It's hard to imagine that GM simply didn't take this segment, which has been one of the fastest-growing in the industry, very seriously until about two years ago, when it last redesigned the almost-mid-size Equinox.
Now, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox competes against some of the strongest-selling crossover vehicles on the market.
In size and mission, it's a lot like the Ford Escape, which also offers four- and six-cylinder engines, as well as a Hybrid version.
The Escape (non-hybrid versions of it, at least) gets worse gas mileage and feels less substantial in some ways, but it's a safe bargain.
Another best-selling rival is the Honda CR-V; while an all-new CR-V is on the way, the current one has one of the roomiest interiors, and great handling, although its engine is somewhat coarse and strained.
The latest Subaru Forester feels more nimble than other vehicles in this class, and while its interior isn't quite as finely detailed, it's a strong value with standard all-wheel drive.
The Hyundai Tucson is also now a formidable rival, also with great fuel economy; but ride quality is choppy in comparison, and the Tucson's steering leaves much to be desired.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2012 Chevrolet EquinoxBrowse Used Listings||2012 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings||2012 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings||2012 Hyundai TucsonBrowse Used Listings||2012 Subaru ForesterBrowse Used Listings|
|20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas/Ethanol I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas Flat 4|
|2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility Vehicles||2WD Sport Utility||2WD Sport Utility||Sport Utility Vehicle - AWD|
|FWD 4-Door LS||FWD 4-Door XLS||2WD 5-Door LX||FWD 4-Door Manual GL||4-Door Manual 2.5X|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door Sport Utility||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2012 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2012 Ford Escape||2012 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2012 Honda CR-V||2012 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2012 Hyundai Tucson||2012 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2012 Subaru Forester|