2006 Chevy Equinox Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Long wheelbase affords plenty of interior room, fore/aft-adjustable rear seats, high crash test scores, available side curtain airbags.
- Limited choice in drivetrains, confusing stereo control layout, slow steering response.
The affordably priced 2006 Chevrolet Equinox is one of the better small SUVs available thanks to its flexible interior space, a strong engine and modern styling.
The Chevrolet Equinox is the long-awaited replacement for the Chevy Tracker -- a small, underpowered SUV based on the Suzuki Vitara and Grand Vitara. The Equinox debuted for 2005 and is built at GM's plant in Ontario (a joint venture with Suzuki), but this time it is not a reworked Suzuki and instead shares most of its architecture with the Saturn Vue.
In keeping with traditional Chevy truck thinking, the Equinox will compete against the growing population of mini-SUVs priced under $25,000, but it will be one of the biggest of its kind, thanks to an extra long wheelbase. Inside, it offers innovative storage options and reconfigurable seating that add that extra measure of utility to small SUV ownership. The rear seat slides fore and aft (with a nearly 8-inch range of travel) to make way for larger passengers or cargo, and there is an adjustable cargo tray that doubles as a picnic table.
Its interior dimensions are comparable to those of competing SUVs, but the Chevrolet Equinox holds slight advantages in rear-seat headroom and legroom categories. Maximum cargo capacity is 69 cubic feet, which puts the Equinox right behind the CR-V. Unlike the Tracker, the Equinox will look every bit like a Chevy truck with a prominent bowtie on the front grille and a bold chrome bar across the front. The overall appearance of the Equinox is rather trucklike. The arched rear pillar combined with the flared rear wheel wells gives the vehicle a much brawnier appearance than soft-looking SUVs like the RAV4, CR-V and Liberty, and more on par with the tougher-looking sheet metal of the Ford Escape and Kia Sorento.
Unlike some of the competition, the 2006 Chevrolet Equinox does not offer much in the way of powertrain options. A single 3.4-liter V6 engine is standard on all Equinox models, whether front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The rest of the equipment list offers more variety, as the Chevy Equinox can be equipped with safety items like side curtain airbags and traction control, as well as upscale features like heated leather seats, satellite radio and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Although several small SUVs can match the Equinox's overall package, it's certainly worth consideration if you're looking for an urban runabout with a flexible cabin design and ample passing power.
2006 Chevrolet Equinox models
Like most Chevrolet trucks, the five-passenger Equinox is offered in LS and LT trims, both of which are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment on the LS includes 16-inch wheels; air conditioning; a height-adjustable driver seat; cruise control; a six-speaker CD stereo; automatic headlights; power windows, mirrors and locks; an alarm system; and a rear window wiper. The LT adds such features as alloy wheels, foglights and upgraded cloth upholstery. Available options include side curtain airbags, OnStar telematics, satellite radio, an MP3-compatible stereo, leather seating, a power driver seat, heated seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Performance & mpg
All Chevrolet Equinox SUVs come with the same 3.4-liter V6 engine. It's good for 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds. The Equinox is available in all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive configurations, but only one transmission is offered -- a five speed automatic.
Front disc/rear drum brakes with four-wheel ABS are standard. Traction control is optional on front-drive LS models and standard on LTs. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional on all Equinox models. The NHTSA has crash tested the Chevrolet Equinox; the vehicle earned a five-star rating (the best possible) for its protection of front occupants in frontal crashes. It also received five stars for front- and rear-seat occupant protection in side collisions.
The Equinox's 3.4-liter V6 engine has been used in plenty of GM products and has always provided adequate if unrefined power. While driving the Chevrolet Equinox, you can look forward to better-than-average fuel economy. The Equinox's suspension is tuned more for comfort than performance, but some drivers might be put off by the vehicle's slow steering response.
Inside, Chevrolet designers opted for a simple, industrial look with large, clear gauges and faux aluminum accents. While most of the controls are simple in design, the stereo head unit's collection of small buttons is unnecessarily complicated. Thanks to its long wheelbase, the Chevy Equinox offers plenty of room for its occupants, including class-leading rear headroom and legroom. To make way for larger passengers or cargo, the 60/40-split rear seat can slide nearly 8 inches fore and aft. An adjustable rear cargo shelf expands your loading options after a shopping trip and can also function as a picnic table. The Equinox offers 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind its rear seats; fold down the seats and you've got a total of 69 cubic feet.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintMarginal
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2006 Chevrolet Equinox Overview
The Used 2006 Chevrolet Equinox is offered in the following submodels: Equinox SUV. Available styles include LT 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A), LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A), LS 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A), and LS 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A). Pre-owned Chevrolet Equinox models are available with a 3.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 185 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2006 Chevrolet Equinox comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic. The Used 2006 Chevrolet Equinox comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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Which used 2006 Chevrolet Equinoxes are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Chevrolet Equinox for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Chevrolet Equinox.
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.