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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
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 368 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

Love it!

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Not what dealer told me

By on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Poor gas mileage

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Glad I bought this car

By on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great gas mileage. Plenty of room."

Cons: "More sound proofing, Better seat comfort."

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

"This was the first model year after it's nip and tuck. I was impressed with my 30 mpg on 2 trips to North Carolina from Delaware. The styling of the exterior and room in the cabin and way back is what originally sold me on this vehicle. The fit and finish on this vehicle, no problem. The sound system is as promised. Mechanically, a bit noisy but a great engine and trans. This car was the best of breed in that model year in a year of not so much to choose from. What needs improvement: This is a quiet car,but they should have used acoustic glass to cut out some of the road noise as well as more sound proofing. The door stop needs to be improved so the doors don't swing back at you in a wind or just when you open the door too hard. They really needed to step up their game on seat comfort. They were a tad behind other brands on creature comforts. Bottom line. A little overpriced, but what GM isn't. I am happy I bought this car. In fact, I may give it to my daughter and go buy my wife a new 2015. On balance, its a really good car that fit my needs. That is what really counts."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Awful gas mileage and reliability

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfortable and drives nicely"

Cons: "horrible mpg"

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

"We have a 2014 Chevy Equinox and are not happy. It has weird electronic glitches, at only 3000 miles, the battery has randomly died three times, and the fuel efficiency is not as advertised- we actually are getting more like 15 city/ 19 highway, and it's not us because our other car we get better than advertised mpg. The car has already been into the shop twice in 6 months. So much for getting a brand new car.... It is beautiful, spacious and comfortable. Just not reliable!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Excellent car. Only needed minor repairs.

By on Saturday, July 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, nice design in/out"

Cons: "Outside temp. isn't accurate"

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

"This has been an excellent car. Ordered it from the factory exactly as I wanted it. Has only been in the shop a couple of times for minor repairs in the 4 years I've had it. MPG isn't quite what is advertised, but good, none-the-less."

Good vehicle

By on Saturday, July 05, 2014

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "See above"

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

"I just totaled my Equinox. Had to have the top cut off to get me out, I've been told the SUV protection, was one reason I wasn't hurt badly. My son tells me this is the vehicle, I should buy when I replace."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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