The Chevrolet Equinox is part of a growing segment of “plus-sized” small crossover SUVs. Like other vehicles of this type, the Equinox provides the style and utility one normally associates with more traditional SUVs, but without their clumsy driving dynamics and poor fuel economy. As with other crossovers, the Equinox is built on a carlike platform that provides superior on-road comfort and crashworthiness.
There have been two Equinox generations. Earlier models were known for their roomy interiors and easy-driving nature, but they also suffered from substandard interior materials. A new Equinox has just debuted that offers sharp new styling as well as new engine choices for improved fuel economy.
Current Chevrolet Equinox
The current Chevrolet Equinox is in the first year of the all-new second generation. As before, it is a small/midsize SUV that ferries up to five passengers. It’s available in LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ trim levels. Standard equipment for the base LS and 1LT is fairly generous, while the 2LT adds items like automatic climate control and upgraded audio. The top-shelf LTZ tacks on upscale features like a power liftgate and leather upholstery. All models have stability control and a full complement of airbags as standard. Notable options on certain trims include a rear-seat entertainment system and a hard-drive-based navigation system.
Under the hood, the Equinox starts with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Available on all but the LS is a 3.0-liter V6 that pumps out 264 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. Both come with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional.
In reviews, our editors have been quite impressed with the current Chevy Equinox. Unlike the previous version, which was competent but forgettable, this Equinox is strikingly stylish inside and out, and its ride is smooth and quiet. The one significant demerit concerns hauling ability: Given the Equinox’s relatively expansive exterior dimensions, its maximum cargo capacity should be better than a midpack 63.7 cubic feet. Overall, though, we think the Equinox is one of the best compact crossover SUVs on the market.