Somehow I managed to overcome my shock of the interior blahness and shifted the Equinox into drive. The 185-horsepower engine came to life with an unexpected burst and left me pleasantly surprised. While not quite up to par with the available 250-hpV6 in the Vue, this engine can still do battle with others in its class. What doesn't hold up is the lazy steering. Sharp turns require added rotations of the steering wheel and forget about parking. If forced to parallel park your arms will get a thorough workout. Even in a parking lot the SUV feels bulkier to the driver than it really is, shrinking even reasonable spots right before your eyes.
On the open road the Equinox is pretty much a no-brainer. There isn't anything negligent in the handling, suspension or overall performance. It isn't exactly thrilling but that's not what this vehicle is all about anyway.