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Chevrolet Equinox

A review of the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox

The Good

Roomy and efficient, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox offers a smooth ride and plenty of high-tech toys to keep the kids entertained during long trips. It is one of the most versatile vehicles in its class, and comes loaded with standard safety features.

The Bad

Its generous proportions make it heavy, which affects certain aspects of its performance. The vehicle’s steering isn’t optimally responsive, and its cavernous dimensions can obscure sightlines, especially when in reverse.

The Bottom Line

With a stylish, streamlined design, loads of interior space and competitive pricing level, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox is a practical option, especially for families with young children.

Price

Pricing levels vary according to the trim package you select. The base model is the LS; the LT is the mid-level package and is available in 1LT and 2LT variations. The LTZ is the top-of-the-line model.

MSRP: $24,355 to $31,795.

Average paid: $23,410 (LS trim package)

Performance

Acceleration and power

The Chevrolet Equinox offers impressive acceleration, especially considering its relatively bulky weight. The 4-cylinder engine is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 115 miles per hour. It also has a generous fuel capacity of 18.8 gallons, which gives it one of the top ranges in its class when combined with its above-average fuel efficiency. The Chevrolet Equinox mileage specifications of 22 MPG city/32 MPG highway apply to the 4-cylinder engine.

All four trim packages offer a payload of 1,190 pounds, with the base LS model offering 1,500 pounds of towing capacity. The LT and LTZ models are capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds with additional dealer-installed equipment.

Handling and braking

The variable power-assist steering that comes standard with all trim packages offers an 18:1 steering ratio, with 3.46 lock-to-lock turns and a curb-to-curb turning diameter of 40 feet, which is about average for its class. Four-wheel ABS disc brakes are standard on all models. Front-wheel drive is standard, but drivers can upgrade to all-wheel drive if desired.

However, many Chevrolet Equinox reviews have noted that the vehicle’s bulky dimensions can make navigation in close quarters a little tricky. To address this drawback, the manufacturer offers an optional rear-view camera to assist drivers while parking.

Interior

Seating

The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox offers standard seating for five, with 41 inches of front head room and 39 inches of rear head room, landing it near the top of its class for roominess. Front and rear shoulder room measure 56 and 55 inches respectively, with 55 and 51 inches of front and rear hip room. Leg room in the front and rear measure in at 41.2 and 39.9 inches respectively. The rear seating is a split-folding bench with manual recline.

Cloth upholstery is standard, but a leather seating upgrade is optional.

Features

Standard interior features include power windows, with express power windows for the front of the vehicle. A built-in voice-commanded navigation computer with traffic updates is available, and audio system controls are now mounted on the steering wheel as a standard feature on all models. The audio system is a Pioneer 250-watt stereo with 8-speaker sound. The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox also has an on-board trip computer, which tracks average speed, fuel economy and driving range.

Optional features include a rear-seat entertainment system, including seat-mounted monitors and wireless headphones.

Cargo space

Given its roomy interior dimensions, the Chevrolet Equinox offers some of the most generous cargo space in its class. All models offer 31.5 cubic feet of luggage space, with a maximum of 63.7 cubic feet of total cargo space.

Safety

Standard safety features include six airbags (despite an official maximum seating capacity of five passengers), as well as an electronic stability system, anti-theft security system, daytime running headlights and a tire pressure monitor. General Motors’ OnStar is also included as a standard feature on all trim packages. Optional safety upgrades include a power lift gate, a rear-view camera, a lane departure warning system and a forward collision alert indicator.

Specifications

The Chevrolet Equinox underwent a major redesign for the 2010 model year, and both the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox display little deviation from the 2010 model. One noteworthy addition for the 2012 model year is the inclusion of standard steering wheel audio system controls on the base LS trim package. Otherwise, minor packaging adjustments on the various trim packages represent the only changes to the vehicle’s specifications.

  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic with overdrive
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive (All-wheel drive optional)
  • Engine Type: 4-cylinder direct injection (V6 upgrade optional)
  • Engine Size: 2.4 L (optional 3.0 L V6)
  • Horsepower: 182 @ 6700 RPM
  • Torque: 172 lb/ft @ 4900 RPM
  • Chevrolet Equinox MPG, City: 22 MPG
  • Chevrolet Equinox MPG, Highway: 32 MPG
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