2016 Chevrolet Equinox

Starting MSRP: $22,600 - $35,030

Estimated MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Review

One of the hottest vehicles in the Chevrolet lineup, the 2016 Equinox offers exceptional interior and cargo space and a variety of power options unseen within its class. Revised for 2016, the Equinox shows the latest face of seen on newer Chevrolet models. There are also updates that improve its technology and safety features.

By Randy Stern
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The Chevrolet Equinox is currently in its second generation, which has been on sale since the 2010 model year. The Equinox is a two-row compact SUV with four doors and a large cargo area. Chevrolet offers the Equinox with a choice of two engines and front- or all-wheel drive. There are four trims to choose from: L, LS, LT and LTZ.

For 2016, the Equinox gains updated interior and exterior styling, as well as new standard equipment that includes a rearview camera and a 7-inch touch-screen display.

Exterior

Exterior
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The Equinox’s shape is familiar since it has been the most popular Chevrolet model of the past few years. It has also been available in this guise since the 2010 model year. Yet, the 2016 Equinox is one of the most distinctive models in the compact SUV class, with its low stance, large glass area and sloping roofline. Doors open wide with great access to both the front and rear seats. The liftgate opens tall and wide for easy cargo access.

For 2016, several revisions were made to the exterior. Up front is the first application of a new horizontally split grille design to be seen on future Chevrolets. 

The lower part is taller and wider than the upper, with bold horizontal bars and the gold bowtie in the split section. Taillights and additional chrome trim adorn the rear end, while new wheel designs and some subtle trim pieces round out the revisions.

Interior

Interior

The Equinox’s cabin has gone mostly unchanged since 2010. Influenced by earlier Corvette models, the Equinox instrument panel offers two instrumentation pods with a center screen for vehicle and trip information.

Most functions are controlled by switches in the center stack, which also houses the 7-inch infotainment screen. Steering wheel controls are less tactile than in other General Motors models, but they do offer redundant controls for audio, along with cruise control switches.

Front seating is expansive and very comfortable. The seats offer adjustments for rake, height, recline and available lumbar support. The rear seats are also adjustable for rake and recline, as well as to fold down for extra cargo space. The Equinox is a comfortable place for five people, and its 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space offers room for luggage and other sundry items. Fold the second row and cargo space expands to a maximum of 63.7 cubic feet.

Performance

Performance
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Two engines are available in the 2016 Chevy Equinox. There’s a standard 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is powerful and efficient. With this engine, fuel economy estimates are up to 22/32 mpg city/highway. A 301-horsepower, 3.6 liter V6 with fuel economy estimates of up to 17/24 mpg city/highway is also available.

The V6-powered Equinox can tow up to 3,500 pounds. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available in the Equinox, which drives either the front or all four wheels.

Smooth is the best way to describe the driving experience of the 2016 Equinox. The ride quality is good with McPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear set-up. Handling is controlled, but on the soft side. The steering has a numb feeling, but there’s a decent turning radius and adequate response. The brakes are solid with good stopping power in both normal and panic situations. The Equinox is also a very quiet vehicle to drive.

Technology

Technology
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Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system and the OnStar telematics system are huge buying points for the Equinox. MyLink offers various infotainment options, including an auxiliary input and USB and Bluetooth connections for mobile devices.

SiriusXM, HD Radio and playback from Pandora Internet Radio and other smartphone apps are among the options with MyLink. The available navigation system is tied to OnStar, as well as real-time traffic alerts with SiriusXM Traffic. SiriusXM Weather is also a part of the MyLink package.

The OnStar telematics system enables connectivity for getting directions downloaded to the vehicle, automatic reporting of collisions and vehicle theft, along with other services. OnStar also provides on-board Wi-Fi with a mobile 4G LTE connection that can tether up to seven devices to connect to the Internet. OnStar offers an app that enables owners to access their vehicle remotely, including locking and unlocking the vehicle.

Safety

Safety
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The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with a rearview camera and offers some advanced safety features, such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. The Equinox offers six air bags standard, along with OnStar's enhanced collision reporting system.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Equinox the 2016 Top Safety Pick award. This was earned through Good ratings in all IIHS crash tests. A Basic rating for front crash prevention prevented the Equinox from earning the IIHS’ highest Top Safety Pick+ designation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Equinox with four out of five stars overall for its performance in crash tests.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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A base Equinox L with front-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine is available from $22,600 plus an $895 destination charge. However, consumers will most likely prefer the higher LS, LT and LTZ trims. An Equinox LS starts at $25,410, while LT and LTZ models start at $26,650 and $29,940, respectively.

If you want a fully loaded model with all-wheel drive, expect to pay at least $35,030 for a V6-powered Equinox LTZ.

Overall

Overall
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The Chevrolet Equinox is up against some formidable competitors, including the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee.

Since 2010, the Equinox has been a success for Chevrolet and one of the hottest selling vehicles for the brand. Its recent sales rise is no fluke. People want crossovers and SUVs and Chevrolet has one that is accommodating, comfortable and reliable. It absolutely makes sense to consider an Equinox.