A Little Bit of Rally, Not Much Sport


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A Little Bit of Rally, Not Much Sport
chevrolet equinox Full Overview


  • Great passenger room
  • Good handling
  • Decently equipped



  • Laggy and weak engine
  • Tiny cargo area
  • Slow transmission

Throughout Chevrolet’s history, the Rallye Sport (or RS trim) has always essentially been an appearance package, but it was used on vehicles that at least had some performance. Expanding the RS brand across the company’s offerings has cheapened the name a bit, but putting it on the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS really reveals how disappointing it can be. Sure, you get a sharper-looking body and selectable all-wheel drive, but you get it with the anemic 1.5-liter turbo I-4 engine and less sporting six-speed automatic transmission. Although the little crossover SUV handles well from the factory as a modern vehicle should, the engine and transmission bring back memories of turbo lag and long shifts that aren’t what you expect today.

The Good

Let’s start with the positive parts about the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS, because if you’re willing to ignore the weak engine and slow-shifting six-speed, the Equinox is a competent little SUV. It has plenty of passenger room, comfortable seats, and a decent standard setup. Outside, you get LED lights all around, including the headlights, plus a power liftgate. Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels in Dark Android come as part of the RS package. You also get black roof rails, window surrounds, black “Bow Ties” and badging, and the unique RS grille. Combine all this with the Cherry Red paint our test vehicle wore, and the Equinox is a good-looking vehicle. The interior is still all Equinox but features RS touches like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an “RS” red-badged shifter, and contrasting red stitching.

Our 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS test vehicle boasted the optional RS Leather package, which includes a Bose premium seven-speaker system and Jet Black RS leather seats (with red stitching), and the optional Infotainment package, which includes a heated steering wheel, USB data ports in the center console and bin, and a 120-volt outlet. It also included the Infotainment 3 Plus package, which delivers an 8.0-inch HD touch screen with functionality for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, the Advanced Safety package included HD Surround Vision, heated outside mirrors, and adaptive cruise control. Everything found in those packages is a can’t-miss item, especially the surround vision, which makes parking so much easier. Not only do you get front and rear cameras, but you also get a top-down view that allows you to make sure you’re not parking too close to other vehicles or a curb.

The only oddball was the adaptive cruise control, which worked well most of the time. But sometimes it behaved aggressively and followed other vehicles quite closely, even when dialed to the maximum following distance. Other times, it decided to not be aggressive enough when set to its closest distance. It seemed to behave its best with taller vehicles such as box trucks, big rigs, and midsize SUVs; it tailgated much more when dealing with anything smaller than a midsize sedan.

Running the Numbers

From a standstill, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS didn’t get going well until about 2,500 rpm, and its long 4.58:1 first gear seemed to hold on forever. The shifting felt a little better once out of first gear, but we managed a best 0-60-mph time of only 8.9 seconds. If you loved the feeling of turbo lag from your childhood, you’re going to feel right at home.

Then there’s the Equinox RS’ gas mileage: 25/30/27 mpg city/highway/combined ratings. Those numbers fall a bit short compared to the 2022 Honda CR-V AWD and 2022 Toyota RAV4 AWD. The CR-V is also equipped with a 1.5-liter turbo I-4 but delivers 27/32/29 mpg, while the RAV4’s larger 2.5-liter I-4 gets 25-27/33-34/28-30, depending on trim. The Chevy’s six-speed automatic just isn’t a great match for its engine, whereas the Honda uses a CVT and the RAV4 gets two additional gears (it comes with an eight-speed automatic). The two competitors also produce quicker 0-60-mph times, with the RAV4 getting to highway speed in 8.0 seconds and the CR-V needing 7.8 seconds.

Reasonable Handling

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS’ engine and transmission frustrations are amplified when you realize the Equinox is an otherwise reasonably fun vehicle to drive. Its suspension damping is a bit harsh for making quick turns into steep entryways, something we encounter frequently in Southern California. Barring that, it’s enjoyable to drive with some aggression on twisting, winding roads.

Driving at night, the Equinox gives you confidence with not only its handling but also the field of view it provides, as the LED lights offer plenty of forward and side vision for tight corners. Its automatic high-beams also work wonderfully and can distinguish between most bright driveway and house lights versus car headlights. It’s all fun until you need to stop or pull out of an aggressively tight corner—if you allow the engine to fall below 2,500 rpm, the 1.5 turbo lags, and the transmission doesn’t downshift aggressively enough to get the four-cylinder out of its dead zone.

Less Reasonable Storage

Forget about the engine and transmission, though. More disappointing is the Equinox’s limited cargo room. With the rear seats up, you only have 29.9 cubic feet of cargo area, which isn’t much. Hauling a 20x24x24 box unfolded required us to drop the rear seats to gain another 34 cubic feet (69.9 total when they are down), which isn’t surprising. But the Chevrolet Equinox’s main all-wheel-drive competitors offer more capacity with their seats folded up, as the 2022 Honda CR-V has 33.2 cubic feet and the 2022 Toyota RAV4 37.5.

Should You Buy It?

Overall, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS AWD is a great-driving crossover SUV that’s held back by its small yet thirsty and laggy engine, slow transmission, and relatively small amount of cargo room. Yes, it provides a fun driving experience, but that doesn’t put it above the Honda CR-V AWD and Toyota RAV4 AWD.

SPECIFICATIONS 2022 Chevrolet Equinox RS AWD
BASE PRICE $33,345
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 1.5L Turbo direct-injected DOHC 16-valve I-4
POWER (SAE NET) 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 203 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,519 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 107.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 183.1 x 72.6 x 65.4 in
0-60 MPH 8.9 sec
QUARTER MILE 16.9 sec @ 82.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 125 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.6 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA RANGE, COMB 421 miles

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