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2016 Chevrolet Equinox Review

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox finishes in the top third of our compact SUV rankings. Although it has an underwhelming base engine and stodgy handling, its overall score is bolstered by a strong reliability rating, a spacious interior, and a smooth ride.

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Roomy, versatile rear seats
  • Great reliability rating


  • Weak base engine
  • Uninspired handling
  • Below-average cargo capacity


Rankings & Research

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Chevrolet Equinox has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 57 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.2
Performance: 6.0
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

Is the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is a good used compact SUV. It has a perfect reliability rating, two spacious rows of seats, plenty of tech features, and a good safety score. It's not the most athletic vehicle in the class, though, with its weak base engine and so-so handling. The Equinox also has less cargo space than many rivals.

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How Much Is the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox?

Based on the roughly 3,000 listings for the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox on our site, you can expect to pay between $15,800 and $24,000. The average list price for an Equinox on our site is $19,300. What you pay will depend on the condition, mileage, features, and location of the vehicle you select.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Cost to Own?

Over the course of five years, you can expect to pay around $25,000 on gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance for the 2016 Equinox. Those same costs will be lower for many other compact SUVs. For example, the five-year totals for the 2016 Honda CR-V and 2016 Ford Escape are both around $21,000, while the 2016 Nissan Rogue and 2016 Kia Sportage each total about $23,000.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Equinox?

A used 2016 Chevy Equinox has an average list price of $19,300, which is about $4,300 lower than the base price for a brand-new 2018 Equinox. However, the 2018 model is redesigned. It features a turbo-four engine with 12 fewer horsepower but 4 more mpg in the city and 1 more mpg on the highway. There's no V6 engine with the 2018 Equinox, but you can get a 252-horsepower turbo-four or a 137-horsepower turbodiesel, which earns almost 40 mpg on the highway.

The redesigned 2018 Equinox has slightly less cargo space and less comfortable front seats than the 2016 model, but it does offer more features. Standard features in the 2018 include Teen Driver, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Available features include an 8-inch touch screen, a hands-free power liftgate, lane keep assist, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. To get all of these features, you'll need to step up to the top trim, which has a starting price of above $30,000.

Still, the 2018 model’s abundant changes and new features may not be enough to justify its higher starting price – especially considering the 2016’s advantages, like its more comfortable seats.

Read about the new Chevrolet Equinox »

If you want to continue exploring your options for a new SUV instead of a used model, you may want to check out the 2018 Honda HR-V and 2018 Mazda CX-3. As subcompact SUVs, they’re both smaller than the Equinox and have less passenger and cargo space. However, downsizing may be worth it, as they are two of the highest-rated models in the class. Their starting prices are only slightly higher than the 2016 Equinox's average price, and they get better gas mileage. The Mazda also delivers better handling and a more fun driving experience.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox has a reliability score of five out of five, which is great for any vehicle and one of the best ratings among compact SUVs. Only the Hyundai Tucson matches the Equinox's rating in this class.

Read more about Equinox reliability »

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one safety recall on the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox. It deals with incorrect tire information on some certification labels, which could lead to the installation of improperly sized tires or incorrect inflation. Before buying a 2016 Equinox, be sure this recall has been addressed.

See more information on Chevrolet Equinox safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Equinox Is Best?

The 2016 Chevy Equinox is part of a generation that began with the 2010 model year and ended with the 2017 model year. There aren't a lot of differences between the models; for 2016, a rearview camera and a 7-inch touch screen were added as standard features, and blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert became available. The 2015 model was the first to come standard with a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Every Equinox model since 2011 has received an overall score of at least 8.4 out of 10 in our rankings. This means they are all good SUVs. With that in mind, you may want to shop for an older model to potentially save yourself thousands of dollars. Just be aware that older models may not have as many features.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Equinox »

Which Used Chevrolet Equinox Model Is Right for Me?

There are four 2016 Equinox trims: L, LS, LT, and LTZ. The lower trims of the Equinox don't offer many features. For navigation, a sunroof, and a power liftgate, you'll have to get at least the LT trim – the lowest to offer these features. Still, you may want the top-of-the-line LTZ trim, which has a number of features not offered in lower trims. These include leather, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and automatic climate control.

See 2016 Chevrolet Equinox trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers, but Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Equinox?

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox's safety rating is slightly above average for a compact SUV. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Equinox the best rating of Good in every category and named it a Top Safety Pick. However, the Equinox did not earn a top rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received four out of five stars overall, with four stars in its front and rollover crash tests and five stars in side impact testing.

The Equinox lacks automatic pre-collision braking, which is available in more recently redesigned rivals like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. However, the Equinox offers many other advanced safety features. A rearview camera is standard, while rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning (without automatic braking) are optional.

See Equinox safety scores »

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Equinox or 2016 Ford Escape?

The 2016 Ford Escape and the 2016 Equinox are both good SUVs. Picking the right one comes down to what you value in a vehicle. These SUVs are comparable in terms of passenger room, features, and interior quality. Performance is where the Escape outshines the Equinox. The Ford has a decent base engine and two potent turbocharged options that give it the zing the Equinox lacks. Additionally, the Escape drives like a smaller car, handling turns with agility. On the other hand, the Equinox has better safety and reliability ratings than the Escape.

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Equinox or 2016 Honda CR-V?

The 2016 Honda CR-V is one of the most well-rounded compact SUVs. It has few weaknesses, though, making it a better choice overall than a used Equinox. The Honda has a slightly higher safety score, but it earns a lower reliability rating than the Chevy. Both SUVs offer admirable interiors, but the CR-V boasts more cargo room than most of its rivals. With its quick acceleration, poised handling, and responsive steering, the CR-V delivers better performance than the Equinox. Because of its combination of space and family-friendly features, we named the CR-V our 2016 Best Compact SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Equinox or 2016 GMC Terrain?

Chevrolet and GMC are two brands under the General Motors umbrella, so their vehicles tend to be very similar. The 2016 Equinox and the 2016 GMC Terrain have a lot in common, including  the same available engines, supple ride, passenger space, and features. Both models also earn excellent reliability ratings. Both crossovers are excellent choices. For what it's worth, the Terrain Denali model likely gives you a richer interior than you can get in any Equinox trim.

Compare the Equinox, Escape, and Terrain »

2016 Equinox Performance

How Does the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Drive?

The Chevrolet Equinox's standard 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine has as much power on paper as other compact SUVs. However – because the Equinox is a heavy vehicle – it feels out of breath when you're trying to pass or merge on the highway, or when you have a full complement of passengers. You'll have to bury your foot into the accelerator to get any serious movement.

If you need better acceleration, the Equinox's optional V6 engine will deliver. It makes 301 horsepower, which is far more than most compact SUV rivals. However, because it still carries a high curb weight, even the V6 Equinox doesn't feel as powerful as its horsepower rating would suggest.

The Equinox's soft suspension ensures a comfortable and quiet ride, and its strong brakes will give you confidence that you can come to a stop quickly. Steering isn't very accurate, so you won't feel as confident as you would in some rivals when you're on a winding road. If sporty handling is on your wish list, you'll want to check out the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape.

Does the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Get Good Gas Mileage?

With front-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine, the Equinox gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which are OK ratings for the class. With the V6 engine, ratings drop to 17/24 mpg city/highway. With all-wheel drive, ratings drop by a couple of mpg for both engines.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Towing Capacity

The Chevy Equinox can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Equinox performance »

2016 Equinox Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Equinox Seat?

Few compact SUVs have rear seats that are as spacious as those in the 2016 Equinox. Even tall adults will be comfortable in the back of the Equinox, thanks to the sliding and reclining second row.

The front seats are spacious, too, and they offer great side bolstering to keep you planted in your seat on twisty roads. You’ll get a great view out of the front and sides of the Equinox, but the view out of the back is impeded by the tall rear-seat headrests.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox has two full sets of LATCH connectors on the second-row outboard seats. There's an additional upper tether on the third-row middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Equinox's LATCH system an Acceptable rating (the second-highest) for ease of use.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Features

Standard features in the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox include a USB port, a rearview camera, and an audio system with a 7-inch touch screen and Bluetooth phone connectivity. OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot is also standard.

Available features include automatic climate control, satellite radio, a power sunroof, remote start, rear parking sensors, forward collision alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system, Bluetooth streaming audio, smartphone app integration, Chevrolet MyLink, and navigation.

See 2016 Chevrolet Equinox specs »

Read more about Equinox interior »

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Dimensions

Chevrolet Equinox Cargo Space

The 2016 Equinox has 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 63.7 cubic feet with them folded. Many class rivals offer more total space, but the Equinox is available with a convenient, height-adjustable power liftgate. This feature ensures the hatch door won’t hit the roof of your garage when you power it open.

2016 Equinox Length and Weight

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is nearly 16 feet long and has a curb weight of 3,777 pounds with the four-cylinder engine and 3,922 pounds for six-cylinder models.

Where Was the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Built?

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox was built in Ingersoll and Oshawa Ontario, Canada, and in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

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Equinox Shoppers Should Also Consider...

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Mazda CX-5 2016 2016 Mazda CX-5

#2 in 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs

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