Tag Archives: Equinox

Chevy Equinox Update


May 2013 I took delivery of a brand new Chevy Equinox.  Front wheel drive, V-6, 2LT trim level, tow package installed.   At this point it has passed 32,000 miles.
Let me give you the run down… About every 2800 miles its been getting oil changes and tire rotations done by Dealerships.  And by that I mean Marine Chevy in Jacksonville.  At 8,000 miles it needed a new battery which was replaced under warranty.  That’s been the only issue.  And really not all that big a deal.

The little SUV has performed admirably.  Turning in great fuel economy… Far better than I would have expected. Better even than the 4 Cylinder versions are reporting.  Thanks to GM’s fantastic engine. Direct injection, a smarter transmission, gobs of power at the low end… The engine never really has to work hard.  Unless you ask it to.  And when you do, it delivers.  It has a lot of torque steer that you have to physically wrestle with, so hold on with both hands before you hammer it. And when you do, the car springs to life with a quickness and agility that’s unexpected. This makes my little SUV feel more like a Hot Hatch.   A very heavy, but powerful, big hot hatch.
As soon as you let off the gas again, the EQ is back to it’s normal sedate nature.  It cruises well, quietly and composed even at high interstate velocity.  Feeling solid and connected, it’s easy to gobble up miles with comfortable adjustable and heated seats.  Pretty luxurious stuff to this guy.
The touch screen is large and more responsive than most others I’ve played with.  Easy to navigate.  Syncing phones is easy as well… And the hands free calling works very well.  As does running music from the phone.  The only thing it doesn’t do is Navigation.  Which is crazy… Chevy not putting navigation in a car at this price level is just retarded. There’s also no update feature with this system.  You can update it with a USB, but there isn’t any updates for it.
Climate control is excellent with a very cold AC and a heater that you can bake a cake with.  It comes up to temp fast and cools down fast… Really once you set it to the temp you want, you can just ignore it… The system will handle the rest.
Remote Starter.  Remote hatch/rear door opening and close. Backup Camera. Alarm.  It doesn’t lack features… Save for Navigation.
The EQ is a handsome car too. I think they look good… But it could get a little more bravado in the wheels and tires department, maybe a little lift.
I think it just may be the best vehicle GM makes.  Its also the only vehicle GM hasn’t had a recall on that I’m aware of.  GM just did everything right on it… Save for the lack of Navigation.  The only problem really is the lack of personality.  Its a very Vanilla car. Its one that is easily forgotten.  It’s like the proverbial Nice Guy.  What it needs… Is a dark side.  A tattoo, a Honey Badger snear, and a pair of boots.  But even then it would probably still be too clean cut and polite about everything.

Armchair Quarterbacking Chevy, Part 2

Continuing my Armchair Quarterbacking of Chevy; it’s time to look at the SUV’s and Trucks.


This is my ride.  A 2013 Equinox 2LT.  I own this.  I got it brand new last May in 2013.  I added a trailer hitch to it and other than that, it’s bone stock.  This is a great car.  Well, it’s really a crossover SUV according to the Auto Industry, an SUV/Truck according to Chevy, and a Station Wagon according to my friends.   It’s got a direct injected, 3.6 liter, multi-fuel, V-6 engine that cranks out over 300 horses.  It can really haul ass. I love the big bore looking dual exhausts.   I’ve got 15,000 miles on it now, and the only problem I’ve had was a bad battery that was replaced under warranty at 8,000 miles.
Here’s the problem though.  I keep calling it a car because it doesn’t feel like an SUV at all.  SUV/Truck?  There is nothing truck-like about it and there never well be.  It’s a Station Wagon.  Even the All Wheel Drive versions… are just all wheel drive station wagons.  So let’s improve upon what it really is.
What I don’t like about the EQ is the lack of testosterone in the Shifter.  When in Manual Mode, to up and down shift you have a tiny toggle think on the shifter.  Come on.  Let me play with that stick.  I want to move the stick to shift.  Not toggle the button.  And also, when in manual mode, make it stay in the gear until I manually shift it.  And if I want to down shift – let me down shift it.  The EQ’s Manual mode has no control over anything – it only takes your command as a suggestion that it will consider later, down the road.  Manual Mode should also involve a sport setting.   An SS version would be nice too, because… Reasons.  Really there should be an SS version of everything.  Because having the option of More Power should always be available.

