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 Loyal Chevy owner on Monday, March 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Easy to get into and a pleasure to drive."
Cons: "Backup camera needs better distance markers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have been very satisfied with the vehicle its the 1st new car I have bought in 30 yrs. I plan on buying another."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By kim on Saturday, March 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,800overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable and fast"
Cons: "Not enough room , rough ride!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I have to admit my v6 equinox is very reliable and fast. I am not happy with how rough it rides. I had a Traverse before this and still regret getting rid of it. It's a good vehicle if you don't have a lot to carry. The cargo area is to small."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By lp on Saturday, February 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks good and nice interior,"
Cons: "AC/Heat; Traction; 4cyl.; working with On Star;"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"4 Cyl is too weak and the gas savings are not enough to make this a good choice. Poor in snow or slippery road conditions. OnStar too hard to deal with and do not work well with previously owned cars. AC/Heat is inadequate."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By TeeRoy on Thursday, February 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,575overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Easy to park, no blind spots when backing up."
Cons: "None so far"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My 2012 LT has performed flawlessly, and filled my needs for economical transportation. The 4 cylinder engine is not one you would drag race with, however, it has ample power when needed. With the rear seats folded down, there is plenty of room for cargo."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By SoOverIt on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "has great acceleration for a 4 banger."
Cons: "I paid over $20,000.00 for this car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This vehicle has been in the repair shop 9 times since i purchased it in 2013. This year already I have had it in for 2 seperate issues. They have had it in there service department for 28 days . 2 weeks total in January 2015 , and has been in there now for 14 more this month so far they still have it so i am guessing probably another 5 days."
7 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Ruf on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling, good value, very comfortable."
Cons: "In-city gas mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this Equinox new with the V-6 engine so that I could tow my motorcycle trike whenever I wanted. I have not been sorry! I drove to the east coast and back pulling the trike and I didn't even know it was behind me. The Euqinox has all the power I need and it is is very comfortable and a real pleasure to drive. My wife loves it too. On a daily basis she drives it more than I do cause I ride my trike and she has never had a complaint about the vehicle. The gas milage for a V-6 is well within expected levels. In short, I'd recommend an Equinox to anyone."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful