Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • 2014 Compact SUVs
Go

2012 Chevrolet Equinox

Overview
Share this page
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?

2012 Chevrolet Equinox Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

In the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV, Chevrolet stretched the boundary of what is considered "compact" to create a small SUV priced and equipped like the segment-leading Honda CR-V, but with more power, more features and more style. Comparatively, the Toyota RAV4 might be a better matchup, as both vehicles have the same larger footprint, offer the option of a V6 engine and are similarly priced. Although unlike the RAV4, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox SUV does not offer a third-row seat, it does have plenty of room for five and a sizable cargo hold to boot. The Traverse is more stylish than many of its competitors, including the conservatively styled Kia Sorrento and somewhat dated Ford Escape. With some of the best fuel-economy figures in the segment, the 2012 Chevy Equinox continues to draw customers-new and repeat alike-making the most of every penny they spend.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like the idea of driving a small SUV, but you want carlike ride and handling, excellent gas mileage, cutting-edge navigation, audio and cell-phone connectivity and you demand it all in a vehicle with a strong sense of style, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox will likely meet all your criteria and then some.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who cannot live without a third-row seat will have to live without the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox SUV. What's worse, to get a third-row seat you'll have the difficult decision choosing among the Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander and Hyundai Santa Fe.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chevy Equinox compact SUV gains blind-spot mirrors on all trims, while Bluetooth is now standard on the LS trim. A rearview camera is added to the 1LT trim and a new 7-inch color touch-screen radio with USB port is made standard on 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. Later in the model year, Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment and safety system becomes available.

Driving the Equinox

Driving Impressions If the 2012 Chevy Equinox compact SUV has one standout feature, it's the vehicle's roomy, quiet and nicely appointed interior. If you count yourself as someone more interested in fuel...

efficiency rather than the fastest 0-to-60-mph time, the standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with its 182 horsepower should more than suffice. Teamed to an ultra-smooth 6-speed automatic transmission, the Equinox's 4-cylinder engine has no problem moving the little SUV, and its ability to select the right gear for maximum fuel economy earns the 2012 Chevy Equinox SUV an EPA highway estimated 32 mpg. If you're not trying to squeeze every drop of gasoline from your tank, the 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 delivers a much more robust performance. V6-powered models also offer more optional equipment, such as the Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert systems. 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 passengers to get comfortable, especially those with long legs.
Favorite Features

Height-adjustable Tailgate
If you have low garage clearance or limited vertical reach, the 2012 Chevy Equinox SUV allows the tailgate to be programmed to open to a safe or reachable height.

Rear-seat Entertainment
This is an option we think more vehicles in the class should offer. In the 2012 Chevy Equinox compact SUV, the system features two independent seatback-mounted screens on which one rear passenger can watch a DVD movie while the other plays a (self-supplied) video game, for instance.

2012 Chevrolet Equinox Details
Interior

While the interiors of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V may be newer than the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUV, we still think the Equinox has one of the most visually dynamic instrument panels and interior layouts in the segment. Aside from some plastics that look a bit cheap, the stunning flow of the center stack and the Equinox's ice-blue ambient lighting and available perforated leather seats make you forget you're not in a luxury crossover. Order the 2-tone Jet Black/Brownstone leather seat package, and you'd swear you were driving in a new small Cadillac crossover rather than in a Chevy. Beyond its good looks, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox provides excellent room for four adults, a vast cargo hold and lots of clever storage spots for drinks, cell phones and odd and ends. The rear seats can slide forward a full eight inches, creating an even larger cargo area. To help keep the cabin quiet, 4-cylinder models are equipped with active noise cancellation, a system that employs the audio speakers to cancel out intrusive sound waves with counteracting sound waves.

Exterior

Unlike so many smaller crossover SUVs that attempt to mimic the styling of their full-size big brothers, Chevrolet wisely gave the 2012 Equinox SUV its own distinctive look. Looking more like a slightly overgrown Malibu wagon than a tough little SUV, the Chevy Equinox stands out with an oversized headlight treatment and the signature 2-bar grille. Eye-catching styling cues include the "floating" foglight bezels and the sharply creased fender flares that give the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUV a decidedly racy appearance. While we find even the base trim to be attractive, it's the LTZ trim that makes our hearts race. With its 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, chrome-covered door handles and neatly placed roof rack, the LTZ really stands out from its competitors' more pedestrian offerings.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All models have a 6-speed automatic transmission, while an "eco" mode on models with the 4-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 the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox 2LT and Equinox LTZ trims, also activates the heating and air conditioning.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Chevy Equinox SUV offers a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a power liftgate, both of which are uncommon in the category. Other notable options include the 264-horsepower V6 engine, all-wheel drive, a navigation system, comprehensive premium audio system, remote start, rearview camera, leather seating, heated front seats, and a memory-enabled driver's seat and mirror. Later in the model year, Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system will allow users to connect their cell phones to the system, accessing such apps as Pandora and Stitcher Smart Radio via voice-activated commands.

Under the Hood

Every 2012 Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV includes a fuel-efficient, 182-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine as standard equipment, and all but the entry LS trim level offer the upgrade to the 264-horsepower V6 for around $1,500. The engines feature direct-injection technology and are matched with 6-speed automatic transmissions, both of which simultaneously increase power and efficiency. The 4-cylinder versions offer an "Eco" button that sets the engine and transmission programming to mileage-maxing mode. Both engines are E85 compatible. The V6 offers manual shift control, although we felt it could be more responsive. The 4- and 6-cylinder versions feature tow ratings of 1,500 and 3,500 pounds respectively.

2.4-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (FWD) 20/29 (AWD), 15/22 (E85, FWD), 14/20 (E85, AWD)

3.0-liter V6
264 horsepower @ 6,950 rpm
222 lb-ft of torque @ 5,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 12/18 (FWD, E85), 16/23 (AWD), 12/17 (AWD, E85)

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?

2012 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

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?