2012 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Chevrolet Equinox SUV

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Chevrolet Equinox Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 182 hp @ 6700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox

  • The 2012 Chevy Equinox is a stylish and comfortable entry in the highly competitive small-crossover segment. RAV4 and CR-V shoppers should take notice.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Premium look inside and out; quiet cabin with lots of storage bins; spacious and adjustable backseat; comfortable ride.

  • Cons

    Not quite as much cargo space as chief rivals; some controls difficult to reach; numb and uncommunicative steering.

  • What's New for 2012

    For the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, new forward collision alert and lane-departure warning systems are now available. Equinox 1LT models also have the rearview camera as standard equipment this year. However, the optional rear seat video entertainment system has been dropped.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Fm reception is bad. disappointing

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

The FM radio on this vehicle is terrible. I took it into the shop 1 week after I purchased it brand new in June 2012. I was told that the radio fading in an out was a known issue that would be resolved with an update to the radio within a couple of months. A couple of months went by and the dealer told me that it was not available yet. It has now been a year!! Very disappointing that they can not get something as simple as a radio done right. The fuel economy for me has maxed out at 25 MPG. That was on a 200 mile trip with the cruise control set at 62 mph for the entire trip. Around town, I get about 22 - 24 MPG. Is there such a thing as false advertising when it comes to this?

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

Very satisfied,get one

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

We got this vehicle just before taking our annual trip from pennsylvania to michigan and got about 35mpg most of the trip.going just a little over the posted speed and it would fall to 32mpg still very good milage for a 4 cylinder with 4 adults and 1 child and the back packed to the roof with suitcases.We drove just about everything forein and american made .I dont know what half these people are thinking,They get a 4 cylinder with 185 horse power in a mid size SUV and expect to get the gas milage of a chevette.I just chalk it up to most of you dont know how to drive anyway.And if you let your car sit and idle while it warms up your wasting gas and killing your average miles per gallon.

2 of 19 people found this review helpful

Cmon chevy get it right!!

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Purchased the 2012 Equinox LT 3 months ago and am 100% dissatisfied with the performance. You should NOT feel the car downshift everytime you hit 30-34mph. The car jerks you forward during the downshift!! This doesnt happen to the 6cyl and wish i had known that before dropping $23k on a new car. I have contacted my dealer and they feel it to and drove another new one that did the same. Said they have had numerous complaints about this. I spoke with the Disctrict MGR for Chevy and he said its the way its made and cant help me!! Chevy even has the "guranteed customer satisfaction promotion" going on and I didnt buy it during the promotion so they cant help. Ill be trading for a CRV this wknd!!

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

Great suv poor fuel economy

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

We purchased this vehicle on july 1st of 2012 and even though it rides great and has plenty of room we are disappointed in the fuel economy of the 4 cylinder motor. So far we have average 28.4 mph and have a average of 17.4 mpg. We took the vehicle to the dealer where we made the purchase and the service department told us that the vehicle has break-in oil in the motor and that once we have the oil changed to the synthetic oil the mileage will get better. Do I believe that? Well we will have to wait and see. Just so everyone knows we are not a young couple. We are in our low 50s and we drive in such that matter, no rabbit starts or excessive speeding.

3 of 28 people found this review helpful

Should have bought a g

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Rent one B4 you by one! Poor fit/finish of interior dash and front door panels. Primer showing thru paint. 6 cyl with 6 speedTrans upshifts/downshifts at an annoying rate! Tradn' for a Benz!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2012 chevy equinox 1lt v6/awd

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD w/1LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

This is an update to my previous review. After a little over 3500 miles, I have been averaging 21 mpg at an average speed of 26 mph (mix city/hwy). On the interstate at a steady 65 mph, I was able to average 28 mpg and at steady 70 mph, 27 mpg. Not bad for V6 with all wheel drive. I hope to see more improvement as she continues to break in. This ride is getting better and better!

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Chevrolet Equinox Review

What's New for 2012

For the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, new forward collision alert and lane-departure warning systems are now available. Equinox 1LT models also have the rearview camera as standard equipment this year. However, the optional rear seat video entertainment system has been dropped.


Relegated to also-ran status just a few short years ago, the Chevrolet Equinox has moved to the front of the small SUV pack. This second generation of Chevrolet's compact crossover now offers a distinctive look and a level of refinement that makes it a viable alternative to the long-popular category leaders from Honda and Toyota.

