Since it was first introduced in 2004, the Chevy Equinox has been one of the best-selling compact crossovers in the country. And after a week test driving the 2023 version that included a round trip from Portland to Medford, it is easy to see why. The small SUV was always pleasant to drive, with plenty of interior room, a smooth ride, decent mileage, and optional all-wheel-drive that could be engaged with touch of a button when roads got slick.

Despite all that, the automotive press has never been enthusiastic about the Equinox. It has never been the fastest, most stylish, or most technologically advanced affordable crossover on the market. Even the 2008-2009 Sport/SS version with a 3.6-liter V6, sport-tuned suspension and lowered suspension didn’t win them over, either. But value-oriented families kept buying them anyway, demonstrating the gap that exists between most reviewers and the public.

Jim Redden is a reporter based in Portland, Ore.

“I am a community journalist because that is where the greatest need is. There are many sources of information and opinion about international and national issues. But most people are more affected by what happens in their local communities. That is where they live, work and shop. That is where their children go to school. That is where their elected officials, business owners and labor leaders are most accessible. And that is why people need the most current information what is happening — or, more importantly, what is going to happen — in their communities. Providing accurate and up-to-date information that people need to make well-informed decisions on the issues they care about is what community journalism is all about.”

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