Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • 2014 Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
Go

2011 Chevrolet Equinox

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Review

By

With the cost of everything from oil to steel on the rise, the growing popularity of smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles is also trending upward. We all know how much Americans love their SUVs, so when Chevrolet introduced the Equinox, a smaller, less-expensive and more fuel-efficient version of the traditional SUV, its acceptance among buyers seemed a no-brainer. The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox continues to raise the bar in a segment dominated by such heavyweights as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. With newcomers Hyundai and Kia now stepping up their game as well, the Equinox will clearly have its work cut out to keep pace. But, GM seems determined to keep this vehicle relevant, a fact born out by the continuing improvements made to the 2011 model.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you prefer bold styling over bland, cutting edge audio and navigation over gutless four speaker systems, and class-leading 32-mpg highway fuel economy, Chevrolet has built a crossover utility vehicle for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need the capability afforded by a third-row seat, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox will take a back seat to competitors such as the Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander and Hyundai Santa Fe.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox gains a FlexFuel (E85) compatible V6 engine option, as well as some new standard features. The mid-level Chevrolet Equinox 2LT gains standard heated front seats, while Chevrolet Equinox 1LT now feature Bluetooth, a USB port and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Driving the Equinox

Driving Impressions If the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox has one strong suit, it's the vehicle's quiet and comfortable interior. For those who prefer frugality over fury, the standard four-cylinder engine will surprise with...

its strong acceleration and quiet operation. Aided by an innovative six-speed automatic transmission, the 182-horsepower four-cylinder not only moves with some authority, it delivers impressive fuel economy as well. The 264-horsepower V6, available on all except the base model, brings greater power for passing and merging, but it is not the strongest V6 in the segment. That honor still belongs to the Toyota RAV4. The Chevrolet Equinox's ice-blue ambient lighting and available perforated leather seats make you forget you're not in a luxury crossover. Finding a comfortable position behind the wheel is a breeze thanks to the tilt and telescoping steering wheel and power adjustable seat. The Equinox's sliding rear seats make it easy for rear seat passenger s to get comfortable, especially those with long legs.

Height-adjustable Tailgate
If you have low garage clearance or limited vertical reach, you can program the tailgate to open to only a safe or reachable height.

Rear-seat Entertainment
This is an option we think more vehicles in the class should offer. In the 2011 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.

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Details
Interior

Although the new Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento come awfully close, we think the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox has the freshest, most visually eye catching interior in the segment. While we can find fault with some of the plastics and trim pieces, the overall execution is first rate, especially when equipped with the two-tone Jet Black/Brownstone leather seating option. But, the Equinox's interior improvements go beyond mere good looks. There is a lot of room, utility and just plain thoughtfulness here, as well. Four-cylinder models, for example, use active noise cancellation (a system that cancels out sound waves with counteracting sound waves) to keep the cabin quiet. Further evidence can be found with the back seats that slide forward a full eight inches, creating an even larger area for cargo (or the family dog).

Exterior

What we like most about the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is that it doesn't try to look like a downsized Suburban. From its elegant oversized headlamps, to its two-bar grille and "floating" fog lamp bezels, to its sharp creased fender flares, the Chevrolet Equinox looks more like an overgrown exotic wagon rather than a small SUV. We like all the trims, but are especially partial to the top-of-the-line Equinox LTZ, with its available 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, power liftgate and chrome door handles, and roof rack trim. And, despite its tall appearance, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is as easy to step in and out of as a standard family sedan.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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. Safety and convenience are enhanced with standard OnStar, while XM Satellite Radio provides added entertainment value. The "smart" remote start feature, standard on Chevrolet Equinox 2LT and Equinox LTZ trims, also activates the heating and air conditioning.

Optional Equipment

The 2011 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 264-horsepower V6 engine, all-wheel drive, a navigation system, comprehensive premium audio system, remote vehicle start, backup camera, leather seating, heated front seats, and a memory-enabled driver's seat and mirror.

Under the Hood

Every 2011 Chevrolet Equinox includes a fuel-efficient, 182-horsepower, four-cylinder engine as standard equipment, and all but the entry LS trim level offers the upgrade to the 264-horsepower V6 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 is E85 compatible and 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)

3.0-liter V6
264 horsepower @ 6950 rpm
222 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 12/18 (FWD, E85), 16/22 (AWD), 12/17 (AWD, E85)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 387 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

awful car

By on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "don't know of one"

Cons: "awful car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"this car has been towed in three times. I have not had to get a car towed in since the 80's. gas mileage is poor, only about 24mpg. rated 34mpg. this is my highway mileage. in town about 18 mpg."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Fun car to drive, comfortable.

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,850

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I look forward to driving it."

Cons: "City gas milage could be better."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought new, it's a 2014 model. Handles very nice on all types of roadways. The AWD does really good in the snow. All the features that come with it are great."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great value car with some great features

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Back seat. Gas mileage with 4 cyl. Quiet"

Cons: "Back-up camera needs grid lines on screen"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought the LTZ version (loaded) - we did NOT get the V6 engine as it was too noisy and a gas hog. The 4 cylinder averages 30mpg and have gotten 37.5mpg on a long trip according to the on-board computer (I saved the setting)! Wish the car had a blind spot warning system and also wish the back-up camera had lines to help gage where the car was when backing up. More good points - the car is VERY quiet on the road - no wind noise or tire noise. Sound system is excellent. Back seat is more than ample for adults. Love the back seat! 2 years free maintenance is an added bonus."

13 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Nice, except hard shifting

By on Friday, September 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "electronics, styling"

Cons: "transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Love this car in every way: the V6 has a lot of power, the car is comfortable, the automatic liftgate and auto-start are handy and the interior electronics are great. However, I wish Chevy spent more time on the basics - my AWD 6cyl is very jerky. When you stop at a light and then accelerate, you get a little jerk at regular intervals until you reach cruising speed. When you are close to a stop, but then accelerate (as in stop and go traffic) you'll find the car a bit jerky. Dealers will tell you that it is normal and that is how Chevy makes them. If that is true, Chevy should be out of business very soon."

5 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Worst upgrade of my life!

By on Sunday, September 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Roomy, Smooth ride"

Cons: "Steering is awful, Blind spots are terrible"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Traded 4 cyl. 2012, for the 6 cyl. 2014. Worst decision i have ever made. The steering is awful, and the noise it makes is even worse. The dealership says its fine. GM customer service brushes you off like your concerns are not important. Vehicle has been in shop on a total of 5 different occasions for same issue, with no resolve. my 2012 was by far a more sound, solid vehicle. Choosing the upgrade was not worth the stress and concern i have had over my safety since."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Very Honest Vehicle - Enjoyable

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Drives well, very comfortable, solid."

Cons: "Old style emergency brake."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought my 2012 Equinox LTZ new in 2011. First brand new Chevy since 1981. No disappointments. This is a very honest, comfortable, well built, good locking, comfortable and reliable vehicle. I have had zero problems in three years and over 36,000 miles. I have the V6 and power is more than adequate and I get 25-27 mpg on the highway. Nice job GM!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?