With a rear seat that slides back to create an expanse worthy of a prom-night limousine, the 2012 Equinox easily counts rear legroom among its strengths. Ride quality is another plus, with the Equinox delivering a stable, well-planted ride indicative of a bigger SUV. In terms of equipment, the Chevy is fully competitive, with plenty of standard features and some nice upgrades like a hard-drive-based navigation system. Sadly, you can no longer get the optional rear seat entertainment system: a rare and welcome feature in this class.

Under the hood you'll find a choice of either a 182-horsepower inline-4 or a 264-hp V6. Both of these engines deliver respectable acceleration, and the four-cylinder is notable for its above-average fuel economy (even though we've found it doesn't quite meet its lofty EPA estimates).

Like its GMC Terrain twin, the 2012 Chevy Equinox does have a few minor weaknesses. The most notable is a comparative lack of cargo capacity against the likes of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. It also comes up a bit short in terms of maneuverability and agility when measured against sportier compact crossovers like the Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester. If neither of those issues is enough to put you off, though, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox's collection of otherwise desirable attributes should be enough to make it a top choice for a small crossover SUV.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox is available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels.

Standard equipment for the LS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a partial power driver seat (height adjustment only), a sliding and reclining rear seat, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth, OnStar and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

The LT trim level is divided into two different models, with the 1LT adding tinted rear windows, roof rack side rails, heated outside mirrors, a rearview camera, premium cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an upgraded sound system with a 7-inch touchscreen and iPod/USB audio interface. Stepping up to the 2LT adds foglamps, remote start, automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming mirror and an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system. Spring for the top-of-the-line LTZ and you'll get automatic headlights, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, perforated leather upholstery and driver memory settings.

Many of the standard features found on the upper trim levels can be added to less expensive models via optional packages. Other options include 18- and 19-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, a sunroof, a navigation system and a new forward collision/lane departure warning system.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2012 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque. Every Equinox regardless of engine comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional. In Edmunds testing, a front-drive Equinox went from zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, which is an average number for this segment. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 20/29/23 with all-wheel drive. These estimates are very impressive; however, in real-world testing we found that it falls short of them, especially on the highway.

Available on all trims but the LS is a 3.0-liter V6 good for 264 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing of the mechanically identical GMC Terrain, the V6 was good enough for a 0-60 sprint of 8.3 seconds -- a little pokey for the segment. With the V6, front-wheel-drive models return an estimated 17/24/20, with all-wheel-drive versions coming in at 16/23/19.


The 2012 Chevy Equinox comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and OnStar. A rearview camera is standard on all trims except the LS, and rear parking sensors are standard on the LTZ. A new forward collision/lane departure warning system is optional for the LTZ only. In Edmunds brake testing, an Equinox came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet -- a good distance for this type of vehicle.

In government crash tests, the Equinox received an overall score of four stars out of a possible five. Within that rating, it received four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side protection. In frontal-offset and side-impact crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Equinox earned a top "Good" rating.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Chevy Equinox boasts a stylish cabin filled with premium touches. The available two-tone color schemes are eye-catching, and perfectly complement the dashboard's elegant, swooping dual-cowl design. All in all, the Equinox's interior looks more deluxe than that of most others in this segment. The plethora of difficult-to-distinguish buttons on the center console is a weak point, however.

The Equinox boasts a nice expanse of passenger room, with 60/40-split rear seats that slide back to provide substantial rear legroom. The fact that the seatbacks also recline means second-row occupants may have the best seat in the house. But that space does come at the expense of some cargo capacity. The 31.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 63.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down should still be sufficient for most buyers, but it is something to keep in mind if maximum cargo capacity is important to you.

Driving Impressions

Deciding which of the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox's two engines is right for you depends on your priorities. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder delivers decent acceleration while returning excellent fuel economy (although, as noted above, we've found it difficult to match the EPA's estimates). The 3.0-liter V6 delivers significantly better performance in everyday driving, while also upping the towing capacity from 1,500 to 3,500 pounds.

Otherwise, driving the Equinox is an unremarkable experience, with so-so handling and a slightly vague feel to the steering. But realistically we suspect this won't be a significant negative for most buyers. More importantly, the Equinox's quiet cabin and comfortable ride quality make it a great choice for long road trips.

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