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.

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 459 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

Reliable and cuter than a mini-van

By on Monday, August 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,600

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Stylish, perfect size, easy transition from a car"

Cons: "No rear air vents"

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

"For the most part, I truly enjoy my Equinox. I purchased it shortly after my son turned 2. We upgraded from a Honda Civic so that he would have some room to grow. The vehicle is easy to enter and exit. It does not have the get up that my Civic did and that did take some getting used to but it has alot more to it also. I love my backup camera and the layout of the dashboard. The trunk space is good too. My only real complaint is that the back seat is very hard to cool. Chevy has put rear vents into their 3 row Traverse, but they should have considered them for the Equinox. I can be freezing in the front and the back seat will still be warm. And that is not good in this TEXAS heat."

A very nice 5 passenger AWD SUV

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good size, comfortable to drive, nice dash layout"

Cons: "MPG lower than advertised, Too many recalls/SBs"

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

"I bought the vehicle new in July 2009 when they first came to the market. Like the style. It has a good insurance rating, so rates are reasonable. Interior is nicely designed, especially front seat travel for a big guy. The adjustable rear seats are also nice whether you're carrying people or cargo. The cargo area is a bit small but not a big problem for me. The vehicle was the subject of a few recalls/service bulletins. Fortunately the repairs were done at GM's cost and were resolved satisfactorily. GM also extended the warranty on some components to 100K in the event a problem arises. Just invested in my first set of tires 75K, so I plan to keep the vehicle awhile longer."

nothing to get excited about

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,509

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "reliable leased vehicle"

Cons: "ugly inside and out. not fun to drive. cheap plasti"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Note that I have had 3 of this model since 2010 as leased company vehicles. I keep each car until 70,000 miles and about every 18 months. I can honestly say I've never had a mechanical issue or breakdown with any of the vehicles.The six speaker sound system is excellent and blue tooth streaming very good. That being said, here the compliments end. My thoughts and comments have been expressed by other reviewers. If your looking for crossover forget the Equinox. My wife has a 2010 Mazda CX7. We would take on trips as it is a better car Exterior is ok.The Mazda CX7 is sportier. Roll down the Windows, especially the back, road noise or should I say car noise is unbearable. Rides can be bumpy. Driving is uninspiring and is not fun putting on 70,000 over 18 months. All of mine clunk when gears change. Pickup is poor. The 4 cylinder engine has no power with the weight of this vehicle. During the winter a police officer pushed me up a steep hill after I got stuck by another vehicle having trouble in front of me. Note that other vehicles were doing just fine. The cloth seats are without doubt, the ugliest I have had in any vehicle, stain easily and are uncomfortable. Car fogs up terribly unlike any other vehicle I have driven over the past 27 years as a professional driver. Communication via Bluetooth is fair. Many calls between identical vehicles get dropped To sum the Equinox up. Don't buy it. The Mazda CX7 is much better for less. My new 2015 Nissa Sentra, fully loaded is better than either."

Great vehicle, just needs a few tweeks

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "stylish, roomy, good fuel economy"

Cons: "lack of ventalation, poor resale value, seat space"

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

"I purchased my Equinox brand new for 36,000 and within a year the value had dropped drastically and is currently worth a mere 18,000 in Excellent condition. It also has minor design flaws such as the vent system. The placement and movement of only 4 vents allows zero air flow into the rear of the vehicle and I've had issues with temperature control as well. I was also lead to believe it was a spacious vehicle capable of transporting a family of four comfortably, which would be true if my kids were older. However with two car seats in the rear, there is absolutely NO room for a third passage in the rear seat. Plus the infant carrier hits the front seat forcing either the driver or passenger to sit extremely close to the dashboard."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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!"

4 people out of 6 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."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement