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2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV First Drive: A Home Run

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange
  • EPA Category: Compact SUV
  • Price: 48199 $ - 52399 $
  • Warranty: 3 years / 60000 km

strong / weak points

  • Smooth ride and good stability
  • Attractive price range, highly competitive in the segment
  • Impressive range
  • Attractive styling

  • Torque a little weak with FWD versions (for an EV)
  • Too many on-screen functions, including vehicle lights
  • Some cheap plastics inside
  • Most affordable variant comes only later
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Daniel Rufiange
With a maximum range of 513 km, the Chevy’s new Equinox EV eclipses its competitors by at least 100 km.

•    Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV.

Detroit, MI - This year has seen a slew of new electric models debut on the market, enough to nearly double the number of EVS available to car buyers. That's all well and good, but what many consumers are still waiting for are EVS that more affordable… and practical.

A Fiat 500e or a Mini Cooper SE coming in under $50,000 CAD this year is nice, but what the market needs is more offerings like Hyundai's Kona EV, a more practical model starting at $46,399. 

Chevrolet promised just such a model two years ago, and we’ve been waiting for it ever since. Along the way, the automaker turned heads with its announcement of a coming $35,000 (USD) Equinox EV. 

The newest EV from GM is finally here, about to hit dealerships. There’ll be a bit more of a wait for the most affordable variant, however. The good news is that even those variants being offered initially constitute a very interesting product. 

We’d even go so far as to say that Chevrolet has hit a home run with this new electric SUV. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV: What's new?

Chevrolet’s electric Equinox is based on General Motors’ Ultium platform, the electric structure that houses all of the auto giant’s current new electric models. Highly modular, it can serve a compact model like the Equinox just like it can the Silverado EV pickup, which we also tested in Detroit. 

To be clear, this Equinox EV has nothing whatsoever in common with the gas-powered model of the same name. Chevrolet simply decided to keep the name, because it’s one consumers recognize. It's the best strategy to adopt. 

That's debatable, but completely understandable. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Design of the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV - 9,0/10

One of the key elements in a vehicle's success is its design. If a product isn’t attractive, it might attract a handful of buyers happy for something different, but it will quickly hit a sales ceiling. 

The Equinox EV is attractive. Its sleek design and compact size give it more of a car vibe than an SUV one. At the front, the light signatures are slim and extend across the EV’s width, accentuating the vehicle's well-planted appearance. On the more-equipped LT variants and on the RS models, a luminous animation and an illuminated bar in the centre of the nose add a premium touch. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

19-inch wheels are standard, while aluminum wheels will be available with certain variants. It will also be possible to opt for a two-tone approach - a white roof with LT versions, black with RS models. 

Buyers can opt in a hands-free tailgate that detects the presence of the key.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Inside
The interior layout is dominated by combination of screens, including an 11-inch data cluster screen and a 17.7 multimedia/vehicle function display. Resolution is clear, menu navigation easy and user-friendly. You don't need a degree in car tech to understand everything. 

The seats are remarkably comfortable, which is always a plus for those who will do longer road trips. In the second row, headroom is remarkable for a compact SUV, the vehicle's electric architecture making possible a flat floor. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Cargo space can reach 1,614 litres with the second bench seat folded down. That's not much for the compact SUV class, but it’s worth noting that the Equinox EV is actually smaller than the traditional compact SUV. 

For EV buyers who need more space than this can offer, Chevrolet offers the Blazer EV. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Technology in the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV - 8.0/10

Technology has become a crucial element in new models, particularly electric one. There are two features here most worthy of attention: the integration of Google as a central reference for the multimedia system, and the availability of GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. 

With Google as your partner, you do of course have access to the well-known applications like Google Maps and Play Store, for example. But you lose out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto... from Google. It's going to take some getting used to for Apple users, but it's a gamble GM is willing to take, for reasons it has elaborated on at length in recent months. Time will tell if it's the right choice. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

As for the Super Cruise system, it is available starting in the 2LT version. By the end of 2025, it will be operational on 1.2 million km of roads and highways in the U.S. and Canada. That's far more than Ford can offer with its Blue Cruise system that works on 200,000 km of road. In fact, the consensus is that Super Cruise is second only to Tesla's AutoPilot when it comes to widely used systems. 

As for safety, we're all set, with standard features including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning with emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist and lane departure warning, automatic low beams, emergency braking in reverse, and adaptive cruise control, among others. 

And for those who might still be anxious about range with an electric vehicle, an app lets you know where charging stations are on the road, so you can plan your journeys accordingly. The system knows the location of 174,000 charging stations in Canada and the U.S. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Powertrain of the 2025 Chevrolet Equinox EV - 9.0/10

Each of the four versions offered initially - 2LT, 3LT, 2RS and 3RS - is delivered in front-wheel-drive configuration, but all-wheel drive is possible with the addition of a rear motor. 

A 1LT front-wheel-drive version will be sold in Canada later, as an entry-level model. Pricing in the U.S. for the 1LT is $34,995 USD. We can expect something in the region of $42,000 here. 

Battery size is 85 kWh. Power with front-wheel drive only is 213 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. This rises to 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque when the second motor and all-wheel drive are added. 

Chevrolet claims a 0-97 km/h time of 6.0 seconds with the two electric motors. This compares with 8.0 seconds for the single-motor, front-wheel-drive models. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

As for recharging, up to 150 kW of power is available from a fast-charging station. Chevrolet claims 124 km of range can be recovered in 10 minutes. At home, charging on a Level 2 terminal is possible at a maximum power of 11.5 kW, the capacity of the on-board charger.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Driving the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV - 8.5/10

Getting behind the wheel of the Equinox EV, the first thought that came to mind was: “This is going to sell”. The equation is simple. The SUV looks good, it has a range of over 500 km (so significantly more than the direct competition), its format is practical, its price is “reasonable” by today’s standard and its ride is smooth and comfort-oriented. 

The drive is nothing to get excited about, but there's nothing to dislike either. We did note that torque is weak with the base version for an electric model, but it's also adequate, and once you're on the move, acceleration is quite good. The weight of the vehicle is noticeable, but nowhere near that of the Chevrolet Blazer EV, for example, or of other oversized EVs we’re seeing these days. 

A reminder that this first contact was a short one; but what we did experience impressed us. And, above all, the range displayed always corresponded to the distance we actually drove, which is reassuring. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

Energy consumption
Obviously, the test drive was too short for us to amass meaningful energy use figures. We can tell you the claimed range of the front-wheel-drive versions is 513 km, which is very interesting. And there’s only a mild drop with the AWD configuration, to 459 km. 

One factor to watch out for when the opportunity arises is cold weather. We've already been promised by Chevrolet that the drop in such circumstances will be drastically less than it is at present with electric models. We’ll know more about that this coming winter. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV prices in Canada

Here's what the offer looks like at launch. Bear in mind that the entry-level 1LT version will be available in Canada towards the end of the year.  

  • - Chevrolet Equinox EV 2LT - $48,199
  • - Chevrolet Equinox EV 2RS - $49,999
  • - Chevrolet Equinox EV 3LT - $50,899
  • - Chevrolet Equinox EV 3RS - $52,399

The Equinox EV is of course eligible for all federal and provincial government EV discounts currently in effect. 

Frequently asked questions about the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

What is the real range offered by the Equinox EV?
Chevrolet claims a range of 513 km with front-wheel drive, and 459 km with all-wheel drive.

When will we see the promised sub-$40,000 version?
We'll have to wait until the end of the year. Canadian pricing has yet to be determined, but in the U.S., the price is $34,999 USD.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV | Photo: D.Rufiange

The final word
To return to the baseball analogy, Chevrolet hit the ball with the fat part of the bat with this Equinox EV. The model has everything to please. And when we say everything, we mean everything. It doesn't do anything extraordinary, but it does everything well. If the model proves reliable, and if Chevrolet can deliver it in sufficient numbers, success should follow. 

Competitors of the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

  • - Hyundai Kona EV
  • - Kia Niro EV
 
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists