2011 Chevrolet Equinox Comfort & Quality

8.0
Comfort & Quality
There's lots to love about the Equinox inside; the driving position is excellent—carlike yet affording a good view outward. The seats are better and more supportive than those in a lot of small crossovers, too. And at the top of the lineup, in LTZ models, the cross-stitched dual-tone perforated leather is compelling and luxurious.

Back seats are great and the seatbacks can be clicked into several different rake positions; knee room is among the best in its class, too. There's a retractable cargo cover, stretchy net, and two deep cargo wells in back, and the center console well is very deep.

Best of all is the four-cylinder's noise cancellation system; it works like noise cancellation headphones and helps eliminate sounds that tend to make four-cylinder engines feel cheap and coarse. Door openings with triple seals and glass with integral sound damping further quiet things down inside, helping create a driving experience that feels more Cadillac-like than bargain-basement. Overall, the Equinox would make a great highway vehicle for a small family; the ride feels more settled, less pitchy, than former vehicles on this platform—and versus some compact crossover alternatives.

The Equinox hits the mark in many ways with respect to practicality and comfort, and only lets down on a few cost-cut material details.

While the Equinox has clearly been upgraded, there's still a stray piece of trim or two that seems too plasticky, even at this price point—but mostly it's handsome and tightly constructed. We haven't been quite as fond of the base "premium cloth" seating; some of the trim around the dash and doors feels a little too hard and hollow, and the small latch for the big storage bin up top, which you have in view all the time, is memorably flimsy and jagged plastichrome.

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