The exterior styling is what drove me to test drive the Equinox when I was shopping for a smaller SUV. To me it just far outclassed the competition at the time, and is still one of the better looking CUV's out there.
At the time I was car shopping (late 09) the 2010 Equinox had interior styling that outclassed everything else from Ford, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai. I still like the styling, but wish that GM had placed more soft touch surfaces in the interior.
Performance from the 182hp I4 is adequate and works well around town and cruising on the freeway. Power delivery is smooth for a 4 banger, and the only time you wish you had more power is climbing steep hills and trying to accelerate from a low speed to highway speeds on an on-ramp. Fuel economy is good as well..I've seen a high of 33.2mpg under perfect conditions and a low of 27 under less than ideal. Around town I get anywhere from 19-24 mpg which is acceptable.
The Equinox has a smooth and quiet ride for the most part, but the suspension is stiffly sprung and can get borderline harsh over bad pavement.
Safety & braking
Very impressed with the way the Equinox handles rain, light snow and even ice. The combination of ABS, Stabilitrac and traction control works very well to help you keep control in sloppy conditions.
Front seat room
I like the firmness of the front seats, but others may have an issue with it. Seat width leans to the narrow side however, and shoulder room is merely adequate.
Rear seat room & comfort
Rear seat legroom is phenominal (and one of the big reasons I chose the Equinox) when you slide it all the way back. This is the first vehicle I've owned where you can fit 4 6'+ people without anyone having to readjust their seats or compromise in any way. The rear seats also recline to a small degree which is an added bonus.
I don't tow anything so I can't comment on that, but the Equinox's cargo room is merely adequate for it's class. The rear seats fold down, but they don't lay flat so you have to be careful what you carry back there.
Reliability & durability
I've had my 2010 Equinox since December 09, and have had zero mechanical issues so far. The only warranty work was having the power lumbar support int he drivers seat fixed.
Materials & workmanship
When shopping for a small SUV I took my time and spread it over 3 weeks...meaning I had time to really look at the vehicles I was considering. Having not owned a domestic in over 20 years, I was expecting the fit and finish to not be to import standards..I was wrong. The paint quality, panel gaps and general fit and finish were as good or better than some of the imports I cross shopped. Very surprised..