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2012 Chevrolet Equinox

Overview
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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.

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)

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2012 Chevrolet Equinox Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 378 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 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 this car!

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It is fun to drive. I have had this car for 4 year"

Cons: "I'm not sure if the price was a bit expensive. ???"

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

"I have a "back problem" This is the only car that I have ever drove that supports my back-no pain. I feel rested after a long vacation drive. It handles well. There is a "blinds spot" (that most cars have). So, I am very careful wwhen changing lanes. The engine is "quiet". Lots of leg room in the back seat. I love the "back-up viewing screen". I love the way the car looks-inside & out. It's a pleasure to drive!"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

love everything about this car

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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: "extreamly comfortable riding car"

Cons: "better gas milage would be nice"

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

"LTZ model red with lots of chrome, even added a little extra chrome. Gets lots of looks. One of the sharpest looking cars on the road."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

poor gas milage 20 not 32 mpg

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,020

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"poor gas milage 20mpg not 32 mpg other then that and low oil light dones not low oil comes not come on when 2 quarts low you have check or eingine make nosie"

14 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Under-powered Awesomeness

By on Monday, August 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "space, reliability, options"

Cons: "four cylinder is kinda low on power"

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

"I love my Equinox. It's a very comfortable car to drive, and has exceptional leg room in the back seats. I'm self employed and often have clients in the car, so that was a big plus for me. The cargo area is also quite spacious, and has several loops to attach bungee cords or other storage enhancements. It's very reliable on long trips, and as long as you stick to the recommended maintenance schedule, you're not going to spend a lot of money on this car's upkeep. The only thing I would do differently would be buy the 6-cylinder vs the 4. Its just a tad under-powered for the size, especially when merging or passing on highways. I'm either going to get another one next year, or go for a bigger vehicle like the Yukon (life changes mean I need more storage room for lots of trips). Buy one, you won't be disappointed unless you're looking to race."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

milage controversey

By on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort, design, gas milage"

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

"Seems like a big gripe with this car has been mileage. I don't get it. I drive with the MPG screen on all the time. Over any given 50 miles (city and hwy) I'll average between 26 and 29 mpg... that's the average. Maybe some people need to wear lighter shoes."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Never would buy again,

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "61000 miles on original brakes"

Cons: "Leather seats are to hard and not confortable."

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

"The 4 cyl.AWD Equinox is rated at 29 mpg highway, best we ever got is 24.5 our 2002 jeep with 135000 miles on it got better gas milage on the hwy.The 4 cylinder AWD equinox is totally gutless unless you get a running start don't try passing anyone,if anyone should buy one get the 6 cyl. The leather seats in our Equinox are as hard as rocks, I don't understand their thinking on this one they could be a little softer, not a confortable car on long trips.On the positive side still have the original brakes and tires but need new rear brakes as they are down to 20% left and tires before winter if we keep it."

11 people out of 19 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?