Friday, June 21, 2024
First Reviews2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV First Drive: Finally!

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV First Drive: Finally!

The new all-electric 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV will be a hit


It’s been almost two years since Chevrolet first announced that it would market an electric version of its Equinox compact SUV. We’ve seen the model show up at multiple auto shows with the promise that its arrival was just around the corner.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

It’s finally here

What caught the imagination at the first unveiling was the announced price of US$35,000. We know how rare affordable electric vehicles are on the market.

Unsurprisingly, that won’t be quite the case, at least initially, as more expensive versions are suggested. The ball will start rolling at $48,199 in Canada. An entry-level version will follow, probably around $40,000 – $42,000. We’ll have to see how Chevrolet manages all this, as there will be a Bolt EUV in the medium term, a model that will sit below the Equinox EV in the range.

In short, there’s a lot to untangle. First things first, as the saying goes.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The versions

Let’s start with the variants that will be on the menu from the onset. The offer will begin with the 2LT version, priced at $48,199. This will be followed by the 2RS ($49,999), 3LT ($50,899) and 3RS ($52,399) versions. All will be delivered in front-wheel-drive configuration. Each can be fitted with a second (rear) electric motor for an all-wheel drive configuration, if desired, for an extra $3,500.

The big news is the arrival of the 1LT base variant. At around $40,000, it’s already a bargain. With government incentives, as long as they’re available, it’s going to be an excellent deal. And as you’ll see, when you measure the offer against that of the competition, it becomes even more obvious.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Note that between the LT and RS proposals, nothing changes under the structure; batteries, electric motor(s), suspension, etc. The styling is sportier with the LT and RS models. Styling is at its sportiest with the RS models, both inside and out. A two-tone approach is possible with both, white roof for LT variants, black for RS variants.

Range

Where the Equinox EV really shines is in its range – front-wheel-drive models deliver an estimated 513 km. This drops to 459 km with all-wheel drive, which is still superior to the competition.

And the price is very competitive. In short, it’s easy to see why you get more for your money with this Equinox EV. Its price tag, for example, is comparable to that of the Hyundai Kona EV. Although occupant space is similar between the two, the Equinox EV is compact, not sub-compact. Cargo space is more generous, and on the road, comfort levels are far superior with the Chevrolet, notably with more headroom in the second row.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

In terms of hardware, the model takes advantage of General Motors’ Ultium platform, which we’ll be seeing more and more of across GM’s still vast empire. The battery size is 85 kWh. Plugged into a fast-charging station, it can gobble up to 150 kW at a time, providing 124 km of range in 10 minutes. The on-board charger has a capacity of 11.5 kW for charging at home on a Level 2 terminal.

The horsepower figures are as follows: 213 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque for front-wheel-drive versions, 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque for all-wheel-drive versions. We only drove the former. Quite frankly, it’s very decent. The weakness lies in the torque output from not, where it is unimpressive for an electric model. However, the power kicks in quickly and progressively, so that for any overtaking or recovery, it’s more than generous.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

As for the all-wheel drive variant, this is the power offered with the base version of the Chevrolet Blazer, in a more compact and lighter envelope; there’s nothing to worry about, as evidenced by the announced 0-97 km/h time of 6.0 seconds. With front-wheel-drive models, the time is 8.0 seconds.

Behind the wheel

At the wheel, the first thing that crossed my mind was that consumers will love it. It’s smooth, it’s comfortable, and the range displayed on the dashboard is reassuring. The Equinox EV will sell, that’s for sure, because the list of arguments in its favor is long. Basically, for the same or even lower price, it offers some 100 km more range, without compromising on comfort or equipment.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Even the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, which will soon be activated on a total of 1.2 million kilometers of roads in Canada and the United States, will be available starting with the 2LT version.

Amenities vary with variants, of course, but from the lowest rung, 11.0″ and 17.7″ screens (instrument cluster and multimedia system) are standard, this time with Google integrated, which removes Apple CarPlay from the equation. Presentation is honest, seat comfort is good and rear occupants will love the flat floor and clearance. Cargo volume can reach 1,614 liters, with the second-row bench seat stowed. Some cheap plastics can be found here and there; it will be important to pay attention to them.

You’ll also have to get used to the fact that there’s no start button. You press the brake, shift to position D, and off you go.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

And there’s another problem: the headlights are activated or deactivated via the screen, as required. Of course, we can leave them on automatic, but what a blunder on the part of Chevrolet, which we first saw with the Colorado pickup!

Conclusion

Quite simply, Chevrolet has a diamond that requires little more than a polish. The Equinox EV looks good, is well laid out, offers the kind of range that reassures, and its format is the one preferred by roughly 25% of North American SUV buyers.

Unless it makes a monumental blunder, Chevrolet can’t go wrong with this product. It has everything going for it. Reliability will have to be there, however. Otherwise, get ready to see some Equinox EVs on the road, especially when the third of four Ultium battery manufacturing plants becomes operational in the fall, making battery supply less of an issue.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Advertisement

Trending Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.