It manufactured in Mexico and now sits in a different category – medium SUV.
Well, as mentioned the Equinox is visually more appealing. The more up to date SUV shape and elongated body replace the rounded off features of the uninspiring Captiva.
It tries to be more luxury-esque in its design, with the rear quarter window, Equinox lettering down the side panel and, in this case, sophisticated grey paint in a similar vein to a Jeep or Land Rover……almost.
The cabin is rather basic in the Holden Equinox LT with plenty of hard, black plastic, although it doesn’t look cheap and has decent fit and finish.
It’s just that it’s plain without any exciting characteristics.
The seats are dressed a grey, durable-looking fabric and the front seats are heated to warm your tush, and the headrests are nicely constructed.
The rear seats fold flat and I mean properly flat. The seat base shifts forward as you fold the backs down to allow them to sit horizontal. A set of quick release latches are also located in the boot.
Speaking of the rear seat backs, they are made more comfortable with a depression in the middle.
Despite the lacklustre interior, technology and other features are not in short supply.
The centre touchscreen possesses Holden MyLink with sat-nav and vision from the reverse camera.
The driver gets push button start, an electric park brake, dual climate control, auto wipers and lights, a 4” colour driver info display with features like a compass.
Dashboard and switchgear design and layout differ slightly from the status quo or other brands, even varying from Holden model to model.
You also get a very large bin with a light in centre floor console to store all your junk – one of the bigger I’ve even seen in a car this size.
Still on space and the boot is adequate, not too big, not too small and passed my pram test.
Drive and Engine
Generally the Equinox was quite sprightly, which came as a surprise.
There was a good deal of vitality from the 2.0L turbo engine and pushed out decent power with a hint of overstraining.
The nine-speed, yes nine, sports automatic gearbox caused no issue though you may get a little tired shifting through all those gears if you switch to manual mode.
Fuel economy came in at around 10.5L/100km which is satisfactory for a mid-sized petrol SUV.
Safety features are more than adequate in the mid-spec LT, equipped with AEB, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.
Front and rear sensors are paired with the reverse camera and together with the driver assist systems, make low speed manoeuvres and parking a breeze.
But the real surprise is a unique feature in the base of the driver’s seat. The seat vibrates when the sensors detect an obstacle or imminent collision, doing the regular job of audible beeps.
The safety seat alert is something I’ve never seen in this grade of vehicle and may come as a rude shock to some or maybe a pleasurable experience for others; I’m not one to judge.
- Improved design
- Lively drive
- Seats fold down flat
- Vibration alert in seat
Not so good bits
- Bland interior
The Holden Equinox is a vast improvement on the Captiva but is still missing that x-factor that will see it stand on the podium with its tough rivals in this competitive segment.
At $36,990 for the LT, it’s not a costly proposition but you may find more value for your dollar in other models on the market.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Holden Equinox LT
- Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo petrol 188kW/353Nm
- Transmission: Nine-speed sports automatic
- Warranty: 3 Yrs/100,000km
- Safety: Five Stars
- Origin: Mexico
- Price: From $36,990