2016 Chevrolet Equinox Review

2016 Chevrolet Equinox
List price range
$9,988 - $140,380
2016 Chevrolet Equinox

Pros & Cons

  • Backseat has plenty of space and slides/reclines for added comfort
  • optional V6 engine provides ample power
  • interior stays quiet at speed
  • rides smoothly on rough roads.
  • Four-cylinder version feels sluggish and real-world mpg falls short of EPA ratings
  • less cargo space than some rivals
  • interior materials quality leaves something to be desired
  • Bluetooth audio isn't offered on L or LS.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is a solid bet if you want a reasonably sized crossover SUV with plenty of backseat space. You can also upgrade to a powerful V6 engine, which is an unusual treat in this class. Let's see if this veteran player still has what it takes.

Vehicle overview

With a number of well-rounded rivals nipping at its heels, the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox gets a welcome rejuvenation. This aging crossover still has plenty of life, and Chevrolet has improved its features in some key areas. A touchscreen interface, for example, is increasingly expected by shoppers in this segment, and the 2016 Equinox checks that box with its newly standard 7-inch interface. Also expected are available items like LED exterior lighting and blind-spot monitoring, and here again, the refreshed Equinox delivers.

You may have to squint to see the 2016 Equinox's styling changes, but this is certainly a restrained and attractive crossover.

A lingering sore spot is the base four-cylinder engine, which receives solid EPA fuel economy estimates but has a hard time matching them in the real world. We're also underwhelmed by the base four's acceleration compared to other fours in this class. If you're looking for extra power, though, the Equinox provides it in the form of a segment-topping 301-horsepower V6 that's optional on more expensive models. No matter which model you choose, you'll enjoy a big backseat that slides and reclines, as well as a ride that's smooth and quiet relative to other reasonably priced crossovers.

Although the 2016 Equinox's improvements are meaningful, this segment is chock full of appealing entrants. The multitalented Honda CR-V provides better fuel economy and more maximum cargo space, while the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5 also serve up superior agility. The engaging and roomy Hyundai Santa Fe Sport delivers value that's hard to beat, and the versatile Jeep Cherokee has an available V6 of its own and some serious off-roading chops when properly equipped.

But the Equinox remains a very pleasant crossover to drive, and the tweaks for 2016 should only enhance its appeal. If you're looking for a practical two-row crossover at an attainable price, the re-energized 2016 Equinox is worth considering closely.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox models

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV that's offered in four trim levels: L, LS, LT and LTZ.

Standard equipment on the entry-level L includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, premium cloth upholstery, a partial power driver seat with power height and lumbar adjustments, a 60/40-split second-row seat that slides and reclines, cruise control, a trip computer and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. In terms of onboard technology, the Equinox L comes standard with Bluetooth phone (but not audio) connectivity, OnStar communications (with an in-car 4G WiFi hotspot), a 7-inch touchscreen interface, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port.

The Equinox LS is very similar but has a few extra features, most notably satellite radio, a compass and an available towing package that's also optional on LT and LTZ.

The LT adds different 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, roof rack side rails and an upgraded audio system that includes Chevy's MyLink interface, Bluetooth audio connectivity, voice controls and smartphone integration for Internet radio apps (Pandora and Stitcher).

At the top of the line, there's the LTZ, which further adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, unique exterior trim with chrome accents, remote start, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and automatic climate control. LTZ models equipped with the V6 engine also get firmer suspension tuning.

The LT's optional Convenience package adds a number of the LTZ's standard features (remote start, automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated seats). Ordering it also unlocks the separate options of a power liftgate and 18-inch chrome-clad wheels.

Optional on both the LT and LTZ are a sunroof, a Driver Confidence package (adds rear parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert) and a Technology Package (adds a navigation system and an eight-speaker Pioneer audio system).

Optional on the LTZ only is a Driver Confidence II package (adds lane-departure warning and forward collision alert) and an Enhanced Convenience package (adds the power liftgate and an eight-way power front passenger seat).

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the Chevrolet Equinox receives revised front-end styling with projector-beam headlights, LED daytime running lights (LT and LTZ) and an updated rear fascia with new taillights. Upgraded cloth upholstery and a 7-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera are now standard on the base L and LS trims, while the dashboard gets a new storage shelf and updated control graphics. Additionally, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is now available on LT and LTZ.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox's standard engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder. A 3.6-liter V6 is optional on LT and LTZ. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and are available with front- or all-wheel drive.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder puts out 182 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive Equinox with the four-cylinder engine accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, which is a little slower than average for this segment. The EPA projects 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway) with front-wheel drive and 23 mpg combined (20/29) with all-wheel drive. While these numbers are respectable, we've had a hard time reproducing them in the real world, especially on the highway.

The 3.6-liter V6 comes with dual exhaust tips and produces a healthy 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque. In testing of the essentially identical GMC Terrain with the V6 and all-wheel drive, we recorded a 0-60 time of 7.0 seconds. That's impressive, as it's about half a second quicker than average for small and midsize crossovers with an upgraded engine. There's a price at the pump, though, as EPA fuel economy estimates drop to 20 mpg combined (17/24) with FWD and 18 mpg combined (16/23) with AWD.

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

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2016 Chevy Equinox include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard are a rearview camera and GM's OnStar emergency communications system, which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance. Optional on the LT and LTZ are rear parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, while the LTZ can also be outfitted with forward collision alert and a lane departure warning system.

In government crash tests, the Equinox received an overall score of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for side protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Equinox earned the highest possible rating of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal-offset, moderate-overlap frontal offset, side impact and roof strength tests. Its head and seat restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

Driving characteristics for the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox will depend in significant part on which engine you select. The four-cylinder Equinox may have similar output ratings to the base engines in other compact crossovers, but it doesn't feel as potent on the road. You'll have the gas pedal floored during routine merging and passing maneuvers, which is neither reassuring nor fuel-efficient. If you're looking for a more enjoyable driving experience, the V6 is definitely the way to go. With 301 horses on tap, it's one of the most capable engines in any crossover in this price range.

If you order the optional V6 engine with its dual exhaust tips, you'll have easily one of the strongest engines in this segment.

The Equinox's handling abilities are nothing special. The steering feels numb and somewhat imprecise, while the suspension is tuned to favor comfort over athleticism. The upside, of course, is an isolated, smooth ride that's enhanced by the quietness of the cabin at speed.

Interior

The 2016 Equinox's dashboard is sleek and stylish. As with most current Chevy models, the dash contours flow smoothly into the door panels, creating a wraparound feel that's distinctive in this segment. The quality of the materials is unremarkable, but the overall effect is nonetheless quite pleasing. Although the small buttons on the center stack can be hard to differentiate at a glance, the Equinox's controls are generally well laid-out and easily learned.

The Equinox's dashboard looks great, sullied only by similar-looking buttons and generic trim-panel materials.

The standard 7-inch touchscreen interface features customizable menus similar to those on modern smartphones, and it's relatively easy to use. The available MyLink interface incorporates Bluetooth streaming audio capability and compatibility with popular smartphone apps. There are a few weak spots, though, such as the touchscreen's occasionally slow processing times and missed responses to touch inputs. The lack of standard Bluetooth audio (unavailable on L and LS trims) is also lamentable.

The 2016 Equinox's backseat is enormous. If you're looking for a small crossover with big rear space, the Equinox is one of the only options on the market.

Seating comfort is good all around, with particular credit due to the luxuriously roomy backseat, which features slide-and-recline functions for added versatility. The downside to this copious passenger space is that the Equinox offers less cargo space than many competitors, with 31.5 cubic feet of storage behind the 60/40-split rear seats and a maximum of 63.7 cubes with those seatbacks folded down. That's still an ample cargo bay, but it trails rivals like the CR-V, which can accommodate more than 70 cubes.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

From Jeep back to GM
Nick,12/30/2015
LT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I just purchased the 2016 Equinox LT with the 2.4L engine and AWD (Patroit Blue Metallic) I also just came from a similar vehicle, which was a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Latitude 2.4L 4x4 (Eco Green). The Jeep was my second Jeep and my last! Chrysler's dealer network is just not as accomodating, well-training, and educated as Chevy's. My conclusion... "See ya later Jeep!". The Equinox is superb and I can honestly say it has the best legroom in its class, period! The interior is ergonomically sound with great technology, comfort and fit/finish. Let me criticize a lot of reviewers out there. Some are customers and others are Journalists...The complaints about the 2.4 are ludicrous. If you have ever driven a 4 cylinder engine and know what to expect/not expect from one, you'll be fine with the performance of this vehicle. The 2.4 and 6 speed combo feels just as good as my 2.4 and 9 speed in the Cherokee. Trust me, you can pass people on the highway and you DONT need to floor it to do so. It has plenty of pep and way better gas mileage than the V6. Unless your towing something, just save yourself the money and get the 4. Don't listen to all these reviewers that want an SUV but also want their SUV to accelerate like a lamborghini. The Equinox 2.4 is just fine!!!! Also, if anyone is wondering I test drove the following before ridding myself of a problematic Jeep: - Rav4 - Escape - Edge - Murano - Rogue - Tuscon - Santa Fe - Sportage - Forester - CX9 - Equinox Going back to the legroom. The most important aspect of us choosing the Equinox, for anyone in a similar situation, was legroom. I am six ft. with long legs and am not comfortable in many small SUVs. We had it narrowed down to the Rogue, which we took for an overnight, and the Equinox. The Equinox had the best legroom in its class by far! I can scoot up to the wheel or have my legs fully extended (with boots on). Also BTW. My dad has a 2012 Equinox, My Mom had a 2010 and just bought a 2015 last years as well. Both have no problems with theirs. Highly satisfied with this vehicle and would recommend to anyone!
Couldn't be happier with this vehicle.
Grandma C,05/25/2016
LT 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
The LT 2.4 4 cylinder is perfect for us. Gas mileage is great. Very comfortable. Instruments are very easy to use. Incredible how much passenger room there is in the front and back seats. Plenty of cargo area.
Great ride
BOB N.,08/02/2016
LT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Have had this 2016 Equinox for three weeks now and totally love it. The ride is fantastic. Both my wife and I have commented how our legs don't feel like rubber after getting out from a trip. Car handles wonderfully with great steering and comfortable ride. So far I have been averaging slightly over 27 MPG on the highway here in New England and better than 23 MPG around town. The 4 cyl. 2.4 engine is great and has plenty of power to handle the hills and can easily pass on the highway without punching the pedal. Could not be happier with this choice. Only con is that my wife is short and cannot reach the back hatch to close it. Didn't want to get the LTZ package. Oh well...minor issue and made her a grabber to reach the hatch hand hold. After owing it for over 6 months it's the best vehicle I've owned. Now owned it for a year and it continues to impress me. Mileage on highway if about 27+ and local driving is running about 24. Handled great in the winter snows with the AWD. No cons... All good. After two years still fantastic. Highway mileage averages 28mpg. Have had no issues with anything. It continues to be the best especially when loading it up for our weekly trips to our summer vacation home. As we enter 2019 I am still extremely happy with this vehicle. I have had no issues that have need attention and still getting the same mileage as before. Best vehicle I have owned in many years. We're now at February of 2020 and all is still perfect. No issues with anything. Combined mileage (all seasons) is still around 24-25 MPG. I'm retired now so less annual mileage.
So far, so good
Rod Hughes,03/18/2016
LT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I'm a traveling salesman and spend quite a bit of time on the road. I wanted a vehicle with decent comfort and fuel mileage, but even more important was passenger comfort. No other small or even medium SUV has the rear legroom of an Equinox. I can fit 4 good size adults comfortably. The sliding rear seat makes all the difference. If I need more cargo space, I can slide the seat all the way forward and have a large cargo area... Or conversely, slide it back and have massive leg room for passengers. The one downside so far is the navigation... It is very clumsy to operate and will only hold a maximum of 30 favorite destinations. Even my $100 TomTom held 100 favorites.

Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 6700 rpm
MPG
20 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 6700 rpm
MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 6700 rpm
MPG
20 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 6700 rpm
See all Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox features & specs

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 2016 Chevrolet Equinox
Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

The Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is offered in the following submodels: Equinox SUV. Available styles include LT 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LS 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), L 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), and LS 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT is priced between $10,458 and$140,380 with odometer readings between 15850 and116415 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LS is priced between $9,988 and$18,481 with odometer readings between 5391 and91418 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ is priced between $10,995 and$24,985 with odometer readings between 9137 and121474 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 2016 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) 2016 Chevrolet Equinox for sale near. There are currently 126 used and CPO 2016 Equinoxes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,988 and mileage as low as 5391 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 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.

Can't find a used 2016 Chevrolet Equinoxs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Equinox for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,703.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $24,960.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Equinox for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $10,283.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $8,234.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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
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