By KBB.com Editors
The second-generation Chevy Equinox is a strong new contender in one of our favorite vehicle categories. Compact crossovers like the Equinox offer the raised seating position and much of the flexibility of a larger crossover or SUV, but with lower sticker prices and better fuel economy. The segment has been dominated by the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, but the 2010 Chevy Equinox promises to shake up the category in much the same way the new-in-'08 Chevy Malibu impacted the mid-size sedan segment.
If the newfound refinement, sharp styling or quiet and roomy interior don't grab you, perhaps the four-cylinder's 32-mpg highway fuel economy rating will.
Although the 2010 Chevy Equinox is one of the larger vehicles in the segment, it doesn't offer optional third-row seating like the Toyota RAV4 or Hyundai Santa Fe.
All new for 2010, the second-generation Chevy Equinox is more attractive, more refined, more powerful, more fuel efficient and more feature-filled than its predecessor. Overnight the Equinox has gone from outdated to outstanding.
Driving Impressions Quiet, comfort and luxury are the impressions you get from behind the wheel of the new Chevrolet Equinox. The V6-equipped version doesn't offer the sporty performance of...the V6-equipped RAV4, the hot rod of the class, but it certainly delivers more than adequate acceleration and a comfortable ride reminiscent of a larger crossover. Those who opt for the four-cylinder-equipped version will find acceleration better than they might expect, aided by the innovative six-speed automatic transmission. The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and power-adjustable seat height make finding a comfortable driving position simple, and rear-seat legroom benefits from the flexible seating configuration. Plus, the ice-blue ambient lighting, the surfeit of storage areas and the available perforated leather seats make you forget you're not in a luxury crossover.
If you've got low garage clearance or limited vertical reach, you can program the tailgate to open only to a safe or reachable height.
This is an option we think more vehicles in the class should offer. In the 2010 Chevy Equinox, the system features two independent seat-back-mounted screens on which one rear passenger can watch a DVD movie while the other plays a (self-supplied) video game, for instance.
The 2010 Chevy Equinox features the most stylish, most contemporary interior in the category. It's also the best-looking interior we've ever seen in a bow tie-badged car. There are some middling materials here and there, including some cheap-looking plastic-chrome accents, but they don't detract from the fact the Equinox has a luxury-grade interior. More than a looker, the new Equinox is also notably quiet and roomy. Four-cylinder versions include an active noise cancellation system (which counters sound waves with sound waves) as standard equipment. One of the roomiest rear seating areas also features seats that slide forward nearly eight inches to provide for even more cargo room in back.Exterior
There's a lot we like about the new 2010 Chevy Equinox, but the bold exterior styling is particularly noteworthy. We're fans of the big, complex headlights, two-bar grille and clean but aggressive lower fascia. Moving around to the side, we're partial to the big fender flares, the sharp crease and the overall proportions (especially when outfitted with the optional 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels). Out back, our eyes are drawn to the perfectly sized, crisply styled tail lights. If you want to call it the best-looking vehicle in the segment, you won't hear any argument from us.
All models have a six-speed automatic transmission, while an "eco" mode on models with the four-cylinder engine alters shift points to improve fuel economy. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags – dual frontal airbags, head curtain side airbags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side airbags - plus four-wheel disc brakes with electronic stability control and traction control. Safety and convenience are enhanced with standard OnStar, while XM Satellite Radio provides added entertainment value. The "smart" remote start feature, standard on 2LT and LTZ trims, also activates the heating and air conditioning.
The 2010 Chevy Equinox offers a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a power liftgate, both of which are uncommon in the category. Other notable options include V6 power, all-wheel drive, a navigation system, comprehensive premium audio system, remote vehicle start (1LT), backup camera, leather seating, heated front seats and a memory-enabled driver's seat and mirror.
Every 2010 Chevy Equinox includes a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine as standard equipment, and all but the entry LS trim level offers a V6 upgrade for $1,500. The engines feature direct injection technology and are matched with six-speed automatic transmissions, both of which simultaneously increase power and efficiency. Four-cylinder versions offer an "Eco" button that sets the engine and transmission programming to mileage-maxing mode. The optional V6 offers manual shift control, although we felt it could be more responsive. The four- and six-cylinder versions feature tow ratings of 1,500 and 3,500 pounds respectively.
2.4-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 6700 rpm
172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (FWD) 20/29 (AWD)
264 horsepower @ 6950 rpm
222 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (FWD) 17/24 (AWD)
By Hank on Thursday, January 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Pretty well love everything about it."
Cons: "The dash material is hard to get lint off of."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is the third Equinox we have owned. All were purchased new from a dealer. We had a "09, '11, and now a 2012. We loved them all. I was hesitant about buying this 2012, because of the engine. It's a 4 cylinder. I was SO wrong. It has plenty of power!!!!!! I average between 25-30 mpg and driving it takes zero effort. Cannot go wrong purchasing this vehicle."
10 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Rpete on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Well built, reliable, comfortable, quiet, good loo"
Cons: "Old foot-styled parking brake."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After 43,000 flawless miles I am quite impressed with this vehicle. I am now in the middle of my 4th Ohio winter with this car and it handles very well in the ice and snow, even without AWD. The ride is quiet and comfortable and it doesn't have a rattle or squeak. It is what I would call an "honest" vehicle. Good looking, comfortable, reasonable V6 power and efficiency and rock-solid dependability."
13 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By dbh on Sunday, January 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"it is a good car except for the fact that it is very uncomfortable. on long rides my wife and I both have back and neck aches"
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Rich on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking and in very good condition"
Cons: "very small dent in rear door. no damage to paint"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Vehicle has been good to us. A deer hit us two years ago but I was not injured because this vehicle is very safe. All repairs were done and no problems"
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Carebear1985 on Wednesday, January 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Overall, I'm very happy with the vehicle. I bought it because of the adjustable rear seat, which allows me to add leg room for passengers or cargo space if I need to move anything. I splurged a bit on some upgrades and have not been disappointed! I love the backup camera and the remote start/heated seats rock in the winter.. I purchased an AWD because of unpredictable weather and my frequent trips into the mountains. It's come in useful on many occasions, but eats into the fuel economy. It would be nice to be able to switch to 2WD for my daily commute and improve the MPG. I purchased some WeatherTech floor liners, so my family car is super easy to clean up. I was a bit disappointed at the amount of cheap plastic accessories in the vehicle, especially at that price point. Also, Chevy seems to be a bit behind the power curve when it comes to their computerized systems and pairing of devices/features. I can make calls with the Bluetooth, but had to purchase a cable to project any other sound/navigation from my phone (since I didn't spring for On-Star's Navigation package). I definitely recommend this vehicle.. even talked my best friend into getting one of her own (now we match!!)"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By jarcat on Sunday, January 04, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "drives good in snow"
Cons: "dont buy one"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car with 19,000 miles, it has many recall/service notices. I bought this so I could have peace of mind and the last GM car I had I put 150,000 miles on it and loved it. This car needed major work on the engine @ 42,000 and has always used oil. Now they admit there are engine oil issues but won't fix mine because it didn't use enough oil what a joke this car burns a quart of oil in 2000 miles and has since we got it. We have always bought GM vehicles that is over!!!! Now I have to hope to get some value out of it to buy something else. I'm done also no way to check tranny fluid or change it great feature NOT."
12 people out of 23 found this review helpful