2015 Chevrolet Equinox

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Ride comfort
  • Noise insulation
  • Spacious seats
  • Car-seat accommodations
  • Acceleration with V-6

The Bad

  • Visibility
  • Smallish cargo area
  • Wide turning circle
  • Handling and braking
  • Poky acceleration with four-cylinder

Notable Features of the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox

  • OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot capability standard
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Seats five
  • Related to GMC Terrain
  • Front- or all-wheel drive

2015 Chevrolet Equinox Road Test

Kelsey Mays

The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox remains a half-size larger than most of its competition, which makes for better ride quality and comfort, but its poor visibility and lack of driving fun will turn off some shoppers.

The same is true for the Equinox's corporate twin, the GMC Terrain. (Chevrolet and GMC are sibling brands under parent company GM.) Click here to compare the two, here to stack up the Equinox's trim levels or here to compare the 2014 and 2015 Equinox.

The Equinox's multimedia system gets subscription-based Wi-Fi for 2015, but other changes are minimal. We tested a midlevel Equinox 1LT against six competitors in Cars.com's $28,000 Compact SUV Challenge, which you can see here.

Exterior & Styling
The Equinox's face courts little controversy, with Chevrolet's familiar two-bar grille and perky headlights leading into a plus-sized profile. It's aged well since it debuted in summer 2009, and next year's 2016 face-lift will change little (click here to see early details).

Still, the size is bound to turn away some shoppers. At 187.8 inches long, the Chevrolet Equinox is noticeably larger than competitor compact crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazdfa CX-5 and Ford Escape. Its turning circle, at 40 to 42.6 feet (depending on wheel size), is as much as 7.8 feet wider than the RAV4's. In a parking lot or back alley, that's bound to annoy.

How It Drives
Five years in, the 
Chevrolet Equinox is still a champ ...

The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox remains a half-size larger than most of its competition, which makes for better ride quality and comfort, but its poor visibility and lack of driving fun will turn off some shoppers.

The same is true for the Equinox's corporate twin, the GMC Terrain. (Chevrolet and GMC are sibling brands under parent company GM.) Click here to compare the two, here to stack up the Equinox's trim levels or here to compare the 2014 and 2015 Equinox.

The Equinox's multimedia system gets subscription-based Wi-Fi for 2015, but other changes are minimal. We tested a midlevel Equinox 1LT against six competitors in Cars.com's $28,000 Compact SUV Challenge, which you can see here.

Exterior & Styling
The Equinox's face courts little controversy, with Chevrolet's familiar two-bar grille and perky headlights leading into a plus-sized profile. It's aged well since it debuted in summer 2009, and next year's 2016 face-lift will change little (click here to see early details).

Still, the size is bound to turn away some shoppers. At 187.8 inches long, the Chevrolet Equinox is noticeably larger than competitor compact crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazdfa CX-5 and Ford Escape. Its turning circle, at 40 to 42.6 feet (depending on wheel size), is as much as 7.8 feet wider than the RAV4's. In a parking lot or back alley, that's bound to annoy.

How It Drives
Five years in, the 
Chevrolet Equinox is still a champ in terms of composure. At highway speeds, road and wind noise are hushed. The car exhibits minimal bounciness over broken pavement, and the suspension handles ruts with clean, polished reactions.

None of that straight-line composure helps when the road gets curvy, where lethargic steering, mushy brakes and a body prone to leaning blunt the Equinox's nimbleness. Part of the blame goes to the SUV's hefty weight; its bigger size adds as much as 500 pounds versus some competitors. That also means the standard four-cylinder can feel overtaxed in uphill stretches and during highway passing. The drivetrain has adequate power for lesser demands, with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission and little engine noise below full throttle.

Our test car lacked all-wheel drive, which adds around 150 pounds. That's probably enough to make the case for the Equinox's 3.6-liter V-6. We've driven that engine, and its exceptional output (301 horsepower and 272 pounds-feet of torque) turn the Equinox into a quick, capable SUV.

Capability plus weight rarely equals efficiency, however, and the V-6 Equinox gets just 20 mpg in combined city/highway ratings by the EPA (19 mpg with AWD). The EPA rates the four-cylinder at 26 mpg combined (but just 23 mpg with AWD). Taken as a whole, its ratings are unimpressive; most small SUVs of this body type beat the Chevrolet Equinox in one or more configurations.

Interior
Still, the SUV's extra girth makes for excellent passenger space, with a high driving position and large front seats that make competitors' chairs seem economy-class. The backseat has copious legroom and headroom, plus a high, adult-friendly seating position; it also moves forward/backward and reclines a few degrees.

