Leather Upholstery ($1,050); Chrome Appearance Package ($695 -- includes rear parking sensors and chromed front fascia, door handles, exterior mirrors and roof rails); Power Programmable Liftgate ($495); Black Granite Metallic Paint ($195).
This SUV is not as embarrassingly slow as anticipated considering the 2.4L I-4 and 3,800-pound weight. Decent torque off the line with a little chirp of wheelspin. Found that manually shifting just shy of 7,000 rpm (instead of auto shifting in Drive at 6,500) netted a tenth or so improvement across the board.
Good ABS tuning keeps the Equinox straight and controlled. Slight fade noted after 3rd stop, but nothing objectionable. Good results.
Skid pad: The inside front tire's lifting off the ground limited the Equinox's performance as it spun through the open differential. Decent grip, but zero steering feel. With ESC on, the throttle closed just as the limits were approached, so I essentially drove around the circle with my foot pinned to the floor. Slalom: With ESC off, the tail end gets mighty loose -- progressively but dangerously so. With ESC on, this tendency is squelched with helpful corrections that don't otherwise interfere. Again, video-gamelike steering provides no sense of grip/skid, but remains precise.