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 nox11 on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Positives - nice ride, quiet, smoother on highway than other compact SUV's. Styling is nice although getting a bit dated 5 years after debut. Most back seat room in class. After 61K miles, it has held up pretty well - no major flaws and only one trip to the shop for a recall on the camshaft position sensor. Negatives - a bit heavy for the 4 cyl - its a dog if you need to pass and you are already going at highway speed. Raspy when you make the 4 cyl work. The HVAC was not well thought out. Gas mileage on the highway was never close to the advertised 29 MPG for an AWD. Best I could achieve with no A/C and a steady 60 on a flat road was 27.2"
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By old man 76 on Thursday, December 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles pretty well, good fuel economy"
Cons: "not too much to complain about yet!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I am pleased with this vehicle. Nothing special, but it has been very dependable and safe. I would consider purchasing Chevrolet products in the future."
9 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By hot rod on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable ride and good sound ststem"
Cons: "lags enough engine power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"liked everything about this car but the 4 cylinder engine. Not enough power to get up and go when needed. Struggled on steep hills. Compressor went out on air conditioner at about 55k miles. Now have noise when air conditioning is on."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By db on Wednesday, December 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"great vechile very lots of room inside rides good looks good in my view.good mileage 27 avg.i wish i had got a v6 though."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By bubba on Monday, November 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "easy to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"One of the very best small SUV's on the market in its price range. I like the power of the V6 engine. The four cylinders are too under powered in SUV's. I would buy the LTZ model again. The only thing I am worried about is the all wheel drive compared to my trailblazers four wheel drive."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Carolyn on Monday, November 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,270overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "I like the feeling of sitting higher."
Cons: "Too much black interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"It is a great car for convenience and comfort but it has too many blind spots. That is the major complaint. Outside of that I love this car."
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful