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First Drive: 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV – An Affordable, Long Range Option

by | May 30, 2024

Chevrolet’s line-up of battery-electric vehicles is about to get larger with the launch of the new 2024 Equinox EV. The compact crossover has plenty of features that could win over EV skeptics, including a price coming in at under $30,000, reasonably good performance and range of up to 319 miles. Here’s our review.

2025 Chevrolet Equinox in RS trim. Each trim level has a different fascia.

The Chevrolet Equinox is about to get an electrified sibling

Among full-line automakers, perhaps none has made a more serious commitment to electrify its line-up than General Motors. While its EV roll-out may be a bit slower than once planned, it still intends to go all-electric by 2035. And the Chevrolet brand is leading the charge.

The bow-tie brand last year introduced both the Blazer EV and a work truck trim of the Silverado EV – with retail versions of the pickup now rolling into U.S. showrooms. They’ll share space with the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV.

I got a chance to check out the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox earlier this month and found it to be not only pleasant to drive but, to my mind, even a bit more fun to tool around in than the bigger Chevrolet Blazer.

A critical addition

The Chevrolet Equinox EV is a critical piece in GM’s Ultium puzzle

The electric version of the familiar Equinox could be a critical addition to the Chevy line-up. Compact SUVs make up the largest segment in the U.S. market, accounting for more than one in four new vehicles sold so far this year.

But that’s not the only thing the new EV has going for it. It’s quick, it offers notably better range than many competing products and with a price tag that can go as low as $27,495 — after factoring in federal tax credits – it’s one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market, costing barely half of what the average EV went for last month.

Equinox EV will be offered in a variety of trim packages, from a base, single-motor front-wheel-drive version to a sportier, twin-motor all-wheel-drive model. Four FWD packages are now available in U.S. showrooms. Other packages, including the base 1LT FWD and all-wheel-drive versions, will come to market later this year.

Ultium tech

The Equinox EV benefits from the latest version of GM’s Ultium technology and is built on a skateboard-like platform

All versions of the Equinox EV use GM’s new Ultium technology, starting with a skateboard-like platform that is shared with models ranging from the Chevy Blazer EV to the Cadillac Lyriq. The electric Equinox is longer than the gas-powered Chevy sharing its name – and barely a half-foot shorter than the Blazer EV.

And by moving the wheels further out towards the corners, that translates into an unexpectedly roomy cabin, especially if you’re sitting in the back seat. The cargo bay is also quite large, as the accompanying image reveals.

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The Equinox EV’s design has alot in common with its gasoline-powered counterpart


The Equinox EV looks a lot like the gas-powered crossover – at least from a casual perusal. But there are some key differences, starting with a sealed grille highlighted by a light bar that runs corner to corner, just below the hood. The silhouette reveals a large C-pillar where the gas model has a rear half-window. And, depending upon the trim package, the Equinox EV will be offered with two-tone paint, optional white on the LT, black on the RS.

The sealed grille is one of the steps Chevy designers took to reduce range-stealing wind drag. Among other things, Equinox EV also gets flush door handles.

The Ultium platform the crossover rides on is a skateboard design, with motors and batteries mounted below the load floor. So, while gas and electric versions of the Equinox will have roughly the same dimensions, the nose of the battery model will be shorter, with overhangs pushed to the corners. That will mean improved cargo and passenger space. (Chevy officials have declined to comment, yet, about whether the Equinox EV will get a Tesla-style “frunk,” or front trunk.

Inside, the electric model will be roomier and a bit more high-tech than the gas model, with a digital gauge cluster and, depending upon the trim and options, up to a 17.7” edge-to-edge infotainment display. Expect features including onboard navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, also dependent upon trim.

Range, power, and charging

Range and performance will be key Equinox EV selling points

Where buyers can choose from three different battery pack options with the bigger Blazer EV, there will be two for Equinox EV. With single-motor models, you’ll get up to 319 miles range, the twin-motor Equinox EV packages dropping to a still-reasonable 285 miles per charge. That’s better than a number of competing battery-electric vehicles.

And charging times are reasonably quick. Using the base, 11.5 kW Level 2 charger the crossover will add 34 miles per hour. An upgraded 19.2 kW charger takes that to 51 miles per hour. Meanwhile, plug into one of the newest public quick chargers at up to 150 kW, and it adds 70 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes.

Two different drivetrain packages will be offered. With front-wheel-drive, Equinox EV uses a single electric motor producing 213 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The optional eAWD system will add a second motor on the back axle, the combination delivering 290 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the gas-powered Equinox makes 170 hp and 203 lb-ft from its turbocharged 1.5-liter engine.

