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 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."
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."
By Lenae on Thursday, February 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful in snow, great on gas, lots of room"
Cons: "Remote starter turns off after only 10 minutes."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the first new car I have bought in 20 years, and I Love it! I live in Michigan, lots of snow and have not missed one day of work because of it. I'm so glad I didn't get the 4WD, front wheel drive is perfect. The only thing that I have not been happy with is the remote start. It automatically turns off after 10 minutes. In our cold state this is not enough time to warm my car up. I have asked the dealership to change increase the run time, they have told me that for safety reasons they do not do that. I know my daughters remote start will run much longer, so I know it' possible."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Zach on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great look. Terrific ride. Great value."
Cons: "Expensive to fix and not as good of MPG as rated."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a great vehicle. On paper it says this car gets 20-29 mpg, but I can tell you we have never gotten that kind of MPG while driving this. I am getting around 18 mpg right now which is still great for an AWD crossover. It is a very sleek looking car and most people get in and love the two tone leather inside. I would highly suggest this to someone looking for a nice riding cross over."
19 people out of 36 found this review helpful
By El-cid on Monday, February 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great in snow and ice. Fun to drive."
Cons: "Stiff ride and you have to step up to get into the"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am a senior citzen and love the SUV. It sits high where you can see everything. This is a young persons car. Handles great and has a short turning radis. Great in snow and ice. You have to step up to get in the SUV."
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Nellie on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good MPG, good passenger room, nice options/ride."
Cons: "Backup camera, visibility, heater & A/C controls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Was driving a Silverado, so kind of miss the power, but wanted an AWD vehicle with good interior room, better gas mileage and good for winter driving and I think I found it. Almost bought a KIA Sorento, which has more cargo room but not as good gas mileage or driver/passenger room and comfort. Got the 2LT loaded with sunroof, heated cloth seats (unusual but great) and MyLink (which I absolutely love). Also got the remote start that automatically turns on heat and heated seats if cold outside, which is absolutely wonderful, would highly recommend getting these features. Only complaints so far is the visibility and the fact that you can only see the heater and A/C stats when you are adjusting them, as they come on at the bottom of the nice, large touch screen monitor. Oh yeah, and they should (not could, should) have put the guide lines on the back up camera that show how close you are to the bumper of the car you are backing at, cause it looks like you are still far away, but almost hit someone the first few times I used it. It is very misleading."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful