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 Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 182 hp @ 6700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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 (9 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Poorly designed ventilation outlets

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Poorly designed position of the a/c ventilation outlets. The driver's side vent is positioned way too low on the dash board. The steering wheel blocks the airflow no matter how I have the wheel tilted. The air deflector has limited range of motion and does not deflect or direct the flow of air properly. I can adjust the air vent (left of the radio cluster) to point directly on me, but then my passengers in back seat complain of no air. The summer heat here in Central Texas can be quite unbearable! The driver of ANY vehicle should have access to sufficient ventilation from the left air vent.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Just a not for some complaining about there MPG. Watch your driving habits. I have corrected mine and it makes a difference. Stopping and starting at stop lights. I watch mine and just got back from a 1000 mile trip.I wrote down my speeds and what the control said I was getting. On the interstate at 69mph I was getting 28.3mpg. On a stretch of road off the interstate where I drove at 58 and got 36.3. Both were flat roads and both were at no stopping for almost a hour on each road. The entire trip gave me 29.3 mpg with 90 % of miles on hwy and the rest city. Now you know you stop and go alot.Thats where you should study your habits. I have the same thing with the transmission jer

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

Great suv purchase

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Great new suv purchase for our family of 4. After shopping around we found a beautiful Chevy Equinox at the best price at Montebello Chevrolet! Our salesperson was very professional and very knowledgeable about this vehicle. We knew we were done shopping once we arrived at Montebellow Chevrolet. We could not resist the price of this new car. I drive it to work everyday. It's easy to drive and runs so smoothly and it's a great looking car. We are very happy with our purchase. This is exactly what we were looking for in a car.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

Epa mileage a joke --

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Picked up mine on December 1, 2011 -- and have enjoyed the ride ever since. Right now I almost have 7000 miles on it and no problems what so ever! I appreciate the room for the driver and passengers. Love the radio, automatic air setting. Drivers seat is very comfortable.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

So far so it's great.

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I don't know why anybody would really knock this car. The car does what it's supposed to do. I live in the SF Bay Area and lot's of traffic and hills. I'm getting 23+ mpg and I'm still learning how to drive with mpg in mind. The car teaches you how to achieve it if you pay attention. After a while it will become second nature. I can see how this car can deliver the mpg that it claims when on the open road more. Got all the goodies except Nav. It drives very well, but you can tell you have a small engine. I'm not a guy who thinks he needs to have speed and power. Just get me to where I want to go. I'm good.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

Transmission trouble & haven't made

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Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I was so excited to get my new Equinox (6 cyl 2LT until 37 days and 1,800 miles later. The transmission is bad- at least so far the shift solenoids. We were told they had to order those parts first before they can tell if there is any additional damage to the transmission. If this doesn't fix it, they will begin replacing parts. They'd don't have a clue when we'll get it back and I'm worried it will be a lemon. With problems like this so soon, GM should be falling all over themselves to get us a new identical vehicle at no extra cost to us. At the very least, they should start with replacing the entire transmission and not just tinker around with it. Are we upset?? You bet....

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 32
  • 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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