Midsize SUV; Built in
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,700 – $28,200*


2010 Chevrolet Equinox front


2010 Chevrolet Equinox rear


2010 Chevrolet Equinox interior


2010 Chevrolet Equinox cargo area

Pros:
  • Fuel economy (4-cyl.)
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness
Cons:
  • Interior materials
  • Steering feel

Forget everything you might remember about the first-generation Equinox. This model is better in every way, boasting quiet powertrains as well as flexible passenger and cargo accommodations. Equinox is no speed demon even with V6 power, and its ride/handling balance doesn’t quite match that of rival import crossover SUVs. Still, Chevrolet has done an excellent job taking Equinox from a segment also-ran to one that earns our Recommended (2010-12) nod and merits serious consideration.

Overview

After five seasons in its prior form, Chevrolet redesigned the Equinox for 2010, giving it freshened styling, new engines, and some new features. Seating five, this four-door crossover SUV came in LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ trim levels. Equinox offered a choice of two engines. A 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder was standard. A 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 was optional on the 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ until 2013 when it was replaced by a 301-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. All engines teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive were available on all models. Maximum towing capacity was 1,500 pounds with the four-cylinder and 3,500 pounds with the V6. Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, front-side airbags, and curtain-side airbags. Available features included remote engine start, a navigation system, a wireless cell-phone link, DVD entertainment, a hard drive for storing digital-music files, a rearview camera, and a power tailgate. Equinox used Chevrolet’s “MultiFlex” rear seat, which can be moved 8 inches fore and aft to better accommodate different storage and passenger needs. Midsize rivals to the Equinox included the Dodge Journey, Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, and Hyundai Santa Fe.

Yearly Updates

2011 Equinox
Chevrolet’s midsize crossover saw a few changes following its 2010 redesign. LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ trim levels remained, with a choice of two engines. A 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder was standard. A 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 was optional on the 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ. New for 2011, the V6 was capable of running on E85 ethanol-blended fuel.
2012 Equinox
Several new features became available in the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, including GM’s MyLink infortainment system, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision alert. The standard engine was now able to run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel.
2013 Equinox
Equinox got a new V6 engine option and some additional equipment for 2013. Equinox LS was newly equipped with a standard USB port. Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system was newly standard in 1LT models, and MyLink added optional navigation in 2LT and LTZ models.
Top-line LTZ models got new standard equipment including lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems, 8-way power passenger seat, and a universal garage-door opener. Many of the LTZ’s new features were included in two option packages for 2LT models.
2014 Equinox
Equinox was unchanged for 2014.
2015 Equinox
The Chevrolet Equinox saw just one change of note for 2015: the OnStar communications system added 4G LTE Internet connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Chevrolet has offered two engines in the Equinox. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder develops 182 horsepower, while the optional 3.0-liter V6 produces 264 horsepower. Both engines team with a six-speed automatic transmission and either front-drive or all-wheel drive. Starting in 2012, the four-cylinder engine could be run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel. In 2013, the 3.0-liter V6 was replaced by a 3.6-liter developing 301 horsepower.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/145
Engine HP 182
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 172
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 20/29 25.3
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 264
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 222
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 17/24 21.8
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/217
Engine HP 301
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 272
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 17/24

Road Test

An Equinox with either the four-cylinder or V6 engine is adequate from a stop. The four-cylinder has enough power to get rolling readily enough, but it struggles in highway passing and merging situations. The V6 is stronger all around, but it doesn’t feel as snappy as its 264-horsepower rating would suggest. Automatic-transmission response is very good when teamed with the four-cylinder, but it’s slow to downshift with the V6.

In Consumer Guide testing, a front-drive four-cylinder Equinox averaged a thrifty 25.3 mpg. A test V6 model with AWD averaged 21.8 mpg. Equinox uses regular-grade gas, and the 2011 V6 is capable of running on E85 ethanol.

This Equinox rides far better than its predecessor, with good bump absorption and no harshness over even larger road imperfections. Little difference is evident between models equipped with the 17- or 18-inch tires.

Handling is generally competent and car-like. Body lean in turns is well controlled. Four-cylinder models have electric power steering that’s designed to increase fuel economy, but it lacks road feel. The V6 model’s hydraulic power steering doesn’t feel much better. A surprisingly large turning radius can complicate close-quarters maneuvering. Braking is smooth and progressive.

Chevrolet has done a good job of isolating most sources of ruckus. Wind noise is virtually nonexistent. The four-cylinder engine sounds a bit raspy under full-throttle acceleration, 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 contribute to audible thrum on coarse surfaces.

Primary gauges are large and clear. Standard audio and climate controls are mounted high on the dashboard and generally simple to operate. However, some testers have complained that this layout suffers from an overabundance of look-alike buttons that require more familiarization than should be necessary. The optional navigation system incorporates some audio functions. Its seemingly random combination of dashboard buttons and touchscreen controls complicates audio functions. Interior details are a vast improvement over the previous generation, and now rival class leaders. Like other recent Chevrolet models, Equinox’s cabin presents well at first glance, though some materials may disappoint on closer inspection.

Front-seat headroom and legroom are ample. Seats are long-haul supportive. Visibility is good for the most part, though tall rear headrests partially obscure the view aft.

Additional padding compared to the previous model makes the latest Equinox’s rear seat long-haul comfortable. Chevrolet’s “MultiFlex” rear bench slides fore or aft, allowing legroom to range from adequate to vast, depending on its position.

The MultiFlex rear seat can slide to benefit already generous cargo space. 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.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Chevrolet Equinox 2WD LT 4-cyl.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 7
70%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 67

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.5 187.8 72.5 66.3 3770
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
63.7 18.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 39.2 41.2 39.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Equinox 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine knock and oil leak
Description: Wrong oil filter could result in engine damage. (2010-14)
Oil consumption
Description: Some engines have excessive oil consumption because of worn piston rings. (2011)
Steering problems
Description: Steering wheel may be difficult to move out of straight ahead position after driving a long distance on a straight road. (2010-14)
Steering problems
Description: Equinox with 2.4-liter engine may lose power steering assist. (2014-15)
Suspension noise
Description: Noises (pops, squawks, rattles, etc.) may come from the front suspension requiring silicone grease applied to the suspension strut shaft(s) periodically, (2010-11)
Timing belt
Description: Timing chain could stretch causing noise or engine failure. (2011)
Vehicle noise
Description: A buzzing sound (dial tone like) may be heard on the receiving end of a call when using a Bluetooth (except with 3G and 4G phones) unless the hands-free microphone has been replaced. (2009-11)
Vehicle noise
Description: Clicking sound may come from front or rear axle when shifting between reverse and drive (or under hard acceleration) unless a shim is installed on the end of the axle shaft. (2010-11)
Windows
Description: Power windows may be misaligned and move slowly or not at all. (2008-14)
Headlights
Description: One or both low beam headlights (except HID lights) may quit working requiring replacement of the bulb connectors. (2010-11)
None
Description: Engine may seize because of main or rod bearing failure. (2011)
Brake lights
Description: Brake lights may remain after vehicle is shut off and drain the battery. (2014)
Check-engine light
Description: Engine may run at reduced power and the check engine light may come on, especially when driving in rain or after a carwash, unless the instrument panel wiring harness connector has been sealed. (2005-11)
Liftgate
Description: The power lift gate may not work from the key fob, switch or touch pad because the module loses communication with the system and must be reprogrammed. (2010)

Recall History

2010
Description: Software in central instrument panel may cause heating, air conditioning, defrost, and radio controls, as well as panel illumination, to become inoperative.
2010-12 Equinox
Description: The bolt that secures the front seat height adjuster may fall out resulting the seat unexpectedly dropping.
2011
Description: Driver and/or front-passenger seatbelt buckle anchor may fracture and separate in a vehicle crash, and may not properly restrain the occupant(s).
2011 Equinox
Description: The driver and /or front passenger safety belt buckle anchor may fracture and separate near the seat attachment in a vehicle crash. The safety belt system may not restrain the occupant(s) as designed and could increase the risk of injury. Dealers will modify the passenger and/or the driver safety belt buckles as necessary. This service will be performed free of charge.
2012 Equinox
Description: Tire pressure monitoring system is designed to alert drivers when tire pressure is 25% below recommended cold tire pressure, but the warning light doesn’t come on until tire pressure is more than 25% below.
2015 Equinox
Description: Front side airbag’s inflator may rupture during deployment. Metal fragments could injure passengers and the side airbag may not inflate properly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.