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Taking a high-tech Texas summer road trip in the 2018 Chevy Equinox

Texas road trip in the high-tech Chevy Equinox

One of my favorite things about summer is the ability to spend time reconnecting with my sister and her kids. Although we live in the same town, our busy work schedules and kid commitments during the year make it tough to get quality time together. For the last few years, we’ve made a point to plan a road trip together with our kids for summer sister/cousin time and this summer was no exception. While planning our trip to Horseshoe Bay Resort, near Marble Falls, Texas, Chevy reached out to me and generously offered us the use of their 2018 Equinox. I jumped at the chance! My car, while reliable, is six years old. It lacks the high-tech safety features and awesome bells and whistles of today’s modern vehicles.

The kids were thrilled to ride in the beautiful candy-apple red Equinox and the fact that it had Wi-Fi? Well, that was the icing on the cake. Offering plenty of room for everything our road trip required, the trunk easily fit all of our suitcases, bags, and an ice chest full of road trip goodies. We jumped in and headed north on 281 to put the Equinox to the test.

Texas road trip in the high-tech Chevy Equinox

Texas road trip in the high-tech Chevy Equinox

My favorite things about the 2018 Chevy Equinox

Safety Features

Sure, my kids will tell you that the Wi-Fi is their favorite thing about the Equinox (don’t worry, it’s definitely on my list too!) but as a parent, I appreciate the advanced safety features the Equinox offers.

Did you know? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, on average there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries a year caused by backover crashes. Of those crashes, NHTSA estimates that 40 percent occurred in residential areas, with 24 percent happening in driveways. In fact, a fatal backover incident happened in our neighborhood last year, killing a toddler. Any safety features that prevent tragedies like that one are essential.

Chevrolet’s Surround Vision technology, available on the all-new 2018 Equinox, provides a 360-degree bird’s-eye view around the vehicle by acting like multiple sets of eyes that help drivers quickly view their vehicle’s perimeter during low-speed maneuvers such as backing up or parking. I wouldn’t drive a vehicle today with out this important safety feature.

My kids are pre-teens and I know that obtaining their driver’s license is just a few short years away. So these days I’m interested in a vehicle’s features created to keep teens safe while driving. The Equinox has that covered with two important features.

Teen Driver, a password-protected, “digital report card” for parents that displays a rundown of the teen’s driving habits on the vehicle’s screen. It records fastest speed, how many times safety features are activated and mutes the music if seatbelts are unbuckled.

Family Link lets parents view the car’s location on a map or receive email or text alerts with the car’s location at a specific time. It even allows parents to set a location or radius a vehicle should always be in and sends an alert when the boundary is violated.

And, parents of little ones will appreciate the Rear Seat Reminder which reminds them to check the back seat for their most precious cargo when exiting the vehicle.

Texas road trip in the Chevy Equinox

Wi-Fi 

While my kids love being at a vacation destination, the getting there part usually drives them (and me!) kind of nuts. The trouble comes less from all of the, “Are we there yet?” questions and more from the petty bickering that turns the back seat into a WWE match over, “She looked at me the wrong way!” Or, “He’s hogging the iPad!” But the beauty of traveling in the 2018 Chevy Equinox is that one wonderful feature removes the usual road trip tiffs as if a fairy godmother’s magic wand waved them away: Wi-Fi! Once our kids signed into the password protected 4G LTE Wi-Fi, they didn’t utter a peep. Not one! They were comfortable and entertained and QUIET. My sister and I actually held conversations during this road trip, y’all. And, the Equinox’s Wi-Fi allows you to connect up to seven devices at once!

Texas road trip in the Chevy Equinox

Apple CarPlay

I absolutely loved the seamless, easy way in which my iPhone connected to the Equinox through Apple CarPlay. I accessed my texts, calls, podcasts, Spotify playlists, and audiobooks immediately and at the touch of a button.

And, if you have an Android phone, the Chevy Equinox has you covered too with Android Auto which is built around Google Maps, giving you the ability to talk to Google and use several different apps straight from your car’s display screen.

Texas road trip in the Chevy Equinox

On Star

While this feature isn’t new, it’s still a welcome one that makes me feel like I’ve got my own butler tucked into the backseat, ready to assist whenever necessary. Instead of using Maps on my iPhone, I pushed the On Star button and the kind folks there quickly sent turn-by-turn voice directions directly to the vehicle to help us navigate from my sister’s house to Horseshoe Bay Resort, to restaurants in Marble Falls, and even to the closest pharmacy when we needed a sunburn remedy.

Texas road trip in the Chevy Equinox

Blue Bonnet Cafe, Lake LBJ, Horseshoe Bay, Texas

XM Radio

My old car at home used to have XM but I’d let the subscription lapse. Driving the Chevy Equinox reminded me how much I love XM and the tons of channels it provides. The Equinox makes XM Radio especially lovely with their on-screen scrolling of channels, artists, and songs so you can tune in to the perfect road trip tunes.

Texas road trip in the Chevy Equinox

You know a car’s great when you find yourself wishing that the actual time on the road was longer. I’m not sure that’s ever happened to us before! Learn more about the 2018 Chevy Equinox.

Texas road trip in the Chevy Equinox

We had a great time at the Horseshoe Bay Resort. Thanks to Chevy for the awesome ride!

I wonder where next summer’s Sisters/Cousins road trip will take us?

Horseshoe Bay Resort, Texas

 

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