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Chevy Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox 2010-2017

VMR Scorecard (1 to 10 scale)
Performance
7.6
Reliability
7.7
Safety
9.5
Drivability
8.1
Interior
8.0
Value
8.4

For the Chevrolet Equinox, 2010 was the first model year of the 2nd generation that continued on until a redesign for 2018. Built in Canada, the Equinox sported updated styling and power trains. EPA-estimated gas mileage jumped to 26-mpg combined for a front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder Equinox surpassing the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 — three of its main competitors — in gas mileage. The Equinox was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Seating in the Equinox offers buyers welcome flexibility. The front seats can slide forward and backward by 10 inches, and the rear seats have almost 8 inches. The sliding rear seat, something that isn’t offered on all SUVs, offers buyers the best rear legroom available among its competitors. The total cargo capacity for the vehicle, with both rear seats folded, is 63.7 cubic feet (1803 litres). That’s on the low side for the segment.
Most agree the updated interior styling of the Equinox is a highlight, though materials quality received mixed reviews.

Overall, the Equinox has acceptable cargo space, competitive fuel economy, high safety ratings and a good overall ride. Its lower reliability ratings comparative to competitors in its class can affect resale prices, creating opportunities for buyers who have done their homework.

What's Available
The 2010 Equinox is a 5-passenger, redesigned compact crossover available in LS, LT and LTZ trim.  All are powered by a
Strengths
Fuel economy
Safety ratings
Reasonably priced options
Backseat leg room
Weaknesses
Reliability
Below average cargo space
182-horsepower four-cylinder engine. A stronger 264 horsepower V6 is also available. Both engines paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is an available option. The Equinox is well-equipped compared to other affordable SUVs. A plus is that many of the options are reasonably priced.

LS - standard features included folding mirrors, 4 12V power outlets; AM/FM radio with seek/scan, RDS, MP3 capability, single in-dash CD-player and 6 speakers; Air conditioning; Auto-locking doors; Cloth seat-upholstery; Cruise control; Illuminated entry; Keyfob remote keyless entry; Power windows with one-touch open in front and rear; Rear reclining, 60/40 split folding bench seat with fore/aft adjustment; Remote window control; Speed-sensitive volume; Tachometer; Tilting and telescoping steering-wheel; Tinted windows; Trip computer; Vehicle information system; and XM satellite radio: halogen headlights; P225/65 TR17 all-season tires; Security system; Theft-deterrent system; Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS); Tracker system; and Ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV II), Anti-Roll Control; Anti-lock brakes (ABS); Brake assist; Child safety rear door locks; Electronic Stability Control; 6 air bags; Side-impact bars; and Traction control
1LT – additional features included carpeted front and rear floor mats; Compass; Power remote, heated and folding left and right door mirror; Roof rack rails
2LT - additional features included 8-way power driver bucket seat with lumbar support; AM/FM radio with seek/scan, amplifier, RDS, MP3 capability, single in-dash CD-player and 8 speakers; Auto-dimming rear-view mirror; Automatic air conditioning; Fog lights in front; LCD monitor in front; Leather steering-wheel; Rear parking camera; Remote vehicle starter system; Steering-wheel mounted audio controls; Wireless phone connectivity
LTZ - additional features included 4-way heated front passenger bucket seat; 8-way power, heated driver bucket seat with lumbar support and memory; Body color front and rear bumper; Cargo area carpeting, light, net, cover and tie-down anchors; Chrome door handles; Leather seat-upholstery; Power rear lift-gate; Power remote, heated and folding left and right door mirror with tilt-down; Rear parking assist; Roof rack

Exterior
The first thing you notice about the 2010 Equinox is the smooth styling and tasteful design. It has nice lines and balanced proportions overall making it pleasing to the eye.  Its length of 187.8 inches (4771 mm) is noticeably longer than the 2010 Ford Escape, Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. Overall, the 122.5 inch (2857 mm) wheel base remains the same but it is an inch shorter and an inch wider. From the start, the Equinox offered a power tailgate that allowed owners to program the tailgate’s opening height. As a result, you can set it to avoid bumping into low ceilings in garages and similar locations.

Interior
2014 Equinoz interior, dash 2014 Equinox Interior
There's seating for five people in the 2010 Equinox. Interior details are an improvement over the previous generation.  Equinox’s cabin looks good at first glance, though on closer inspection the quality of some materials may disappoint and not hold up as well over time.

The Equinox comes standard with cloth upholstery, while LTZ models get leather. A power height-adjustable driver's seat is standard. If you trade up to a higher trim, you get an eight-way adjustable driver's seat. There’s also a good amount of space throughout the newly designed cabin. Numerous storage bins include an oversize glove box, closed storage under the center armrest (big enough for a laptop), and a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack.

Primary gauges are large and clear. Standard audio and climate controls are mounted high on the dashboard and generally simple to operate. However, there are some complaints that the layout suffers from too many look-alike buttons that require more familiarization than should be necessary. The optional navigation system combines a seemingly random combination of dashboard buttons and touch-screen controls which needlessly complicates audio functions.



Room/Comfort
Front-seat headroom and legroom are ample with seats sliding 10 inches forward and back. The driving position provides excellent forward views and the standard tilt/telescoping steering column lets you adjust the wheel just so. Taller drivers, however, might notice that the B-pillar blocks the view when checking their left-side blind spot.  Also, tall rear headrests can partially obscure the rear view. There have been some complaints about the stiffness of the padding in the cloth seats but that is a matter of preference so you will have to decide this for yourself.


Model Year Changes
2010
New Design

2011
No Major Changes

2012
- Advanced safety features (lane departure and front collision warning) now available
- New MyLink infotainment system standard on models above entry model
- LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ trim levels

2013
- New 301-hp, 3.6-liter V-6
Upgraded suspension – FE2 suspension package
- New eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, rear parking sensors and an updated rear-seat entertainment system
- LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ trim levels

2014
- LTZ which gets chrome wheels as standard
- LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ trim levels

2015
- On Star with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot capability standard
- L, LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ trim levels

2016
- New front styling
- Standard backup camera
- LT and LTZ models now come with LED daytime running lights as standard
- L and LS models now feature enhanced interior fabrics and a new audio system with a seven-inch screen
- L, LS, LT and LTZ trim levels

2017
- LT is available with Midnight Edition and Sport Edition packages
- L, LS, LT and Premier trim levels

Tall rear-seat passengers are provided with nearly 40 inches of legroom when rear seats are moved backwards by up to eight inches making it the best among competitors. Comparatively the Escape, the smallest competitor, supplies just 35.6 inches of back-seat legroom. The one-piece bench seat can slide forward and backward as a whole, but each section of the split backrest can recline independently.

There's 63.7 cubic feet (1803 litres) of cargo space with the rear seats folded and 31.4 (889 litres) cubic feet of space with them in use. The Equinox trails class competitors from Ford, Honda and Toyota here.  Lack of under-floor storage is disappointing, but Chevrolet makes up for it with plenty of in-cabin cubbies and bins. All door pockets have bottle holders, and the center console is large.


Performance
One of the Equinox's top selling features is its fuel economy — an US EPA-estimated 22/32 mpg city/highway with the standard 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive.  Natural Resources Canada estimates are 9.2 L/100 km city and 6.2 L/100 km highway. Also available is a 264-hp, 3.0-liter V-6.  Both engines team with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is going to cost you more at the pump with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 18/25 mpg for front-wheel-drive models and 17/24 mpg for all-wheel drive.  Both engines feature direct injection, which improves gas mileage, as do a more aerodynamic body and the use of low-rolling-resistance tires. Additionally, the 2.4 liter engine has a fuel-saving electric power steering system standard.  Equinox uses regular-grade gas, and the 2011 and up V6 is capable of running on E85 ethanol.

This Equinox rides better than its predecessor, with good bump absorption and minimal harshness over even larger road imperfections. Little difference is evident between models equipped with the 17- or 18-inch tires.  An Equinox with either the four-cylinder or V6 engine is adequate for around town duty. The four-cylinder has enough power to get rolling, and its smooth-shifting transmission reacts quickly when you need more power at midrange speeds. However, it does start to lose steam when accelerating hard at highway speeds. For people who want more reserve power for passing and merging and are willing to swallow the reduced fuel economy, it's nice that Chevrolet offers a V-6; some of its competitors don't.

The Equinox’s handling is generally good and its ride has a car-like feel. A surprisingly large turning radius can complicate close-quarters maneuvering. Braking is smooth and progressive. Wind noise is virtually nonexistent. When in full throttle acceleration, the four-cylinder engine does have some discernable noise, but the V6 is always smooth and refined. Both engines are silent while cruising. All Equinox models have low-rolling-resistance tires designed to increase fuel economy, but they do contribute to an audible thrumming noise when riding on coarse surfaces.
 
Reliability/Service
Overall the worst problem category for Chevrolet Equinox is the engine, due to reported excessive oil consumption by the 4-cylinder motor. GM is aware of the problem and the automaker issued technical service bulletin (TSB) 15285C, which also applies to the GMC Terrain.  There is also a class-action suit filed on behalf of owners for this problem. A moderate number of transmission complaints were logged as well.  Model years 2010-2013 saw the greatest number of complaints with a marked reduction for model years 2014 forward. No other areas stand out. 

Value
Because of it's mundane resale value, the Equinox can be a terrific bargain. We'd stick with the V6 simply to avoid the oil consumption issue with the four (a problem GM seems to have from time to time over the years). The Equinox is a pleasant package for most anyone, and if you're not bashful you can likely negotiate a great price. Current Equinox values.
Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Chevrolet Equinox a 2010 Top Safety Pick, also giving it the highest rating of Good in four crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Equinox five out of five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in rollover crash test.

Key Competitors

Honda CR-V
Mazda CX-5
Subaru Outback
GMC Terrain
Toyota RAV4
Hyundai Santa Fe and Sport
Ford Escape
New Car Prices
Dealer Cost for New Vehicles