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2011 Chevrolet Equinox

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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 460 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

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

Very nice vehicle

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable and great value for the dollar"

Cons: "Side pillars obstruct visibility"

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

"Nearly 5 years of trouble free driving. Very comfortable vehicle. Nice wide seats. Rear seat legroom outstanding. 182 hp. 4 cyl. engine is slightly underpowered at lower torque ranges. Must be careful with side pillars partially obstructing visibility, esp. to the rear. Gas mileage will approach EPA designated 32 highway at 55 mph. Expect about 26 at 70 mph. I plan to purchase a redesigned 2016 model before the vehicle is downsized for 2017."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Reliable and cuter than a mini-van

By on Monday, August 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,600

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Stylish, perfect size, easy transition from a car"

Cons: "No rear air vents"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"For the most part, I truly enjoy my Equinox. I purchased it shortly after my son turned 2. We upgraded from a Honda Civic so that he would have some room to grow. The vehicle is easy to enter and exit. It does not have the get up that my Civic did and that did take some getting used to but it has alot more to it also. I love my backup camera and the layout of the dashboard. The trunk space is good too. My only real complaint is that the back seat is very hard to cool. Chevy has put rear vents into their 3 row Traverse, but they should have considered them for the Equinox. I can be freezing in the front and the back seat will still be warm. And that is not good in this TEXAS heat."

A very nice 5 passenger AWD SUV

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good size, comfortable to drive, nice dash layout"

Cons: "MPG lower than advertised, Too many recalls/SBs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought the vehicle new in July 2009 when they first came to the market. Like the style. It has a good insurance rating, so rates are reasonable. Interior is nicely designed, especially front seat travel for a big guy. The adjustable rear seats are also nice whether you're carrying people or cargo. The cargo area is a bit small but not a big problem for me. The vehicle was the subject of a few recalls/service bulletins. Fortunately the repairs were done at GM's cost and were resolved satisfactorily. GM also extended the warranty on some components to 100K in the event a problem arises. Just invested in my first set of tires 75K, so I plan to keep the vehicle awhile longer."

nothing to get excited about

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,509

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable leased vehicle"

Cons: "ugly inside and out. not fun to drive. cheap plasti"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Note that I have had 3 of this model since 2010 as leased company vehicles. I keep each car until 70,000 miles and about every 18 months. I can honestly say I've never had a mechanical issue or breakdown with any of the vehicles.The six speaker sound system is excellent and blue tooth streaming very good. That being said, here the compliments end. My thoughts and comments have been expressed by other reviewers. If your looking for crossover forget the Equinox. My wife has a 2010 Mazda CX7. We would take on trips as it is a better car Exterior is ok.The Mazda CX7 is sportier. Roll down the Windows, especially the back, road noise or should I say car noise is unbearable. Rides can be bumpy. Driving is uninspiring and is not fun putting on 70,000 over 18 months. All of mine clunk when gears change. Pickup is poor. The 4 cylinder engine has no power with the weight of this vehicle. During the winter a police officer pushed me up a steep hill after I got stuck by another vehicle having trouble in front of me. Note that other vehicles were doing just fine. The cloth seats are without doubt, the ugliest I have had in any vehicle, stain easily and are uncomfortable. Car fogs up terribly unlike any other vehicle I have driven over the past 27 years as a professional driver. Communication via Bluetooth is fair. Many calls between identical vehicles get dropped To sum the Equinox up. Don't buy it. The Mazda CX7 is much better for less. My new 2015 Nissa Sentra, fully loaded is better than either."

Great vehicle, just needs a few tweeks

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "stylish, roomy, good fuel economy"

Cons: "lack of ventalation, poor resale value, seat space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I purchased my Equinox brand new for 36,000 and within a year the value had dropped drastically and is currently worth a mere 18,000 in Excellent condition. It also has minor design flaws such as the vent system. The placement and movement of only 4 vents allows zero air flow into the rear of the vehicle and I've had issues with temperature control as well. I was also lead to believe it was a spacious vehicle capable of transporting a family of four comfortably, which would be true if my kids were older. However with two car seats in the rear, there is absolutely NO room for a third passage in the rear seat. Plus the infant carrier hits the front seat forcing either the driver or passenger to sit extremely close to the dashboard."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I love this 2012 Equinox.

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,400

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: "A joy to drive! Feel very safe in it."

Cons: "Can't think of a thing!"

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

"For many years I have purchased new cars every 18 months. This 2012 Equinox has exceeded my expectations. I love the optional hatch release and bought the cloth with heated seats because I have a large dog who rides with me often. Mine is the Graystone, and it looks really sharp. I would highly recommend this vehicle. I change the oil and rotate tires when my vehicle tells me it is time to, and haven't had one problem with it. The mechanic at my dealership asked if I was interested in selling it as he is looking for one for his wife. I have NO intentions of letting this crossover go!"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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