EQUINOX RISES TO SHAKE UP THE SUVS

Weekend Courier - - Driveway - Paul & Ali Glover

THE Holden Equinox is more than just a re­place­ment for the unloved Cap­tiva. It is, in com­mon with the ZB Com­modore, a key part of Holden’s switch to a fully im­ported line-up.

The range com­prises ve­hi­cles that are more than just South Korean cheap­ies or out­dated ar­rivals from overseas. THE PICK-UP

ALI: This looks new and nice, but I don’t recog­nise the name. I guess it's a re­place­ment for the Cap­tiva but what’s the back­story?

PAUL: The Equinox is a Chevro­let from the US but built in Mex­ico. There has been some lo­cal devel­op­ment work. We’re in the flag­ship LTZ-V with a huge amount of safety gear, a 2.0-litre turbo en­gine with on-de­mand four-wheel drive and lots of luxury.

ALI: I think it looks a like a Ssangy­ong at the back but I’m guess­ing Holden has other tar­gets.

PAUL: The Mazda CX-5 is the ob­vi­ous one, plus the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tuc­son. THE BAG­GAGE

ALI: I’m lik­ing all the fancy tech but the heated steer­ing wheel is kinda use­less for Aus­tralia.

PAUL: Ven­ti­lated front seats are good with cool air in hot weather.

ALI: I like the idea of open­ing the tail­gate by wav­ing your foot un­der the bumper but it didn’t al­ways work. It felt as if I needed both my feet un­der there.

PAUL: Those set-ups are fid­dly. I’ve never found one that works all the time but I’ve got no other com­plaints.

ALI: The au­dio pumps, Blue­tooth con­nec­tion is sim­ple and the sat­nav is easy to use. THE COM­MUTE

PAUL: I’m not re­ally sur­prised that it drives so well, with com­pli­ant sus­pen­sion and good punch from the en­gine. I don’t like the 353Nm of torque that has the steer­ing tug­ging. I also don’t like the car wan­der­ing, when it’s sup­posed to be on-de­mand four-wheel drive. ALI: It didn’t worry me. PAUL: So, for once I come out as the lead­foot but it’s not good when you have torque steer in a car that’s an im­pres­sive drive in most ways.

ALI: It doesn’t guz­zle fuel as much as I thought. I love the alerts that vi­brate the seat. THE SHOP­PING

ALI: The turn­ing cir­cle is aw­ful. It makes park­ing in small spots a lit­tle tricky. But the rear cam­era is clear and I like the park­ing as­sis­tance.

PAUL: It’s loaded with driver as­sis­tance. The nine-speed auto is re­ally smooth in traf­fic or just idling around in shop­ping cen­tre, al­though I'd still like some shift pad­dles. SUN­DAY RUN

ALI: I didn’t get to do a long run this week but hills are a breeze and so is mo­tor­way driving. I would be more than happy to take this car away for a longer drive as the seats can be in­di­vid­u­ally po­si­tioned in the back and the fronts are comfy.

PAUL: It’s not a sports car but it drives well. It’s up there with the Tuc­son and Sportage for sus­pen­sion con­trol and quiet­ness. It’s an­other job done well by Holden. THE FAM­ILY

PAUL: It works for me, from the com­fort in the seats to the safety gear.

ALI: We stashed a heap of bikes and scoot­ers in this one. It’s got heaps of space. THE TICK

ALI: It’s one to run against the CX-5 and that means it gets The Tick.

PAUL: We can get on with SUV life in a car that is well worth The Tick.

The Holden Equinox.

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