Keeping up with Chevy’s evident idea of taking one thing and making it a bit bigger… The Chevy Traverse is to the Equinox what the Sonic is the Spark.  Basically the same damn thing a bit bigger.  Again, this is supposed to be an SUV.  What it really is, is a Mini-Van.  Anyone telling you differently is selling something.  The Traverse really is a nice vehicle.  They sell very well, as I see millions of them on the road, just like the EQ’s.  But they should be called the Transverse because it’s just a cross-dressing Mini-Van trying to look a little more butch.  It even has Eyeliner.


Not that there is anything wrong with that…
What Chevy really needs to do though, is get off it’s ass and bring back the Trailblazer.  Here’s a rendering of what that could look like:
Now THAT is a freaking SUV.  And Chevy, when you do this.  Don’t make it like how Dodge did the Durango and Ford did the Explorer… That’s what the Traverse is… a huge bloated Station Wagon.  No.  Base it on the Colorado.  Truck First.  What you need to do is make it something that can compete with Toyota 4Runner.  Something that has some actual Off Road capability instead of the rival’s Dirt Road capability.  Make the Trailblazer live up to it’s name.  Give it the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but the clearance and ruggedness of 4Runner.  That’s the target.  People would go BONKERS for it.  I’d trade my EQ in on it.  Engine options would of course have to start out with the 3.6 Liter V-6, but then give it that 5.3 Liter V-8 option.  Because – BALLS.  That’s something missing in the Off-Road market.

I’m loving the new Colorado… or what I’m seeing of it.  Dropping it was a mistake.   I really liked the last one.  I did.  I had a friend who got one and I was jealous.   A great little truck.  But it was rather gutless.  You had rather weak engine options in it.

Chevy really needs to do something to answer to the Ford Raptor.  Toyota brought out some cosmetic upgrades to make their truck look like a Raptor type Rig… but it’s only weak sauce.  So here is what you do, Chevy… Go to YouTube and watch every video on something called the King of Hammers.  Eat Bacon.  Listen to Heavy Metal. Go shooting.  Grow a beard.  And then eat some more Bacon… and then let your engineers do a version of the Colorado called the Hammer.  Give it some serious performance chops, and make it a freaking Off Road Super Hero.  And put one in every Dealership.  Get the Hammer Pro Team out and run it to the North Pole like what Top Gear did with the Toyota.  Run it around the Nurburgring like what Ford did with the Raptor.  Promote the hell out of it and show the world that Chevy has it.

One last thing, Chevy.  Remake the Avalanche on the Colorado platform instead of the Silverado.

2013 Chevy Equinox 2LT V6 FWD

As some of you know, I’ve taken off the motorcycle helmet and enjoyed the luxury of a four wheeled cage.  The requirements of my cage were complicated.  I needed to pull a trailer not just across country, but over the Rocky Mountains.  It had to have enough room inside to help in a move across country.  Clothes and “Stuff” for 3 people going One Way.   So I was thinking, “Truck” with such things as “Big” and “Four by Four”.  Then I took into consideration that once I reach my destination, those requirements were no longer required.  With a new career change and a new area of operation, I would have a whole new set of requirements.  Fuel Economy.  No need for all wheel drive, because it rarely every snows here in the winter.  Long Range Comfort.  The ability to get up and haul ass was wanted as well.  Throw in the requirement of being able to stow some large rifle cases when needed and my vehicle selection options started fall off the table.   I didn’t need four wheel drive anymore.  So no truck…  but I needed more room than a 2013 Camaro, which was a consideration.  Also, I hate getting pulled over, so I wanted something that would be “Road Stealth”.  Meaning a cop’s eyes just glaze over it as I slide past at 10 over.



