By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
By Hank on Thursday, January 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Pretty well love everything about it."
Cons: "The dash material is hard to get lint off of."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is the third Equinox we have owned. All were purchased new from a dealer. We had a "09, '11, and now a 2012. We loved them all. I was hesitant about buying this 2012, because of the engine. It's a 4 cylinder. I was SO wrong. It has plenty of power!!!!!! I average between 25-30 mpg and driving it takes zero effort. Cannot go wrong purchasing this vehicle."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Rpete on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Well built, reliable, comfortable, quiet, good loo"
Cons: "Old foot-styled parking brake."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After 43,000 flawless miles I am quite impressed with this vehicle. I am now in the middle of my 4th Ohio winter with this car and it handles very well in the ice and snow, even without AWD. The ride is quiet and comfortable and it doesn't have a rattle or squeak. It is what I would call an "honest" vehicle. Good looking, comfortable, reasonable V6 power and efficiency and rock-solid dependability."
12 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By dbh on Sunday, January 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"it is a good car except for the fact that it is very uncomfortable. on long rides my wife and I both have back and neck aches"
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Rich on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking and in very good condition"
Cons: "very small dent in rear door. no damage to paint"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Vehicle has been good to us. A deer hit us two years ago but I was not injured because this vehicle is very safe. All repairs were done and no problems"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Carebear1985 on Wednesday, January 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Overall, I'm very happy with the vehicle. I bought it because of the adjustable rear seat, which allows me to add leg room for passengers or cargo space if I need to move anything. I splurged a bit on some upgrades and have not been disappointed! I love the backup camera and the remote start/heated seats rock in the winter.. I purchased an AWD because of unpredictable weather and my frequent trips into the mountains. It's come in useful on many occasions, but eats into the fuel economy. It would be nice to be able to switch to 2WD for my daily commute and improve the MPG. I purchased some WeatherTech floor liners, so my family car is super easy to clean up. I was a bit disappointed at the amount of cheap plastic accessories in the vehicle, especially at that price point. Also, Chevy seems to be a bit behind the power curve when it comes to their computerized systems and pairing of devices/features. I can make calls with the Bluetooth, but had to purchase a cable to project any other sound/navigation from my phone (since I didn't spring for On-Star's Navigation package). I definitely recommend this vehicle.. even talked my best friend into getting one of her own (now we match!!)"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By jarcat on Sunday, January 04, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "drives good in snow"
Cons: "dont buy one"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car with 19,000 miles, it has many recall/service notices. I bought this so I could have peace of mind and the last GM car I had I put 150,000 miles on it and loved it. This car needed major work on the engine @ 42,000 and has always used oil. Now they admit there are engine oil issues but won't fix mine because it didn't use enough oil what a joke this car burns a quart of oil in 2000 miles and has since we got it. We have always bought GM vehicles that is over!!!! Now I have to hope to get some value out of it to buy something else. I'm done also no way to check tranny fluid or change it great feature NOT."
12 people out of 23 found this review helpful