By KBB.com Editors
Amid GM's imposing SUV and pickup truck fleet is a vehicle massive not so much in size, but in importance. Honda, Toyota and Ford have tended to dominate the compact SUV market, and Chevrolet needs to make a big splash. With the Equinox, Chevrolet has a major player, a vehicle larger and more refined than the aging Ford Escape and offering a V6 engine, an important feature not found on the Honda CR-V. Available in front or all-wheel drive, with a wide and roomy interior and loaded with standard and optional features demanded by today's modern mobile family, the Equinox is one of Chevrolet's best offerings.
If you need power and room, the Equinox offers the most passenger and cargo space in its class, as well as the most powerful standard engine in the entire compact SUV category. The muscular good looks, comfy seats and long list of optional features are just icing on the cake.
If you're enthusiastic about the driving experience, the lack of a manual shifter and the numb electric power steering may not appeal to you. And the Equinox's well laid-out interior begs for more in the way of color and contrast.
Standard safety features include the StabiliTrak stability control system, four-wheel disc brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system. A revised instrument panel includes a new instrument cluster with a 20-setting Driver Information Center, and the Equinox's rear seat receives a folding armrest with built-in cup holders.
Driving Impressions Put a heavy foot on the pedal and the Equinox takes it as a command, not a suggestion. While pulling away from a stop or negotiating slower traffic on a...two-lane road, the 3.4-liter V6 always delivers plenty of power. The maxi mini-SUV also corners reasonably well, while remaining comfortable and quiet on the highway. The glaring weak spot from behind the steering wheel for aggressive drivers is the steering itself. The electric power steering system offers little feedback and an unnatural feel, while a 40-foot turning diameter can make the Equinox seem like a full-size SUV in just about any parking lot.
Sliding Rear Seat
Slide it forward for more room in the cargo area. Then slide it back for more rear-seat legroom than even the biggest SUVs.
Multi-Level Cargo Area
A movable rear shelf allows for two levels of cargo or, for tailgate parties, two levels of chips, dips and dogs.
The increased length differentiating the Equinox from the outside also helps set the not-so-compact SUV apart inside. Generous headroom and legroom complement a clever sliding rear seat to maximize passenger or cargo space. The empty space is the high point in an interior marked by ill-fitting plastic, ho-hum cloth upholstery and a general lack of sophistication.Exterior
In compact SUV terms, the Chevy Equinox is enormous. Its wheelbase is a full 10- inches longer than a Honda CR-V's and just a half-inch shorter than Chevy's own TrailBlazer mid-size SUV. Overall length falls an inch shy of the mid-size Ford Explorer. The Equinox is unmistakable as a Chevy with big, gold Chevrolet bowtie badges front and rear, plus angular styling that immediately evokes the automaker's Silverado and Avalanche pickups.
The Equinox LS has air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo, power door locks/windows/mirrors, remote keyless entry, height-adjustable driver's seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, sliding/split-folding rear seat and a multi-tier cargo storage system. Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags, StabiliTrak, four-wheel disc brakes and a tire pressure monitor.
Popular Equinox options include leather seating, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat, AM/FM/6CD/MP3 audio system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power moonroof, 17-inch wheels, OnStar, DVD navigation, remote start, electrochromic rearview mirror, head-curtain airbags, traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS).
Yes, the 3.4-liter pushrod engine is an old design, but it works well. The nearly vibration-free Equinox runs smoothly without protest and is jackrabbit quick when it comes to crossing crowded intersections. Passing at high speed is another matter as the engine seems to lose some of its kick past the 70-mile per hour mark. One of the nicest features of this engine is it won't bankrupt you at the gas pump.
185 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
210 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 (FWD), 19/25 (AWD)
By USC Fan on Saturday, June 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "turn radius, gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great off road and in the snow. Nothing has stopped it. AWD and 4L is great. I wish gas mileage was better."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Mike on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 350,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliability, room, comfort"
Cons: "centre console mediocre, otherwise nothing."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I brought an '08 Equinox LS in late december so from then until now it has been driven only 5.5 years. I have put 352,000 km on it. I drive 150+/day average. Fuel is 8.7l/100 km (about 26MPG). not one major repair. was out of town and needed an oil change, the mechanic was floored when I gave the mileage. runs like a top. handles like a dream, confortable and quiet.Tons of space and tows great. recommend following the maintenance schedule (as with any car) and you will not be dissapointed."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By recycler on Sunday, June 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives easily, very roomy."
Cons: "Roof rack needs side openings for tie downs."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've owned this car for 9 years. The worst I've had to do is put on new tires, rear brakes, and a battery."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Ginnyh on Monday, May 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good price, nice styling, comfortable seating."
Cons: "Leather seat cracking, carpet wears poorly."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Visor mirror covers both broke twice. Sunroof leaks. Engine fans required replacement. Leather driver seat cracked."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By kblak2006 on Friday, May 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Cons: "Blind spots and repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I purchased this car used in 2011. 2 months after purchase, my heater went out (defect later recalled by chevy). luckily i still had a warrenty so they fixed it for free. The first year i had this car the traction conrol worked wonders.The second winter i could barely get around. I also dont like the giant blind spots on the front and rear windows. On the up side.. this car is very roomy and can easily sit my 6' husband in the backseat with leg room to spare."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By hwoodhome on Sunday, April 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,300overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room and fun to drive when it works"
Cons: "Very expensive to keep running."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this vehicle because it was exactly what I wanted, but it wasn't two months after I purchased it that I began to see I was in for trouble. Every four to six months I have had to put hundreds sometimes over one thousand dollars into it. I have not yet owned it two years and have spent over $3,000.00 in repairs. I am now faced with a very expensive issue - four months after the last fix, and have decided I can no longer afford this vehicle. So even though I absolutely love the vehicle and the room associated with it, I am so very disappointed in the running and maintenance issues. This vehicle may have cured me from ever wanting another SUV. So sad. :-("
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful