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 2009 Equinox, Chevrolet has a major player, a vehicle larger than the redesigned Ford Escape and offering a V6 engine, an important feature not found with 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 2009 Equinox is one of Chevrolet's best offerings.
If you need power and room, the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox offers some of the best passenger and cargo space in its class, as well as a standard V6 engine. 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 minimal feedback of the electrically-assisted power steering of the LS, LT and LTZ trim levels may not appeal to you. Unlike many competitors, including the Saturn VUE, the Equinox is not offered as a hybrid version.
Revisions for 2009 are minor and include standard side-curtain airbags with rollover-detection sensors, standard XM Satellite Radio, three new exterior colors and the addition of Bluetooth connectivity to the OnStar 8.0 system.
Driving Impressions Put a heavy foot on the pedal and the 2009 Chevrolet 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 Equinox also corners reasonably well, while remaining comfortable and quiet on the highway. For those drivers who may be more enthusiastic, one less-than-appealing aspect of the driving experience is the electric power steering system of the LS, LT and LTZ trims, which offers little feedback and an unnatural feel; we prefer the hydraulic system of the Sport trim level. And, 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. Those seeking a more upscale interior should look to the Sport trim.Exterior
In compact SUV terms, the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox is enormous. Its wheelbase is nearly 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 2009 Chevrolet Equinox LS features air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with single CD and six speakers, XM Satellite Radio, remote keyless entry, rear wiper and washer, OnStar, 16-inch aluminum wheels, height-adjustable driver's seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, sliding and split-folding rear seat, a multi-tier cargo storage system and power door locks, windows and mirrors. Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags, side-curtain airbags, StabiliTrak, four-wheel disc brakes and a tire-pressure monitor. The Sport trim adds a 3.6-liter V6, 18-inch wheels, hydraulic power steering (replaces the electric assist unit for improved steering feel), six-speed automatic transmission with tap-up/tap-down shift mode, heated front seats and a sport suspension.
Popular Equinox options include all-wheel drive, leather seating, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat, Pioneer premium AM/FM/6CD/MP3 audio system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power moonroof, 17-inch wheels, DVD navigation, remote start and an electrochromic rearview mirror.
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. Buyers who can afford the Sport model get a smoother and more efficient 3.6-liter V6 featuring variable valve timing, dual overhead cams and a hydraulic power steering system for improved steering feedback.
185 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
210 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 17/24 (AWD)
264 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
250 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/24 (AWD)
By joantrista (NC) on Thursday, February 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great family SUV, rides good and looks great."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2006 Chevy Equinox in 2007. It had about 27,000 miles on it. I bought it from a local chevy dealer and it was certified pre own. It has leather, sun roof and all the extras. I was worried when I first looked at it because I had heard some ok and even bad reviews. But since the second I bought it I absolutely love it.. At about 40,000 miles I did have a wheel barren to go out probably from me hitting something. Then since about 75,000 miles the check engine light has been on some, but it hasn't caused any problems. Then when it hit 100,000 miles a fan on the motor went out but it was only a couple of hundred to fix and it still ran. Overall I love my Equinox. My hubby wants me to trade to get something newer but I am keeping it. It rides great and looks good. It is a good family car with a lot of room and pretty good on gas too. Oh yeah I love love my equinox. Great SUV..."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By loriel6 (IA) on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles well on the road; good visibility"
Cons: "flimsy cup holders; rear windshield wiper controls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"This vehicle is fun to drive, has decent side visibility for changing lanes. Some little things about it bother me - pathetic cup holders that feel like they will break off every time you use them. The windshield is set back in, so any time there is snow, you can't just sweep your windshield clean, you have to dig out each edge. I also don't like the rear windshild wiper controls up on the dashboard and to have 2 or 3 separate control buttons are irritating. The gas mileage for me stays about 22 mpg in town."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Dylon (WA) on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, fun to drive and very versital for a family"
Cons: "Didn't like the cup holders. City fuel economy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 08 Equinox Sport new. I love the spunk in the 3.6 V6 engine. I have 150,000 miles on this car and have had no problems what so ever. Just oil changes and tires. The car is very roomy in the front and back, comfortalbe seats and fun to drive. I had started to sell the car at 100,000 miles, but like the care to much to sell. We had the car set up for towing behind our motorhome and being an AWD it towed very nice with all wheels on the ground. The fuel economy in the city averaged 16mpg, which I would have like a little better, but over all a very versital car for any type of outing."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Edubu (MD) on Monday, January 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Spacious, but not bulky. Comfortable & smooth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new, and I've had it now for over 5 years. I usually buy new cars and trade them in after 1-2 years. I love this car. It's so comfortable, reliable and it's the perfect size. I have 3 kids, and we take road trips often. It's perfect for our luggage and has some extra storage under the back seat. I've also fit a dishwasher in the trunk, while having my son in his car seat in the back. The back seats fold down. Every time someone gets in my car, they compliment it. I've only had one trip to the mechanics, and that was in the 5th year. fuel line leak."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Fred (NM) on Tuesday, September 04, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy good family car"
Cons: "You will have some minor nickle and dime issues."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Bought this vehicle new in 2007. Rear drivers side wheel bearing went out after about 20,000 miles. Check engine light is always coming on since about 50,000 miles, traction control doesn't work anymore and windshield wiper fluid motor is shot. But other than that it has always an ok vehicle. Gets fairly good gas mileage, and no problems with the engine or transmission. This is my wife's car and she barely puts 500 miles a month on it."
12 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Depressed (MI) on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "The quality from front to back is terrible!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this vehicle with about 10,000 miles and the problems started shortly after. Head gasket went at 50,000 miles, air bag sensor, anti lock brake / wheel assembly all had to be changed by 75,000. Interior quality is very poor. Paint around door well and rear hatch is gone and starting to rust. Half of the grill has to be removed just to change a headlight bulb. I always have purchased GM products, not any more! There are a lot of other options out there stay away from this one."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful