The 2011 Chevy Equinox is a compact SUV that is made in Canada. It returns for its seventh model year, its second year in its current generation. The Equinox offers a variety of features and can be an appealing alternative to larger SUVs. Unlike its competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, and Hyundai Tucson, the Equinox offers a V-6 option. The comparably priced GMC Terrain is the Equinox’s sister vehicle.
The Equinox is offered in eight trim lines: LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ, with each trim having an all-wheel drive option. With the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, the Equinox is one of the most fuel-efficient compact SUVs. It gets an EPA rated 22-mpg city and 32-mpg highway, on par with several midsize sedans. Fuel efficiency is helped by a standard six-speed automatic transmission, which is a standard feature in all-trim lines. With a 2.4-liter, 182 horsepower, four-cylinder engine, the Equinox has slightly more power than its other four-cylinder compact SUV competitors.
The Equinox LS comes standard with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power seats, and compass. It has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $22,745 in front wheel drive form. This compares with $21,695 for an entry-level Honda CR-V. For 2011, the 1T trim comes standard with Bluetooth, USB port, and leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 2LT has added heater cloth seats as a standard feature.
In terms of safety features, all Equinox’s come standard with electronic stability control, traction control, ABS brakes, and front, passenger, and side airbags. In safety testing with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Equinox had a “Good” rating in all tests except in right leg/foot testing it rated “Acceptable”. This prevented the Equinox from being among the safest 2011 SUVs.
In V-6 form, the Equinox has 3.0-liter engine producing 264 horsepower. The V-6 has available flex-fuel capability. Fuel economy for V-6 trims with all-wheel drive is 17-mpg city/24-mpg highway. According to Motor Trend magazine, the Equinox has a 0-60 time ranging between 7.8-8.7 depending on the trim line.
The Equinox has seating for five passengers, without third row seating. However, its rear seats slide about 8 inches forward and back, providing a range of useful options. Its cargo volume is 31.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 63.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat, which is more than eight cubic feet less than the Honda CR-V.
In summary, the 2011 Chevy Equinox is a solid competitor in the compact SUV class. Positives for the Equinox include its solid fit and finish inside and out and its quiet cabin with lots of storage bins. In terms of negatives, the Equinox has below average cargo room for its class, some have complained about below average steering feel, and it is heavy for its class.