You guys remember my previous considerations.  And this one is a bit different.  The Equinox was the winner.  Smooth, good power delivery, and in the 2LT trim package, well appointed with the features I wanted.  This vehicle was purchased from Gus Paulos in West Valley, Utah.  If you are thinking about a Chevy – That’s the place to go.  The General Manager this a Rock Star, and you can tell him George, The Mad Ogre, Hill sent you.  They went out of the way to get the Trailer Hitch installed for me late on a Friday Evening…  Two Thumbs Up.  They did a great job.

Remote everything.  Even remote lift gate opening, which is a feature I didn’t really care about but now that I have it, will insist all future vehicles have.  XM, Sat, Blue Tooth, all that.  Back Up Camera, which is amazing now that I’ve gotten used to it.  Touch screen to control all of the tech.   Driving across country, I played Larry Correia’s SPELLBOUND book through Audible on my phone, through the stereo via Blue Tooth.  We also listened to STARSHIP TROOPERS, and a book called RED SHIRTS by the same author as Old Man’s War.  Great books, btw.  Made the drive across our vast nation very enjoyable.  The ride quality, comfort, and smooth ride, made the long trip easy… even pulling a trailer.  The 300 + Horse V-6 Engine was never labored in it’s task.  MPG were a consistent, 20 MPG’s while pulling the High Drag trailer.  And with the smallish 18 gallon fuel tank, stops to refuel were more frequent than I’d like.   However once that trailer was disconnected, something happened.



Look at that read out.  That’s an average for 50 Miles.  Not just a down hill with a tail wind situation.  And I was cruising at a set 60 MPH.  31.4 Average, with a top average of 35… in a V-6 SUV with no hybrid stuff going on.  I don’t care who you are, that’s damn good.  (I’ve had motorcycles that didn’t get that good of mileage!)  And since where I’m at, 55 MPH is the top speed anywhere, these numbers are suiting me just fine.  To get these numbers, the engine is not down tuned, or leaned out.  It’s got power.  When you romp on it, you feel all those ponies start bucking and you move out.  When you do that though, hold on.  Torque Steer comes into effect big time, and you are going to have to fight that.  But when you do, and you get used to it, you can get solid launches and roll on passing power.  I find that the car is never lacking on power.  And all of this is with the AC blasting.  Because I found that I really love a cold AC.

Handling is good.  It’s no sports car, being a Cross-Ute.  But it’s no slouch either.  It handles far better than any truck I’ve ever driven, or larger SUV.  And it handles better than the peers in it’s category.

I like the looks of it.  It’s a clean design.  Aerodynamically, it’s slippery.  To the eye, if find it an attractive little Crossover SUV.  I love the look of the interior.  It’s got fantastic cloth seats, well vented so you don’t feel sweaty when it gets hot out and the AC hasn’t wound up yet.  Looking at any detail or area of the car, it’s just good looking. Handsome, but with out any raw sex appeal of a sportier vehicle that will make a cop look at you with scrutiny.  And come on, I’m a Motorcyclist, if I wanted raw performance and sex appeal, I’d jump on two wheels instead of four.

It’s easy to park.  Being as smallish as it is for an SUV, I can park it anywhere without being cramped.  It’s turning radius isn’t the best out there, but it’s better than most.  Really it does nothing outstanding but then again it does everything well.  It’s very Competent.  Consistently Competent.  Because those vehicles that do some things spectacularly well, do other things shockingly poorly.  This car just does everything well.  Price on this vehicle was 31,000 dollars.  Which puts it much less than other considerations with this vehicles features.  Such as the Jeep.  I see no reason for another 10-20 thousand just to have a badge that says Jeep. And realistically, I’m never going to go Rock Crawling again, so I just don’t care about the Trail Rated thing.  If I need something Trail Rated, I’ll use an ATV.  Value-wise, I think the EQ has been a home run.

The only vehicle I’d put against the EQ would be the Ford Edge… Another great looking Cross-Ute.  However the Edge isn’t going to give you the MPG returns the EQ can give you.   After getting to know the EQ, I’ve come to love it.  It’s probably the smartest vehicle I’ve ever had.