2009 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox

  • Thanks to its spacious cabin, powerful and efficient performance, variety of trim levels and just-right-for-most-folks size, the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox is high on our list of recommended crossover SUVs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy and versatile cabin, something-for-everyone lineup, excellent crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Some subpar interior materials, slow steering response on non-Sport models.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Chevrolet Equinox gains side curtain airbags and satellite radio as standard, while Bluetooth joins the options list.

Full 2009 Chevrolet Equinox Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Chevrolet Equinox gains side curtain airbags and satellite radio as standard, while Bluetooth joins the options list.


Mention the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox to your family or friends considering a midsize crossover SUV and they're likely to say, "Huh? An Equa-what?" Just as with good yet obscure bands, the Equinox is a pleasant experience waiting to be discovered by those willing to look past the typical Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 of its segment.

Respectable performance along with decent fuel efficiency highlight the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox's strong points, which also include a space-efficient design, a versatile cabin, a comfortable ride and strong crash test scores. A key feature is the adjustable split rear seat design -- those seats can slide fore and aft to boost cargo capacity or rear legroom as needs dictate. Last year, Chevy furthered the Equinox's appeal by adding the enthusiast-oriented Sport trim level and the luxury-lined LTZ.

Neither as small as the true compact SUVs nor as ungainly as the larger midsize utes, the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox strikes many, including us, as being just the right size. Though some rivals offer third-row seats, these marketing ploys are typically useful only for kids no bigger than their Barbie and WWE dolls. The Equinox plays a more honest game, instead offering expandable space for second-row passengers.

Of course, the Equinox faces a number of solid competitors, including the top-selling and top-rated Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. There's also the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue and Saturn Vue. Is it a favorite for an automotive Grammy? Maybe not, but the Equinox is certainly worthy of inclusion as a nominee on your list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Chevrolet Equinox is a midsize SUV that seats five and comes in four trim levels: base LS, midlevel LT, fully loaded LTZ and performance-oriented Sport. Standard equipment on the LS includes 16-inch aluminum wheels, a roof rack, air-conditioning, a tiltable steering column, a flat-folding front passenger seat and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat that slides fore/aft and reclines. Cruise control, full power accessories, automatic headlights, a driver information center and a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio are also standard.

The LT actually comes in two subsets, 1LT and 2LT. The 1LT adds body-color exterior trim, rear privacy glass, premium cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 2LT package then adds 17-inch chrome-plated wheels, foglamps, remote engine start, a power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The LTZ includes chrome exterior accents, leather seating, heated front seats, an in-dash six-CD changer and a Pioneer premium sound system. For performance fans, the Sport model adds a larger V6, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, special exterior trim, sport bolstered front seats and unique instrumentation.

Depending on trim level, optional Equinox features include a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

All Chevy Equinox trim levels are available with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. All but the Sport model are equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 engine that makes 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission. The Sport model boasts one of the most powerful engines for this class, a 3.6-liter V6 cranking out 264 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. It's hooked up to a six-speed automatic with manual shift control.

With a 0-60 time of 8.7 seconds, even the smaller V6 provides respectable performance that should please most owners. According to Chevrolet, the 3.6 will do the same sprint in less than 7 ticks, an impressive time for any SUV.

With either engine, towing capacity is a competitive 3,500 pounds. Despite their considerable power disparity, both engines achieve the same EPA fuel economy estimates, which are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. Even with the AWD version, the mileage only differs by 1 less city mpg with the 3.6-liter engine.


Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, full-length head curtain airbags and OnStar are standard on all 2009 Chevrolet Equinox trims.

In crash testing, the Equinox earned the highest marks possible, receiving a perfect five stars in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal- and side-impact tests and a highest-possible "Good" rating in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The standard Equinox instrument panel and center stack project a clean, industrial-looking design with large, clear gauges surrounded by faux aluminum accents, while the LT model is warmed up by imitation wood. The Equinox Sport receives exclusive blue-lit instrumentation and ebony accents. The layout is generally straightforward, with GM's ergonomic stereo and climate controls, but the cabin is let down by a lot of low-quality plastic and poorly located cupholders.

