Refreshed and ready. Now in its fourth year, the current-generation Equinox receives an all-important mid-cycle refresh. Gone is the second engine choice as well as the base L trim, while an RS model jumps in. Equipment changes reflect the usual shuffling.

On the style side, Equinox avoids some of the style line and body sculpting idiosyncrasies of its competitors to deliver a more subdued expression. Calm lines and inoffensive curves mark its exterior. Then again, nothing is polarizing about it. Then again, there is little of the "wow factor" present.

Inside, the cabin offers room for five but is especially comfortable for four tall adults. It is big on head and legroom, although the previously offered sliding second-row seat is gone. The look of the interior is as sedate as the exterior, but dressier in the Premier trim with its natty stitched leather across the dash panels.

Strong on safety. Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Equinox strong crash testing scores. Helping the Equinox gain the IIHS' attention were the headlights, which are better on the upper trims.

Chevrolet also imbues the Equinox with a healthy roster of driver-assist technologies. Among the standard items are automatic high-beam headlights, lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. Chevrolet also offers blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system.

Advanced tech features. It's the little things that are a big deal with some drivers. Cord separation is one such matter. Specifically, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. Thus, no cord is needed to make a connection and that's just convienent. A 7-inch touch-screen display is also standard; Amazon Alexa capability is included as well. A 6-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and two USB ports are also standard.

Move up through the trim range and the Equinox comes with an 8-inch touch-screen display, although that one is still smaller than the 10.25-inch screen that is increasingly common today. Chevrolet also offers a 110-volt outlet, an additional USB port, and a Bose 7-speaker audio system.

Chevrolet's infotainment interface is one of the easiest to use in the segment. It comes with navigation on some trims.

One powertrain choice. It was not too long ago when Equinox offered three engine choices, an uncommonly generous number of choices in a segment where one engine is common. First, Chevrolet dropped the optional turbo-diesel. Next, it discontinued the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine. What's left is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of twist. Power routes to the front or all four wheels utilizing a 6-speed automatic transmission and that is two fewer cogs than what competitors such as the Ford Escape offer. The Equinox has a 1,500-pound tow rating.

Though smaller and less powerful than the 2.0-liter engine, the little turbo offers more overall power than a few competing models such as the Nissan Rogue. Still, the cancellation of the other two engine choices supplies little differentiation in a crowded segment, especially with the diesel gone.

We found the Equinox offers a composed ride and tame handling. Models equipped with the larger wheels will see a decrease in steering feedback, but like all trims, it swallows bumps with ease.

Final thoughts. Along with the Trax and Trailblazer, the Equinox is one of three small crossover utility vehicles offered by Chevrolet. Of the three, it offers the roomiest interior and best cargo space. It also is competitively priced, with a well-equipped model retailing for about $30,000. That makes for one of the best values in its class.

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