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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
“Both [engines] get about the task of acceleration in a rather relaxed fashion”
Car and Driver
“Shifting isn’t exactly a drama-filled experience, but it’s not hunting for gears”
“Equinox’s claim to fame is its gas mileage”
For the debut of the second-generation Equinox, Chevrolet provides two new engine options, both of which pair with a single six-speed transmission for a combination that offers best-in-class fuel economy.
Drivers will have a choice of two engines when outfitting their 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, both of which offer mid-range acceleration and cruising performance. Car and Driver reviewers report that, “for the first time, the Equinox [Chevrolet] is offered with a four-cylinder engine” putting out 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, while “an available 264-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 serves as the step-up engine (replacing last year’s 3.6-liter V-6).” For most drivers, Jalopnik feels the “DI 2.4-liter with FWD will be totally adequate,” since the engine is “responsive without protest” and “returns a workable 8.7-second 0-to-60 MPH time.” Edmunds agrees that “acceleration with the new four-cylinder engine is quite reasonable for the class and should be good enough for most consumers,” while the “V6 option isn’t as punchy as the outgoing top-of-the-line 3.6-liter V6, but it’s more fuel efficient.” In terms of acceleration numbers, the 3.4-liter propels the Chevy Equinox to 60 mph 7.8 seconds.
All 2010 Chevrolet Equinoxes come equipped with what Car and Driver describes as a “six-speed automatic…with manumatic shifting (still a novelty in this class),” regardless of which engine sits under the hood. Front-wheel drive is standard, but Jalopnik reviewers point out that all Chevy Equinoxes have “optional all-wheel drive.” Automobile Magazine reviewers love the engine/transmission combination, declaring “powertrain refinement is excellent” thanks to the fact that “the transmission shifts smoothly and the Active Noise Cancellation keeps engine noise intrusion to a minimum.” As noted earlier, the Equinox Chevrolet’s six-speed automatic has a manual shift feature, but Car and Driver “see[s] this manual-shifting capability as geared more to those who tow than to gear-rowing enthusiasts.”
The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox has got a lot going for it, and if gas prices come anywhere near summer ’08 levels, then the Chevy Equinox’s class-leading fuel efficiency will become another very compelling reason to buy this second-generation crossover. The official EPA estimates for the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox are 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with the four-cylinder and AWD transmission, while the FWD and four-cylinder combo gets an astounding 22 mpg city and 32 mpg on the highway. For the V-6, the numbers are somewhat less impressive, although the EPA still rates the FWD V-6 Chevy Equinox at a very respectable 17/25 mpg, with the AWD coming in just behind at 17/24.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com invariably mention top-notch fuel economy, and Jalopnik points out that the Chevy Equinox “beats out the main competition from Honda, Ford, and Toyota in all trim levels in both city and highway figures.” Cars.com states that the Chevy “Equinox’s claim to fame is its gas mileage,” which is better on the highway than the Ford Escape Hybrid (at least when equipped as a FWD four-cylinder).
Vehicles that emphasize fuel economy don’t normally rate too highly on the fun-to-drive scale (think Toyota Prius), but the Chevrolet Equinox surprises more than a few reviewers with its better-than-adequate handling and steering feel. Jalopnik contends that the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox “delivers like its Japanese competitors don’t” when it comes to overall driving performance, claiming “road feel is actually not too bad” and “body control is excellent for the segment.” MyRide.com agrees that the “new Equinox handles better than its predecessor,” with a “more carlike” feel and less lean in turns.
The only serious gripe about the Equinox Chevrolet comes from Automobile Magazine, where reviewers report that the brake’s “pedal feel is lackluster; there’s a mushiness to it that doesn’t inspire confidence,” despite the fact that “the brakes don’t have any trouble bringing this crossover to a halt.”
The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is a veritable showcase for the “new GM” with its class-leading fuel economy and impressive balance between ride quality and handling.