2014 Chevrolet Equinox
The second-generation Equinox is a huge sales it for Chevrolet, notching up well over 200,000 sales per year in the United States alone. This five-passenger crossover focuses on technology, value and space, and comes in four-cylinder or V-6 engines with optional AWD for about $30,000.
A leader in the fast-growing small crossover segment, Chevrolet has seen Equinox sales rise of over 14 percent in 2013 even in the face of competition from three rivals that are much newer: the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
In a way, that somewhat reflects the Chevy lineup in general, the Equinox is a tale of two cars. On the base side, this is functional transport with great backseat legroom and a versatile cargo area. The base LS delivers value with a low purchase price and great fuel economy - up to 32 mpg on the highway for the Equinox FWD.
On the other side of the coin are the LT and LTZ trim levels that include dozens of desirable features missing from the LS trim. The FWD V-6 Equinox makes over 300 horsepower and has a deep interior tech list that includes MyLink touchscreen infotainment. These options future-proof the car very nicely and help make the Equinox’s interior as much of a selling point as its fashionable exterior design.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox with highlights on how it compares with its rivals in the mid-size crossover segment.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox
Horsepower @ RPM:182 @ 6700
Torque @ RPM:172 @ 4900
Energy:Direct Gasoline Injection
0-60 time:8.7 sec.
Top Speed:130 mph (Est.)
Layout:Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt.)
The Equinox is a handsome crossover with long-wheelbase proportions and a striking interpretation of the Chevy full-frame grille with central badge bar. The Equinox’s styling themes are modern with a soft, semi-retro surfacing flair that recalls 1950s Chevy trucks,as well as the discontinued HHR wagon model.
The effect of the swooping and curved hood flows nicely into oversized fender flares and handsome, chrome-trimmed window surrounds. The back glass is heavily tinted and features a steeply angled C-pillar that gives the Equinox some of the sporty stance from the BMW X5.
The raked C-pillar and back glass don’t hurt passenger entry – the Equinox has huge rear doors that extend beyond the glass line to give more access. This is in stark comparison to the Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Patriot, both of which have very narrow rear entry points and high floor edges.
The main style upgrade for the LTZ model comes from standard 18-inch wheels that now come standard in chrome for 2014. There is also additional LTZ brightwork in the front/rear skidplate areas that are grey plastic on less-equipped models.
There is a 19-inch, dealer-installed wheel option but it is very overpriced at $3,600 extra and also bumps the turning circle to a wide 42 feet.
The Equinox is missing the latest in HID and LED lighting, with basic halogen bulbs powering the headlights and fog lights. LED taillights are also nowhere to be found.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||62.9|
|Track - Rear (in.)||62.1|
|Weight (Pounds)||3777 LS, 3922 LT|
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Exterior Features:
- 17-inch Aluminum Wheels
- Tire, compact spare with steel wheel
- Luggage rack side rails, roof-mounted, Charcoal (Charcoal with bright chrome insert)
- Headlamps, halogen, uplevel projector style with automatic exterior lamp control; Fog lamps, front halogen
- Mirrors, outside heated power-adjustable, chrome, manual folding and integral spotter mirror
- Liftgate, power programmable rear with fixed glass
- Door handles, bright chrome
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Optional Exterior Features:
- 19-inch chrome wheels and tires (Dealer-installed $3,600)
- Power sunroof ($900)
- Black roof rack cross bars (Dealer-installed $190)
The interior of the Equinox is one of the best from a value-oriented Chevy crossover. It shares some of the Camaro-inspired shapes like the twin squircle gauge shrouds and deep-set air vents dressed in light-colored matte silver. The color accents continue with a fabric-wrapped dashboard on LT models that feels fantastic and looks fresher than even the LTZ’s fancy leather and interior color themes.
Chevy’s well-designed and feature-rich MyLink touchscreen infotainment is standard on all but the lowest LS trims and brings a 7-inch color touchscreen with Bluetooth audio streaming.
MyLink also supports navigation and mapping but this is a separate $795 option on all trims. MyLink’s touchscreen is mounted deep in a covered bin to ensure it can be seen even in bright sunlight. The position makes it tricky for some drivers to comfortably reach the controls, but luckily there are button and knob-controlled climate and audio presets.
Overall, the center stack is better resolved than the Ford Escape that also has a bulging console and vertical central air vents. The Equinox’s buttons are nicely sized with a high-quality and high-tech appearance.
The control areas are all high-mounted to leave plenty of storage room in the front of the center console for purses, phones and wallets. The biggest downside of the Equinox’s cockpit are the throwback main gauge designs that seem ancient versus the newest electroluminescent needle designs. The digital trip computer’s alarm-clock green glow is also showing its age versus the latest gauge cluster computer in the Impala.
In back, space is plentiful in the sliding and split-folding seat. Twin flip-up DVD monitors are available as part of a rear seat entertainment package for $1,300 extra. Backseat passengers will appreciate the four total 12V outlets in the car: one in the dash base, one in the center armrest, one in the rear seat and the last one in the cargo hold.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||40.9|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||39.2|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||41.2|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||39.9|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||55.8|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||55.3|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||54.6|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||51.3|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seat Up (cubic-feet)||31.4|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seat Folded (cubic-feet)||63.7|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seats Down (cubic-feet)||141.5|
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Interior Features:
- Audio system, Color Touch AM/FM/SiriusXM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback includes 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen display, USB and AUX port and iPod support (standard on LT and above)
- Audio system feature, Pioneer premium 250-watt 8-speaker system includes mid-range speakers in each door, tweeters in A-pillars, a center channel speaker in upper IP and sub-woofer on the rear shelf; Audio system feature, auxiliary input jack; Audio system feature, USB port
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio trial
- Antenna, roof-mounted
- Seats, heated driver and front passenger
- Memory settings for the driver seat and exterior mirrors
- Steering wheel, leather-wrapped with audio and cruise controls; Steering wheel controls, mounted audio controls; Steering column, tilt and telescopic
- Remote vehicle starter system; Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed; Universal Home Remote
- Rear Vision Camera
- Air conditioning, automatic climate control
- Defogger, rear-window electric
- Cupholders, 2 front in center console and 2 rear in center armrest with 1 bottle holder in each door
- Power outlets, 4 auxiliary with covers, 12-volt includes 1 front of console, 1 in console, 1 in back of console and 1 in cargo area.
- Mirror, inside rearview self-dimming; Visors, driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors; Assist handles, front passenger and rear outboards; Map pocket, front seatback, driver and front passenger
- Lighting, interior with theatre dimming, center-mounted dome, rear cargo area, dual front map lights, ambient lighting on center stack surround, and center console cupholders (Includes ambient lighting on instrument panel, center console, door handle recess, door storage and footwell.)
- Cargo cover, rear security cover; Cargo net, full-across rear
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Optional Interior Features:
- Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation ($795)
- Dual Rear seat entertainment system ($1,295)
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The most popular Equinox by far is the FWD, four-cylinder configuration that offers a good balance of economy, price and performance. All Equinox models have a standard six-speed automatic and optional AWD, but the on-demand system really sucks the life out of the car’s sprint times.
The four-cylinder makes 182 horsepower for an 8.7-second run to 60 mph, up to 9.6 seconds for the AWD four-banger. The V-6 is much quicker with 301 horsepower and a 7.2-second sprint in FWD and 7.9 seconds for the heavier AWD model.
All have a fully independent suspension and electronic power steering. The FWD four dominates the EPA stats with a 20/32 rating for city/highway driving. This compares especially well with the 16/23 for the AWD V-6.
Towing is an area that needs the V-6. With the larger engine, the tow rating increases to 3,500 pounds versus just 1,500 for the four-cylinder model.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||2.4-liter 16-valve I-4 With DOHC, Direct Injection and CVVT||3.6-liter 24-valve V-6 With DOHC, Direct Injection and CVVT|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||182 @ 6700||301 @ 5600|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||172 @ 4900||272 @ 4800|
|Transmission||6-Speed Auto||6-Speed Auto|
|0-to-60 mph - FWD||8.7 seconds||7.2 seconds|
|0-to-60 mph - AWD||9.6 seconds||7.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||117 mph, est||130 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Combined/Highway)||20/NA/32 FWD, 20/NA/29 AWD||17/NA/24 FWD, 16/NA/23 AWD|
The Equinox is a Top Safety Pick from IIHS and with a comprehensive safety equipment list, with six airbags and the full suite of brake assist, ABS and stability controls.
