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2011 Chevrolet Equinox

Overview
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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Review

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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)

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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 425 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Mediocre car...I expected better from chevrolet

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "decent gas mileage"

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

"The engine is noisy and the windshield wipers do an extremely poor job. I've had this car in twice for warranty work and have about 4 notifications from GM for "potential" defects....really?? You buy a new car for peace of mind and reliability. This car has been a yellow flag from the get go. EXTREMELY disappointed in GM. I've been buying GM cars since is was 20 years old. I am 63 now and I am divorcing you, GM."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

this is one of the best cars i have ever owned. I

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Plenty of pep ,pretty good on gas, handles well."

Cons: "The heating system could improve."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The car is much better than I ever thought a Chevy would be. I have owned Buicks, Fords, Lexus 400, BMW 5, Cadillac, Lincoln pound for pound it's right up their with the best."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Smoothe Ride

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "smooth quiet ride, great gas mileage,"

Cons: "vent location and initial acceleration"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Purchased this car brand new off the lot. Gas mileage greatly improved after 15,000 miles. Quiet smooth ride, mechanically sound and no major issues. The 4 cylinder is a little slow out of the gate, but the gas mileage worth it. I average in the mid to high thirties mpg on the highway and 26-27 around town. The cabin is well designed excepted for the air/heat vents which the direction could be improved, the driver side vent is a little tricky to adjust to have the ac/heat not hit the back of the steering wheel when fully open. Good versatility with the fold down seats for moving large items and extremely roomy in the back seat for passengers."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Pretty decent

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Blind spot mirrors, comfortable, good AWD"

Cons: "Low front, narrow loading area, sluggish steering"

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

"I own the 2013 Chev Equinox 1LT. This is my first new vehicle and I am fairly satisfied with my purchase. I've owned this vehicle for two years and I haven't had any major issues with it. The pros in my view is that this vehicle is comfortable to ride in. I've had many passengers who loved sitting in the back seat since it provides lots of stretch room. I love the blindspot mirrors in which apparently newer Equinoxes lack now (I wonder why...). I've survived two winters without being stuck once. With winter tires on the Equinox, I felt confident and safe driving in the snow. The fuel economy could be better in comparison to its foreign rivals. I get approximately 23mpg on average when driving a mix of city and highway on the 4-cyl engine. Some cons I find is that the steering is quite sluggish, don't be expecting a sporty feel as it is really a family vehicle. The interior in the loading area is quite narrow in comparison to other SUVs, I found that loading my bikes into the vehicle a bit challenging but I make it work. The front of the vehicle is pretty low, so be careful with those cement parking blocks. The entertainment plug-in is located in the armrest compartment. It's awkwardly positioned and it takes a bit to fiddle around and connect my cords into. Overall it is a pretty decent vehicle and I see myself keeping it for a bit longer!"

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

LOVE THIS SUV

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "love to drive"

Cons: "none"

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

"Own the LTZ with all the bells and whistles has 88,000 miles and still looks sharp and rides great. Will definitely buy another,had no problem in the winter snow and ice this year. Drives down the road nicely, brakes great and really have no problem at all except I had to put a new battery in it this winter. I do the recommended oil changes and maintenance."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Easy to get into and a pleasure to drive."

Cons: "Backup camera needs better distance markers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have been very satisfied with the vehicle its the 1st new car I have bought in 30 yrs. I plan on buying another."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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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?