2010 Chevrolet Equinox AWD 2LT

The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox AWD 2LT proves to be an economical crossover vehicle.

Is the Chevrolet Equinox a glorified station wagon or mini-SUV? It resides in the crossover category, meaning it’s a bit of both. Light-duty crossovers combine those wagon-ute traits with the ability to tow a boat and gear under 3,500 pounds. The equinox walks that line.

The all-wheel-drive Equinox has a roomy-for-its-size interior that makes it a comfortable family ride. Our test vehicle came tricked out with the entertainment system and turn-by-turn navigation that included the backup camera. All the other added components brought the price up significantly from the base $27,195.

As a tow vehicle, the Equinox scaled hilly northern Wisconsin roads with an 18-foot aluminum boat on the hitch, accelerating, braking and executing tight turns in small towns without hiccup. Negatives? The side mirrors could be a little bigger to improve the view when changing lanes or backing with a trailer. And the vehicle’s short length, combined with a small boat trailer, made backing down the ramp touchy, and required a little massaging at the wheel to back straight.

Chevy advertises 24 mpg on the highway for our 3.0-liter six-cylinder test vehicle, and 17 mpg in the city. That’s without a tow load. We measured fuel consumption while towing a Crestliner 1850 Raptor with a 175 hp Mercury Verado, a full fuel tank and gear (an estimated 3,000-pound tow load with trailer) over a 241-mile highway jaunt and found we averaged 14.9 mpg. It was pretty economical all the way around.