2017 Chevrolet Equinox

Overall Score: 8.0 / 10
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2017 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox finishes in the middle of our compact SUV rankings. The Equinox has spacious seats and a comfortable ride, but its uninspiring performance and middling cargo space and fuel economy keep it from ranking among the class' elite.

SEATING


5

MPG


16-21

  CITY


23-31

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


AWD, FWD

HP


182-301
See full 2017 Chevrolet Equinox specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Spacious and flexible rear seats
  • Underpowered base engine
  • Lackluster handling
  • Pricey option packages

Notable for 2017

  • Premier trim replaces LTZ trim

Scorecard

Overall: 8.0
Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.9
Safety: 9.3
Reliability: 4_5

The Chevrolet Equinox score of 8.0 out of 10 is based on our evaluation of 59 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

2017 Chevrolet Equinox Pictures

2017 Chevrolet Equinox Review

By Cody Trotter June 19, 2017

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox finishes in the middle of our compact SUV rankings. The Equinox has spacious seats and a comfortable ride, but its uninspiring performance and middling cargo space and fuel economy keep it from ranking among the class' elite.

Is the Chevrolet Equinox a Good SUV?

The Equinox is a good SUV if you place a premium on a quality interior and a smooth ride. It has some of the roomiest seats – front and back – in the class, and the cabin materials, while not particularly luxurious, are of good quality. Fuel economy is just OK for a compact SUV, and neither of the Equinox's engines will impress you (though the base engine feels especially weak). The Equinox also has less cargo space than some rivals. You can buy a base Equinox without breaking the bank, but a fully loaded version gets pricey compared to some other compact SUVs.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox is certainly worth considering if you're shopping for a compact SUV. It finishes midpack in our compact SUV rankings, largely because the Equinox isn't as well-rounded as some of its competition. On the bright side, its starting price is below average for a compact SUV, though a few competitors' price tags are slightly lower. If you like the Equinox, you'd do well to check out rivals like the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, and Mazda CX-5. All three offer things the Equinox doesn't, and they cost about the same as or less than the Equinox.

Compare the Equinox, Escape, and Tucson »

We Did the Research for You: 59 Pieces of Data Analyzed

It's OK to buy some things on a whim – a new piece of home décor, a gift for a family member, or that special something you've been wanting that just went on sale. But with a car, you want to make sure you have all the facts before you buy. Knowing that, we've analyzed 59 pieces of research about the Chevrolet Equinox, including crash test ratings and other professional reviews. With all of that data, we've compiled this comprehensive overview of the Equinox, giving you a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about it.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team has a combined 75 years of experience writing about cars, and we've been publishing class rankings for nearly a decade. We bring our expertise of cars to each of our reviews, ensuring that you get the most accurate information about the vehicles that interest you. You can count on us to bring you an unbiased appraisal of every car on our site because our team members do not accept expensive gifts, trips, or merchandise paid for by automakers, and all of the advertising on our site is handled by a third party. 

How Much Does the Chevrolet Equinox Cost?

The Chevy Equinox L (base) trim starts at $23,100. That's less expensive than many other compact SUVs, but there are a handful of class rivals with lower starting prices, including the Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5. The middle trims, the Equinox LS and Equinox LT, have starting prices of $25,510 and $26,750, respectively. The Equinox Premier is the top trim, and it starts at just over $30,000. A fully loaded Equinox will cost you over $35,000, which is more than you'd pay for some fully loaded competitors. If you're set on buying an Equinox, the LS trim is probably the most cost-effective. However, with several compact SUVs with lower base prices and better performances in our class rankings, the Chevy crossover isn't one of the better values in the class.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Equinox Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape has an optional turbocharged engine that produces plenty of power for sprightly driving, and it gets better fuel economy than the Equinox's available V6. The Escape delivers dynamic handling around corners, and its overall ride quality is smooth. The Ford Escape offers both roomy back seats and ample cargo space for the class. Its available power liftgate has a hands-free feature that allows you to open the hatch by simply waving your foot under the back bumper. The Escape's cabin is comprised of top-notch materials, and it remains incredibly quiet on the highway. Bluetooth audio streaming comes standard, and the available SYNC 3 infotainment system is simple to operate. Overall, the Escape delivers a better driving experience and a nicer interior than the Equinox for about the same price. If you like the Equinox, you'll probably like the Escape even more.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Hyundai Tucson?

For about the same price as an Equinox, you could also buy the Hyundai Tucson, which is one of our highest-ranking compact SUVs. The Tucson has a quiet interior, and both rows of seats are supportive and provide ample space, even for tall occupants. There are plenty of standard and available features, including connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which aren't offered in the Equinox. The Tucson delivers a composed ride, and it gets better gas mileage than the Equinox. Unless you really want a V6 engine (the Equinox offers one; the Tucson doesn't), you'll probably find that the Tucson is a better buy than the Equinox.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Mazda CX-5?

If you want a fun-to-drive compact SUV, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one better than the Mazda CX-5. It's one of the sportiest SUVs in the class, offering poise and agility around corners. The CX-5 also has a number of practical benefits over the Equinox, such as better fuel economy and more advanced optional safety features, including automatic pre-collision braking. The CX-5's upscale interior features a straightforward infotainment system, roomy back seats, and handsome styling. Additionally, the CX-5 has a base price about $1,300 less than the Equinox's. Compare the Equinox and the CX-5, and you'll see why the Mazda crossover finishes much higher in our compact SUV rankings.

Compare the Equinox, Escape, and CX-5 »

Equinox Interior

How Many People Does the Equinox Seat?

The Chevy Equinox seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Leather seating is available, as are heated and power-adjustable front seats.

The Equinox's seats are comfortable even over long trips, and they’re roomy for all occupants. In the back, there's plenty of legroom, and those seats slide and recline for additional versatility and comfort. While overall outward visibility is good, the Equinox's rear-seat headrests may hinder the driver's view out the back window. This may not be a huge issue, though; a rearview camera comes standard, and rear parking sensors and a rear cross traffic alert are available, all of which can help you reverse safely.

Equinox and Car Seats

Each of the rear outboard seats in the Equinox features a full set of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. The Equinox earns a rating of Acceptable (the second-highest rating) for its LATCH system. The lower anchors are easy to find and easy to use. It doesn't take a lot of force to connect a car seat, and the anchors aren't set too deeply. The upper tether anchors are also in an easy-to-find location, but they can be confused with other hardware in the vehicle, so make sure to double-check before you secure a car seat to the wrong connection point.

Equinox Interior Quality

The Chevy Equinox's interior is generally well received. The cabin is smartly designed, and the center stack is easy to reach from the driver's seat. However, some complain that the number of buttons and dials across the dashboard makes it look busy. Materials quality is decent in the Equinox, but it can't match the upscale feeling you'll get from rivals like the Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage.

Equinox Cargo Space

The 2017 Equinox has 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and 63.7 cubic feet with the second row folded. Those aren't the best totals in the class, but the Equinox still has enough room for a lot of grocery bags or carry-on luggage for a carful of people (the average grocery bag and carry-on are about 1.4 cubic feet each). And that's with the rear seats in use. Fold them down, and you have enough cargo space to help somebody move (not that you'd want to, of course). The Equinox has an available height-adjustable power liftgate that can be programmed to release to different heights to avoid hitting low ceilings.

What the Equinox takes from cargo space, however, it gives to passenger space. So while the Equinox has less cargo space than the Honda CR-V, which is 10 inches shorter than the Chevy, the Honda has less interior space for passengers.

Equinox Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox's standard features include a USB port, a rearview camera, and an audio system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot. Optional features include automatic climate control, a 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, satellite radio, smartphone app integration, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, and navigation.

Much like a smartphone, the Chevy Equinox's standard touch screen allows you to organize the menu screens to your liking. The system is also fairly easy to use, though it’s sometimes slow to respond to your touch.

Of note is the lack of standard Bluetooth audio streaming, which allows you to play music from your smartphone through the infotainment system (though you may be able to do it by connecting your phone via USB). You’ll have to purchase one of the two top trims to get this feature. The main climate and audio controls are large and easy to read, but the dashboard is cluttered with numerous small buttons that are hard to use and out of the driver's reach.

If there is a gripe about the Equinox's tech offerings, it's that the Chevy crossover doesn't have some of the cutting-edge connectivity options you'll find in rivals. The Equinox doesn't offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, both of which can be found in the Hyundai Tucson and the Kia Sportage.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Equinox Performance

Equinox Engine: More Powerful V6 not Worth the Money

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 182 horsepower. A reactive and smooth six-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The Equinox's base engine has decent power for getting around town, but it doesn't provide strong acceleration for highway passing and merging. Many rivals' base four-cylinder engines are stronger and more refined than the Equinox's, and fuel economy is merely average.

A 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine is available in the Equinox. The optional V6 engine is more energetic and delivers satisfying highway acceleration. However, the V6 engine will cost you quite a bit more. It costs more than $3,300 to upgrade from the base engine to the V6. Additionally, the V6 is only available in all-wheel-drive Equinox models, which means you'll also have to spend nearly $1,700 to upgrade from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive. In other words, it will cost you about $5,000 extra to have the V6 engine.

The Equinox is one of the few small SUVs to still offer a V6 engine. Many competing models have ditched their V6 options for turbocharged four-cylinder options beyond their base engines. In many cases, these upgraded turbocharged engines deliver ample power but have higher fuel economy estimates than those with V6 power.

Of the Equinox's two engines, the base engine is probably the better choice for around-town driving because of the lower cost. It'll also keep your gas bill reasonable, and though it doesn't feel strong, it gets the job done.

Equinox Gas Mileage: Not the MVP of MPG

With the base engine, the Equinox gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy drops to 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with the V6 engine. That may not sound like a huge decrease, but it means that over the course of a year, you could be spending about $300 more in gas money with the V6 compared to the base engine.

If fuel economy is near the top of your priority list, you may want to consider the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5, which are two of the most fuel-efficient compact SUVs. Both earn roughly 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway and will save you a couple hundred dollars in gas money compared to the Equinox's base engine.

Equinox Ride and Handling: Comfortable and Quiet

When it comes to driving dynamics, the Equinox's handling is designed to meet the needs of buyers who favor a quiet, relaxing ride. Its suspension delivers a placid, smooth ride that makes it feel like a pricier SUV. Driving around corners, however, you’ll find its steering dull and disconnected. When it comes time to stop, the Equinox's brakes are smooth and predictable. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

To learn more about the differences between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, read All-Wheel Drive or Four-Wheel Drive: Which Is Right for You?

Read more about performance »

Equinox Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Equinox Reliable?

The Equinox earns an outstanding predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. That score is among the best in the compact SUV class, outpacing respected rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. There have been no major Chevy Equinox recalls in the past several model years.

Chevrolet Equinox Warranty

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox comes with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. That's pretty typical for a compact SUV. However, there are a few class rivals with better warranties. For example, the 2017 Kia Sportage and the 2017 Hyundai Tucson are each backed by a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Equinox Safety

Equinox Crash Test Results

The 2017 Equinox generally performs well in crash testing, which is why it has a solid safety score in our rankings. The Equinox receives a rating of Good (the highest rating) in all five crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It also earns a four-star overall rating (out of five) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Equinox's safety ratings are nothing to sneeze at, but there are some compact SUVs that outperform it in crash tests. The Ford Escape and Hyundai Tucson each receive a five-star overall rating from NHTSA, and the Tucson earns a Top Safety Pick designation from IIHS.

Equinox Safety Features

The 2017 Equinox comes standard with a rearview camera. However, to get more advanced safety features you'll have to upgrade to the $26,000 LT trim. To get blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert, you'll have to purchase two option packages that add up to about $1,500. Add another $300 package to get forward collision alert and lane departure warning.

The Equinox does not have automatic pre-collision braking, which is available in rivals like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. Competitors can also be equipped with advanced driver safety features that the Equinox doesn't have. The Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4, for example, both have a 360-degree camera system that gives you a bird's-eye view around the vehicle, which can be helpful when parallel parking. Adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts your cruising speed to maintain a consistent following distance with the traffic ahead, is available in many models, such as the Mazda CX-5, Jeep Cherokee, and Mitsubishi Outlander.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Equinox Model Is Right for Me?

The Chevy Equinox is a compact SUV, and it's one of the Chevy SUV models that aims to compete in the ever-expanding crossover market. The Equinox was last redesigned in 2010 and has seen few major changes since. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 through 2017 model years.

There are four different Equinox trims: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The Premier trim is new for 2017, and it replaces the Equinox LTZ trim. The various trims have different standard and available features, and as you might expect, the prices go up as the trims get nicer.

We go over the trims in detail below, but based on our research, the Equinox LT gives you the most bang for your buck. It starts at $26,750, which is about $3,600 more than the base Equinox. However, the LT is the lowest trim that offers many of the Equinox's more advanced features. Automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a sunroof – as well as safety features like blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors – are available in the LT, though you have to pay extra to get them. You can get these features and more in the top-of-the-line Premier trim, but for the price of an Equinox Premier, you could also get a small SUV from a luxury brand like Audi, making the Premier trim seem less of a value.

Chevrolet Equinox L

The base Chevrolet Equinox L, priced at $23,100, comes with a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch screen, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. The L trim also comes standard with OnStar and a Wi-Fi hot spot that allows you to connect to the internet at 4G LTE speeds. The Equinox L's Bluetooth system allows you to make calls but not to play audio wirelessly. So if you plan to use the Wi-Fi hot spot to stream internet radio, you'll still need to plug in your phone via USB or auxiliary input. Most rivals, including the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, come standard with Bluetooth audio streaming. It's also worth noting that the Equinox L only comes in two colors: white and silver.

Chevrolet Equinox LS

Aside from the addition of satellite radio, the LS – which starts at $25,510 – doesn't come with many more standard features than the base model. There are few options available in the LS, but this is the first trim that offers all-wheel drive, and it's also available in more than two colors. While many competitors' second trim levels offer features like a sunroof, navigation, or a power liftgate, they aren't available in the Equinox until you get to the LT trim. The Kia Sportage EX, the second-tier Sportage trim, costs $25,350 and comes with push-button start, leather upholstery, and dual-zone automatic climate control, while a hands-free power liftgate is optional. You can also add a $3,600 package to the Sportage EX that includes a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded stereo, heated and folding side mirrors, navigation, rear parking sensors, and more.

Chevrolet Equinox LT

Next up is the Equinox LT, with a starting price of $26,750. Other than a few exterior appearance upgrades, the LT doesn't come with much more standard than the LS. The LT trim has a good amount of available features, though you can only get them in pricey option packages. It's also the lowest trim to offer a V6 engine.

With the $1,200 Convenience package, you get automatic climate control, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, and a power driver's seat. If you want a sunroof, you'll have to buy the Convenience package, then pay an extra $995. For safety features like side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors, you must purchase a $495 Driver Confidence package on top of the Convenience package. 

Chevrolet Equinox Premier

The highest trim, the Premier, costs $30,040 and adds a number of desirable standard features, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, and automatic climate control. All-wheel-drive LT and Premier models are available with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 301 horsepower for an additional $1,500.

However, you still have to pay more for many of the features you might expect in a top trim, like navigation, an upgraded stereo, a power liftgate, and a more powerful engine. The price for a fully loaded Premier trim with all-wheel drive and the V6 engine could top out at nearly $37,000. For that price, you can move up to luxury compact SUVs like the Audi Q3, Lexus NX, Acura RDX, or Volvo XC60, which come standard with many of these features, as well as a stronger engine. 

Who Makes the Chevrolet Equinox?

As the name suggests, the Equinox is made by Chevrolet. General Motors (GM) owns Chevrolet, and they also own Buick, GMC, and Cadillac. Although General Motors (and by extension, Chevrolet) is an American company, the Equinox is actually assembled at a GM plant in Ontario, Canada.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevy deals page.

See 2017 Chevrolet Equinox specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Equinox is a suitable commuter or family vehicle. The ride is smooth, and both rows of seats are spacious. However, it has some shortcomings. The Equinox has one of the lower performance ratings in a class that isn't exactly loaded with speedsters. The base engine does not feel especially powerful, and the handling is nothing to write home about. The Equinox is about average in terms of cargo space and fuel economy, and while its price is below average for the class, there are cheaper options out there.

Even if you like the Equinox, you may find that other compact SUVs are better choices. The Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5 deliver much better performance and have nicer cabins than the Equinox. The Hyundai Tucson gets better gas mileage and offers more connectivity features. And all three of these competitors cost about the same as or less than the Equinox.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "If you're getting the sense that the 2017 Equinox is a mixed bag, you're onto something. There are some positives here, but we advise weighing your priorities and thinking about whether the Equinox gives you enough of what you're looking for." -- Edmunds
  • "If [you] want a comfortable family/gear hauler that's larger than other compact crossover SUVs but small enough to be at ease in parking lots, the Equinox is worth a look." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "… if you have to have a V6 and you like a SUV with all the trimmings and don't mind paying more for it -- the Equinox still makes a solid case for itself." -- Autoweek (2013)
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