2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ
(1.4L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 3/1/2011 (2011 LTZ AWD)
The 4-cyl AWD model is the slowest version of this SUV at over 10 seconds to 60 mph. A V6 is available and we'd recommend it with the AWD. Transmission is frustratingly loath to downshift. We've never matched fuel economy claims.
Other similarly equipped SUVs have proven that electric-assist power steering doesn't have to be as numb and lifeless as it is in the Equinox. Our grip and stability tests also reveal below-average performances.
Brittle ride with troubled high-frequency damping; unnecessarily busy on mildly choppy road surfaces, especially with larger wheel packages. Otherwise, rebound damping is good, reducing larger impacts and dips with minimum of disruption.
Wind noise at speed is dispersed, although we found the engine noisy during acceleration. Also the road noise is occasionally evident depending on tire chpice and road surface.
Buttons and switches are clearly labeled and logically placed. Some complexity is added with optional equipment such as navigation, but with equally ergonomic sense.
Typical SUV sight lines that must contend with thick C- and D-pillars. Reverse camera is available with or without a navigation screen.
Seat Access & Space
Large doors ease access, sensible seat height, comfortable and generously sized front and rear seating (especially for a compact CUV), rear seats slide and recline. Only two rear-seat head restraints.
Cargo & Storage
Luggage space with all seats occupied is 31.4 cu-ft that grows to 63.7 cu-ft of cargo room when the second row is folded -- quite roomy. Plenty of storage nooks, pockets and bins.
Very good considering the cost of entry and what the competitors offer.
At 1,500 pounds with the 4-cyl engine and 3,500 with a properly equipped V6, this is par for the course in this segment.