The major new additions are a Safety Package that bundles forward collision alert, lane departure warning and rear parking assistance into one option. These systems will alert you of potential dangers but cannot brake or turn by themselves.
The Equinox safety package is like a half-way point between no active safety tech and the full Cadillac XTS setup with city braking, adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist.
2014 Chevrolet Equinox – Standard Safety Features:
- Daytime Running Lamps
- Air bags, dual-stage, frontal, driver and right front passenger with passenger sensing system, Thorax side-impact, seat mounted, driver and right front passenger, head curtain, side front and rear outboard seating positions; Air bag Passenger Sensing System
- OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation; OnStar, 6 months of Directions and Connections plan; Automatic Crash Response; Stolen Vehicle Assistance
- Rear Park Assist
- Safety Package includes (UEU) Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning and (UD7) Rear Park Assist
- Door locks, power operated rear child security; LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats
- Tire Pressure Monitor System (Does not monitor spare.)
- Brakes, brake assist
- Brakes, Hill Start-Assist (HAS)
- Traction control
- StabiliTrak, electronic stability control system
Pricing for the 2014 models is expected to rise about $400 over the 2013 pricing shown below.
|Chevrolet Equinox||2013 MSRP|
|Equinox LS FWD||$24,225|
|Equinox LS AWD||$25,975|
|Equinox 1LT FWD||$25,870|
|Equinox 1LT AWD||$27,620|
|Equinox 2LT FWD||$27,740|
|Equinox 2LT AWD||$28,620|
|Equinox LTZ FWD||$30,985|
|Equinox LTZ AWD||$32,735|
The latest RAV4 drops the rapid V-6 engine from the previous model and now runs a 2.5-liter four with 176 horsepower as the only choice. AWD is available as well as the Entune touchscreen infotainment unit. Top RAV4 prices are in the $32,000 ballpark.
The Escape comes with a powerful turbocharged powerplant as the top engine that delivers much better economy than the Equinox’s optional V-6. The Escape also includes a longer options list. The full-length moonroof, LED lights and foot-activated power tailgate come to mind. Also top-of-mind is the Escape’s list price that can top $40,000 with every option included.
The Escape’s base trims and engines are 2.5-liter four in the $22,500 base model and an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost for mid-range models.
What shoppers would say “no” to a frugal crossover that’s affordable, offers huge rear legroom and brings the latest must-have interior technology? Add a dash of style, a good view in traffic and the optional AWD V-6... and the Equinox’s rising popularity is easy to understand.
For many buyers, even a low-spec Equinox LS represents a big step up from traditional economy sedans. Compact cars are not popular for many reasons, but a big one is that there just isn’t enough room for passengers in the low and nerdy shapes.
As the low end, the Equinox is a mid-size or compact sedan replacement. The higher trims are actually very competitive with the competition and bring numerous luxury features for the modest loaded prices.
The Chevy’s chrome trims and retro-modern styling are less sophisticated than the monochrome designs of the latest RAV4 and Escape, but then again the Equinox is much larger and cheaper in most cases.
The interior seals the deal. It has some of Chevy’s Transformers techno styling themes but they are subtle and look much more upmarket than those in the Camaro.
Among buyers seeking a value-priced crossover with good technology, big space in all seats and a versatile trunk, the Equinox hits the target.
|Driving||B||Some Engine Thrash But Comfortable Ride Quality|
|Performance||B+||The AWD Models’ Extra Weight Slows 0-to-60 Sprints Quite A Bit|
|Look||B||Interesting And Unique Design But Not As Cosmopolitan As Escape or RAV4|
|Value||B+||LT Trim in FWD V-6 Is Best Of Group|
|Overall||B+||A Chrome-Tastic Crossover With Tons Of Space|