2010 Chevy Equinox Review

2010 Chevy Equinox

Now that small crossovers have become the best selling SUVs, GM seems to be in a difficult position. They’ve always excelled at producing big, heavy trucks and SUVs, but the Japanese automakers like Toyota and Honda are where it’s at for the smaller stuff. The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V have a stranglehold on the small SUV market, and Chevy’s offering – the Equinox – was lost in the rest of the crowd due to its lack of personality, originality, and quality.

For 2010, however, Chevy intends to change that. They completely redesigned the Equinox this year inside and out, and gave it more options and standard features, different engines, a (gasp) refined interior, and above all, a bit of personality. Does the new 2010 Chevy Equinox have what it takes to stand up against the market leaders?

2010 Chevy Equinox rear

Surprisingly, it does. Chevy must have finally gotten tired of being beaten down by the Japanese in this segment, because the 2010 Equinox shows a significant improvement in not only the Equinox line, but in Chevrolets as a whole.

The upgraded interior isn’t just a redesign; it’s GM’s new effort at upgrading their interiors, which have always been bland, low quality, boring, poorly designed, and unoriginal. The 2010 Equinox shows a huge improvement on this with sharp and swooping lines, modern design elements, quality materials, better ergonomics, and controls that actually make sense. An available two-tone interior looks especially slick, and at night, a soft teal glow from the buttons and shift indicators create a modern atmosphere. The driver information display proves very useful and sits between the two main gauges on the instrument cluster. My only qualm with the interior is the overly-busy center console, which tries to cram too many buttons into a small space, making finding the intended button a time-consuming affair.

2010 Chevy Equinox interior

Exterior changes are significant, giving the Equinox a more mature and overall more attractive appearance. While I’m not a big fan of the styling personally, it’s not something I’d call ugly by any means, and it’s still a big improvement over the old model. Just like the outgoing Chevy Equinox, the 2010 model is slightly bigger than most competitors. It offers average cargo capacity for its class, and provides plenty of room for both front- and rear-seat passengers.

Driving isn’t a complete bore either. Steering is responsive, the ride is comfortable, and the cabin is quiet. A standard aux jack and available USB port for audio is good, but is paired to an awful-sounding sound system. An upgraded 8-speaker stereo is optional, and recommended. Our tester was equipped with the Rear Seat entertainment system which includes LCD monitors in the front seat headrests and a DVD player with headsets to keep the kids quiet during long trips. Other segment-exclusive options include a power programmable liftgate and rear-view camera.

2010 Chevy Equinox front

The 2.4-liter, 182 hp four-cylinder engine in our tester is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and provides a good amount of power for most drivers. A 264 hp 3.0-liter V6 engine is available for $1,500 extra if you need to tow something or don’t like to wait, and an AWD layout is available for an additional $1,750. Fuel economy is surprisingly good at 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy, which is better than the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and even the Ford Escape Hybrid. The AWD layout drops economy down about 3 mpg, and the V6 gets a respectable 18/24 mpg.

At a starting price of $22,440, the 2010 Chevy Equinox is actually less than the outgoing model, and offers much more. This makes it a great value when compared to competing models, especially considering the high build quality, which was previously absent from most GMs. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you ignored the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox in your quest for a small crossover.

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Filed Under: Car ReviewsChevy


  • ChevyEquinoxFan

    I have to say I've heard nothing but good things about the 2010 iteration of the equinox. If this is an indication of the "new GM" then the future is looking brighter already! (Particularly in terms of cost, considering the new Equinox is cheaper than the 2009)

    • thornmark

      Unfortunately, the Equinox gets nowhere near its published EPA numbers with the 4 cylinder. ALL the long term tests at auto mags and Consumer Reports show the Chevy gets WORSE real world mileage than the Honda or Toyota.

      Check the forums at Edmunds, same thing.

  • Char Thillmann

    I have seen on Wikipedia that the LTZ standard interior features include….AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer… This is the only place where I have found that a SIX-DISC IN-DASH CD CHANGER is standard on the LTZ. Even the Chevrolet site does not call out a six-disc in-dash CD changer!! Does anyone know for sure if it is standard???

  • ChevyEquinoxFanatic

    The chevrolet.com site still doesn't state that the 6 disc changer is standard on the LTZ, however I have confirmed a month ago that it is standard equipment with a Florida chevy dealer.

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