible warnings via the settings instead.
Replacing where shift paddles would normally be located on any other car, the Equinox has the volume control behind the steering wheel. You barely have to move your hand to reach it.
It’s a simple thing, but probably one of my favourite features. Ergonomically, the central armrest is placed quite high (perfect for a tall person), but inside it there is a lot of storage – enough for a couple of water bottles.
Two USBs are available, so there will be no fighting with the driver and front passenger. An auxiliary and 12-volt are also thrown in, along with wireless charging, but it is too small for larger phones and can be unreliable at times.
The MyLink infotainment system is through an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and while it is an older version and not the most attractive design, it is still responsive and easy to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also here to save the day, if you don’t like the built-in satellite navigation or want to keep connected through your phone interface.
Rear seat passengers are very well looked after with heated outboard rear seats, air vents, two USBs, a 12-volt and 150W/230V connections. As previously mentioned, there’s so much space with a great amount of leg, knee, toe, and head room for adults, so the kids will have even more room.
The middle-row headrest is stupidly big and chunky, and does impede on rear-view mirror vision.
A very handy feature is the back seat reminder, which appears on the driver information screen once the car is turned off, and is good for remembering groceries or a handbag, and hopefully not needed to remember your kids!
Over to the 846L boot, presumably measured to the roof, that space grows to 1798L with the rear seats folded. The Equinox will easily gobble up a couple of suitcases, while still having room under the floor for a space-saver wheel. A 12-volt socket can also be found.
So, a big tick for the cabin practicality, but how does it drive? Well, with its 2.0-litre engine with 188kW and 353Nm, it’ll have the kids calling you Superman or Wonder Woman in no time. It’s a quick thing and was the fastest in our most recent SUV mega test.
Its performance was also the feature that surprised the CarAdvice team the most. It can be a bit sketchy in the wet, especially if the part-time all-wheel drive doesn’t engage, so the front wheels can lose traction at times.
It is expensive to fill up its 59L tank, with a minimum of 95RON needing to be used. The claimed fuel reading from Holden is 8.4L/100km, and most of the time it hovered around 9.9L/100km over the six months it was with us.
We did find the Australian-tuned suspension to be hard and even jarring at times, and can have you saying to yourself 'oomph' when a pothole rears its ugly head as the 19-inch wheels crash over them. The big turning circle also isn’t ideal in tight car parking situations.
However, it’s pleasant as a freeway driver. Even though there is no adaptive cruise control, the standard cruise control is reliable at sticking to your nominated speed. The lane-departure assist is also gentle and not too sensitive, so it won’t be yanking the wheel out of your hands at any point.
The five-star ANCAP safety-rated Equinox comes with Holden’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with servicing at 12-month or 12,000km intervals. Servicing costs are below:
- First: $259
- Second: $299
- Third: $259
- Fourth: $399
- Fifth: $349
The Equinox was a polarising car in the CarAdvice office. While most gave the thumbs up to its engine and practicality, some couldn’t get past its looks.
We found it to be a bit of a challenge with city driving, but after getting it out onto the freeway, that’s where it felt most at home.
It represents great value with a lot of technology you can’t ignore, so it’s worth a look if you’re diving into the highly popular medium-SUV market.
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: Long-term report five: Road trip
MORE: Equinox news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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