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 Overnight the Equinox has gone from outdated to outstanding.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 SoOverIt on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "has great acceleration for a 4 banger."
Cons: "I paid over $20,000.00 for this car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This vehicle has been in the repair shop 9 times since i purchased it in 2013. This year already I have had it in for 2 seperate issues. They have had it in there service department for 28 days . 2 weeks total in January 2015 , and has been in there now for 14 more this month so far they still have it so i am guessing probably another 5 days."
By Ruf on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling, good value, very comfortable."
Cons: "In-city gas mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this Equinox new with the V-6 engine so that I could tow my motorcycle trike whenever I wanted. I have not been sorry! I drove to the east coast and back pulling the trike and I didn't even know it was behind me. The Euqinox has all the power I need and it is is very comfortable and a real pleasure to drive. My wife loves it too. On a daily basis she drives it more than I do cause I ride my trike and she has never had a complaint about the vehicle. The gas milage for a V-6 is well within expected levels. In short, I'd recommend an Equinox to anyone."
By Lenae on Thursday, February 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful in snow, great on gas, lots of room"
Cons: "Remote starter turns off after only 10 minutes."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the first new car I have bought in 20 years, and I Love it! I live in Michigan, lots of snow and have not missed one day of work because of it. I'm so glad I didn't get the 4WD, front wheel drive is perfect. The only thing that I have not been happy with is the remote start. It automatically turns off after 10 minutes. In our cold state this is not enough time to warm my car up. I have asked the dealership to change increase the run time, they have told me that for safety reasons they do not do that. I know my daughters remote start will run much longer, so I know it' possible."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Zach on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great look. Terrific ride. Great value."
Cons: "Expensive to fix and not as good of MPG as rated."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a great vehicle. On paper it says this car gets 20-29 mpg, but I can tell you we have never gotten that kind of MPG while driving this. I am getting around 18 mpg right now which is still great for an AWD crossover. It is a very sleek looking car and most people get in and love the two tone leather inside. I would highly suggest this to someone looking for a nice riding cross over."
19 people out of 36 found this review helpful
By El-cid on Monday, February 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great in snow and ice. Fun to drive."
Cons: "Stiff ride and you have to step up to get into the"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am a senior citzen and love the SUV. It sits high where you can see everything. This is a young persons car. Handles great and has a short turning radis. Great in snow and ice. You have to step up to get in the SUV."
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Nellie on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good MPG, good passenger room, nice options/ride."
Cons: "Backup camera, visibility, heater & A/C controls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Was driving a Silverado, so kind of miss the power, but wanted an AWD vehicle with good interior room, better gas mileage and good for winter driving and I think I found it. Almost bought a KIA Sorento, which has more cargo room but not as good gas mileage or driver/passenger room and comfort. Got the 2LT loaded with sunroof, heated cloth seats (unusual but great) and MyLink (which I absolutely love). Also got the remote start that automatically turns on heat and heated seats if cold outside, which is absolutely wonderful, would highly recommend getting these features. Only complaints so far is the visibility and the fact that you can only see the heater and A/C stats when you are adjusting them, as they come on at the bottom of the nice, large touch screen monitor. Oh yeah, and they should (not could, should) have put the guide lines on the back up camera that show how close you are to the bumper of the car you are backing at, cause it looks like you are still far away, but almost hit someone the first few times I used it. It is very misleading."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful