$11,060 - $14,977

2013 Chevrolet Equinox Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox was new.


Performance: 6.4

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox gets a new, more potent V6 engine for 2013. While reviewers are pleased with the added power from the V6, they are still equally pleased with the great fuel economy that four-cylinder models get. V6 models also receive some suspension improvements that critics say give the Equinox a more buttoned-down feel on the road. The Equinox is no sports car, but it gets generally high marks for ride comfort.

  • "And with the Equinox V-6 crossover's stronger engine and new DFD shocks, the $1500 price premium over the four-cylinder is now an easier-to-justify upgrade." -- Motor Trend
  • "If the 2013 Chevy Equinox has an area where it shines, it's the SUV's comfortable and quiet ride. In this regard, the Equinox feels like a more expensive car." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "From behind the wheel, it's no surprise that the Equinox feels much more powerful. The 3.6-liter is strong and sounds great, just as it does in the numerous other applications across GM's model line." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The Equinox comes standard with a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine. New for 2013 is a more powerful V6 option that produces 301 horsepower, which is a significant increase over the 264-horsepower V6 found in the 2012 model. Most reviewers say the four-cylinder engine is adequate for most buyers, but for those looking for added power, the new V6 is a marked improvement over the engine it replaces. There aren’t many comments on the six-speed automatic transmission, but one reviewer notes that it is very quick to upshift to eke out better fuel economy.

While the optional V6 has more power than the engine it replaces, it gets the same EPA fuel economy estimates. Front-wheel drive V6 models get 17/24 mpg city/highway. A front-wheel drive Equinox with the four-cylinder engine gets 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. As with most SUVs, opting for all-wheel drive knocks a couple miles per gallon from the Equinox’s fuel economy estimates.

See the full 2013 Chevrolet Equinox specs »

  • "We had a chance to drive all-wheel-drive Equinoxes with old and new V-6s back-to-back, and we found no difference in drivability beyond the extra kick in the pants. The upshift-happy six-speed automatic carries over, as do high output peaks that encourage a heavy right foot and make frugality difficult." -- Car and Driver
  • "When accelerating from a stop, the 3.0-liter is brisk, but the 3.6-liter is more eager and willing to jump off the line. Additionally, the new engine has a better, deeper, and sportier soundtrack, and sounds much more like a V-6 compared with the outgoing engine, which could almost fool some drivers into thinking they are behind the wheel of a four-cylinder." -- Motor Trend
  • "From behind the wheel, it's no surprise that the Equinox feels much more powerful. The 3.6-liter is strong and sounds great, just as it does in the numerous other applications across GM's model line." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Models ... with the 4-cylinder engine have good fuel economy, but sacrifice power and thus performance for those precious mpgs. Buyers opting for the new, larger V6 engine will be rewarded with good off-the-line acceleration and plenty of power for passing, which was not a strong point in the outgoing version." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The Equinox can be paired with either front- or all-wheel drive, and reviewers say that overall, handling is controlled, if a bit soft, and the ride is smooth. V6 models get new Dual Flow Dampers (DFD), which are suspension components that work to automatically improve ride quality based on road conditions. Reviewers say the new DFDs help the Equinox feel more planted and stable, with improved handling over the 2012 model. One reviewer mentions that Chevy should have upgraded the brakes on the V6 model to go along with the horsepower increase. If you’re looking for something with more agile handling, check out the 2013 Mazda CX-5.

  • "Getting out of a 2012 Equinox V-6 and into a new 2013 Equinox V-6, as we did during Chevy's 2013 preview event, you notice that the brake pedal seems to have more travel in the 2013 model. We would like to have seen a brake upgrade along with the more powerful V-6." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Equinox does not feel at home in the twisties, as its suspension favors comfort over corner carving." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The DFDs improve ride quality and handling by varying the softness or stiffness of the shocks according to road conditions. Compared to the 2012 Equinox V-6, the 2013 model with DFDs really shone on a section of the proving ground that included a fast, right-hand turn with numerous chatter bumps. The non-DFD Equinox hopped and slid a couple feet away from the intended path, transmitting quite a bit of vibration into the cabin. The new 2013 Equinox with DFDs did a much better job of absorbing the bumps." -- Motor Trend

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