The twin-motor Equinox EV can launch from 0-60 in just under 6 seconds. For those who want serious performance, the bigger Blazer will probably be the BEV of choice. It will be offered in a novel three different configurations, front-, rear- and AWD, and the SS package gives meaning to the name Blazer. At 557 horsepower, it will hit 60 in under 4 seconds, Chevy claims.

Driving impressions

The Equinox EV sacrifices a frunk to house the EV powertrain. Buyers will have to use the rear loading area for their gear

There are plenty of motorists who’ve yet to spend time behind the wheel of an EV. If you’re wondering what it’s like for the most part, the Equinox EV drives much like its gas-powered sibling. Where it differs is largely a plus.

Even the single-motor version has more horsepower and torque, and power comes on all but instantaneously due to the nature of electric motors. But there’s nothing herky or jerkey here. The electric crossover’s drivetrain delivers smooth, linear power in a way that’s easy to get used to.

A plus is the standard One-Pedal driving function. Turn it on and you can effectively use the throttle alone to both accelerate and decelerate – much like downshifting a manual transmission several gears except you can come to a complete stop in One-Pedal Mode. I found I rarely used the brake pedal as I traveled a long and circuitous route including urban, suburban, and freeway legs. The “High” setting was especially useful in stop-and-go traffic though I preferred the normal setting in other situations.

Unlike the oddly unnatural steering feel I’ve experienced in many new EVs, especially lower-priced models, the Equinox EV has a reasonably natural feel with a good amount of road feel. And despite the EVs roughly 5,000-lb heft, it felt far lighter while being driven.

Chevy did a good job of adding conventional controls for frequently used functions, such as climate and audio, reducing the amount of time I had to take my eyes off the road.

High-tech features

Driving an EV can take a bit of learning, especially if it’s operating in “One-Pedal” mode. It’s a bit like downshifting a manual transmission several gears, which lets you speed up or slow down simply by modulating the throttle. But rather than revving up the engine, One-Pedal simply increases the amount of energy that’s “regenerated,” and sent back to the battery when you coast. You can even come to a complete stop without hitting the brakes in many situations.

The Equinox EV will offer an array of advanced driver assistance systems – again, depending upon trim. And that includes GM’s hands-free Super Cruise. The automaker recently announced it will double the range on which Super Cruise can operate, to around 700,000 miles. That will include not only freeways and divided highways but numerous undivided two-lane roads, such as portions of California’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway.

Pricing and availability

The Equinox EV will arrive with a value-focused pricing ladder

The 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV is, for now, the most affordable of the General Motors battery-electric vehicles – though the reborn Chevy Bolt EV is expected to undercut it by several thousand dollars when it arrives for the 2026 model year.

The base 1LT FWD Equinox EV will start at $34,995 – but that drops to $27,495 after factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit available for qualified battery-electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the 1LT trim won’t be available until later this year – nor will all-wheel-drive versions. In the meantime, several other front-wheel-drive packages are now rolling into U.S. showrooms. Note that the prices, below, don’t include either the federal tax credits or $1,395 in delivery fees:

  • 2LT FWD starting at $43,295
  • 2RS FWD starting at $44,795
  • 3LT FWD starting at $45,295
  • 3RS FWD starting at $46,795


Equinox EV might be the game changer that Chevrolet and GM need to accelerate their EV plans

Chevy clearly hopes that Equinox EV will be, in brand chief Scott Bell’s words, “a game-changer.”

While that may be a stretch, if my first ride in the new battery-electric vehicle is any indication, it certainly is an important new entry. It’s unexpectedly roomy, offers good value, and can be had for less than $30,000, a big development in an EV market where the typical product cost $55,242 last month, according to Cox Automotive.

The big question is whether General Motors has everything nailed down. Its rollout of Ultium-based EVs has been troubled from the start. The first model, the Cadillac Lyriq was plagued by software and battery issues, as well as supplier problems that resulted in very low production volumes for nearly a year after launch. The Chevrolet Blazer EV was troubled enough to require a months-long stop-sale order. And the rollout of retail versions of the Chevy Silverado EV was months behind schedule. Indeed, plans originally called for Equinox EV to be on sale last autumn.

Of course, a slow rollout is better than delivering faulty products. Chevy – and GM – officials insist they’ve worked through the early issues and are bringing Equinox EV to market only now when they’re confident it’s bug-free. Based on my initial drive, that appears to be the case. And buyers looking for an affordable, roomy, reasonably long-range EV now have reason to check it out.


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