2016 Chevrolet Equinox Review May 17, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Among small crossover SUVs, the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox stands out with its available V6 engine, comfortable ride, and spacious rear seats. The 2016 model received several updates, including new styling in the front and updates to the rear fascia, and a standard rearview camera and seven-inch touchscreen.
Styling and Technology
The updated front of the SUV includes LED daytime running lights and projector-beam headlights. Features like automatic headlights and fog lights make driving more convenient. If you prefer an eye-catching model, the LTZ has chrome accents on a unique exterior trim. The interior styling is sleek, and the dashboard has smooth contours and a wraparound feel. Drivers will love the standard technology that comes with the base model. In addition to rearview camera and touchscreen, all of the new vehicles come with Bluetooth phone, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, USB port, an auxiliary audio jack, and six speakers. Perhaps the only technological downside is that you need to upgrade to the LT or LTZ trim to get Bluetooth audio streaming. However, you do get satellite radio on the LS trim. Higher trim levels can also give you internet radio apps via smartphone integration, and the MyLink interface.
Versatility and Space
Most drivers expect any crossover SUV to be highly versatile, and the Chevy Equinox lives up to these expectations in most ways. The rear seat is nice and roomy and can recline and slide, an impressive feature for the class. The extra rear legroom does come with a small sacrifice in terms of cargo space. That being said, you can still get 31.5 cubic feet of storage even with all seats occupied, although competing crossovers have more room. Folding down the rear seats gives you up to 63.7 cubic feet, which is enough for most activities, but falls behind some other options in the class.
Powertrains and Driving Feel
Unless you upgrade, the 2016 Equinox comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 172 pound-feet of torque and 182 horsepower. The 3.6-liter V6 is available for the LT and LTZ trims and gives you 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet. It can also reach 60 mph in just 7 seconds, making it quicker than average. Both engines can be paired with front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, and the SUV always has a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder and V6 engines can tow up to 1,500 and 3,500 pounds, respectively. Most experts will strongly suggest that you upgrade to the V6 engine. The 4-cylinder is tolerable and has an output that puts it on par with other similar compact crossovers, but in real-world driving, it doesn’t feel as powerful. You may find yourself flooring the gas pedal when passing or merging. The V6 engine takes care of these issues and gives you 301 horsepower, making it one of the top engines in the price range and segment. In terms of handling, expect a smooth and isolated ride in a quiet cabin.
With smooth handling and integrated technology, the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is an effective upgrade from the previous year. If you’re willing to sacrifice the extra storage space, drivers looking for a sleek and powerful crossover will be pleased with the new vehicle.