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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 486 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 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

Just purchased my 2nd Equinox

By on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "luxury look exterior, great price, quiet cabin"

Cons: "busy control station, seats could look nicer"

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

"My first Equinox was a 2006 that I purchased in 2008 and was a very reliable vehicle. When it was time for me to get something newer I shopped around a little and test drove a Nissan Rogue. It was very disappointing. I then drove to the Chevy dealer across the street and test drove a 2015 Equinox that I ended up purchasing (new). You get so much more for your money with the Equinox. It rides like a luxury car in my opinion. I drive around 60 miles rt to work and my commute is so much more comfortable. I only wish the seats were nicer to look at. The controls for the radio etc. were a little confusing at first also. I love my Equi!"

I love this car!

By on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have had it for 3 years and have not had one problem with it. It is stylish, economical, comfortable and fun to drive. The ONLY reason I am trading it in is because I need a larger vehicle for my family. I can't say enough good about this car!"

A very nice SUV.

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

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

"It's a great car for our use. Drives well. Heater and AC work very well. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one. I'm a little disappointed with the gas mileage though. It's not much better than my 2005 Uplander mileage. And that was a V6."

BURNS OIL like crazy and no one can figure out why

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Nice Interior Design, Roomy"

Cons: "Burns 1-3 quarts of oil per week"

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

"I bought the 2010 Equinox with approximately 65,000 miles. I am not even to 75,000 miles yet and the car is burning around 1-3 quarts of oil a week!!! This is ridiculous. I have taken it back to the original dealership I bought it from, and they "couldn't find any issues". I took it to a different dealership, only to find out the rings and pistons were replaced at 59,000 miles (before I owned it)and they weren't aware of any other possibilities for the cause of oil consumption issues. I regret this purchase, and I am extremely disappointed in the overall quality of the car!"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Dependable and economical. I really love this car!

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to drive, great get around town car"

Cons: "Blind spot, even with camera"

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

"My Equinox has been very dependable and gets great gas mileage. It is great for in town as well as highway driving. I would recommend this car, just beware..of the rear blind spot when backing up. I hope you enjoy your Equinox as much as I do mine!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Nice driving car with electric assist power steeri

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good handling, gas milage, reliability and looks"

Cons: "Not the most comfortable front seats"

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

"I like the way the car handles around town and it also does well on the road. I found I could plug my MP3 player into the USB connection in the storage box between the seats and play everything. The car got 32 mpg on a trip to the beach fully loaded with 4 people. The only thing I don't like about the car is the bucket seats. The edge of the seat digs into the back of my legs on a long trip. The seats just don't compare in comfort to my 2013 Impala LT."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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