Holden ushers in new medium SUV

Equinox is the first new product from Holden since local production ended.

If it’s anything to go by, things are about to get a whole lot more interesting for buyers in the already highly competitive mid-sized SUV segment.

Built in Mexico and badged as a Chevrolet in the US, it’s the company’s second biggest seller in that market. In its Australian guise, it’s intended to fill the gap in the five-seat mid-sized SUV segment created by the demise of Captiva 5, but Holden expects it to also pick up a share of family car, wagon, and fleet sales that would previously have gone to Commodore.

It’s a well thought-out, roomy, and very practical package that is aimed squarely at competitors such as Mazda CX-5, Toyota Rav 4, and Hyundai Tucson. And it’s very nicely built with the launch fleet displaying a quite high and consistent standard of fit and finish.

It comes in five model grades, all of which have plenty of standard kit, and initially two powertrains with a diesel to come in the new year.

Inside there’s plenty of head and leg room and the boot is huge and easy to access. Interior styling is simple, stylish and uncluttered and the seats are supportive and comfortable. There’s also plenty of nice touches, such as multiple power outlets and USB connections.

Entry level models have a 1.5-litre, 127 kW engine with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto while mid-spec models up get the new 2.0-litre, 188kW engine with a 9-speed auto, which will also power the next generation Commodore. High-spec LTZ and LTZ-V get the option of a selectable AWD system as well.

Performance of both engines is much stronger than their capacities would suggest, and the entry level 1.5 is a real surprise. Handling, ride, interior noise, and general refinement are at the pointy end of the class, thanks in no small part to the locally-developed steering and suspension tune.

With prices starting at $27,990, Equinox undercuts most of the other offerings in the segment.

Fast facts

LS

  • 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine
  • 6-speed automatic/manual transmission
  • Six airbags
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Rear view camera and rear park assist
  • Automatic headlamps with LED DRLs
  • Active Noise Cancellation (auto only)
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7-inch touch-screen
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto phone projection
  • Full iPod® integration including Siri Eyes Free
  • USB input (X4) and charge point (X2)

LS+ features over LS

  • Holden Eye forward facing camera system
  • 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
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Automatic high beam assist
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Power folding exterior mirrors

LT features over LS+

  • 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine
  • 9-speed automatic transmission
  • 18-inch alloys
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 8-inch touch-screen
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto phone projection
  • Full iPod® integration including Siri Eyes Free
  • Satellite Navigation with full colour mapping with live traffic updates
  • Heated front seats
  • Front parking sensors
  • Dual zone climate control
  • HID headlights

LTZ features over LT

  • 19-inch alloys
  • Hands-free power tailgate
  • Advanced park assist
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Leather-appointed seating
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Roof rails
  • DAB+
  • LED headlights and tail-lights
  • Bose® premium audio system
  • LED headlights
  • Power driver’s seat
  • Adaptive AWD system (optional)

LTZ-V features over LTZ

  • Dual-panel panoramic sunroof
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Power passenger seat with memory
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Adaptive AWD system (standard)