The Chevrolet Equinox is a midsized crossover vehicle that is ready to compete with Honda’s hugely popular CR-V model. The first generation of the Equinox was missing something and never really became popular with buyers. There have been some major overhauls to the way the Equinox looks and what is inside too. The Equinox offers a great value compared to its competitors and carries a price tag that will put a smile on your face. The newer model now offers a choice of a 2.4 liter inline 6 cylinder engine or a 3.0 liter V-6 engine. Both of these engines take advantage of direct injection to boost performance and give some relief in the mileage department.
This crossover model is one of the few that is offering a larger V-6, many of the competitors in the crossover market are only using small 4 cylinder engines and this is one reason that Chevrolet is getting some attention with the new Equinox model. Chevy also boasts its high mileage rating, the Equinox gets 32MPG on the highway and this makes it the leader in its class again.
Bodystyle: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.4L I-4, 3.0L V-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ
The Equinox’s V-6 is flex fuel capable for ’11. Heated cloth seats are standard on 2LT. Bluetooth for the phone, USB port and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls comes standard on 1LT. The LS gets a compass. Directions and Connections is free for the OnStar six-month trial. Twilight Blue is a new exterior color, and Summit White is “upgraded.”
There are no styling changes for the model’s second model year. The Equinox, with its “mutl-dimensional” hood (Chevy’s words) and wraparound rear glass looks elegant beyond the brand’s place in the automotive class hierarchy.
Four-cylinder Equinoxes come with Active Noise Cancellation, a premium touch typical of the design. Generally, the Equinox uses good quality leathers, vinyls and cloth inside, though some hard-plastic surfaces remain, notably top of the dash.
Equinox’s base four-cylinder is unexpectedly impressive for a 182 horsepower engine. Avoid all-wheel drive and you can avoid springing an extra $1,500 for the 264-horsepower V-6 and its considerably lower fuel economy. The ride is smooth and nicely damped, with handling and predictable understeer well suited for a crossover SUV.
Equinox has six airbags, including head curtain side bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted bags. Brakes are four-wheel disc, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control comes standard. OnStar with Directions and Connections also is standard.
LS, LT, LTZ (2.4L) FWD: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway
LS, LT, LTZ (2.4L) AWD: 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway
LS, LT, LTZ (3.0L) FWD: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
LS, LT, LTZ (3.0L) AWD: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway
- Interior features
- Smooth ride
- Four-cylinder fuel mileage
- V-6 fuel economy
- Button-crazy center stack
- Some interior materials
Appealing alternative to big SUVs
- Toyota RAV4
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Hyundai Tucson