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 Overnight the Equinox has gone from outdated to outstanding.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 dogsam on Thursday, August 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,020overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"poor gas milage 20mpg not 32 mpg other then that and low oil light dones not low oil comes not come on when 2 quarts low you have check or eingine make nosie"
8 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By The Chief on Monday, August 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "space, reliability, options"
Cons: "four cylinder is kinda low on power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I love my Equinox. It's a very comfortable car to drive, and has exceptional leg room in the back seats. I'm self employed and often have clients in the car, so that was a big plus for me. The cargo area is also quite spacious, and has several loops to attach bungee cords or other storage enhancements. It's very reliable on long trips, and as long as you stick to the recommended maintenance schedule, you're not going to spend a lot of money on this car's upkeep. The only thing I would do differently would be buy the 6-cylinder vs the 4. Its just a tad under-powered for the size, especially when merging or passing on highways. I'm either going to get another one next year, or go for a bigger vehicle like the Yukon (life changes mean I need more storage room for lots of trips). Buy one, you won't be disappointed unless you're looking to race."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By slipkid on Wednesday, August 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfort, design, gas milage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Seems like a big gripe with this car has been mileage. I don't get it. I drive with the MPG screen on all the time. Over any given 50 miles (city and hwy) I'll average between 26 and 29 mpg... that's the average. Maybe some people need to wear lighter shoes."
10 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By micco on Monday, August 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "61000 miles on original brakes"
Cons: "Leather seats are to hard and not confortable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The 4 cyl.AWD Equinox is rated at 29 mpg highway, best we ever got is 24.5 our 2002 jeep with 135000 miles on it got better gas milage on the hwy.The 4 cylinder AWD equinox is totally gutless unless you get a running start don't try passing anyone,if anyone should buy one get the 6 cyl. The leather seats in our Equinox are as hard as rocks, I don't understand their thinking on this one they could be a little softer, not a confortable car on long trips.On the positive side still have the original brakes and tires but need new rear brakes as they are down to 20% left and tires before winter if we keep it."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Florida Realtor on Saturday, July 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, gas mileage, price & handling!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I need a vehicle that is reliable with good gas mileage but is roomy enough to carry real estate signs & people plus be able to safely traverse dirt roads. My 2013 Equinox does it, does it well and looks good doing it! It also handles well in heavy city traffic and mountain driving...I have driven it in both places and it handles like a dream. If you're looking for a vehicle that can do it all, this is the one, plus it's affordable!"
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By rotterdamron on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Poor gas mileage
Pros: "Comforts, interior."
Cons: "GAS MILEAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Overall I was pleased with the comfort and quality of the Equinox. It drove and handled quite well. However, the mpg was "grossly" overrated, and the miles between fill ups was a joke. It also shifted awkwardly, lunging forward at time."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful