|The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox.|
It's been a while since we've done a review of a Chevrolet Equinox, so we borrowed one from Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix for a week.
Chevy's done a great job of covering a wide price range with the Equinox, which is its smallest crossover. The base model (LS) starts at $22,995 in front-wheel drive. There are three trim levels up from there (1LT, 2LT and LTZ) and all four are also available in all-wheel drive.
Ours was the front-wheel drive LTZ. Base price $28,570. That'll get you the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder ECOTEC engine with 182 horsepower hooked up to a 6-speed automatic transmission and some nice EPA fuel economy estimates: 22 city/32 highway. Also on the standard goodies list: Four wheel anti-lock disc brakes, Stabilitrak, remote keyless entry, OnStar, a rear-view camera, Ultrasonic parking assist, programmable power lifgate, heated power outside mirrors, 17-inch aluminum sheels, fog lamps, projector beam headlamps, and and exterior chrome package.
|Inside, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox is comfortable and, in LTZ trim, loaded.|
Again, that's all part of the deal at $28,570. Not bad. In fact, very good. Good enough, in fact, that ours added only two options: 19-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels ($1,250) and the 3.0 liter V6 engine ($1,500).
About the engine...it's a big step up in power...to 264 horses. It's great. But it's also never going to get you anywhere near the mileage of the standard four. In fact, in 60% city street and 40% urban freeway driving, we averaged 16.5 miles per gallon (the EPA estimates 17 city/24 highway for the V6). If your driving includes mountain passes, that may be a trade worth making. If, on the other hand, you're mostly doing city-street commuting, seriously consider sticking with the ECOTEC four.
With the V6, the Equinox's bottom line was $32,130. Stick with the four and stick with the stock 17-inch wheels, and she'd come in at $29,380.
Chevy says the Equinox's prime competition is the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape, all three well into their product cycle. The Equinox is by far the freshest of the four and should be on your list.