In all the chaos that was April, I’ve forgotten to introduce you to our newest family member. Interwebz, meet Quin.
She’s a 2012 Chevy Equinox.
So, what happened to Lexi you ask? You aren’t alone in your curiosity. Lexi just wasn’t happy with us anymore. She was a little spoiled by the mild winter and mud season we had last year. This year’s heavier snow falls and the resulting messier mud season were overwhelming for her. Don’t get me wrong, she was a trooper, and she was holding up fine, she still had a lot of value left in her, but I was worried about her long-term health and well being. She was almost 4 years old and already starting to show signs of the strain. She was running fine, but she just wasn’t cut out for a long life on a dirt road. It’s a minimum one mile drive to reach the pavement and certain times of the year, that 1 mile can be the hardest part of the trip. Truth be told, a lot of the pavement round these parts ain’t all that great either *cough* Concord secondary roads *cough*. The biggest issue was the ground clearance. Poor Lexi was only four inches off the ground. Hell, we regularly have ruts deeper than that! I was afraid that she just wouldn’t have the longevity that Emmy, my Honda CRV had. We had Emmy for 8 years and almost 170,000 miles.
When I really evaluated what our requirements were, it became clear that Lexi was really more car than we needed. In the 21 months we had her, we used the seating for 7 maybe four or five times. That’s a lot of extra car to be hauling around for such a rare occurrence. I scoured Consumer Reports looking for smaller, all-wheel-drive vehicles that had above average ratings for gas mileage, long-term reliability, and safety.
In one afternoon, we sat in or drove the Nissan Rogue, the Ford Escape, and Toyota Venzia. The Rogue was tight and visibility out of the rear window was virtually nonexistent. I liked the 2012 Ford Escape, it reminded me a lot of my CR-V, but it was redesigned for 2013 and again the rear visibility was atrocious. I liked the Venzia, but it was big and really more than I needed.
The next time out, my husband convinced me to look at the Equinox. He’s a Chevy guy, I’m not as devoted to the brand. But, CR liked the car, so I agreed to take it for a drive. Later that day, I drove the Subaru Forrester and the Subaru Outback. I lasted five minutes in the Forrester. It has awesome visibility, but I really felt like I was in a tin can. The Outback was ok, but I didn’t like it as much as the Equinox. I considered my old flame the Honda CRV, online, but in the redesigns since I’ve had one raised questions about the rear visibility and I had other concerns including gas mileage.
The Equinox handled well, it had decent cargo space but the clincher was estimated MPG. Chevy is advertising 30 MPG, Consumer Reports says it’s closer to 26MPG, either way, that’s higher than the 19 I was getting in the Flex.
It’s worth noting that the Equinox comes equipped with a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder engine. The gas mileage on the six isn’t as good and I found since it was significantly smaller than the Flex, it is still well powered with the four cylinder engine. She definitely gets out of her own way even loaded with four people and the AC on.
We had decent luck buying Lexi used, so I was on the lookout for a 2012, with low mileage and a few bells and whistles I wouldn’t have been to able afford otherwise. I was excited, our local dealer had a few that met my criteria.
I crunched the numbers and went in armed with data and the knowledge that it was the end of March. Not only is that the end of the month, but it’s the end of the sale’s quarter. I had a number in mind, if they hit it, they’d have a sale, if they didn’t I still had a car I liked and I had seven months before the next winter road conditions to find a car I wanted.
They met my number. I’ve had it six weeks and I’ve already put about 2000 miles on it. I’ve noticed the decrease in cargo space once or twice, but it’s not a show stopper. It just means I have to put the seats down more than I did in the Flex and that is a very easy fix. It is literally the flip of a switch to release the seats.
Quin got OnStar, remote start and Sirrius/XM and heated front seats (standard on the LT2 trim package). I’m only seeing 23 MPG, but honestly, I haven’t had a chance to read the manuel and play with the settings to see if there’s something I should be doing to increase the mileage.
She had the chance to experience the end of mud season and that extra inch and a half of clearance has made a difference. Quin just seems more at home on the dirt roads. I hope Lexi finds a family who lives on a paved road who will love her as much as we did.
What’s with the name you ask?