Review: 2024 Chevy Equinox EV delivers 300 miles for under $40k

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The 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV is one of this year’s most important new electric vehicles. Nominally a compact crossover SUV with 285 to 319 miles of EPA-estimated range, it’s priced competitively, with prices starting at $43,295 (including a mandatory $1,395 delivery fee). 

And an entry-level trim starting at $34,995 remains promised for “later this year.”

The front-wheel-drive Chevy Equinox EV (319 miles, $43,295) effectively equals the Tesla Model Y Long Range RWD (320 miles, $46,630) on range but undercuts it slightly on price. As of now, every version of both cars qualifies for the $7,500 EV tax credit—now a point-of-sale purchase rebate for eligible buyers. NOTE: EV powerhouse Tesla alters its specs and prices so often that you should confirm this for yourself. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Equinox EV is “normal” for mass market

Crucially, the electric Equinox has few of the peculiarities that can make EVs seem foreign to first-time shoppers. Its controls are largely conventional, including a stalk for the windshield wipers, and knobs or switches for climate control and audio volume. Regenerative braking and one-pedal driving are built in, but you can dispense with them entirely to make the Equinox EV drive as if it had a conventional torque-converter automatic transmission. On the downside, it forgoes a front trunk—a wasted opportunity, since the included portable charging cord lives deep under the rear cargo bay, meaning all luggage must be removed to retrieve it.

All this differentiates Chevy’s smallest EV from the Tesla Model Y—which last year was not just the world’s best-selling EV but its most popular single vehicle by sales. Other small-SUV EV competitors include the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Nissan Ariya, and Volkswagen ID.4

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

The Equinox EV has been a long time coming, and it’s meant to be Chevy’s highest-volume EV. Its projected 2023 arrival is why Bolt EV production ended last year, according to GM. 

The ensuing—and humiliating—12-to-18-month delay in getting Ultium vehicles into production wasn’t due to problems at GM’s cell plants, but a vendor’s inability to provide reliable, high-speed automated machinery to assemble large, complex Ultium battery modules. With Blazer EV, Silverado EV, and (front-wheel-drive) Equinox EV models now arriving at GM dealers, those problems seem to be in the rear-view mirror—permanently, GM hopes.

We spent a day and more than 100 miles with two Equinox EVs in mid-May, and found ourselves impressed. Most of our time was in an LT model with front-wheel drive; we also drove an AWD version briefly. By the time you read this review, most Chevy dealers should have Equinox EVs in stock.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Equinox EV sizes up compact—again

Chevy may call the Equinox EV a “compact crossover” SUV. That segment is the largest single piece of the U.S. market, accounting for 1 in 4 vehicles sold (more than midsize SUVs or full-size pickups), but the Equinox EV is large for the segment. Versus a gasoline Equinox (the two share no structure), the electric Equinox is about 8 inches longer (at 191 inches), 12 inches wider (85 inches with mirrors out), and the same height (65 inches). Its 116-inch wheelbase is about 9 inches longer. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID.4 are about 8 inches and 11 inches shorter, respectively. But the “compact” Equinox offers substantial interior room front and rear, along with a flat floor for rear-seat riders.

We like the styling of the Equinox EV more than that of the bigger Blazer EV. The Chevy “brow” and bowtie remain at the front, but the smoothly sculpted sides avoid unusual creases or accent lines. The rear has a sleek, full-width light dividing the ducktail liftgate, but it all somehow works. We didn’t get a coefficient of drag, but this is an entirely normal-looking crossover SUV—and we found it handsome at that. We were quite taken by our test car’s Galaxy Grey metallic paint; it has a hint of pink or lilac, for a striking hue that was appealing and distinctive. (Yes, you can get predictable, boring silver if you prefer.)

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Inside, the standard Chevrolet suite of digital instrument cluster in front of the driver and central touchscreen for driver and front passenger defines the cabin width. Chevy’s comparison sheet specifically notes its center screen is larger (17.7 inches) than that of the Tesla Model Y (15.4 inches). The Model Y has no instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, while the Chevy cluster is 11.1 inches.

Our 2LT test car had a largely gray and black interior, with accents in blue and silver matte trim that livened up the color scheme a bit. The low, wide screens underscored the horizontal dash, which had two large outboard eyeball vents (but, oddly, two rectangular ones in the center).

Equinox EV performance: No kick in the kidneys

All versions of the Equinox EV are powered by an Ultium battery pack, which GM says has 85 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity. Its NMCA cells come from joint-venture GM-LG cell plants. Two of those plants (Lordstown, Ohio, and Spring Hill, Tennessee) are now up and running, with a third in Lansing, Michigan, now under construction. 

The permanent-magnet motor that powers the front wheels in every Equinox EV is rated at 157 kilowatts (213 horsepower) and 236 pound-feet of torque, with 0-to-60-mph acceleration quoted at 8.0 seconds. If you want all-wheel drive, buyers can add an induction motor powering the rear axle, for a combined power of 212 kw (288 hp) and 333 lb-ft of torque, That cuts 2 seconds off the quoted 0-to-60-mph acceleration, but it knocks 34 miles off the rated EPA range, taking it from 319 to 285 miles. That’s still higher than most competitors but below the magic 300-mile mark.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Still, the FWD Equinox EV’s highest range of 319 miles equals the RWD Model Y Long Range (320 miles), with the Ioniq 5, Ariya, and ID.4 trailing behind at 291 to 304 miles. On the road in a FWD 2LT model, our rough observations suggested Chevrolet’s remaining-range estimator was accurate: Covering 102 miles reduced the indicated range by 106 miles—and it took battery capacity from 98 percent to 66 percent. Chevy suggests these ranges will let drivers treat it “like a tank of gas,” meaning they won’t have to plug in every day in average usage.

Acceleration is quick enough to keep up with most traffic, though the accelerator is far from hair-trigger: You need to ask for the extra oomph to get it, and you won’t get the kick-in-the-kidneys experience here. The AWD model is somewhat quicker, though not substantially so, and we noticed some torque steer in it that was entirely absent from the FWD version. 

The electric Equinox is about 1,600 pounds heavier than the gasoline version of the same name. That and its long wheelbase make it smooth and confident on the road. The 38-foot turning circle is average for the category (though larger than the ID.4’s admirable 31.5 feet). The suspension is tuned for comfort, and roadholding was perfectly fine for any situation we put it through—bearing in mind Detroit has essentially no hills and very few curvy roads. We look forward to testing it more energetically in more varied terrain.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Chevy one-pedal driving has always been good, and Ultium EVs are no exception. An icon at the top of the touchscreen produces a box for “One Pedal Driving” set on “Normal”; tapping the icon again turns off regen entirely. But further action is needed to get to the strongest regen: a driver must tap the words “Set Level” in that box, then tap “High” on the dropdown that appears. This ought to be combined into a single popup window to lessen driver distraction.

Spacious, smooth, gets the details right

For a “compact” crossover SUV, the Equinox EV has considerable space inside—not just in front, but in the rear too. It has as much rear-seat legroom as some midsize gasoline SUVs, plus the flat rear floor that makes the center rear seat more tolerable in long-distance travel.

Sitting behind the wheel, the hood bevels downward, offering a good view of the road ahead. Raising the seat to get the driver’s shoulders above the window line helps too. Rear three-quarter vision is minimal, like most SUVs these days.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

The wide console offers two cupholders, a slot for pens, and plenty of space for all the other stuff passengers carry. There’s also a large storage tray on the floor underneath the upper part of the console; like most, it’s invisible when the interior plastics and carpet are black. The console itself, under the central armrest, is hinged to open toward the driver—inconvenient for front passengers.

A power icon on a small button sitting atop the center dash screen serves two functions: one tap mutes the audio volume, a second tap turns off the screen. 

Cargo volume is 26.4 cubic feet in the load bay behind the rear seat, and 57.2 cu ft with the rear seat backs folded down. Unlike some competitors, those in the Equinox EV fold all but flat, giving a long load floor that handles flat cargo. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Two Equinox EV trims, optional AWD

For the moment, the Equinox EV range is fairly simple. Shoppers can choose the standard LT or “more expressive” RS trim. Both are offered with standard front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive optional. Each trim has a “2” level and a “3” level, with a higher number indicating more standard and optional equipment at a higher price. Chevy says the base 1LT will arrive later this year.

The 2LT comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, a front LED light bar, roof rails, a power liftgate, heated front seats and steering wheel, power driver’s seat adjustment, and adaptive cruise control. Options include Super Cruise hands-free cruise control, and either a white-painted roof or a panoramic sunroof. The 2RS adds 21-inch wheels with lower-profile tires, a black-painted roof, a “flat-bottom” steering wheel, and other appearance items.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Moving up to the 3LT adds ventilation to the heated front seats, power adjustment to the front passenger seat, heated seats in the two outboard rear positions, dual-zone climate control, heated wiper parking, and 21-inch alloy wheels. The 3RS has similar appearance upgrades to the 2RS. 

While larger wheels often look better, we always suggest the ride may be better and drivers may get better range with the smaller wheels—if other EVs are anything to go by. (Chevy reps couldn’t tell us which wheels applied to the EPA range ratings.)

Unlike many EVs in this class, our Equinox EV 2LT model included a rear-window wiper—a standard feature on gasoline crossovers, but one often eliminated on their electric counterparts to reduce air drag. On the other hand, wireless phone charging does not appear to be available. Fitted with an optional hitch receiver, the Equinox EV can trailer up to 1,500 pounds. Chevy had no information on how that could affect its rated range.

A major option is the Super Cruise hands-free adaptive cruise control system, among the best we’ve tested. It’s an option on all trim levels (2LT, 2RS, 3LT, 3RS) at launch. We used it multiple times in our Equinox EV drive, and it performed exactly as promised—including automatic lane changes, when safe, that overtake slower traffic ahead and then (kudos!) move back to the right-hand lane after passing. The system comes with a 36-month free trial, after which it’s $25 per month to continue OnStar and Super Cruise connectivity.

Chevrolet Equinox EV

Chevrolet Equinox EV

No Apple CarPlay, and Google gatekeeping

This brings us to the elephant in the room. The Equinox EV does not offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. (GM staff emphasized Tesla also has never offered those features—without ever naming the other EV maker.) That pushes apps onto the vehicle’s system, using the vehicle’s data access—required separately—and GM reps couldn’t say who owns the data on drivers’ app usage, routing, destinations, song choices, and all the rest.

For this Android-using reporter, the navigation aspect proved somewhat less dire than expected. Apple fans who now rely on Apple Maps are pretty much out of luck.

In the Equinox EV, the built-in Google Assistant delivers navigation via Google Maps, integrating the battery state of charge. Like a Tesla, it will route the electric Equinox to a destination via fast-charging stations and precondition the battery before a charge when needed—and it tells drivers how long to stay and what state of charge will remain at their next stop. (Just as every Tesla has done for 10+ years.) We weren’t able to test the routing feature during our time with the Equinox EV. This feature will be free to owners for 8 years, perhaps more. GM reps suggested it hasn’t been decided if access will continue beyond then, or what it might cost afterward.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Range over efficiency?

Our drive route mixed rural Michigan roads and fast Interstate traffic up to 80 mph. Over 100 miles, we saw efficiency of about 3 miles per kwh. That’s not as high as some competitors, but buyers focus far more on range than efficiency—if they even know what a kilowatt-hour is. The 300-mile range number will be the one they care about. 

Like all Chevy EVs smaller than full-size trucks, the charge port door is found at the top of the left-front fender, just ahead of the driver’s door. The onboard charger of every Equinox EV is rated at 11.5 kw, meaning up to 36 miles of range added per charging hour. 

DC fast charging up to 150 kw comes via a CCS port, though a switch to the NACS port seems likely for future model years. At that rate, Chevy quotes “approximately 77 miles of range in 10 minutes,” but it has the good grace to note that number “varies” based on state of charge, charging-station power capability, ambient temperature, and other factors. Bidirectional charging for V2H emergency home backup is coming later.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

Equinox EV is competent overall, competitive on range and price

Overall, we found the Equinox EV not just competent, but better than expected and fully competitive. Its rated range equals that of a Tesla Model Y, at a slightly lower price, and we hope its navigation routes among charging stations as seamlessly as Tesla’s does. Importantly, it’s a new and fresh EV (which the Model Y no longer is) in the largest current segment: small crossover EVs. Chevrolet says it can build up to 150,000 of them a year, “if the demand is there.” 

The major hurdle for the electric Equinox may be the variable quality of the salespeople at Chevrolet’s “valued partners,” the independently owned and operated franchised dealerships. 

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

During our drive event, one Chevy exec said to media colleagues, “They told us this one has to be right, out of the gate.” We’d say the car has ticked that box. Let’s hope the way they’re sold—especially to the growing pool of EV-curious first-time shoppers—clears the same bar.


Chevrolet provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable Green Car Reports to bring you this first-person drive report. 

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