Holden Equinox, launched in late 2017, plays in the ultra-competitive medium AWD SUV segment. Equinox, while being a reasonably good offering, has failed to gain traction with buyers who are favouring more familiar brand names. That is a shame as the Equinox has a lot to offer buyers.
It’s amazing just how much it looks like a smaller version of the Trailblazer and the recently launched Acadia. The squared off shape evokes a little masculinity and stands out from the soft image of the segment.
Many don’t like it, but I do. It combines a curved font end with squarish almost boxy rear end that has benefits in internal space. With features such as LED automatic headlamps with LED DRLs and taillights, 19 inch alloy wheels running 235/50/R19 tyres, squared tail pipes, power folding exterior mirrors and roof rails the overall look is classy.
Apart from a slightly bland fascia which is a little plastic, the internal ambience is spacious and reasonable quality. The front leather seats are air conditioned with an additional electronic lumbar adjustment and memory setting. The driver seat also has a vibrate function as an added safety feature. They are comfortable and ironically have more than enough slide availability for a comfortable driving position.
The heated leather multi adjustable steering wheel is thick and compliant in the hands and with the usual controls it adds to the overall luxury feel. It also frames the instrument panel, but when lowered a bit can cut off the top portion.
In front of the driver is a neat and very clear/concise instrument panel comprising of two larger outer dials and a square MFD between with two smaller dials on top.
Even with the dual-panel panoramic sunroof, the front occupants have enough head room. Overall visibility is great forward, with slightly thick ‘A’ pillars. Over the shoulder again is good, but the rear three quarters is a little restricted with the sloping ‘C’ pillar.
However the centre stack is a combination of flat plastic and cluttered controls. It all looks a bit busy to me, but is packed with features. The centre console bin is huge, with dual opening soft padded lid. This along with the soft touch door rests means that elbows are well catered for. Apart from that there is reasonable storage for the little bits we all seem to carry along with a wireless charger and USB and 12V points.
Rear passengers have the benefit of air vents, USB and 12V plugs and comfortable seats. Definitely better for two, there is adequate head, shoulder, leg and knee room, courtesy of one of the longest wheelbases in the class. The rear seats fold flat in a one touch folding 60/40 configuration to increase the voluminous boot area from 846 litres to 1798 litres. The other key feature is the automatic boot lid opens high enough for my 190cm frame to easily fit under.
Here Holden has excelled with the Equinox, especially the range topping LTZ-V. Features include: Active Noise Cancellation, Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 8-inch high-resolution colour touch-screen display, Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto phone projection, Full iPod® integration including Siri Eyes Free, DAB+, Bose® premium audio system, Satellite Navigation with full colour mapping with live traffic updates, traffic management control, dual zone climate control, advanced park assist (automatic perpendicular and parallel parking), automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers
Equinox is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol with 9-speed auto, capable of producing 188 kW and 353 Nm. It will drink fuel at an ADR rate of 8.4 L/100K but it does like the premium juice. Equinox also features an adaptive All-Wheel-Drive system† that provides improved stability, traction and handling.
Holden engineers have developed unique Australian suspension hardware, damper tune and EPS steering calibrations. Combined with a well weighted steering tune providing adequate feedback.
With the benefit of the above local suspension tuning the Equinox is a pleasant ride. It will happily soak up all but the worst of our suburban roads, glides on the freeways and on dirt roads feels composed. However, for some strange reason, the turning circle is huge.
There is good acceleration throughout from the engine, but a heavy right foot will mean you visit petrol stations regularly as it has a small 59L fuel tank.
Equinox has a five star ANCAP safety rating. Making its debut on Equinox is Holden’s Safety Alert driver’s seat which gives drivers a small vibration to alert them of potential hazards. The new safety seat system joins a long list of active safety features including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keep Assist and Blind Spot Alert.
In addition there are 6 airbags, rear view camera and rear park assist, ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (x2), Holden Eye forward facing camera system, Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert with Head-Up Warning, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high beam assist and front parking sensors
- Standard features
- Engine / transmission
- Interior space
Not so Good Bits:
- Somewhat bland interior
- Petrol can be thirsty
- AWD but not AWD
Holden Equinox plays in the small – mid family SUV segment, where owners want enough room for the family and all their luggage, a comfortable and quiet ride and for the buyers of top spec vehicles, all the bells and whistles. The Equinox LTZ-V fits this criteria perfectly.
A family of four or five will fit and enjoy this vehicle. In addition it will tow a reasonable trailer, sea doo or camper as well as take luggage on the roof rails. The boot is huge for the luggage with the rear seats folded, it will accommodate long items with ease. The practicality of the layout assures that it will be utilised for many different purposes.
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Facts and Figures: 2019 Holden Equinox LTZ-V
- Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder petrol producing 188kW/353Nm
- Transmission: AWD Nine-speed automatic
- Warranty: 5 years/ Unlimited km 5 Years Roadside Assist
- Safety: Five stars ANCAP
- Origin: TBC
- Price: from $46,290*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.
Holden Equinox – Make no mistake, the Equinox is a very important part of the future of Holden in Australia. In that they have delivered a vehicle that can compete in the segment against the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester etc.