By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 13, 2015
About the video
From the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.
(playful guitar music) These headlights and this grill are kind of the biggest things that have changed on the Equinox SUV, which Chevrolet claims to have contemporized for 2016. That basically means this is a mid-cycle refresh.
So we're here at the auto show. We'll take you through everything that's changed, but I got a spoiler alert. It's not much. So let's talk about those elements here. This grill here, Chevy's familiar split grill. There's sort of less continuity between the top section and the bottom section. You get out to the headlights here. They're not scalloped like before. They're kind of more squared off here, especially at the bottom. Daytime running lights from LEDs are optional. Around back, kind of a more technical appearance with the tail lights and new sort of squared off tailpipes versus the circular ones before on V6 models. Still a very crowded center stack of controls here. There is a standard screen now across all trim levels, but despite the fact that there's all these buttons, there's actually only single zone automatic climate control available, not dual zone, which many competitors of the Equinox now offer. Below the controls, there's a little shelf here that goes in place of where the CD player used to be. I would mourn it's passing if I actually owned any CDs that needed to go in there. Still no improvement, kind of in a lot of the cabin materials, which is probably where the Equinox kinda needed to make the biggest leap. Nothing really happened on that front. So there's still a lot of kind of hard, cheap looking plastics in crucial areas like along the upper door panels where your arms and your elbows fall. The Equinox's ace in the whole remains the backseat, which is gigantic. I'm six feet tall. That's where I'd sit to drive tons of leg room leftover and a combination of a nice high seating position with good headroom to spare. Now, the seat moves forward and back here in a single piece and it also reclines a little bit. Though, it has to do so with kind of levers up here at your shoulder point. But here's the cool trick. When you put the seats down, left or right, and let's say you had the seat forward here, so you had closer access to, you know, your child in a car seat maybe. Typically that's going to expose a gap in the cargo floor. You then would have to go to Home Depot and put the seats down. There's this cool plastic hard piece here that kind of follows the seat, eliminates the gap, keeps a continuous load floor. That's the upside. The downside is overall cargo room. Despite the fact that the Equinox is a fairly large vehicle, the packaging doesn't actually add up to that much cargo room behind the rear seats or with the seats folded down, especially compared to competitors like the Honda CRV and the Toyota Rav 4. When the Equinox goes on sale in the fall of 2015, it'll offer carry over four cylinder or V6 engines. Thing is this is already the seventh model year for the current generation of this car and, I got to say, this is a very competitive segment. Not really sure that Chevy did enough to keep the Equinox in the game. We'll see how long it can retain that sales popularity. (car revving)