By Cars.com EditorsJuly 10, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. It competes with the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.
(upbeat music) <v Host>Cars.com auto review. Hi, Mike Hanley with cars.com. Chevrolet's entry in the small crossover category is the Equinox and it competes against models like the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.
The Equinox wasn't always part of the conversation when talking about best-in-class crossovers, but that's about to change with this redesigned 2010 model, as it offers a stylish, fuel efficient alternative to the mainstays in this class. Chevy really nailed the look of the new Equinox showing that vehicles designed to provide utility can still look stylish. They didn't take any excessive risks that would turn off potential buyers, but it doesn't look boring either, and there's an athleticism to the design that's appealing. It features Chevy's characteristic two-port grille and it's offered in three trim levels. There's a base LS, a mid-level LT model like this one and an up level LTZ model. Now all models in the line come with standard 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Equinox was previously only available with a V6 engine, but for 2010, a new four-cylinder debuts, it gets impressive gas mileage estimates. It's rated at 22 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway for front-wheel drive models and it features fuel saving direct injection technology and pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission, it also includes an eco mode that alters the transmission's shift characteristics to save even more fuel. Now, if you want the extra power offered by a V6, it's still available too. Just the Chevrolet increase the style of the Equinox on the outside, they've done the same on the inside too. The new dashboard design is very modern and it features high quality materials too. Now the Equinox is offered with either cloth or leather seats and this is an LT trim level, and it has these premium cloth seats that have a durable appearance to them, but the seat cushioning is pretty hard and harder than you get with the optional leather seats, which are more comfortable. Even adults can fit comfortably in the backseat of the Equinox. It features a sliding bench seat that when slid backward, (seat clanging) gives the tall passengers tons of leg room and the seat can also recline, it's split 60/40, but the levers to recline it are located up high, so you have to kind of twist around to reach it. Some other manufacturers have better designs where the reclining levers on low on the side of the seat. There's also arm rest here with two cup holders. The Equinox's exterior dimensions make it notably larger than many of its competitors, but that doesn't translate into greater cargo volume. It has 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space, but that's less than the smaller CRV, RAV4 and Subaru Forester offer. If you need more space, the back seats flip down nearly flat to give you 63.7 cubic feet of space, and a powered lift gate that allows you to set how high it opens is optional. Chevrolet has created a very compelling small crossover in the new Equinox. It combines stylish design inside and out, with good fuel economy and passenger space. What has been something of an overlooked model in the small crossover category is now one that's worth a test drive. <v Host>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.