It's not the most up-to-date small SUV you can buy, but value talks.

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox has been given a refresh for the current model year in the hopes of continuing its success amongst Canadian families seeking an entry-level compact SUV. Although not quite in the top 10, the Chevrolet Equinox has performed admirably well given that its platform is starting to show signs of age - and considering that crossovers and sport-utility vehicles are amongst the hottest movers in the industry.

The Equinox leads with a roomy interior that has ample room for up to five passengers, a choice between 4-cylinder and V6 power, and an excellent suite of available safety and technology features for its class.  2016 also brings revised styling inside and out, with a new 7-inch touchscreen making an appearance on the newly-organized dashboard and LED running lights brightening up the exterior. It's not the most up-to-date small SUV you can buy, but it does make a strong argument from a value perspective.

Pros

  • A 3.6-litre V6 is available with the Chevrolet Equinox, which is unusual in a segment that largely sticks a turbocharged 4-cylinder at the top of the options list. It offers 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the mightiest small people movers on the market (on paper).
  • That 7-inch touchscreen is now standard for each and every model of the Chevrolet Equinox, and in addition to its infotainment duties it also serves as the LCD display for the vehicle's rearview camera. The screen is nicely tucked into a waterfall-style dash that subtly modernizes the interior of the Equinox.
  • The rear seat of the Chevrolet Equinox can slide front and back, which means there's an extra 8-inches of legroom available for taller riders (if you keep the cargo area empty, of course). With that same second row folded flat, you benefit from 1,803 litres (63.7 cubic feet) of total cargo space, which is just above average for a compact SUV.
  • Safety has been improved for 2016: the Equinox can be found with a blind spot monitoring system, a lane departure warning system, and a forward collision warning system. The OnStar telematics system is also standard with the Chevrolet, as it is on all GM products, and it can be used to track a stolen vehicle as well as automatically contract emergency services in the event of an accident.

Cons

  • Fuel efficiency is somewhat of an issue with the Equinox, for although its entry-level 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine is rated at 10.5 L/100 km city and 7.3 L/100 km highway, in actual practice it's hard to hit these figures. It's largely a function of the Chevrolet SUV's weight, which makes the V6 even more thirsty (14.9 L/100 km city / 10.1 L/100 km highway).
  • Compounding the 3.6-litre motor's gasoline cravings is the fact that it's only available in all-wheel drive trim (the 4-cylinder can be had in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive editions). This also pushes up the price of driving a V6 version of the Equinox, since it's offered exclusively with the LT trim level or higher.
  • The Equinox is comfortable to ride in, and easy to drive, but it's not all that engaging. If you're looking for a more interesting commuter, you'll want to check out the Mazda CX-5 or the Ford Escape.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox

 

ENGINE

2.4-litre four-cylinder / 3.6-liter V6

OUTPUT

182 hp / 179 lb-ft & 301 hp / 272 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION

6-speed automatic

0-100 KMH

8.5 Seconds

TOP SPEED

N/A

FUEL ECONOMY

10.5 L/100 km City / 7.3 L/100 km Highway &

14.9 L/100 km City / 10.1 L/100 km Highway

WEIGHT

1,710 kilograms (3,764 lbs)

SEATING CAPACITY

5

CARGO VOLUME

1,803 litres (63.7 cubic feet)

BASE PRICE

$27,170

AS-TESTED PRICE

$32,220

 

Be part of something big