2022 Chevy Equinox RS Drive and Off-Pavement Review

2022 Chevy Equinox RS

The Chevy Equinox RS is a new trim for 2022. Chevy introduced the RS  in the Camaro in the late 1960’s. RS stands for Rally Sport, and debuted as an appearance package that could be added onto any other trim level Camaro. It included hideaway headlights, reverse lights, and other trim pieces. Following that history, the Equinox RS is very much an appearance trim without any performance upgrades. However, instead of a standalone package it is a separate trim level.

Outside the Equinox RS

Separating the RS from other trim levels are some unique features. It is a blacked out design with black roof rails, black grill, 19” black painted wheels, and black badges.

The overall shape is clearly designed for good aerodynamics. The hood slopes forward into the forward sloping grill and bumper. The roof peaks above the driver and then slopes lower toward the rear creating a teardrop shape.

Chevy designed the front clip to match the current crossover lineup. However, unique to the Equinox are turn signals where fog lights would normally be located. This does make it look more athletic along with the faux brake cooling vents next to the turn signals.

Overall the Equinox appears to be designed to maximize interior volume while minimizing aerodynamic drag. We were surprised to find how large the Equinox really is, and that continues to the interior.

Inside the Equinox RS

Inside the Equinox with the RS leather package is a comfortable place to be. There is black leather with red stitching throughout. The front seats are heated along with the steering wheel. The seats are the right size and have sufficient side bolsters for spirited driving.

Some may say the controls are a little outdated, but we like having buttons and dials to control the climate and audio functions. Just like other GM vehicles the headlight control knob is hidden behind the steering wheel. In the Equinox this is ok because it is the only dial there. Others have the 4wd selector knob next to the lighting knob which can be confusing.

For charging devices up front there are 4 USB ports and a 12-volt outlet. USB-A, USB-C, and the 12-volt connections are at the bottom of the center stack. 2 more USB-Cs live in the center armrest. For the rear seats there are 2 USB-Cs and a 120-volt outlet all on the back of the front center armrest.

Moving to the cargo area, we find storage capacity roughly on par with the RAV4. That is to say, quite a lot. Under the rear floor is a significant storage area with the spare tire stored beneath that.

Hitting the Road

We were pleasantly surprised by the driving dynamics of the Equinox RS. Chevy has done an excellent job in tuning the suspension. When cornering it remains flat, yet driving over bumps and dips in the road doesn’t result in harsh movements. Steering is direct and provides good feedback for a crossover.

Power comes from a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4. Like other turbocharged Chevy 4-cylinders there is a decent amount of turbo lag down low, but good power once the boost builds. In this case horsepower peaks at 170 and max torque is 203 ft-lbs.

Sending power to the axles is a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed works quite well with this engine. In 6th gear on the highway the rpms are up high enough that there is good boost and torque. This means limited downshifting and quick response for passing, but comes at the cost of slightly reduced fuel economy.

Off-Pavement in the Equinox RS

Once again we were surprised by the Equinox, this time during off-road testing. The high speed and articulation sections were as expected. High speed off-pavement travel is limited due to low ground clearance and limited wheel travel. These same issues were apparent on the articulation hill.

What surprised us was that the Equinox nearly made it up the hard line on the steep hill climb. It probably would have made it the whole way, but the clutch based AWD system overheated just before cresting the hill. We were past the most difficult part, but were forced to back down and let the system cool.


For 2022 the Equinox RS AWD has a base price of $31,700. Our tester was equipped with the RS leather package ($1,580), Infotainment Package ($895), and Advanced Safety Package ($650). If we add in the destination charge ($1,195) the total vehicle price comes to $36,020. This is a similar price to competitors like the RAV4, CRV, and Rogue.


While the Equinox doesn’t have anything that really sets it apart from the rest of the pack it has integrated everything well. As an overall package it is very well developed. When in the market for a large 2-row crossover be sure to drive the Equinox, it just might be the one for you.

Matthew Barnes is an experienced towing expert. He works as a mechanical engineer and his day job involves testing a variety of vehicles while towing trailers of all types and sizes. Matt shares his knowledge by writing for automotive news outlets in the evenings. When he’s not working he can be found spending time in the great outdoors with his family. He enjoys camping, hiking, canyoneering, and backpacking. Whenever possible he spends time riding in or on any power sports vehicle he can find and claims he can drive anything with a motor, which probably isn’t true.

Matt lives in the Utah mountains and often posts cool off-roading videos to his Instagram and YouTube channel.

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