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2024 Chevy Equinox EV first drive review: The Goldilocks of EVs

The new 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV is the Goldilocks of electric vehicles. Affordably priced, thoughtfully engineered and attractively designed, this utility vehicle is impressively well balanced, excelling in numerous areas without breaking the bank.

It may be a little late to the party, but this new Equinox EV was worth the wait. This SUV’s design is clean and attractive, with a handsomely aggressive front end, clean flanks and an elegant rear. Two trim lines are available: LT and RS. The former is more traditional, while the latter has sporty flair. RS models feature loads of black, with the wheels, grille, mirror caps and exterior badges all being blacked out. Two-tone paint jobs are available as well. LT models can be had with a white roof and the RS trim with, predictably, a black top.

Dimensionally, this EV rides on a 116.3-inch wheelbase and is just shy of 191 inches long. This makes the electric model about 7.5 inches longer than a combustion-powered Equinox with a hub-to-hub span that’s some 9 inches greater. Pushing the axles out to the ends of the body not only looks great, but it helps provide more interior space for passengers and cargo. The backseat offers plenty of space for 6-foot-tall riders and you get 26.4 cubic feet of cargo-hauling room behind that rear bench. Fold the backrest down and that luggage space increase to about 57 cubes, a generous amount, though this vehicle does not have a front trunk.

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The new Equinox EV is surprisingly excellent. Photo credit: Chevrolet

The Equinox EV’s front seats are nice, broadly cut and firmer than you might expect. On this 3RS model, the driver’s chair also power adjusts in 8 ways. You can also get this Chevy with a range of other premium amenities like a heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seating positions and a heated windshield wiper park position, to help melt snow and ice in winter weather.

The rest of this Chevy’s cabin is pleasantly premium. There is some shiny hard plastic on the upper dashboard that does cause windshield glare in bright sunlight, but this is offset by plenty of soft materials on the door panels and dashboard. Overall, this is an unexpectedly upscale interior for the asking price.

As for tech, there’s an 11-inch digital instrument panel that is crisp, colorful, stylish and easy to read. What more could you ask for from a gauge cluster? A 17.7-inch central touchscreen is also standard, home to a Google-powered infotainment system that is intuitive and exceptionally responsive. This multimedia array almost never stutters or lags, plus it gives you access to a range of Google services like the Google Play store and, most importantly, Google Maps.

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Chevy did a great job with this SUV’s interior. Photo credit: Chevrolet

The Equinox EV’s infotainment system earns high praise, though there is one major downside. As in other GM vehicles, Apple CarPlay is no longer offered, which is a real shame and could be a dealbreaker for some drivers that live in the iPhone ecosystem.

Underneath this SUV’s attractive bodywork is a lot of great powertrain tech. The Equinox EV comes with a standard 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack (usable capacity) that provides an impressive 319 miles of range in front-drive models and 285 miles in examples fitted with four driven wheels.

Through the CCS port mounted to the driver’s side front fender, this battery pack DC fast charges at up to 150 kilowatts, an average performance in 2024, but that’s still enough to get you 70 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Unfortunately, Chevy has not shared a quasi-industry-standard 10-to-80% charging time. At home, 11.5-kW AC charging is included, which can get you about 34 miles of range per hour.

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Sporty RS models have various blacked-out exterior elements. Photo credit: Chevrolet

Aside from charging and range, the new Equinox EV delivers good performance. Front-drive models, like the example tested here, are graced with 213 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, acceptable, if not thrilling numbers. This vehicle moves smartly off the line and acceleration is not a problem in everyday driving. The Equinox EV does, however, run out of steam on the highway. At faster speeds, the vehicle’s vigor is significantly reduced. Overtaking slower-moving vehicles on the freeway can take a bit of planning.

If you want more get up and go, all-wheel drive is the ticket. Models so-equipped have a more substantial 288 hp and 346 lb-ft of twist, enough to get you from 0 to 60 mph in a legitimately quick 5.9 seconds. Going with four driven wheels has a comparatively small impact on range. The difference between front- and all-wheel-drive Equinox EVs is just 34 miles.

This SUV’s on-road acceleration is good, but the rest of the driving dynamics are even better. The steering is hefty, which gives this vehicle a planted yet agile feel, surprisingly so for something that weighs more than 5,000 pounds. The Equinox EV’s ride quality is impressive, too. This vehicle is stable and smooth, but never sloppy. Roadway grittiness and small imperfections will percolate through the tires and suspension, but this is not objectionable. Larger surface imperfections are well attenuated, and the body always stays on an even keel, never bounding over ruts or bumps.

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There’s plenty of space in the backseat. Photo credit: Chevrolet

Like any modern vehicle, this Chevy comes with a laundry list of standard driver aids. You get automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and blind spot monitoring. Rear parking assist and automatic high beams are included, too, along with many, many other amenities.

Plenty of other high-end features are offered on this SUV as well. Depending on the trim, you can get a high-definition 360-degree camera system, a rear camera mirror and even a head-up display. GM’s groundbreaking Super Cruise hands-free driver aid is also offered. This system can be engaged on some 400,000 miles of roadway in the U.S. and Canada, though that number will be expanded to around 750,000 by the end of 2025, a massive increase that will make this intuitive and industry-leading feature even better.

The 2024 Chevy Equinox EV is an incredibly well-rounded electric vehicle that is comfortable and spacious, well made, feature-rich and plenty competitive when it comes to features and range. Really, this vehicle’s only major downsides are the lack of Apple CarPlay and middling DC fast charging performance.

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The new Equinox EV should be available at dealerships right now. Photo credit: Chevrolet

When it comes to pricing, the entry-level 1LT model will start at around $35,000 including $1,395 in destination fees, though this trim level is not currently available and won’t be until later in the year. The 3RS front-drive model tested here is richer, checking out for around $51,000, though that’s plenty reasonable for what is a truly compelling electric vehicle. Still, if that figure gives you pause there is more good news. The Equinox EV is eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, which makes this vehicle a stellar deal.

Other electrics may offer greater performance, some DC fast charge significantly quicker and certain rivals are more richly appointed, but the new Equinox EV is an incredibly well-rounded product that hits the important high notes without breaking the bank. If you’re attracted to this Chevy’s unique blend of attributes, you should be able to drive home in one right now.

At a glance

  • Year: 2024
  • Make: Chevrolet
  • Model: Equinox EV
  • Trim: 3RS FWD
  • Type: 4-door all-electric crossover
  • Horsepower: 213
  • Torque: 236 lb-ft
  • MPGe ratings (city/highway/combined): 117/99/108
  • Range: 319 miles
  • Pros: Roomy cabin, nicely trimmed interior, excellent range, stylish design, available Super Cruise, gigantic infotainment screen, generous cargo space, impressive refinement
  • Cons: Entry-level 1LT model not available yet, no Apple CarPlay, DC fast charging performance could be better, front-drive models feel winded at highway speeds
  • Estimated Base price: $35,000
  • Estimated as-tested price: $51,000 including $1,395 in destination fees

Written by Craig Cole

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