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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Review

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox ranks in the middle of the compact SUV class. Though it has great safety ratings, a roomy interior, and admirable engine power, it’s held back by an abysmal reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Great safety scores
  • Good engine choices
  • Ample passenger room
  • Terrible reliability rating
  • Few standard features




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

Is the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox a Good Used SUV?

The 2011 Chevy Equinox is a good compact SUV. It has some of the highest composite crash test results in the class and excellent fuel economy. The two available engines provide good amounts of power, and the Chevy’s handling is a nice mix of comfort and poise. A long wheelbase gives the Equinox a ton of rear-seat passenger room. Cargo space is decent for the class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 42 Chevrolet Equinox reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site. 

How Much Is the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox?

Our site has more than 700 listings for the 2011 Equinox, with an average price of just below $11,000. Prices range from about $8,000 to around $14,700, depending on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

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How Much Does the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox Cost to Own?

The 2011 Equinox is right in line with its competitors when it comes to gas, insurance, repair, and maintenance costs. You can expect to pay around $24,000 over five years for these expenses.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Equinox?

The Chevrolet Equinox was fully redesigned for the 2018 model year, so a new 2019 Chevrolet Equinox is vastly different from a 2011 model. This new-generation Equinox has lots of modern, user-friendly features that you can’t get in a 2011 model, like smartphone integration and active safety technologies. A new Equinox is also much more expensive than a used model. The 2019 Equinox starts at $23,800, which is about $9,000 more than the highest list prices for a used 2011 model. Unless the new features are high on your priority list, you’re better off saving money and sticking with the 2011 Equinox.

Read about the new Chevrolet Equinox »

You won’t be able to find any new compact SUVs that are priced comparably to a used 2011 Equinox.

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Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Equinox Is Best?

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is part of a generation that began with the 2010 model year and ended with the 2017 Equinox. There were few notable changes to the first few models of this generation until the 2013 Equinox, which added an available 301-horsepower V6 engine and an upgraded suspension.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Equinox »

How Reliable Is the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox?

The 2011 Equinox has a reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power, which is the lowest rating available.

Read more about Equinox reliability »

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Recalls

At the time of the writing, there are three open recalls on the 2011 Equinox. One issue may allow for the key to be removed from the ignition without the transmission being in park, increasing the risk of an accident or injury. The seat height adjuster bolt may fall out, causing the seat to drop and increase the risk of an accident. Front seat-belt anchors may fracture or separate in the event of a crash, not restraining the occupants as intended and resulting in increased injuries. Make sure that a Chevrolet dealer has addressed these issues before buying a used 2011 Equinox.

See more information on Chevrolet Equinox safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Equinox Model Is Right for Me?

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is available in four trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ. All models have a standard four-cylinder engine, and a V6 engine is available in all trims but the base. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. We recommend considering at least a 2LT model, which includes automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a Pioneer stereo system, and heated front seats. It also comes with Bluetooth and a USB port, which are not standard in the base model. Some 2LT models may have a sunroof, leather upholstery, navigation, or a touch screen.

See 2011 Chevrolet Equinox trims and specs »

How Safe Is the Equinox?

The 2011 Chevy Equinox has excellent overall safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Equinox the highest score of Good in four crash tests, and it named this Chevy a 2011 Top Safety Pick. The Equinox received a four-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five out five stars in the side crash test and four stars in both the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Available driver assistance features in the 2011 Equinox include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

See Equinox safety scores »

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2011 Chevrolet Equinox or 2011 Honda CR-V?

It’s easy to see why the 2011 Honda CR-V is one of the highest-ranked compact SUVs. The CR-V has a top-notch reliability rating and tons of cargo space. Passenger space, interior quality, and handling are similar in both cars. However, the Honda’s only available engine option is an underpowered 180-horsepower four-cylinder. The average price of a 2011 CR-V is about $1,500 more than the average price of a 2011 Equinox. The CR-V is a better purchase if it’s in your budget.

Which Is Better: 2011 Chevrolet Equinox or 2011 Toyota RAV4?

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 is another well-rounded crossover, and it’s slightly better than the Equinox. The Toyota boasts a solid reliability rating, and its available V6 engine delivers authoritative power. The RAV4 provides more cargo space than the Equinox, and some RAV4 models have a third row of seats. While this extra seating isn’t suitable for adults, it’s attractive for families that need the extra seats for kids. The RAV4 costs more than the Equinox, but it’s a smarter choice.

Compare the Equinox, CR-V, and RAV4 »

2011 Equinox Performance

How Does the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox Drive?

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower. This is an adequate amount of power for most buyers. A 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 264 horsepower is available. You may feel a difference in power, but the upgrade doesn’t provide a more engaging drive than the base engine.

The Equinox has balanced handling and a comfortable ride over broken pavement. It also delivers responsive steering and good feedback from the road.

Does the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox Get Good Gas Mileage?

With its standard four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, the 2011 Equinox gets 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those figures are excellent for the class. A four-cylinder Equinox with AWD returns 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. With the available V6, it gets up to 17/24 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Equinox performance »

2011 Equinox Interior

How Many People Does the 2011 Equinox Seat?

The Chevy Equinox seats five people on standard cloth upholstery with a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. All of the seats are extremely comfortable, and they provide plenty of support for long drives. There’s ample rear-seat leg- and headroom for even taller passengers.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox has two complete sets of LATCH connections on the rear outboard seats and an additional tether anchor for the middle seat. The lower anchors are easy to locate, and there is a lot of room around the anchors. The tether anchors are similarly easy to use.

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Features

Standard features in the 2011 Equinox include a six-speaker stereo, an auxiliary input, and satellite radio. Available features include automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, a sunroof, a rearview camera, navigation, a 7-inch touch-screen system, an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Controls on the dashboard are easy to reach and operate, though some test drivers noted that an abundance of buttons could create some confusion. Models with the touch-screen system have some audio controls incorporated into the interface, so it may take some time to learn the ins and outs of the system.

See 2011 Chevrolet Equinox specs »

Read more about Equinox interior »

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Dimensions

Chevrolet Equinox Cargo Space

The Chevy Equinox has 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seat and a maximum of 63.7 cubic feet with the second row folded down. A power liftgate is available.

2011 Equinox Length and Weight

The 2011 Equinox is 15.7 feet long, and it has a curb weight of 3,770 pounds.

Where Was the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox Built?

Chevrolet built the 2011 Equinox in Canada.

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