2016 Chevy Equinox: A Compact SUV Big on Safety

 

 

If you are looking for a vehicle that gets the efficiency of a sedan, but some of the minor capabilities of a larger SUV, the 2016 Chevy Equinox in Miami, FL fits the bill. Along with inheriting the capability expected from a traditional SUV, this little vehicle is also big on safety. Since it’s made by Chevy, this model (like all of the other bow-tied beauties) follows Chevy’s three-part philosophy on safety: prevent, protect, and respond. Chevy is one of the only automakers that implements this concept to its full potential, and while the protective safety features include your basic airbag system and safety cage, the preventive and responsive safety measures are some of the most state-of-the-art and advanced on the market. 

Just because it's a compact SUV, doesn’t mean the safety matches the size. On the contrary, the 2016 Chevy Equinox was actually named a 2016 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

 

Prevent

 

 

You’ll find an array of impressive safety features that utilize radar and camera-based systems to help prevent and avoid a collision. This recent model year saw the introduction of new active safety features like available Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Departure warning.  

Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning 

This advanced safety system uses a radar sensor that can detect if there are any cars in your blind spot (on both sides of the vehicle), and will then provide a warning to let the driver know it isn’t safe to change lanes. It will alert the driver with visual LED-lit symbols that pop up on the outside of the mirrors. That way when you are checking to see if it’s safe or not, the warning will be where you are already looking. 

If an unintentional lane change does occur, then Lane Departure Warning will kick in and alert the driver that the vehicle has left its intended path. If the driver does not respond accordingly, this system can even gently nudge the vehicle back into the proper lane, thereby, potentially avoiding a collision. 

Rear Park Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert 

Rear Park Assist is there to help the driver navigate the vehicle in reverse. This system is able to deliver audible warning sounds if you get too close to certain objects while driving in reverse at low speeds. This will help prevent damage done to your vehicle, and also prevent you from accidentally running over your kid’s bikes. Then again, the Rear Vision Camera also pops up on the seven-inch diagonal color touch-screen when you're in reverse, so chances are you’ll see those bikes before this warning even has a chance to activate. 

For backing out in more complicated situations — like a crowded parking lot — Rear Cross Traffic Alert also engages when traveling in reverse. This advanced safety feature takes the detection of objects behind your vehicle to the next level, by using radar to alert the driver of any traffic that is crossing behind the vehicle while it's backing up. This would also work if you were backing out of a driveway onto a busy street. 

Forward Collision Alert 

Forward Collision Alert utilizes both radar and camera-based technology, and exists to detect any potential collisions. If a potential collision is detected, it will provide the driver with a warning, which will give them the chance to react and avoid a crash. This system can detect if a vehicle slows down drastically, or it could even detect if a car pulls out in front of you while you aren’t paying attention. 

While these safety features are set in place to make your life easier, that doesn’t mean you should rely on them. The intent of these isn’t to replace driver awareness, they are actually meant to bolster it. For example, these systems would be beneficial if felt drowsy while driving a long distance. 

 

Protect

 

 

If a crash does occur, which is sometimes inevitable, there are six different airbags that can deploy. These airbags also come with a passenger sensing system, which will determine whether to deploy a front-passenger airbag or not. The airbags in question are front airbags for the driver and front seat passenger, side-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger, and head curtain airbags for the front and rear outboard seating positions. The frontal airbags are dual-stage, and automatically adjust the inflation pressure depending on the severity of a crash. This helps minimize airbag related injuries. The side-impact airbags for the driver and passenger will deploy from the side of the seat, and the head curtain airbags deploy from the roof rail to help prevent head and neck injuries. 

On top of the airbags reacting via the advanced sensing system, the steel safety cage that runs around the cabin of the Equinox has been designed to absorb impact damage.

 

Respond

After a crash has occurred, and the airbags deployed, built-in sensors will automatically alert an OnStar Advisor that your vehicle has been in a crash, and also use the crash data to predict the severity of your injuries. The Advisor is then immediately connected to your vehicle to see if you need help. If you do need help, but can’t say so, the OnStar Advisor will automatically use GPS location to dispatch emergency services. 

On top of this standard Automatic Crash Response from OnStar, the Equinox also comes equipped with Emergency Services. Pushing this red button gives you a priority connection to an OnStar Advisor, who can then direct emergency services to your location. 

OnStar Crisis Alert can even respond to any crisis that might be happening in your area, such as severe weather like thunderstorms, natural disasters like earthquakes, or even man-made disasters like power outages, hazardous material situations, or even terrorist activity. In any such crisis, OnStar is able to provide you with a multitude of resources, such as providing an escape route or contacting family members on your behalf. 

 

Three-Part Safety: It’s a Chevy Thing 

 

 

With Chevy’s three-part safety philosophy backing the 2016 Equinox, you're equipped for whatever type of dangers you might encounter on the road. The preventive safety measures aid you in avoiding collisions, the airbags and safety cage will protect you if a collision occurs, and OnStar Automatic Crash Response and Crisis Assist will give you help when you need it most. 

With the IIHS Top Pick award on its side, along with Chevy's commitment to safety, it’s clear that the Equinox is one of the safest vehicles in the compact SUV segment.