With a large and roomy rear seat area, this versatile SUV offers one of the most appealing combinations of passenger space and cargo capacity in its class. A smooth and efficient V6 engine, a standard six-speed automatic transmission and the Stabilitrak stability control system round out a solid package.
The Equinox is unmistakably a Chevrolet with its big, gold bowtie badges front and rear and angular styling that echoes the automaker's Silverado and Avalanche pickup trucks. The 185-horsepower, 3.4-liter pushrod V6 engine runs smoothly and is nearly vibration free, though it loses some power at highway speeds. The performance-oriented Sport model features a more advanced and powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing, dual overhead cams and a hydraulic power steering system that delivers more feedback.
The Equinox rides like a comfortable tall car, dispatching bumps and surface irregularities easily. The quiet, well-insulated cabin is an especially nice place to spend long trips. Handling, however, is not the SUV's strong suit; it tends to lean and feel clumsy on twisty roads. It also offers a somewhat trucklike ride on rough pavement, and the electric power steering in the LS, LT and LTZ models provides little feedback. The sporty Equinox Sport, on the other hand, gets more natural feel from its hydraulic setup and is the way to go for buyers who want sharp handling and a roomy interior. All models come standard with air conditioning, cruise control and a multi-tier cargo management system. Kelley Blue Book notes that the entry-level $22,380 LS also includes a six-speaker AM/FM stereo, a tilt/telescope steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver's seat.