- New Car Test Drive
Mechanically, at least, not much has changed since 2010. With either engine, the Equinox falls near the middle of its category in terms of power and dynamic functions.
Impressively advanced, including direct injection, the base engine provides respectable performance. A four-cylinder Equinox can reach 60 mph in around nine seconds, which is slow, roughly the same as the Honda CR-V. Passing demands some pre-planning. Engine clatter is rather prominent, but ride quality is good.
The V6 is the way to go for towing or confident performance, though it is substantially more thirsty. A V6 Equinox can haul up to 3,500 pounds. Not many V6 options remain in this segment, with competitors leaning toward turbo-four engines.
With either engine, transmission shifts can be rough. On hills, or in heavy traffic, the transmission might hesitate. Manual shifts are made using plus/minus toggle buttons on the gearshift knob.
Visibility remains a challenge, especially impaired by thick rear pillars.
Four-cylinder gas mileage is reasonably thrifty. With front-wheel drive, the base four-cylinder model is EPA-rated at 21/31 mpg City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the four-cylinder EPA estimate to 20/28 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. In four-cylinder models, an Eco button can boost efficiency by reducing accessory power draw, optimizing shift points, and locking the transmission’s torque converter earlier.
Though it delivers towing power and is better able to pass on steep grades, the V6 is EPA-rated at only 17/24 mpg City/Highway, or 20 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive sinks the estimate to 16/23 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined.