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2012 Chevrolet Equinox

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2012 Chevrolet Equinox Review

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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 Significant About This Car?

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
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 495 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 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

Best SUV

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,400

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: "Good on gas"

Cons: "none"

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

2014 Chevy Equinox

"Great SUV. has never been in the shop! My family has outgrown it. Excellent storage space for a laptop and plenty of USB charging. Champagne 2014 Chevy Equinox 1 owner Non smoker"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

2014 Chevy Equinox

Would NOT buy another one!

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "car is not worth the money! makes noises."

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

"When we bought our equinox it made noises. Had it in and acourse chevy found nothing wrong. After awhile noise went away. Now car makes noises on and off. Bought the car for my wife and she hates it. I have tried to trade it in but chevy is saying the car is worth nothing near what i paid for it even tho we put money down. This is a 2016 LT1 equinox.with 12,000 miles and if we want to get rid of it we would loose $6000 dollars PLUS the money we put down. Over all review… Not worth the money!!"

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

stays in the repair shop for numerous reasons

By on Thursday, March 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "I liked the vehicle until all the problems started"

Cons: "frequent repair costs more than car payments"

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

"I have only had the car for 15 months. After 3 weeks of having the car the problems began. During the first year the car was in the repair shop for 4 to 5 months of the year. The AC compressor motor had to be replaced 2 times from March to June. A/C problems continued throughout the summer.Transmission had to be replaced to the tune of $2300.00. Now the AC compressor motor is giving the same problems as last year. This has been the worst vehicle."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

I've liked it

By on Monday, March 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 149,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to Drive and handles well"

Cons: "Cargo Space and Oil Consumption"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I've liked the vehicle. I performed regular maintenance and it's treated me well. There is a bit of cabin noise when riding on the highway that I understand is considered normal. I bought it new and have liked the leather heated front seats. I've traveled from NY to FL in this car and the ride was very comfortable and easy to handle. Lately since 2015 there seems to be a lot more oil consumption which I also understand is a problem that GM knows about but hasn't recalled. I just get the oil changed sooner in order to keep it functioning properly. cargo space is smaller than I'd like, which makes luggage rack a nice feature."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Love my new Equinox for city driving

By on Thursday, February 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, big and safety features good"

Cons: "Low horsepower"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Did not intend to buy this vehicle but when I test drove while shopping other SUV's, I really liked it for the price and room as I am a big guy! Rides nice and quiet with nice entertainment system for basic model. Safety is very high with ability to see all around the vehicle and sitting up high! Lights are big and bright! Better deal than paying $40,000 for "bells and whistles"! Nice job Chevy!"

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

ALL kinds of Engine trouble, At least 3 recalls,

By on Monday, February 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,610

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Timing Belt, Engine Lifters, Seat Bolt, Replaced all A/C components, HARD transmission shift, Gas mileage not what is advertised.Some are recalls and some are Defects. I got a great deat when I bought it new, More that made up the difference in Repairs."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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