The Chevrolet Equinox made its debut as the company’s new compact SUV in 2005, and underwent its first generational overhaul in 2010. Now that we’re set to pass the halfway point of the 2010s, Chevrolet is set to unveil a refreshed version of the second-generation Equinox for the 2016 model year. This new Equinox debuted on February 12, 2015.

There is a lot to take in from this refresh, despite it being more of an evolution of the existing model. What appears to be the goal with this update is an injection of youthfulness to a model that already does pretty well in terms of overall sales. Given it competes in one of the hottest segments in the automotive world, it is no surprise that Chevy was careful in what it changed while still making it noticeably new.

Updated 02/13/2015: We’ve added a series of images taken during the 2016 Equinox official debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Equinox
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    182
  • Torque @ RPM:
    172
  • Displacement:
    2.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    24500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Updated History

Updated 02/12/2015: Chevrolet unveiled the new 2016 Equinox at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Click past the jump to read the official details on it.

Exterior

2016 Chevrolet Equinox High Resolution Exterior
- image 616485
Even with these updates for the 2016 model year, the Equinox remains a very familiar SUV.

The changes made to the 2016 Equinox are not overwhelming, but they are certainly noticeable. The front end is where you’ll see most of the changes, including new projector headlights, LED signature lighting and daytime running lights on LT and LTZ models, new fog lights on LTZ models, and an updated grille that is larger than the 2015 model. On the upscale LT and LTZ trims, the new grille also gets an exclusive chrome trim.

From the side, pretty much everything remains unchanged, save for updated 17- and 18-inch wheels that are standard on the LT and LTZ trims, respectively. The updated 17-inch rollers are also optional on the LS trim.

Around back, the updates are a little lighter, but still fairly obvious. These include new dual-element taillights, a new license plate applique, a new lower bumper insert that houses revised exhaust exits on V-6 models, and a new chrome strip on the lower bumper insert on the LTZ trim.

Even with these updates for the 2016 model year, the Equinox remains a very familiar SUV. Its roof line, hood, and general proportions are all carryover from 2015. This is all not likely to change until Chevy releases the next-generation model, which will probably be a good while.

Side-by-side comparison

2016 Chevrolet Equinox
- image 615809

Interior

2016 Chevrolet Equinox High Resolution Interior
- image 616494
Additionally, Chevy added one new color option, Saddle Up, to the interior and upgraded fabric to the L and LS trims.

While the updates on the outside are noticeable, the interior changes require closer inspection. The center stack has a slightly different look, thanks to a new storage shelf for holding your gadgets and updated control graphics. The gear shifter also gains a little class with nw-for-2015 chrome trimming, while the Electronic Range Selector buttons are now on top of the gear shifter. Additionally, Chevy added one new color option, Saddle Up, to the interior and upgraded fabric to the L and LS trims.

On the technical side of things, the Equinox now has a standard 7-inch Color Touch radio that also includes a standard rearview camera on L and LS trims. Also added in is optional side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert on LT and LTZ trims.

Size-wise, the interior remains the same as the 2015 model, including its respectable 31.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 63.7 cubes with the seats folded down.

Drivetrain

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Exterior
- image 616492
Both engines mate to a six-speed auto transmission that delivers power to the front wheels as standard and all four wheels as an option.

In the engine compartment there are no changes. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder powerplant remains the base offering. This engine produces 182 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 172 pound-feet of torque at 4,900 rpm. The optional engine will remain the 3.6-liter V-6 that cranks out 301 horses and 272 pound-feet. Both engines mate to a six-speed auto transmission that delivers power to the front wheels as standard and all four wheels as an option.

Fuel economy numbers will be released later, but I expect the same at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined with the 2.4-liter and front-wheel drive, and 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined with the V-6 and front-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive drops the four-cylinder to 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined, while the V-6 with all-wheel drive falls to 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 2.4-liter four-cylinder 3.6-liter V-6
Output 182 HP 301 HP
Torque 172 LB-FT 272 LB-FT

Prices

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Exterior
- image 616493

In 2015, the Equinox bases at $24,520 and I don’t expect a huge hike. Look for the 2016 model to tack maybe another $50 to $1,000 to the current price tag.

Competition

Honda CR-V

2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 570605

The Honda CR-V is the champ in this segment, besting all by a fairly wide sales gap in 2014. Not only does it offer legendary Honda build quality, but it also starts at just $24,445 and was heavily revised for the 2015 model year.

Under its hood, the 2015 CR-V comes packing a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that puts down 185 horses and 181 pound-feet of torque. Like the Equinox, you can have your CR-V with front- or all-wheel drive. The CR-V pretty handily trumps the Equinox four-cylinder’s gas mileage, at 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, but it has no V-6 option for those who want a little extra oomph.

In terms of roominess, the CR-V does give up a bit in rear legroom, at 38.3 inches, but its 35.2 cubes of cargo room with the seats up easy beats the Equinox’s 31.5 cubic feet.

Ford Escape

2014 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
- image 522537

The Ford Escape was the only compact SUV that challenged the CR-V’s sales title in 2014, but even it came up nearly 30,000 units short. The Focus was the second-best in the class for a slew of reasons, and one of them has to be its sporty appearance.

On top of those looks comes an engine lineup that gives buffet-like options to potential buyers. The base unit is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, and manages 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Above that is the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that lays down 178 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque while getting 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. The range-topping unit is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that puts down a mighty 240 horses and 270 pound-feet of twist. This engine may only manage to deliver 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, but its seven-second 0-to-60 time makes up for that.

Another thing the Escape has going for it is the fact that it carries a base MSRP of just $22,690, and moving into the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine bumps the price to only $24,860. And if you really need V-6-like power, you can jump into the 2.0-liter EcoBoost for just $26,355.

Conclusion

2016 Chevrolet Equinox High Resolution Exterior
- image 616486

When you have as much success as the Equinox had in 2014 despite its old-looking body, you do your best not to change too much. I think Chevy did a nice job injecting some youth into the aging SUV without going so far that buyers don’t recognize it. Now all GM needs to do is get with the program and offer it with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

  • Leave it
    • Still lackluster engine offerings
    • Lags in fuel economy

Press Release

Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, as well as a larger color touchscreen radio and a standard rear-vision camera for entry-level models.

The enhanced Equinox goes on sale this fall, building on five years of record sales in the highly competitive compact SUV segment and strengthening Chevrolet’s broad sport utility lineup, which includes the Traverse, the all-new Trax small SUV and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox High Resolution Exterior
- image 616490

“Chevrolet Equinox is a pillar of the compact SUV segment, thanks to a value rooted in great style, efficiency, safety and connectivity,” said Alan Batey, president, GM North America. “The enhancements to the 2016 Equinox make a versatile vehicle an even better choice, and demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the broadest lineup of SUVs in the industry.”

Equinox sales in the U.S. increased to 242,242 in 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of record sales since the second-generation launched as a 2010 model.

It also held more than 9 percent of the compact SUV market, which surged 17.4 percent in 2014 and accounted for 15.5 percent of the total vehicle market – eclipsing midsize cars for the first time to become the auto industry’s largest segment.

The roster of new and updated features available on the 2016 Equinox includes:

New trim lineup: L, LS, LT and LTZ, a streamlining of the model lineup that eliminates the 1LT and 2LT trims.
New front fascia and chrome-accented dual-port grille design – including specific chrome trim on LT and LTZ grilles
New, premium projector-beam headlamps on all models helps make the Equinox more visible at night
New daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ, with reflector-style lamps on L and LS, and light-emitting diode, (LED) lamps on LT and LTZ that create a distinctive, upscale lighting signature
New fog lamps on LTZ
New, Chevy-signature dual-element taillamps, revised license plate applique and revised lower rear fascia on all models, with chrome trim on LTZ lower fascia
New 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT and new 18-inch aluminum wheels on LTZ
New available 17-inch wheel optional on LS model
New chrome exhaust outlets on V-6 models
Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on LT and LTZ
Standard seven-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio (including Bluetooth phone connectivity) and rear-vision camera on L and LS models
Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter with Electronic Range Selector mode buttons relocated to the top of the shifter handle
Enhanced interior fabrics in L and LS designed for a premium look and feel
New Saddle Up interior color
New universal tablet holders available through dealers from Chevrolet Accessories. They mount on the rear of the front seats to provide convenient access for rear-seat passengers.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox High Resolution Exterior
- image 616491

“The new face of the Equinox is highlighted by a more expressive execution of chrome accents and premium lighting,” said John Cafaro, executive director of design, global Chevrolet cars. “The result is a modern exterior that’s matched inside with premium features on all trim levels, complementing the Equinox’s enhanced technology and functionality.”

A compact SUV with big features

The 2016 Equinox seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on LS, LT and LTZ models. Its roomy interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.7 cubic feet (1,803 liters) with the rear seat folded.

The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available with LT and LTZ models and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) – capability unmatched by four-cylinder-only competitors.

Chevrolet MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models, while OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotpot is offered on all trim levels. Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE and it provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).

In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Equinox also offers Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Exterior
- image 616492

Equinox fast facts

Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle in North America, after Silverado
Equinox claimed 9.3 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market in 2014
First generation debuted as a 2005 model
Second generation introduced as a 2010 model
Second generation sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than 1 million through the end of 2014
More than 1.4 million Equinox vehicles of both generations are on the road.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: