When we tested the Holden Equinox, I was surprised to find it had a lot of power! It was very quick to accelerate and held the road very well in wet conditions. So that was me having a bit of fun on my own without the family in the car!! Now, let's find out how it stacked up as a BabyDrive…
The Equinox was a lot of fun for the driver but that didn’t quite translate to a smooth ride for little passengers, the ride was quite hard and you could really feel all the bumps in the road surface making it a bit rough and jiggly around town. I don’t know if this was just due to the large wheels on the model we drove, which do tend to make the ride a bit harder. Also, the AWD (all wheel drive) mode was automatically turned off so you have to remember to select it each time you turn the engine on. I found in the wet it really did need to be on especially with the engine being so powerful.
The auto engine cut out came in every time I stopped at lights and I found no way to turn it off! This is the first car I have driven that there was not a button to turn auto engine cut out off and I desperately needed it!! It can be really disturbing for sleeping little ones when you even stop at lights let alone the vibration of the engine turning off and on again!
The Equinox had two Iso Fix attachments, in the outer rear seats, and top tether across all three rear seats. The Iso Fix fittings were easy to connect to as they actually protruded slightly from the seat back and base join so you could locate them without having to dig around between the seats.
The top tether anchor points were in the seat backs and I found those easiest to connect to from the boot rather than bringing the seat backs forward. I was able to fit two child seats across the row.
These were a rear-facing Mountain Buggy Protect infant capsule on one side and a forward facing Infasecure Kompressor 4 child seat on the other. I could not fit my Infasecure Foldaway booster seat between them as there just wasn’t enough space.
The cab was spacious, there was a good amount of legroom and we could fit a 6ft driver in front of the rear facing Mountain Buggy Protect infant capsule.
Overall the storage inside was good too. The glove box, central console storage box and door pockets are all practical and generous in size and there is a wireless charging area for your phone in the central console in front of the gear lever as well as USB, AUX and a 12V socket.
The boot space was ample in the Equinox, holding 12 shopping bags when empty, the basic Holiday 2 umbrella stroller and 10 shopping bags, the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle pram and three shopping bags or the twin stroller and 4 shopping bags. The boot is a practical shape and at a good height, so you don’t have to bend down and into it or reach up into it and the floor is flat and carpeted.. good for emergency bum changes!
There was no cargo blind in the test car so I couldn’t review this.
The safety technology in the Equinox was bittersweet! Within the first 30 seconds of getting into the Equinox I was introduced to the extremes of it all. I opened the boot with the key fob and got a mid-tone ‘beep-beep-beep-beep’ as the boot door opened and closed. I thought “annoying but not as loud as the Honda CR-V I have just got out of!” Then I got into the driver's seat and turned the engine on to THE SHRILLEST beeping I have experienced to date in any car, simply because my seatbelt was not done up when I started the car. The expression on my daughter's face said exactly what my mind was thinking…. “Lets set this noise going, first thing in the morning, in the ear of whoever at Holden signed it off, and see if they still think it’s a good idea!!! Needless to say, it makes you buckle up quick to shut it up!!”
Then as we reversed out of the drive my seat started to vibrate alerting me to hazards that the front and rear sensors had picked up! The rear cross traffic alert also vibrated in my seat and I am sure it was the same side bum cheek that vibrated as the direction the hazard was coming from!! GENIUS!
The seat vibration alert was a fantastic and silent but very effective method of alerting me to hazards and it was a great BabyDrive feature. I just couldn’t believe that Holden had gone from one extreme to the other with the shrill beeps! It seemed an odd combination and by the end of our week with the Equinox I was glad I no longer had to listen to is various alert noises.
Visibility was fantastic in the Equinox, the windows were deep and wide and both front and rear passengers got lots of light and a good view out.
The seats were comfortable in both the front and back, all were perforated leather in the model we drove, the rear seats were heated and you could select to heat the seat bases or backs or both!! The perforations would, of course, be harder to clean with children on board because they collect crumbs, sand and spills and are much harder to keep clean.
The Holden Equinox scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating.