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Used 2014 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Review

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2014 Chevrolet Equinox SUV

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox SUV

  • The 2014 Chevy Equinox is a worthy choice for a small crossover SUV, particularly if you're interested in one with a nice highway ride and an available V6 engine.

  • Pros

    Premium look inside and out; strong optional V6 engine; quiet interior; comfortable highway ride; spacious and adjustable backseat.

  • Cons

    Four-cylinder version feels sluggish on the highway and real-world mpg falls short of EPA ratings; less cargo space than rivals; steering isn't very precise.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Chevrolet Equinox is essentially unchanged.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox SUV

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Chevrolet Equinox is essentially unchanged.

Introduction

Since its introduction back in 2010, the Chevrolet Equinox has been one of our favorite small crossover SUVs thanks to its combination of good looks, comfort and practicality. Compared to some more recently introduced or redesigned models, the 2014 Chevy Equinox isn't quite as desirable as it once was, but it's still a model you'll likely want to take a look at if you're shopping for a compact crossover.

High on the Equinox's positive attribute list is the availability of a strong V6 engine. More and more automakers are dropping the optional V6s from their small crossover lineups due to fuel economy concerns or a claimed lack of consumer demand. This leaves the Equinox (plus its GMC twin, the Terrain) as one of only a few models in 2014 that offers six-cylinder grunt for towing or hauling or merely to satisfy your desire for speed.

The Equinox also gets a thumbs-up for its overall ride comfort and the quietness of its cabin. This small Chevrolet doesn't offer quite as much cargo capacity as some rivals, but there's still enough to deal with the typical items that most people will be looking to haul. Plus, we like that the Equinox's rear seat both reclines and slides back to give second-row occupants first-class legroom.

Less impressive is the Equinox's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's standard on all trim levels. It has solid EPA fuel economy ratings, but out in the real world, we've been underwhelmed by both its performance and its fuel economy. Handling isn't a strong suit for the Equinox either, and its steering isn't very precise even by budget crossover SUV standards.

If practicality is your top priority, you'd be wise to check out the roomier and multitalented Honda CR-V or perhaps the Kia Sorento, which also has a V6 option plus an available third-row seat. Shoppers looking for a more entertaining driving experience will also want to look at sportier models like the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 or Volkswagen Tiguan. But all things considered, the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox is definitely worth a look, particularly if you're interested in a small crossover with a truly upscale interior and a V6 engine option.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV that's offered in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ.

Standard equipment on the entry-level LS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a driver seat with power height adjustment, a 60/40-split second-row seat that slides and reclines, cruise control, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar communications and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The LT trim level is actually split into two subsets: 1LT and 2LT. The 1LT adds heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rack side rails, premium cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system that has a 7-inch touchscreen (Chevy's MyLink interface), Bluetooth audio connectivity, voice controls and smartphone integration for Internet radio apps such as Pandora.

Moving up to the 2LT gets you foglights, remote start, automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a Pioneer sound system with eight speakers.

Springing for the top-of-the-line LTZ gets you some nice extras, including 18-inch chromed alloy wheels, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, an eight-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings and a lane departure warning system with forward collision alert. LTZ models equipped with the V6 engine also get firmer suspension tuning.

Some of the standard features on upper trim levels are bundled into option packages that can be added to the less expensive models. Other options include 19-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels (LTZ V6 only), a sunroof, a navigation system (2LT and LTZ) and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system (LTZ only).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox is offered with one of two powertrains. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque is standard across the model lineup, as are a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive system is optional.

In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive Equinox with the four-cylinder engine accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, an average number for this segment. EPA fuel economy estimates are 26 mpg combined (22 mpg city/32 mpg highway) and with front-wheel drive and 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/29 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive. While these numbers are impressive, in our tests the Equinox had a hard time matching them, especially on the highway.

LT and LTZ models are also available with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque. In testing of the essentially identical GMC Terrain V6, we recorded a 0-60 mph time of 7.0 seconds, an impressive time among small and midsize crossovers with a six-cylinder or upgraded turbocharged engine. Not surprisingly, EPA fuel economy estimates for this engine are significantly lower at 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.

Properly equipped, four-cylinder models will tow up to 1,500 pounds. With the V6, towing capacity climbs to 3,500 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2014 Chevy Equinox include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is GM's OnStar emergency communications system, which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance. A rearview camera is standard on all trims except the LS. Standard on the LTZ and optional on the 2LT are rear parking sensors and frontal collision and lane departure warning systems.

In Edmunds brake testing an Equinox came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is about average 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 moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Equinox earned a top "Good" rating.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox offers a stylish cabin with a distinctive dual-cowl design that looks all the more appealing with the available two-tone color scheme. The quality of the materials is just average, but the overall effect is quite pleasing, especially compared to some of the Chevy's competitors, which don't put as much priority on design.

Another strength here is the audio system's touchscreen interface (1LT and above) that features customizable menus similar to those on modern smartphones. The MyLink system incorporates Bluetooth streaming audio capability, which allows it to work with popular smartphone apps like Pandora and Stitcher. Weak spots here include the touchscreen's occasional slow processing times and missed responses to touch inputs.

