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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.
Favorite Features

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 343 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 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, love, love, love this car!

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Love being "up" so I can see all around me."

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

"Only thing that bothers me is the height of the backseat headrests obstruct view. I keep the seats down most of the time. It's just me driving this car."

I love my Equinox.

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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: "fun to drive"

Cons: "blind spot in rear corners"

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

"This car has proved itself in our nasty snowy winters. We can drive for hours with out sore backs. I will be buying another one. My only complaint is the rear blind spot. However because I know it is there I am more cautious when backing out anywhere. Still willbuy another one."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Looks great but a very noisy ride.

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"While I like the appearance and the size of my Equinox, I have to say that I haven't had a noisier riding car in a long time. Almost every time we get started down the road I actually look to see if the windows in the back seat are cracked open. It is that loud. I have to adjust the sound level on the radio if the type of road surface changes. I can't understand why Chevy would not put better road noise dampening on a vehicle that runs over $25,000 new. Go figure. The seating is fairly comfortable and I love the OnStar and Bluetooth for my phone."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Still love this car after 4 years and 60K miles!

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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: "Perfect size, great performance and quiet interior"

Cons: "V6 engine fuel economy is 19 city, 27 highway"

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

"I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to recommend this car to anyone. Excellent size for me; lots of interior volume, legroom and still looks good, too."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Perfect young family/business/active person car

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I don't own this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas mileage, interior, comfort, handling, durable"

Cons: "None"

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

"Exceptional vehicle for young family, young active people or career person. Affordable luxury as this car has everything necessary plus comfort. Gas mileage and the interiors are the best features."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Baby SUV

By on Thursday, March 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,100

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
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Sporty look, good price, good MPG, safety ratings"

Cons: "Slow, small engine, terrible turn radius, small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I find that the Equinox has the basic characteristics of an SUV without the power or real feel of one. I don't think the 4 cylinder engine should be offered in this vehicle - it is not strong enough nor should it be on any SUV. The design of the truck is good; it is sleek and well rounded with a sporty feel especially on the interior. The vent system is kind of odd and difficult to control. The radio could have been upgraded for the LT and LTZ models. It still seems very basic for a vehicle with OnStar/Navigation/XM and a backup camera. The heated, non-leather, seats are a nice sporty touch; you don't see that too often. It handles well in the winter and in the rain. The steering can be kind of rough when taking sharp turns - not sure if that is all Equinoxs' or just mine. Also, THIS CAR HAS A TERRIBLE TURN RADIUS. My full size 7 passenger Durango had a better turn radius than the Equinox. The gas mileage isn't bad - it isn't great for a 4 cylinder either. I average around 19-22 mpg and i do about equal city/highway travel. The vehicle seems roomy, but i have not personally sat in the back seat. Overall, this is a good "starter" car if you are trying to be professional and want something new for a good price. I have not had any issues with mine, and I have driven it during the worst winter in Michigan history."

4 people out of 4 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

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