2011 Chevrolet Equinox Review

Pros & Cons

  • Premium look inside and out
  • quiet cabin with lots of storage bins
  • adjustable backseat
  • fuel-efficient four-cylinder.
  • Not quite as much cargo space as chief rivals
  • some controls difficult to reach
  • numb and uncommunicative steering.
List Price Range
$7,800 - $12,995

Used Equinox for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2011 Chevrolet Equinox appraisal values can range from $2,757 - $5,767.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Chevy Equinox is a stylish and comfortable entry in the highly competitive small-crossover segment. RAV4 and CR-V shoppers should take notice.

Vehicle overview

Roomy and graced with an available snappy V6, the previous-generation Equinox had its charms, but it didn't shine brightly enough to surpass its rivals. As a result, Chevy's capable but undistinguished hauler was left to linger on the lots as shoppers flocked to more popular choices from the likes of Honda and Toyota. But thanks to a full redesign last year, the latest Equinox has vaulted up to be a top pick in the small crossover SUV segment.

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox boasts character and refinement – two traits that were missing in previous-generation models, and indeed many small crossovers in general. With a rear seat that slides back to create an expanse worthy of a prom-night limousine, the Equinox easily counts rear legroom among its strengths. Ride quality is another plus, with the Equinox delivering a stable, well-planted ride. 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.

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). Another Equinox selling point is its upscale good looks; the cabin is attractive and expensive-looking and features interior materials quality that's finally competitive with other choices in this segment.

The most significant area in which the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox lags is cargo capacity. The 2011 Honda CR-V and 2011 Toyota RAV4 both boast more total space, which could be a factor if you're frequently using your small crossover to haul lots of stuff. The Equinox also comes across as a bit lifeless to drive when compared to sportier models like the 2011 Kia Sportage and 2011 Mazda CX-7. But in pretty much every other measure that matters -- cabin design, fuel economy, comfort and safety -- Chevy's crossover is a front-runner.

2011 Chevrolet Equinox models

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV available in LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ trim levels.

Standard equipment for the LS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, power front seat height adjustment, a sliding and reclining backseat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, OnStar and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The 1LT adds tinted rear windows, roof rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and an iPod/USB audio interface. When equipped with the optional V6 engine, 18-inch wheels are added.

The Equinox 2LT gets you the above features plus foglamps, remote ignition, heated front seats, automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming mirror, a rearview camera (mounted in the rearview mirror) and an eight-speaker Pioneer stereo. The top-shelf LTZ adds automatic headlamps, a power tailgate, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery and driver memory functions.

Many of the standard features found on the upper trims can be added to the lower trims as options. All Equinox trims except the LS can be had with a sunroof. The 2LT and LTZ can further be equipped with a rear entertainment system and a navigation system with voice recognition and digital music storage. The LTZ V6 can be outfitted with optional 19-inch chrome-clad wheels.

Latest Chevrolet News from Edmunds
Top Picks for Special Finance Rates and Cash Offers for April 2021

2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Chevrolet Equinox's optional V6 now has E85 capability. Enhancements include heated cloth seats on 2LT models and a compass on LS models. A USB port, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth connectivity are now standard on 1LT models, and OnStar service has been upgraded to standard Directions and Connections (providing access to OnStar's navigation and information services) for a six-month trial period.

Performance & mpg

Every 2011 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 182 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque. Optional on all but the LS is a 3.0-liter V6 good for 264 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional. When equipped with the four-cylinder engine, the Equinox makes the 0-60-mph sprint in 9.3 seconds, which is about average for the segment.

An Equinox four-cylinder with front-wheel drive achieves an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. All-wheel drive lowers these estimates to 20/29/23. An Equinox V6 with front-wheel drive gets an estimated 17/25/20, with all-wheel-drive versions dropping 1 mpg on the highway. As impressive as these numbers are, however, we've noticed that the Equinox struggles more than most vehicles to match these numbers in the real world.

Safety

The 2011 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 and rear parking sensors are optional.

The Equinox has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedure; however, its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to the new methodology) was a top five stars for its performance in head-on and side-impact collisions for all occupants. In side-impact and frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Equinox earned a top "Good" rating.

Driving

Acceleration from the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox's four-cylinder engine is respectable – especially in light of its strong fuel economy -- and should prove satisfactory for most shoppers. The V6 is a good match for those seeking gutsier performance, offering a 264-hp output that marks it as one of the most powerful choices in the segment.

Road and wind noise aren't a problem in the Equinox, which boasts a very quiet cabin at highway speeds. Ride quality is also impressive on interstate road trips, providing a buttoned-down feel indicative of bigger SUVs. Handling is unremarkable and steering is decidedly vague – though we suspect that these two shortcomings won't be an issue for the Equinox's target demographic.

Interior

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 switchgear for the climate controls and audio system feels substantial, a pleasant departure from the cookie-cutter units found in many other GM models. The downside is that the center console is plagued by a plethora of similar-looking buttons and can be hard for shorter drivers to reach.