With its longer than average wheelbase, the Equinox provides lots of stretch-out room for both rows. To accommodate larger passengers or cargo, the adjustable 60/40-split rear seat slides nearly 8 inches fore and aft. A movable rear cargo shelf functions as a shelf, security cover or picnic table. Out back, the Equinox offers an above-average 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seats. With the second-row seats folded down, it offers a generous 69 cubic feet of total cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Chevy Equinox's fully independent suspension setup offers a satisfying balance between ride comfort and competent handling. It dispatches bumps and surface irregularities with ease, and long trips are especially relaxing thanks to its quiet, well-insulated cabin. We find fault with the standard electric power steering, however, which is overly light and slow to respond. The performance-oriented Equinox Sport addresses this criticism with a better-connected hydraulic setup, and of course it's the go-to choice for buyers who expect sharp handling dynamics and versatility in equal measure.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

A very good purchase

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Bought this vehicle after considerable research. My decision came down to the Audi Q5 3.2 or Eq Sport. I like/ own Audis, although now overpriced. Very similar power, comparable handling, interior room, and amenities. Obviously, big difference in cachet, resale value and sticker price. Athough there are many choices in this vehicle class, these two stood out for handling and performance, without going to a Porsche or BWM (way overpriced/valued). After driving for 27 months/36000 miles, this was a great choice. Other than minor issues with bluetooth, this has been a solid vehicle, with NO problems, interior holding up well, despite heavy use/athletic gear hauling. Fuel use more than expecte

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

26000 kilometers in and the

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Well im 26000 kilometers and 17 months into ownership. So far i have replaced a Axel Seal, the Radio reciever, had to bring it in to get my XM fixed and currently it is the shop because my drivers door lock and power window is not operational and my Xm isnt working again and my check engine light has been flashing on and off for months. Now there are a few unsolved problems i have had too, Occasionally it makes loud knock while cornering, the transmission occasionally slips, once after a road trip there was a strong burning smell coming from the vents and i have had to boost it multiple times this winter even when it was plugged in. Trading it in at a loss as soon as i find something else

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great vehicle

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Purchased vehicle new and have put over 33,000 miles in 14 months. Love everything about this vehicle. Great comfort on long drives ( 2 vacations totaling over 5200 miles )Gas milage went from approx 25 mpg to over 30mpg after changing tires to Goodyear Assurance FuelMax.


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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Although it has a lot of good features it is very unreliable since you must drive it long distances to keep the battery charged or leave it running if you are making a lot of short stops. If it sits more than 2 days you have a dead battery. The dealer can not seem to find the problem. The console is awkward to use where there are two people in the car. The defrosters and most vents come through outside air and across the engine. The air bounces off the window and into your eyes and bringing the toxins from the engine with it and stinging eyes and causing congestion. My small pickup has a better turning radius. I will take a lose trading it in for something other than a Chevrolet.

Good choice for the price

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Have owned since new for 18 months; mileage is good on highway; general comfort is as good as any in price/vehicle type category. @ complaints: 1. Road noise on highway is higher than expected. 2. The lack of a dash mounted rear hatch release control is annoying. It's a very roomy and functional SUV in it's class.

Happy and disappointed at same

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Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

I actually bought a 2006 model off the showroom floor. wanted to add my 2 cents. I liked the interior/exterior look of it and the gas mileage is decent. Lots of options on mine. Biggest issues are that the electrical system has never worked right. Had it fixed under warranty but now other elec. components aren't working. Junky cup holders and the turning radius is wide. good luck in a parking garage! Also the tailgate lift hydraulics go bad fast and those things are EXPENSIVE to replace! Mine went bad less than two years and now, two years later, they are bad again.Break comp. went bad fast too. you feel acceleration switch Cargo room is nice though for its class. Great backseat leg space

Talk About The 2009 Equinox

2009 Chevrolet Equinox Discussions See all Started By

So is this the only place I get to say my peace....? Last June I purchased a 2010 certified pre owned 2010 chevy equinox ls 4 cylinder. Lets say I am dumb. I was told I had a 5 year or 100,000 mile ...

I just can't make up my mind. Please tell me what your thoughts on the pros and cons. I'm on the fence.........

I just purchased a 2009 Equinox and I love it. I traded in 2 problomatic cars to get it however so every noise I hear I get paranoid. Just recently when I decelerate but don't come to a full stop and ...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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