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2012 Chevrolet Equinox

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2012 Chevrolet Equinox Review

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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.

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
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 455 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

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!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "looks sharp, drives smooth, good gas miledge!"

Cons: "seat belt buckle cover broke, sensors are funny"

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

"Love this SUV! The only problems I have had with it is the seat belt clip cover broke and my seatbelt sensor comes on occasionally for no reason or my air bag sensor and then goes away. Wish it has more power when accelerating but hey it's a V4. Depreciates in value quickly unfortunately. Over all I love this vehicle. Nice big trunk and backseat too."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love it!

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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: "drives great, roomy, plenty of cup holders"

Cons: "wish it had auto rear hatch open"

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

"I love this vehicle. I would purchase another one in a heartbeat! Great for travel. Very roomy & very affordable."

21 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Love My Equinox, but can't get rid of it fast enou

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Love, love, love the comfort of the Equinox."

Cons: "NO A/C nor possible air flow to the rear seat!"

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

"Really? No rear a/c nor vents??? I thought rear ventilation was a standard. I never even thought to check the back seat for coolness. My grandkids are burning up in the back seat. The front air vents are not placed strategically enough to get any air flow to the back seat. Plus when you get the front vents set, they will fall down and the air is pointed to the floor. This car must go!"

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Had lots of engine problems

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Beautiful car"

Cons: "Engine issues"

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

"Not very happy with the car I thought was going to be with me for many years. Bought the car brand new and constantly kept up on the maintenance but unfortunately about 3 years in my motor starts making lots of noises and just had no luck after that with constant repairs. Not very thrilled and am ready to trade in for something else."

18 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever had

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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: "great gas mileage, great price, fun to drive."

Cons: "wish the back seats could be folded down lower"

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

"Best New Car I've Ever Had. This 2015 Chevrolet Equinox Has Safety Plus Best Handling In All Types Of Terrain. Traveling On Dirt/Gravel Roads, The Antilock Brakes Saved Me From Hitting A Deer That Ran Out In Front Of Me On My Way Home Recently. I'm Getting 50+ Miles Per Gallon On Almost Every Tank Of Gas. (IPut The Cruise Control On 55 M.p.h. On Freeways). The Power Seat Is Amazing.(I've Never Had One Before). I Use The Car For Business And Pleasure And The Fold Down Seats Are A Plus. Lots Of Leg Room For Driver And Passengers As Well As Headroom. The 4 Cyl. Engine Has Lots Of Power For Such A Small Motor. 0-60 In About 6 Seconds Will Get You Merging On The Freeway Fast. I Would Recommend This Car To Anyone!"

3 people out of 8 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

Buying this car?