As its plus-sized exterior suggests, the Equinox offers a spacious cabin. Adjust the sliding rear seat backward and you'll find rear legroom that's the most generous in this segment; the rear seat also reclines for passenger comfort. There are lots of storage opportunities within the cabin, with the highlight being a huge bin that sits beneath the front row's center armrest. Cargo capacity, however, is not that impressive. There is a maximum 31.4 cubic feet of space behind the sliding backseat; with the rear seat folded, that figure grows to 63.7 cubic feet. As such, the Equinox offers less cargo space than rivals like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Pile of garbage.
Tom Lamothe,04/21/2016
LT2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I have owned this vehicle for about 18 months. It was purchased off of my parent who bought the vehicle new. In the first 3 years of them owning the vehicle, they had to have several things repairs: Driver's seat, fuel pump/timing chain and some other minor issues. When I bought the car off of them, it was as if a self-destruct button was pushed. Immediately we found rust on the bottom of the rear doors (at 38,000 miles). This was repaired by the dealership under warranty. Shortly after I noticed that the vehicle was losing oil quite rapidly and seemed down on power. After (no lie) 12 visits to dealerships (one of which I refused to deal with any further as they wanted me to drop the vehicle off for the entire day for an oil consumption test), to monitor the oil level, they finally agreed to rebuild the engine (45,000 miles) as well as fix a transmission leak. Upon vehicle inspection, they also "discovered" that the AC condenser was leaking and needed to be replaced and that the rear brakes were "metal on metal" and needed to be replaced. All told there was over $7,000 worth of work done. $700 to replace the condensor. I refused brake replacement, another story, but it turned out that there was more than half of the braking material left and no need whatsover to replace the pads or rotors as we were quoted. one year later and we are back at it. At 58,000 miles, the rear differential is now leaking. The vehicle is still under the mileage for the powertrain warranty but past the time limit by 4 months. This repair was quoted at 600-700 dollars to replace an axle seal. This vehicle is now being traded in as I cannot deal with the sheer level of crap that is the 2011 Equinox. To summarize, 2011 Equinox with a 2.4 L engine only having 58,000 miles has had the following major issues: 1. Burning over 2 quarts of oil per 1000 miles. (Engine rebuilt) 2. Fuel pump and timing chain replaced. 3. Rust repair 4. Transmission leak repair 5. AC condensor leak 6. Seat issue recall repair 7. Rear differential leaking. The other minor issues I have had include random electrical gremlins that cause the auto headlights to come on randomly in direct sunlight, slipping serpentine belt that causes dimming of interior lights on occasion. On the surface this is a great vehicle. The interior is spacious and comfortable, the outside is relatively unobjectionable, It has several higher end features like Satellite radio, heated seats, etc. but the build quality is abysmal. I would not recommend this vehicle to my worst enemy.
Seeking new car ... definitely not another Equinox
Dee,11/07/2015
LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Nothing but repair issues from about 50,000 miles forward. Thank god I had purchased an extended warranty. Had a/c compressor and condensers replaced multiple times. Oil burning issues resulted in complete overhaul of engine. Now having catalytic converter issues .. presumably due to the oil that had been burning for 5,000 miles while engine consumption tests were being run. I would be broke if it weren't for the extended warranty. Trying to limp to the end of my extended warranty but the engine light is back on again. On a first-name basis with everyone in service at the dealer. On the bright side, the interior was comfortable on all those trips to the dealer. I've hauled a lot in the past 4 years and the interior has withstood. Mileage has always been disappointing. Unless I was coasting on a downhill, I never approached anywhere near 30 mpg. Acceleration sluggish. Huge blindspot due to pillars and side mirrors. Intermittent remote issues.
Loud engine knock at cold start up.
arveejay,05/15/2011
LT1 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
The car is very comfortable to drive with lots of leg room. It handles just fine, looks great and rides great. My only concern so far is the 2.4L engine rattle at cold start. It sounds like there is no oil in the engine for several seconds and then quiets right down. Even after dealer changed the oil and filter at 1000 miles the noise is still there. If my dealer can fix the noise before the engine shells out, I'll be very happy with it. I'm sure I won't still have it when the warranty is nearing running out.
Good and bad points
chrisco716,09/05/2012
LT2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Have owned 2011 LT2 Equinox for about a year and a half. Bought it new. The Good - Nice looking and drives pretty well. Comfortable for passengers. Good options like heated seats, power everything including automatic opening tailgate. AWD. Nice computer. The Bad - Does not achieve expected mileage. We consistently average a little over 19 mpg in mixed driving conditions. Only about 24 mpg highway. Drivers seat uncomfortable... I have to put a rolled up towel in the bottom back to keep from getting back pains. The Ugly - It's a dog driving in the mountains or even getting up to highway speeds. The automatic transmission also seems a bit rough when accelerating hard.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox

Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

The Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is offered in the following submodels: Equinox SUV. Available styles include LT1 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LT2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LS 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LT2 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LS 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), and LT1 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LT1 is priced between $7,995 and$10,995 with odometer readings between 68136 and142482 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LS is priced between $7,800 and$8,850 with odometer readings between 113000 and128987 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LT2 is priced between $7,995 and$9,995 with odometer readings between 56697 and137836 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ is priced between $12,995 and$12,995 with odometer readings between 55442 and55442 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 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) 2011 Chevrolet Equinox for sale near. There are currently 10 used and CPO 2011 Equinoxes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,800 and mileage as low as 55442 miles. 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 2011 Chevrolet Equinox.

Can't find a used 2011 Chevrolet Equinoxs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Equinox for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $17,457.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 6 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $16,486.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Equinox for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $18,295.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $20,541.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Equinox lease specials