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2009 Chevrolet Equinox Review

When it was new, critics praised the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox for its powerful V6 engine options, practical interior and comfortable ride. Most said the Equinox is anything but sporty, but that also means it soaks up road imperfections with ease.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine options
  • Spacious interior and cargo area
  • Some low-rent interior plastics
  • Low fuel economy




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

In a class crowded with four-cylinder engines, the Equinox offers two V6 engines. The standard engine is a 185-horsepower V6, while Sport models offer a potent 264-horsepower unit. Most reviewers said the base engine is plenty powerful, and the Sport model’s larger engine only makes the Equinox faster. Front- and all-wheel drive are available, and the lone transmission is a five-speed automatic. With front-wheel drive, the Equinox averages 17/24 mpg city/highway with either engine. Opting for all-wheel drive slightly reduces fuel economy for Sport models. These figures are on the low end of the class. For comparison’s sake, neither of the Equinox’s V6 engines matches the Toyota RAV4’s available V6 in terms of power or fuel economy.

Inside, the Equinox drew some demerits for somewhat poor fit and finish, but otherwise received praise for offering good versatility and space. The back seat slides fore and aft to accommodate taller passengers or more cargo, which reviewers appreciated. Maximum cargo capacity with the rear seats folded is 68.6 cubic feet, which is quite good for the class. Base LS models come standard with cloth seats and a CD stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary input jack. Upper trims add features like a Pioneer stereo with CD changer, leather seats and heated front seats. Sport models also get a sport-tuned suspension and seats with better lateral support. Optional features on some trims when it was new include a power sunroof, navigation and a rear entertainment system.

See the full 2009 Chevrolet Equinox specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Equinox, you may also like the highly-ranked 2009 Honda CR-V. Critics said the CR-V has a great ride, as well as a roomy, high-quality interior. Keep in mind that some noted the CR-V felt sluggish, and it offers no V6 engine options, so it may not be a good choice for those looking for a lot of power. The CR-V comes with excellent safety scores.

Another 2009 compact SUV to consider is the 2009 Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 is one of the top choices in the class thanks to its spacious interior and peppy engines that achieve great fuel economy. It also offers one of the few third-row seats in the class, and though most critics said it isn’t especially spacious or comfortable, it could be great for families who need extra seats in a pinch.

Compare the Equinox to the CR-V and RAV4 »

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