The Equinox is a compact crossover built by General Motors’ mainstream brand Chevrolet. Introduced for 2005, it competes with the likes of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4, among others in the segment. The Equinox arrived just as demand for more efficient car-based SUVs, or crossovers, was taking off in the U.S., and it eventually became one of the more popular vehicles of its type, thanks in part to its size advantage over some of its rivals.
Over the years, Chevy has offered the crossover with both four and six-cylinder engines offered, as well as a short-lived diesel model.
2018 - Present Chevrolet Equinox (3rd Generation)
The Equinox was again redesigned for 2018. For the first time, it was smaller than its predecessors and sized more in line with its immediate competitors, in a bid to make more room for the relaunched Chevy Blazer in 2019, to improve fuel efficiency, and to make it more competitive with rivals.
This generation was the first Equinox to offer only four-cylinder engines. Base models received a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission.
A 2.0-liter turbo-four with 252 horsepower was optional, while a 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with 136 horsepower was a new option. Both of the uplevel engines also received a new nine-speed automatic.
The Equinox kept its familiar Chevy family look, but the third-generation version was significantly trimmer than the previous model, although about the same width. Equipment levels were upgraded, so all models included a touchscreen infotainment system, a 7-inch unit on base models, and an 8-inch model on higher trims. Most models received Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a wifi hotspot. Leather upholstery and navigation were among the options.
New available safety features included items such as a surround-view camera, forward collision warning with low-speed automatic braking, and a lane-departure warning that included a seat vibration to actively alert drivers if sensors determined the vehicle was drifting from an intended highway lane.
A rear-seat alert system was also designed to help drivers remember children or items left in the rear seat after they exit the vehicle, a device created after a wave of children unintentionally left in hot vehicles. The equipment will be mandated in all new cars by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration by 2025.
For 2021, the Equinox received a subtle exterior revision, as well as a new RS model that featured 19-inch wheels and black exterior trim.
2010 - 2017 Chevrolet Equinox (2nd Generation)
A major redesign was in order for the second-generation Equinox, released for 2010.
Though still larger than its primary rivals, this was the first generation to offer a four-cylinder engine. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 182 horsepower was standard, along with a six-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive. It was still available with a 3.0-liter V6 and 264 horsepower. Both models also offered all-wheel-drive.
Many of the angular lines of the previous model were rounded off, and the Equinox adopted a grille similar to that of many of Chevrolet’s passenger cars. Inside, there was a vastly redesigned dashboard with higher-quality materials. New features included an integrated navigation system, dual-screen rear entertainment system, and a power liftgate, while advanced driver assistance features such as blind-spot warning and lane departure warning would be offered soon after.
In 2013, the 3.0-liter V6 was replaced by a 3.6-liter V6 with 301 horsepower, making the Equinox among the most powerful SUVs of its size.
In 2016, there was a mild exterior redesign ahead of a new model the following year.
2005 - 2009 Chevrolet Equinox (1st Generation)
The Chevrolet Equinox was introduced for 2005 as a replacement for the Suzuki-built Tracker SUV. While it was designed to compete with models like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, it was larger than most of its peers. Even then, it was still the smallest crossover offered by Chevrolet at the time; it was also the first car-based “crossover” model offered by the brand.
All models initially received a 3.4-liter V6 engine with 185 horsepower and a five-speed automatic. Front-wheel-drive was standard, while all-wheel-drive was an option.
Features like the available OnStar telematics system and a rear bench seat that slid forwards and backward to add either legroom or cargo space set the Equinox apart.
There was also an extensive options list to a standard features roster that already included power windows and door locks and air conditioning.
For 2007, the interior design was revised, and anti-lock brakes and stability control were made standard, along with changes to the suspension and brakes.
In 2008, a 3.6-liter V6 with 264 horsepower and a six-speed automatic was available on the Sport model. This version also included modifications to the exterior and interior, larger wheels and a revised suspension system.