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2012 Chevrolet Equinox

$6,803 — $16,079 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
24-27 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Quietness
  • Gas mileage
  • Backseat space
  • Interior design and quality
  • Powertrain refinement

The Bad

  • Ride may be too firm for some
  • Mushy brake pedal feel
  • Left-side blind spot
  • Cloth bucket seats have hard cushions
  • Interior volume, considering its size
2012 Chevrolet Equinox exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox
  • Four-cylinder or V-6, both with flex-fuel capability
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Six-speed automatic
  • 32 mpg highway rating for FWD four-cylinder
  • Available lane departure and front collision warning systems

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

The compact SUV market remains one of the most competitive in the industry, so a lot has changed since the last time we did a Shootout. In our last comparison, the Chevrolet Equinox was the king of the hill. Can it still keep its crown?

Vehicle Overview

Chevrolet's five-seat Equinox crossover is available with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter V-6, and both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All trim levels are available with front- or all-wheel drive. Competitors include the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.

In ascending order, trim levels include the LS, LT and LTZ.

New for 2012
The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine now offers flex-fuel capability and can run on gasoline or E85 ethanol. Coming later in the model year is Chevrolet's available MyLink entertainment system, which incorporates services such as Pandora internet radio when a compatible smartphone is connected. Specific trim level changes for 2012 include:

  • LS adds Bluetooth cellphone connectivity
  • 1LT models add a backup camera
  • 1LT, 2LT and LTZ add a touch-screen stereo with a 7-inch screen and a USB port
  • 18-inch chrome wheels available for 2LT and LTZ
  • LTZ V-6 models can have available lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems

Exterior
The Equinox looks like an amalgamation of GM models. The horizontally split grille emulates that of the Chevy Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover, while the headlights ditch the Traverse's angular styling. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 17-inch alloy wheels; 18- or 19-inch chrome wheels optional
  • Optional power liftgate
  • Optional power sunroof
  • Optional heated side mirrors
  • Optional rear park assist

Interior
Chevy's twin-cowl dashb...

Vehicle Overview

Chevrolet's five-seat Equinox crossover is available with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter V-6, and both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All trim levels are available with front- or all-wheel drive. Competitors include the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.

In ascending order, trim levels include the LS, LT and LTZ.

New for 2012
The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine now offers flex-fuel capability and can run on gasoline or E85 ethanol. Coming later in the model year is Chevrolet's available MyLink entertainment system, which incorporates services such as Pandora internet radio when a compatible smartphone is connected. Specific trim level changes for 2012 include:

  • LS adds Bluetooth cellphone connectivity
  • 1LT models add a backup camera
  • 1LT, 2LT and LTZ add a touch-screen stereo with a 7-inch screen and a USB port
  • 18-inch chrome wheels available for 2LT and LTZ
  • LTZ V-6 models can have available lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems

Exterior
The Equinox looks like an amalgamation of GM models. The horizontally split grille emulates that of the Chevy Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover, while the headlights ditch the Traverse's angular styling. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 17-inch alloy wheels; 18- or 19-inch chrome wheels optional
  • Optional power liftgate
  • Optional power sunroof
  • Optional heated side mirrors
  • Optional rear park assist

Interior
Chevy's twin-cowl dashboard, used in everything from the Traverse to the Malibu, carves out similar shapes facing the driver and front passenger. The Equinox's basic radio interface details the station for each preset and can include AM, FM and satellite radio stations on the same list.

Chevrolet says the Equinox's deep center console can fit a laptop or small handbag. The rear seats recline and slide forward about 8 inches, with a trailing panel to ensure a gap-free cargo floor no matter the seat position. Interior features include:

  • Standard cloth seats; leather optional
  • Optional heated front seats
  • Optional automatic climate control
  • Optional navigation system
  • Optional power driver's seat with memory settings

Under the Hood
A 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. The optional 3.0-liter V-6 makes 264 hp; it also uses a six-speed automatic. Mechanical features include:

  • Four-cylinder or V-6 engines with direct injection
  • Engines run on regular gas or E85 ethanol
  • Front- or all-wheel drive

Safety
Dual front- and side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows are standard. Other standard safety features include:

  • Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
  • Antilock brakes
  • Traction control
  • Electronic stability system
  • Blind spot mirrors
  • OnStar communication system with airbag deployment notification

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.1
164 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(3.9)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Best car I've had

by Robin from Waukesha on November 15, 2018

Meets all my needs. AWD. SIDE CURTAIN AND REAR PASSENGER AIRBAGS. very comfortable. Very good mpg for a larger vehicle at around 24 mpg combined driving. Read full review

(5.0)

Chevrolet what more needs to be said

by Bobb'e from Fargo ND on November 9, 2018

Extremely worth the money! Dependable durable roomy and easy on the pocket book...meaning easy on gas mileage. Security and safety is a great feeling when traveling with friends and family. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LS

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Chevrolet

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)

  • Powertrain

    6 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Equinox Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Equinox received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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