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 Overnight the Equinox has gone from outdated to outstanding.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 nox11 on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Positives - nice ride, quiet, smoother on highway than other compact SUV's. Styling is nice although getting a bit dated 5 years after debut. Most back seat room in class. After 61K miles, it has held up pretty well - no major flaws and only one trip to the shop for a recall on the camshaft position sensor. Negatives - a bit heavy for the 4 cyl - its a dog if you need to pass and you are already going at highway speed. Raspy when you make the 4 cyl work. The HVAC was not well thought out. Gas mileage on the highway was never close to the advertised 29 MPG for an AWD. Best I could achieve with no A/C and a steady 60 on a flat road was 27.2"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By old man 76 on Thursday, December 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles pretty well, good fuel economy"
Cons: "not too much to complain about yet!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I am pleased with this vehicle. Nothing special, but it has been very dependable and safe. I would consider purchasing Chevrolet products in the future."
9 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By hot rod on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable ride and good sound ststem"
Cons: "lags enough engine power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"liked everything about this car but the 4 cylinder engine. Not enough power to get up and go when needed. Struggled on steep hills. Compressor went out on air conditioner at about 55k miles. Now have noise when air conditioning is on."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By db on Wednesday, December 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"great vechile very lots of room inside rides good looks good in my view.good mileage 27 avg.i wish i had got a v6 though."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By bubba on Monday, November 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "easy to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"One of the very best small SUV's on the market in its price range. I like the power of the V6 engine. The four cylinders are too under powered in SUV's. I would buy the LTZ model again. The only thing I am worried about is the all wheel drive compared to my trailblazers four wheel drive."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Carolyn on Monday, November 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,270overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "I like the feeling of sitting higher."
Cons: "Too much black interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"It is a great car for convenience and comfort but it has too many blind spots. That is the major complaint. Outside of that I love this car."
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful