$15,983 - $23,780

2017 Chevrolet Equinox Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox was new.


Performance: 7.1

One of the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox's best attributes is its pleasant, smooth ride quality. However, if you're looking for a bit of fun behind the wheel, you won't find it here. The Equinox's base engine is underpowered for highway driving, and while its optional V6 delivers more enjoyable acceleration, it still isn't particularly peppy. Further dampening driving fun is the Equinox's sluggish handling and imprecise steering.

  • "There's not much ‘fun-to-drive’ here, but the 2017 Equinox's daily-driver credentials are pretty solid." -- Edmunds
  • "Behind the wheel, the Equinox isn't particularly exciting, but it does offer up a comfortable and quiet ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "On the road the Equinox performs admirably. It may not be the fastest or best handling of the five SUVs that we tested. But it has plenty of power to get you moving when merging onto the highway and it is competent in the corners. That's really all you need for everyday driving." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 182 horsepower. A 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine is available. Each engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Equinox gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, which are average numbers for the class.

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. The optional V6 engine is more energetic and delivers satisfying highway acceleration. The automatic transmission earns praise for being reactive and smooth.

  • "… this engine lags behind leading four-cylinder alternatives in terms of both acceleration and refinement. On the bright side, the optional 301-horsepower V6 is the strongest engine offered in this segment, so if you're willing to pay more for spirited performance, the Equinox certainly delivers." -- Edmunds
  • "The more powerful engine doesn't exactly slingshot this SUV, and even the 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder in the Ford Escape feels quicker. Blame weight: The V6 Equinox weighs nearly two tons, and the 4-cylinder models aren't much lighter, but at least they improve on fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "… the automatic transmission is sharp and geared for a feeling of power -- you won't worry about merging into freeway traffic with this CUV." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Handling and Braking

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.

  • "The Equinox's handling abilities are nothing special. The steering feels numb and somewhat imprecise, while the suspension is tuned to favor comfort over athleticism. The upside, of course, is an isolated, smooth ride that's enhanced by the quietness of the cabin at speed." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The Equinox doesn't feel particularly spry on twisty roads like a Mazda CX-5, which enjoys a fun romp every now and then. However, if there's an area where the Equinox shines, it's this SUV's comfortable and quiet highway ride. In this regard, the Chevrolet feels like a more expensive vehicle." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "Braking is smooth and progressive." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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