The 2016 Chevy Equinox

2016 Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD

2.4 L 4-cylinder engine
6-speed automatic transmission
All-wheel Drive (AWD)

182 horsepower
172 lb.-ft. of torque

Starting at $26,795
This one $37,995

You know me – function over fashion, forever – so I like the look of this Equinox.

That’s not to say I think the Equinox is ugly, not at all.  In fact, the model you’re looking at remains mostly unchanged since its debut in 2009. As in – this vehicle will age well.

A fast way to differentiate previous model years from this 2016 is the new grille and headlights.

Available in 3 trims – LS, LT, LTZ – this is the top LTZ.

Remember, this Equinox is a people-mover; it’s not supposed to press you back in your seat, it’s a work horse, and it does that well. Pickup is decent off the launch, and while your foot will be to the floor while merging or passing, it’ll get there. While towing 1,500 pounds too.

Steering and suspension follow suit – tuned for comfort – and during it all the cabin is quite quiet.

AWD is available in each trim, another +$2,200. And it’s possible to opt-up to a 3.6L V6 engine which outputs 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque.

Fuel economy is rated at 9.9 L / 100 km (combined,) and I achieved a 9.7 L / 100 km. Not sure I’ve ever typed a that I achieved a lower rating before; I drive like a pig remember.

The centre console controls are easily learned, and there’s so many hard buttons!  YES.

Features include remote start, a backup camera, cruise control, 8-way power front seats that are heated, and the cabin’s climate control is automatic.

A + $2,325 sees the addition of a sunroof, higher quality speakers and a navigation system.

The backseat is roomy, one of the largest in the segement, and ready – the rear seats recline. Nice eh.

This makes the cargo area slightly smaller than some of its competitors, but no matter, fold down the 60/40 seats and it’ll be fine.

Like most GM products, standard on all trims is the ability to connect the car to the internet.

Using OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in WiFi Hotspot, passengeres can connect via the dashboard. Learn more here.

Chevy is great at storage.

Like the two-tiered centre stack cubbies, and the deep armrest storage compartment that easily holds your Happy Meal Spiderman driving glasses.

A + $1,250 Driver Confidence Package adds the en vogue driving aids – blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, rear park assist and forward collision alert. That’s a well priced package.

However, see the below photo? That orange bar is the forward collision alert, which I found a bit sensitive.  Why is it lighting up when I’m passing on the highway?

If I owned this SUV, a piece of electrical tape would go overtop.

You’re going to start seeing these Equinoxes everywhere.

Look on your drive home tonight. It’s not that I pointed them out, but because this is Chevy’s 2nd best-selling vehicle (1st is a pickup truck.)

Saved the best fact for last…
the Equinox is built in Canada!

The Oshawa, Ontario Assembly plant produces SUV.

Blog tag = Chevy



More Back-of-Steering-Wheel-Buttons Please

The buttons control the radio, leaving your hands where they should be – on the steering wheel.

Use the buttons on the left to move through the preset station list, and volume is on the right.

It’s one of those features that seems little, but has a huge impact. Especially if you’re like me, and constantly hitting seek seek seek for a good song.

Found on some Chryslers, and most General Motors vehicles.

Clockwise from top = 2016 Chevy Tahoe, 2016 Chevy Equinox, 2016 GMC Canyon



The 2016 Chevy Trax LT AWD

2016 Chevy Trax LT AWD

1.4 Litre, 4-cylinder engine
6-speed automatic transmission (manual available!)

138 hp
148 lb.-ft. of torque

Starting at $20,880 (2015 price)
This one $29,875

The Trax falls in the subcompact crossover segment, the hottest, and most competitive, segment right now. It’s got some stiff competition, but there’s…

3 Reasons the Trax holds its own

Reason #1 – it was one of the segment’s first-to-market, therefore its had a couple more years to iron out the manufacturing kinks.

LT is the 2/4 trim and the one I’d recommend buying. Anything higher, or more feature-rich, and the Trax’s good value starts to diminish.

In my tester, note the addition of the +$840 LT Plus Package, which adds a 6-way power driver seat and rear park assist, and the +$1,615 Sun and Sound Package, which adds a power sunroof and Bose speaker system.

I can’t be sure if the Bose addition is why this Trax is the loudest radio I’ve had in years, but regardless, I’d take that money and instead upgrade to All-Wheel Drive.

Top left > clockwise

 door pocket storage for days

centre console

don’t let the simple 7″ screen trick you – the Trax’s infotainment system can connect to the internet, turning the dash into a WiFi 4G LTE Hotspot, and standard on all trims. Chevy is the one of first-to-market with this feature, and that’s Reason #2

4 cupholders, plus 2 in the second row armrest

The Trax offers an abundance of storage, and that’s Reason #3.  11 cubbies, non-car nerds: that is a _lot_. And it keeps going outside the photo’s frame.


Why don’t more vehicles have drawers beneath the passenger seat?

It’s the best.

When overtaking a semi, the 1.4 L engine will get the job done, a little loudly and with the smallest pause before it kicks in, but it will. But the Trax excels in an urban centre as a downtown people mover. It was genuinely fun to drive it in downtown Toronto, I had this guy dancing through rush hour.

The seating position is high, but not enough to feel disconnected from the road, there’s more oomph in the lower revs, and the tiny turning circle means toss it here there, haha I beat you to the last parking spot.

In this LT trim the side mirrors are heated, air conditioning and cruise-control are standard, there’s more steering wheel buttons and it’s wrapped in leather, and remote keyless entry, and a ton of airbags inside.

The fabric is a spacey-pattern that feels functional and should wear well over time, and nice touch with the 110 V outlet for the rear passengers.

Blog tag = Chevy Trax



I’m Going to Miss Simple Instrument Clusters

Won’t be for much longer you can look through the steering wheel to a plain, simple instrument cluster… real physical dials, a low-resolution screen glowing in that familiar blue/green hue displaying those square letters and numbers.

Here come the high-definiton screens… no physical gauges, information rich and highly customizable.

Above is a 2016 Chevy Trax.

Below is a 2016 Cadillac Escalade.




How to Connect a GM Vehicle to the Internet

General Motors, and especially Chevy, is at the forefront of bringing 4G LTE internet into dashboards (learn more in this column.)

While other automakers are starting to offer this feature, most put the WiFi settings within the infotainment system’s Settings area.

Chevy’s way to connect is a bit different.

Use OnStar to access the WiFi settings.

On rearview mirror > press OnStar button > say “WiFi Settings” > settings appear on dash screen >
follow instructions

Here’s the OnStar site

Found in a 2016 Chevy Trax.

Security Reminder:

Connecting a car comes with a responsibility – never connect your car to public WiFi, and you are legally responsible for passengers Hotspotting off your car’s connection.