A couple of years ago Chevrolet installed completely new powertrains into the Equinox—including a more responsive V-6 and more economical four-cylinder base engine, both with six-speed automatics—and these powertrains still stand out as among the most advanced in the class.
The Equinox family's trump card remains its base 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which has direct injection in addition to variable valve timing. Besides being a more modern design than some rival engines, it gets a stellar 32-mpg EPA highway rating. It performs pretty well, too, although there's a fair amount of clattery direct-injection sounds when idling. The more powerful 3.0-liter, 264-hp V-6 engine is smoother and more responsive, but much thirstier. Nevertheless, the V-6 should be the choice if you occasionally need to tow a small trailer or often drive with a fully loaded vehicle. Chevy claims that 0-60 mph comes up in under 9 seconds for the four-cylinder and under 8 seconds for the V-6.
About the only thing we'd really like to change about the driving experience is the numb feel of the electric power steering, which seems to require a lot of adjustments on center in highway cruising. Otherwise, as we've found on many other recent GM models, brakes are excellent.