Crash-test results for the Equinox have been good. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, the Equinox achieved top 'good' test scores in all categories—culminating in another Top Safety Pick Award for 2012. And in the federal government's all-new crash-test and ratings system, the 2011 Equinox earned four stars overall, with a four-star score in frontal impact and five stars in the side test. In addition, it achieved top five-star results in NHTSA's tough new side-pole test--which says good things about the protection provided by its body structure.
Visibility is our main criticism regarding the Equinox's safety. Its rear three-quarter vision—where you look when backing up, or to change lanes to pass—is truly appalling, and somehow worse even than many vehicles in this class that appear from the outside to have higher beltlines. Large blind-spot mirrors (a new standard feature) help work around that, although the rear-seat headrests don't remove or fold down to open up vision in the rear-view mirror. Thankfully, all models from the LT on up have a reversing camera fitted as standard.
One other feature that might help avoid accidents are the new lane departure warning and forward collision warning alert systems that are optional. Unfortunately, they're available only on LTZ models with the V-6, however.