EQUINOX RISES TO SHAKE UP THE SUVS
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The range comprises vehicles that are more than just South Korean cheapies or outdated arrivals from overseas.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.