Holden Equinox LTZ AWD

The Mexican-built Chevrolet Equinox is one of G-M’s most prolific sellers in its US home market.

Wearing a Holden badge, it comes to a land Down Under as a new-to-market replacement for Captiva 5 in the popular and ultra-competitive, five-seat midsized SUV segment.

There’s a choice of five models, the entry level of which is powered by a 1.5-litre, 127kW/275Nm four-cylinder engine with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto.

Mid and upper spec models are endowed with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 9-speed auto, a combination which can be found in the new Commodore. Top range LTZ and LTZ-V models get the option of a selectable all-wheel-drive (AWD) system as well.

The LTZ AWD is a comparatively heavy (1732kg) and large vehicle for segment, but with 188kW of power and 353Nm of torque on tap, performance is class-topping. 0-100km/h comes up in a claimed 7.3 seconds. And dynamic ability belies its size, due in no small part to chassis and suspension tuning by Holden’s engineers to suit Australian conditions.

Rear view of Holden Equinox parked near beach

There’s plenty of head and leg room – front and rear – and the boot is capacious (846 litres) and easy to access. The interior is stylish, yet uncluttered, and the leather-trimmed seats supportive and comfortable. There’s also a host of practical touches, such as multiple power outlets and USB connections, though a full-sized spare wheel is an omission.

The LTZ’s standard equipment inventory is simply outstanding, and way too comprehensive to list here. But mention should be made of the latest in safety tech, such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert with Head-Up Warning, Side Blind Spot Alert, Safety Alert driver’s seat and Rear cross traffic alert. A five-star ANCAP safety rating applies.

So, what’s not to like? With a turning circle of 12.7 metres, the Equinox is not as easy to manoeuvre as some mid-sized SUVs. In the default front-wheel-drive mode, torque steer is present under hard acceleration. And, unlike competitors such as Honda’s CR-V, Mazda’s CX-5 and Nissan’s X-Trail, 95 RON PULP is required. Fuel consumption on test averaged 11.7 litres/100km.

If you’re considering a roomy, well-performing and equipped family-friendly SUV, then the Holden Equinox is worth a look.

Fast facts

  • ENGINE: 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol 4-cyl

  • ANCAP SAFETY RATING: ★★★★★

  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 196

  • FOR: Performance, ride, space, tidy body control, equipment

AGAINST: Some torque steer in (default) front-wheel-drive mode, wide turning circle.