The Chevrolet Equinox is part of a growing segment of "plus-sized" small crossover SUVs. Like other vehicles of this type, the Equinox provides the style and utility one normally associates with more traditional SUVs, but without their clumsy driving dynamics and poor fuel economy. As with other crossovers, the Equinox is built on a carlike platform that provides superior on-road comfort and crashworthiness.
There have been two Equinox generations. Earlier models were known for their roomy interiors and easy-driving nature, but they also suffered from substandard interior materials. The second-generation Equinox, thanks to its sharper styling, improved cabin fit and finish, additional features and new engine choices, is a much-improved vehicle and a solid choice for a small crossover SUV.
Current Chevrolet Equinox
The Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUV is available in LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ trim levels. Even the LS comes well-equipped, with a sliding and reclining backseat, OnStar, Bluetooth and a sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface. The other trims add such features as a rearview camera, automatic climate control, leather upholstery and heated seats. Major options include a hard-drive-based navigation system, smartphone app integration, a rear seat entertainment system and a lane-departure warning system.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque) is standard and a 3.6-liter V6 (301 hp and 272 lb-ft) is optional on all but the LS. A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission offered. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Fuel economy estimates with the four-cylinder are very good for the class, though in testing we've discovered that the Equinox doesn't quite live up to them in the real world.
In reviews, we've been quite impressed with the current Chevy Equinox. In addition to its handsome styling, the Equinox boasts a supple, composed ride and a quiet, comfortable cabin that benefits in particular from stylish design and a sliding rear seat. Many other crossovers come with this latter feature, but the travel of the Equinox's is greater, allowing for limolike legroom. Cargo capacity is less than in some rivals (especially with the backseat in its rearmost position), but the well-equipped and well-rounded Equinox is one of the strongest entries in the compact crossover segment.
Used Chevrolet Equinox Models
The second-generation Chevrolet Equinox debuted for 2010. Compared to the earlier generation, it looks more grown-up and sophisticated. As part of the redesign, it gained new engines, new features and a quieter and higher-quality interior.
Not much has changed for the second-generation Equinox since its debut. However, models sold from 2010-'12 had a 3.0-liter V6 instead of the newer 3.6-liter V6; it produced 264 hp and 222 lb-ft. Also, these years lacked a few feature updates, such as a revised touchscreen interface, smartphone app integration and an optional rear-seat entertainment system that Chevy introduced for 2013.
The previous Chevy Equinox was produced from 2005-'09. Unlike the current model, it came with a standard V6, and the only optional engine was an even more powerful V6 that arrived for 2008. A wide range of trim levels were available. Even base models came with a CD player and full power accessories, while upper trim levels, depending on the year, added niceties like alloy wheels, leather seating, heated front seats and upgraded audio. The late-arriving Sport model added the stouter V6, bigger wheels and a more firmly tuned suspension.
All first-generation Chevrolet Equinox models except the Sport were equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 that generated 185 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. The Sport stepped up to a 3.6-liter V6 that made a potent 264 hp. Both engines were mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that directed power to the front wheels, and all-wheel drive was optional.
In reviews of the first-generation Chevy Equinox, our editors praised its versatile interior, particularly the 60/40-split rear seat that could be slid almost 8 inches fore and aft. An adjustable rear cargo shelf enhanced storage opportunities and doubled as a picnic table. We noted that there was lots of room behind the rear seats -- 35 cubic feet, to be precise -- and a full 69 cubic feet with those seats folded, which is more than the current Equinox can muster. On the road, however, the previous Equinox wasn't anything to write home about. Long drives were a breeze, thanks to the quiet cabin and smooth ride, but the base V6 was a bit coarse, and the electric power steering was numb and sluggish.
Notable changes over the course of the first-generation Equinox's production cycle include standard antilock brakes for 2006; standard stability control and four-wheel disc brakes and an optional navigation system for 2007; the arrival of the Sport model and luxurious LTZ model for 2008; and standard side curtain airbags and satellite radio with optional Bluetooth for 2009.
Read the most recent 2014 Chevrolet Equinox review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Chevrolet Equinox page.