We test-drove a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV through picturesque Kentucky.
All business, still fun.
By Hope S. Philbrick
When driving the sharpest-looking car in the lot, it’s easy to find even if you forget where you parked.
I learned that lesson recently, while test-driving a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox on a business trip through Kentucky.
Focused on the full roster of back-to-back meetings my colleagues and I packed into two days, I sometimes rushed into a building without taking a clear mental picture of exactly where I’d parked. After the meeting, I’d stroll out of the building, start looking for my own car, remember it was in the garage at home, and then scan the lot for the Cajun Red beauty that Chevrolet let me borrow for this trip. There the compact SUV stood in plain view, proudly gleaming in the sun or shining in the rain, easy to spot as long as I remembered what I was driving.
When my husband and I go car shopping, “red” is typically on our “not interested” list of color options. But the Cajun Red tintcoat of this Chevy Equinox was love at first sight that grew truer over my four-day relationship with the vehicle. The color shifts with nature’s mood from red to burgundy; each nuanced shade handsomely offsets the car’s stylish chrome accents. I’m no fan of black interiors—they show off every speck of dust and get too hot (though the ventilated seat cooling option eliminates that concern)—but I was won over by the Cajun Red.
My colleagues at FoodieTravelUSA.com and I had meetings scheduled across the state, and Kentucky proved to be ideal for a test drive. The route passed through rolling fields of bluegrass, horse farms, historic towns, vibrant cities, busy streets, gravel roads, tight parking garages, expansive highways, and more. The whole way, the ride was smooth plus felt safe and luxurious.
We squeezed a conference call between face-to-face meetings and all piled into the Chevy Equinox to dial our client. The Bluetooth technology worked seamlessly and the sound quality on the call was superior to our standard conference line.
“There’s an electrical plug back here,” one colleague reported from the back seat. The vehicle also has Wi-Fi, so keeping productive on a road trip is easy in the Chevy Equinox. Just plug in your laptop, surf onto the Internet and you’ll barely skip a beat.
“The back seat is so spacious!” another colleague said. (Later, when alone, I confirmed that fact when I needed to quickly change from business to casual clothes. There was plenty of space! Shaded windows added a feeling of privacy though of course I’d first verified that nobody was around my strategically chosen parking spot.)
The car proved to function GREAT for business travel. It’s arguably outfitted with more state-of-the-art, cutting-edge high tech than my home office: If I had it sitting in my driveway I’d use it like a conference room, heading out to the car whenever I needed to use the phone.
Keeping my phone at full charge was as easy as setting it down on the wireless charging pad. During the entire four-day trip, I never once had to unpack my charge cord.
All of our luggage could easily fit into the back cargo space; a hidden space between the cargo floor and the spare tire storage area is a great place to hide valuables out of view.
To navigate from place to place, I used the turn-by-turn guidance system with OnStar activation—I could call a live operator or a computerized system to get directions sent directly to my car. It started to feel like I had a personal car butler on stand by; when I called for directions to a hotel one gal asked if I also needed her to make a reservation, so I can see how it would be easy to get hooked on convenience and feel like a pampered princess. It’s also possible to project your favorite smartphone mapping app onto the car’s computer screen via the myChevrolet app, but this car’s tech was so advanced compared to my own car (which now feels like driving around in a tin can by comparison) that I didn’t have time to master everything in this trip. Next time, my goal is to figure that out.
SiriusXM provided easy entertainment, though I could also tap into news updates on installed apps including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Weather Channel and more.
The car and I spent so much quality time together that whenever I pulled over to appreciate any sights, it sort of felt like I was introducing my new friend to Kentucky. And oh, what sights we saw! From the state capitol building in Frankfort to the Louisville Slugger museum in Downtown Louisville, the newest hottest restaurant in Bardstown (Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar) to the hottest restaurant in Georgetown (Local Feed), from the birthplace of the bourbon ball (Rebecca Ruth Candies in Frankfort) to the newest chocolatier (Art Eatables in Louisville), from the Old Friends horse farm (in Georgetown) to the Kentucky Horse Park (in Georgetown & Lexington), and beyond.
I shall remember you fondly, Cajun car. Let the good times roll as you find new roads (and drivers).
Favorite Features: Chevy Equinox
During our drive, these are the features that we discovered and liked best…
- Smooth ride!
- Super comfortable seats! (Driver 8-way power with 2-way power lumbar)
- Soft leather steering wheel
- Leather seats with cooling (and heating) technology
- Wi-Fi + wireless charging pad
- Edison electrical plugs
- Keyless open & start
- Rear vision camera; surround vision
- Rear park assist
- Side blind zone alert
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Large cargo space that’s easy to expand with the push of a button!
- Lane keep assist with lane departure warning
- The driver’s seat shakes if the car’s safety sensors detect the vehicle is too close to something
- There’s also a myChevrolet Mobile App that turns your mobile device into a virtual command center (start and stop your vehicle, lock and unlock doors, activate the horns and lights, send parking reminders and more)
The sticker price of the 2018 Equinox FWD Premier 2.0T that we test drove is $36,885. Fuel economy is listed as 29 mpg highway/22 mpg city.
- Read about our Chevy Tahoe test drive.
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Chevrolet for lending me the 2018 Equinox FWD Premier 2.0T.