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TaHoE Drives: 2005 Chevrolet Equinox LT
The Sweetest Chevy SUV...EVER!




The Compact SUV field is flooded with competitors, and as our old friends Tracker and Blazer can tell you, its a little too rough. With the Tracker and 4-Door Blazer being discontinued in 2005, Chevrolet needed a replacement and what a replacement they got, the 2005 Chevrolet Equinox. The Equinox is clearly top dog in its class, but can it hold up against tough competition from the CRV and the newest GMI Test Vehicle, the Saturn VUE Red Line?

Design
The Design of the Equinox is easily one of the most, if not, THE MOST, attractive SUVs to come out of Chevrolet's design complex. The strong bold lines, wide stance and very attractive wheel design help Equinox stand out among its class. The headlights are huge, but not unproportional. I would like to see all Chevy trucks go down this design path, with the Chevy crossbar intersecting into the lights, its a much more attractive design than the bland Full-Size line that they have right now. The Taillights are not ricey at all, as some may say. They are perfect for the Equinox and add even more tailored bruteness that the Equinox has.




Interior

The Interior I must say is easily one of Chevrolet's best. It combines design elements from the Saturn VUE and Chevrolet Malibu, but it gets best of both worlds. The leather seating surfaces are not bad, but they could be a little better. Dash materials are fit and finish are easily on par with others in its class. The HVAC switches have a confident snap ever time you turn them, letting you know exactly on which position they are. The shifter knob was very attractive and well placed. It is positioned similar to where the Vibe's shifter is, at the bottom of the center stack. This setup leaves room in between the seats for pass through room, or for a huge storage unit in between the seats. One thing I couldn't stand is the window switches being mounted under the shift lever. The placement isn't logical, but I am sure owners will get used to it immediately.

Power/Handling

Power is good. Its not horrible, its not amazing, its good. It takes you where you want to go, in very good time. The 3.4 is a decent engine, but it still puzzles me why they don't offer the 3.5 V6 in the Equinox. For only .1L increase in displacement you get 20 more horses, something that would definitely add to the Equinox's appeal. Hopefully they will make the 3500 available in the base LT spec and standard on the fully loaded version that I tested. Rumors are that the Equinox SS will receive either the 3500 or the Supercharged 3400, I hope its the latter.


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The Verdict

Pros: Good Pricing, Excellent Style, Good Fit & Finish

Cons: Adequate Power, Odd window switch placement, leather isn't top notch.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10.0

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Specifications
2005 Chevrolet Equinox
Selected Style: AWD LT 1SE

Exterior: Salsa Red Metallic
Interior: Light Gray Leather Seating Surfaces

Total MSRP: $28,970.00

Base Price:$21,560.00
MSRP: $28,645.00
Color & Options: $325.00
 
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