Seating comfort and legroom is good all around, and the sliding and reclining second-row seats allow you to expand the amount of legroom in the rear. The downside to all this room being devoted to passengers is that the Equinox offers less cargo space than many competitors, with 31.4 cubic feet of storage behind the 60/40-split rear seats. Fold both sections of those seatbacks down and the interior maxes out at 63.7 cubic feet of cargo room -- the CR-V and Sorento offer more than 70 cubic feet of capacity.

Driving Impressions

The driving character of the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox is largely dictated by what's under the hood. Although the four-cylinder Equinox matches the acceleration times of other compact crossovers in this price range, it doesn't feel as potent out in the real world. You'll have the gas pedal floored during routine merging and passing maneuvers, and this isn't very relaxing. In contrast, the V6 is downright impressive. It provides strong and smooth performance in any situation.

The Equinox's handling abilities are nothing special. The steering isn't very precise, and the Chevy's suspension is tuned to favor comfort over sharp handling around turns. The upside, of course, is a smooth ride that's enhanced by the overall serenity of the cabin.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 15 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Just bought it used

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

The warranty is almost over, so further coverage will cost, and it's got two mystery sounds that may need servicing. There is a very quiet, high-pitched, whine at particular times, almost robotic, like during parking: I would compare it to a 4th of July firework coming down, and a bass, quiet pounding under the rear sometimes as I backup, or other times, like someone dropping furniture. The design is the most pet-friendly I've had. It's great for me who is uncomfortable in small cars and insecure driving trucks.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Gravel and head spinning

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

Specifically asked sales person/manager about the ability of this vehicle to go UP my gravel driveway (sales person was familiar with drive). No problem was the answer. Wrong!!!! I have owned this vehicle for 7 weeks and have 'spun out' more than 6 times. I have googled many sites trying to find out about how or issues for driving UP but only found info for driving DOWN. Not only driving up the drive but also reversing up slight incline (out of cover). The hill is NOT very steep - and is not straight up, has several flat areas, and several turns. I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I am with this vehicle. I spent over a month researching vehicles and went for over a dozen test drives of different vehicles. I feel like I wasted my time and energy. I will attempt to talk with the manager about trading this for a vehicle that will actually DO what I need it to do. I am returning to dealer because manager and his staff are very good to work with and I have been doing business with them for over 4 years with another vehicle, with wonderful results. My head is spinning trying to figure out how to operate the Infotainment system. And yes, I read the manual specific to the system. All I want to do is listen to my Ipod through the speakers; hooking up to the USB port in center console.




Wish i had know more details about vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

I was very disappointed after purchasing my 2014 Equinox. I had owned a Hyundai Santa Fe for 10 years and loved it. After researching decided to go with Chevrolet in 2013. It is so difficult to get in the drivers seat. At first I was constantly hitting my head. I have learned to bend down to get in. There is no room in the driver's seat. The console goes to the back. Hard to reach the lid to close. When going to an ATM, it is impossible to reach out the window. It is very difficult for passengers to get in and out of passenger side. Seats slope on sides and are hard. I have owned the vehicle for 2 years and looking to replace it. It will be my first vehicle I will not drive for 10 years!



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Not the quality i was expecting

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

I had this car for a year and, unfortunately, it was just a headache. The Bluetooth either didn't stay synched with my iPhone or the sound was crackling when I tried to listen to music that way. I didn't have this problem with my previous car or the one I got after this. The car felt jerky at low speeds, but two dealers said this was normal and that Chevy makes them that way (no other car I have ever had drove like that). I have to assume there's something wrong with the transmission. The final straw, however, was when the car died in the left lane of the highway with less than 20k miles on it. The car was repaired under warranty and I notified the manufacturer. When my husband got a 2015 Ford Escape, I found that the comfort and level of technology seemed light years ahead of what I had in my car. Needless to say, with each passing day, I became more disappointed in this car and eventually traded it in for a historically foreign manufacturer. I have very little good to say about the car, except that there was adequate leg room and the trunk held a lot.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Comfort in driving, sluggish engine

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

The engine should have more power. Roomy and comfortable to drive



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Best out of 50 cars

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

I went through 4 junkers the first year I started driving in 1970 and have owned over 50 cars since. The 2014 Equinox was my first new car and I could not be more pleased. I traded in a high end 2007 GMC Envoy that I loved but got terrible gas mileage. My GMC was a powerful 4 wheel drive tank and I was worried about how the Equinox AWD would handle New England's heavy snowfalls. The winter of 2014-2015 was one of the worst I have dealt with and the Equinox took on the snow, ice and cold without fail. I get around 25 mpg and drive the car pretty hard. For a 4 cylinder it is very quick and I have no complaints.



Talk About The 2014 Equinox

2014 Chevrolet Equinox Discussions See all Started By

stever
stever
02-02-2014
This discussion is dedicated to 2014 Chevrolet Equinox leasing questions. To discuss the latest lease details for the current model, please join us in the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox Lease Questions forum...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
04-08-2014
2014 Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain Are Top Performers in New Crash Test...


gogoplata
gogoplata
10-25-2014
I would appreciate any help with this matter. I am going to make a cash price offer on either a new 2015 Chevy Equinox LT or, a demo model 2014 Equinox LT with 1900 miles. Which do you think would be ...



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  • 32
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