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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 396 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

great car but

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,270

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best all around vehicle for me

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Easy to drive and get in and out of"

Cons: "Rear seat doesn't fold down flat. Seats"

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

"Traded in 2010 Mailbu for my 2014 equinox. The Equinox is gets better gas milage and easy to get in and out. No longer have to pull my self out like the mailbu. I drive from Ohio to Chicago once a month and can get 37 mph if I were to drive the speed limit. I usally get 30 to 31 at 75 to 80 mph. Really like this car. Wish the back seat would fold flat and the front seats were softer."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great value for a luxury car

By on Sunday, October 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Outstanding product for the price"

Cons: "C pillars could be smaller for better visibility"

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

"This has been the most reliable and worry free car I've ever driven from GM. It has dodged every recall bullet to date, is a very classy design and have had zero problems. Also best mpg average is rated at 32.2 which you can press a button to see as well as tire air pressure that adds to that goal! Only suggestion I would have is to design the front C pillars for best windshield visibility. The rear camera view should be standard as is an added safety feature."

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Good little car but not reliable.

By on Friday, October 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Looks nice!"

Cons: "Not reliable."

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

"The 2010 Chevy Equinox 2.4L handles well and has comfortable interior. However, the many engine related problems I have had with this car makes reliability a concern. I have had the high pressure fuel pump replaced twice, timing chain once, and a throttle body (which was not covered by the power train warranty). The last time I had engine problems the car "reduced power" and I suddenly could not go more than 25MPH on the interstate. I am glad my kid was not in the car at the time!"

10 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Just a nice running and reliable car

By on Saturday, October 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great on gas."

Cons: "Haven't had any CONS yet."

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

"My Equinox is 2 years old and I have had no problems with it. I have 2 knee replacements but this car is easy to get in and out of. Love it."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

not impressed

By on Friday, October 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Looks nice rides ok"

Cons: "way to much money for what you get."

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

"Under powered w/ 4 cylinder. Unimpressive gas mileage, have not seen 30 mpg yet. Dislike all the controls. Seem cumbersome at best. Have to push or turn knobs to see any info on heater and a/c needs to stay up. Rear view mirror causes a blind spot for me. Drives down the road ok and is comfortable to set in but the tires are very noisy. Overall not impressed at all wished I had gotten something else but the wife likes it."

4 people out of 6 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?