2006 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Equinox SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Equinox Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.4 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Chevrolet Equinox

  • The affordably priced 2006 Chevrolet Equinox is one of the better small SUVs available thanks to its flexible interior space, a strong engine and modern styling.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long wheelbase affords plenty of interior room, fore/aft-adjustable rear seats, high crash test scores, available side curtain airbags.

  • Cons

    Limited choice in drivetrains, confusing stereo control layout, slow steering response.

  • What's New for 2006

    Antilock brakes are standard on all models for 2006. Heated cloth seats are now available on the LT, the LS features body-color fascias and the LT gets body-color rearview mirrors.

Full 2006 Chevrolet Equinox Review

What's New for 2006

Antilock brakes are standard on all models for 2006. Heated cloth seats are now available on the LT, the LS features body-color fascias and the LT gets body-color rearview mirrors.


The Chevrolet Equinox is the long-awaited replacement for the Chevy Tracker -- a small, underpowered SUV based on the Suzuki Vitara and Grand Vitara. The Equinox debuted for 2005 and is built at GM's plant in Ontario (a joint venture with Suzuki), but this time it is not a reworked Suzuki and instead shares most of its architecture with the Saturn Vue.

In keeping with traditional Chevy truck thinking, the Equinox will compete against the growing population of mini-SUVs priced under $25,000, but it will be one of the biggest of its kind, thanks to an extra long wheelbase. Inside, it offers innovative storage options and reconfigurable seating that add that extra measure of utility to small SUV ownership. The rear seat slides fore and aft (with a nearly 8-inch range of travel) to make way for larger passengers or cargo, and there is an adjustable cargo tray that doubles as a picnic table.

Its interior dimensions are comparable to those of competing SUVs, but the Chevrolet Equinox holds slight advantages in rear-seat headroom and legroom categories. Maximum cargo capacity is 69 cubic feet, which puts the Equinox right behind the CR-V. Unlike the Tracker, the Equinox will look every bit like a Chevy truck with a prominent bowtie on the front grille and a bold chrome bar across the front. The overall appearance of the Equinox is rather trucklike. The arched rear pillar combined with the flared rear wheel wells gives the vehicle a much brawnier appearance than soft-looking SUVs like the RAV4, CR-V and Liberty, and more on par with the tougher-looking sheet metal of the Ford Escape and Kia Sorento.

Unlike some of the competition, the 2006 Chevrolet Equinox does not offer much in the way of powertrain options. A single 3.4-liter V6 engine is standard on all Equinox models, whether front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The rest of the equipment list offers more variety, as the Chevy Equinox can be equipped with safety items like side curtain airbags and traction control, as well as upscale features like heated leather seats, satellite radio and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Although several small SUVs can match the Equinox's overall package, it's certainly worth consideration if you're looking for an urban runabout with a flexible cabin design and ample passing power.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Like most Chevrolet trucks, the five-passenger Equinox is offered in LS and LT trims, both of which are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment on the LS includes 16-inch wheels; air conditioning; a height-adjustable driver seat; cruise control; a six-speaker CD stereo; automatic headlights; power windows, mirrors and locks; an alarm system; and a rear window wiper. The LT adds such features as alloy wheels, foglights and upgraded cloth upholstery. Available options include side curtain airbags, OnStar telematics, satellite radio, an MP3-compatible stereo, leather seating, a power driver seat, heated seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

All Chevrolet Equinox SUVs come with the same 3.4-liter V6 engine. It's good for 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds. The Equinox is available in all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive configurations, but only one transmission is offered -- a five speed automatic.


Front disc/rear drum brakes with four-wheel ABS are standard. Traction control is optional on front-drive LS models and standard on LTs. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional on all Equinox models. The NHTSA has crash tested the Chevrolet Equinox; the vehicle earned a five-star rating (the best possible) for its protection of front occupants in frontal crashes. It also received five stars for front- and rear-seat occupant protection in side collisions.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, Chevrolet designers opted for a simple, industrial look with large, clear gauges and faux aluminum accents. While most of the controls are simple in design, the stereo head unit's collection of small buttons is unnecessarily complicated. Thanks to its long wheelbase, the Chevy Equinox offers plenty of room for its occupants, including class-leading rear headroom and legroom. To make way for larger passengers or cargo, the 60/40-split rear seat can slide nearly 8 inches fore and aft. An adjustable rear cargo shelf expands your loading options after a shopping trip and can also function as a picnic table. The Equinox offers 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind its rear seats; fold down the seats and you've got a total of 69 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The Equinox's 3.4-liter V6 engine has been used in plenty of GM products and has always provided adequate if unrefined power. While driving the Chevrolet Equinox, you can look forward to better-than-average fuel economy. The Equinox's suspension is tuned more for comfort than performance, but some drivers might be put off by the vehicle's slow steering response.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great dependable car

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Bought new in 2006, now approaching 110,000 miles, nothing major went wrong, one warranty repair on front wheel bearings. Great, comfortable ride on highway, huge legroom in the back seat, great utility for roadtrips or just ride to and from work. Did not expect it to last this long or this many miles, but by the way it drives and looks it may make it to 200,000!


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

we purchase this vehicule 1 nov of 2010 with 77 000 km . we are today 27 nov 2013 , 3 years after with 149 000 km . we are very very sastified , we did nothing major in repair to this vehicule , change 3 bearing just missing front passenger side and replace brake ( normal maintenance) and a front end part . I did have to sand and prime and paints the rear wheel weld over the rear plastic , a lot of this model do start to rust a this area , it cost me 10 $ , overall very good suv , pretty basic nothing fancy in it .

Very good

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Very reliable, practical vehicle. No fancy BS. This will get the job done. My commute is throught heavy traffic and the car is super reliable, gas mileage is good , not great. I ideally need more room, but due to a rough commute, this was the best choice. I have had many Chevy's over the years and they have all gone over 200k with regular maintenance.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Don't buy this car!

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

I wanted a all wheel drive vehicle that was not a gas guzzler and decided to buy an American made car. First mistake was buying on emotion. Second mistake was keeping this vehicle to the point where it is not worth trading in. Poor quality with multiple issues. Motor that pushes washer fluid malfunction in year one, power moon roof in year two, rubber that holds windshield started flapping around ans was loose in year three, steering ends are now giving problems, and sensor costing $600 needs to be changed in year 6. This car has 70,000 miles and was well cared for. Yet my wife with her car that is 5 years older and has 50,000 more mile has to drive me to work in her HONDA as my car is in the shop.

Love my nox

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

I bought my 2006 Nox off of a used car lot. I seen the color and fell in love, laser blue. It had 75k on it, but purred like a kitten and no problems. I work from home, so naturally I don't drive it a lot. The few times I have taken it on long trips, 2-3 hours one way, I have been pleased. We change our own oil, and its a breeze to reset the oil light, compared to the 01 X5 BMW I traded in for it........the BMW was very costly to own, and with our economic status, we had to get rid of it. The only problem we have had with the Nox is the sunroof leaking. My husband and I are BIG DIY people, so we fixed it ourselves. YouTube is a wealth of info., no tools needed. Love it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

No major issues

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

I owned one of these from brand new till just about 80K miles. Over that span the car was very reliable and no major issues to speak of. It's got enough space to be practical and the engine has enough power to get out of its own way. The beams make for horrible blind spots. The stock suspension is junk and should be upgraded. The brakes warp easily. Fuel economy isn't awesome, but is consistent and predictable.

Talk About The 2006 Equinox

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Discussions See all Started By

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Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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