Unfortunately, the packaging pays little heed to visibility. The small rear window sits between bulky C- and D-pillars, and the rear-quarter windows are more of a technicality. Chevrolet placed last in our 2014 comparison of blind-spot visibility among small SUVs (read it here), and nothing has changed since then.

Cabin materials are basic, with low-gloss materials but cheap, hard plastics in a lot of places where competitors swap in richer stuff. GM has had five years to update the center control panel, but it's still an assortment of confusing buttons that, despite the quantity, lack dual-zone climate controls. That's a must-have option in this segment. The Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee and redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson thump the Equinox in cabin materials and layout. GM needs to step it up.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Bluetooth phone connectivity and a CD stereo with iPod/USB compatibility and satellite radio are standard, but you have to upgrade to the 1LT or higher to get Bluetooth streaming audio. That setup also gets a 7-inch touch-screen with Chevrolet's MyLink system. Pioneer premium audio is optional.

For 2015, the Chevrolet Equinox gets 4G LTE internet connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot with a three-month/3-GB trial through GM's OnStar telematics service. After that, it's subscription-based at $5 to $50 a month depending on how much data you want. It sounds cool, given GM also offers short-term data packages that don't require an OnStar subscription if, say, you want the kids to have Wi-Fi on the family vacation. But many smartphones can create Wi-Fi hotspots that use your carrier's data plan and service multiple devices, and that's often cheaper. OnStar's claimed advantage is better reception through the car's rooftop antenna than your smartphone might get, but you'll pay for it. An extra gigabyte of data on my iPhone's plan runs $10, while, as of May 2015, OnStar charged $5 for just 250 megabytes.

Cargo & Storage
Bulky wheel wells limit cargo space to a modest 31.5 cubic feet behind the backseat. The Rogue, RAV4 and CR-V have upward of 35 cubic feet. Fold the seats down and a plastic floor panel effectively bridges a cargo-catching gap no matter where you've adjusted them. Still, the Equinox's 63.7 cubic feet of maximum volume trails others' maximum figures, in some cases by nearly 10 cubic feet.

Safety
With top scores in all crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox earned Top Safety Pick status for 2015. Click here to see all its safety features and here to see our Car Seat Check.

A backup camera — widely standard in this class — isn't included until you get up to LT models. Lane departure and forward collision warning systems are optional, but the latter does not include auto-braking. That's a provision most such systems now provide. A blind spot warning system is unavailable, but GM is adding it to the 2016 Equinox.

Value in Its Class
Prices range from around $23,000 for a front-drive Equinox L to more than $40,000 for an all-wheel-drive V-6 LTZ with all the factory options. That's a decent bargain for the L, but it's bound to leave some LTZ shoppers with sticker shock.

Suffice it to say, there are many flavors and prices of the Chevrolet Equinox. Its age is showing in a big way, as its quality and athleticism have been leapfrogged by most competitors. But its strengths run deep, and that, plus an established history of above-average reliability, should retain a steady stream of shoppers.

Send Kelsey an email  

 


2015 Equinox Video

After four days of testing outside of Baltimore with experts from Cars.com, USA Today and "MotorWeek" as well as a real-life family, here's a video on how each car performed:

Latest 2015 Equinox Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Perfect size for my family

by Momof3 from Florida on September 22, 2018

I had my eye on the Chevy Equinox for about a year. After having a minor accident in my Chevy Trailblazer I decided to go for the Equinox after having great success with the Trailblazer. It's the ... Read full review

(5.0)

Haven't had this car that long but I love it

by brittann23651 from petoskey, mi on September 19, 2018

So far so good. I hope to drive it as long as I can. Had a baby about 5 months ago so having this family car is awesome! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Chevrolet Equinox L

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

Front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Overall evaluation
good
Retraints and dummy kinematics
good
Structure and safety cage
good

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

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Chevrolet

Program Benefits

Two Factory-Backed Warranties, CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program, Vehicle Inspection & Reconditioning, 3-Day/150-Mile Vehicle Exchange Program, 24/7 Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation, OnStar & SiriusXM Satellite Radio Trial Offers, and a Carfax Vehicle History Report

  • Limited Warranty

    Two Factory-Backed Warranties

    6-Year/100,000-Mile, Powertrain Limited Warranty and a 12- Month/12,000-Miles, Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, both with $0 deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 172-Point Inspection & Reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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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.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

A

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

A

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

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