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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; 'good,' small overlap frontal
Top Safety Pick
Four stars overall; four stars frontal; five stars side; five stars side pole
The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox has a solid reputation for occupant safety. However, we have a gripe about the crossover's outward visibility, which keeps us from crowning it as the safest pick in the segment.
Four-wheel disc brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, head-curtain side airbags, and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted bags are all included as standard equipment in the Equinox. So are GM's OnStar emergency and concierge services. A rearview camera system is included in all models LT and above, and that helps with the low-speed situations. Lane departure warning and forward collision warning alert systems (though still not a blind-spot system) are available more widely on four-cylinder and V-6 models, and standard in the LTZ, and that system earns a 'Basic' front crash prevention rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Unfortunately neither of those systems completely makes up for one Equinox inadequacy: outward visibility. Depending on your height and driving position, you might find the rather thick rear pillar to be in the way when changing lanes. The large blind-spot mirrors do help a bit, but definitely pay attention to this on the test drive.
As far as occupant protection goes, the Equinox has a great reputation. Crash-test results for the Equinox have been good. In the federal government's all-new crash-test and ratings system, the 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. And in IIHS tests, the Equinox achieved top 'good' test scores in all categories—for Top Safety Pick recognition.
The IIHS gives the Equinox quite good ratings, but the NHTSA grades it slightly lower.