2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ is well equipped, well done–and affordable

Our recent test of the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ reminded us how much we appreciate this well-appointed yet relatively affordable crossover. Top-shelf LTZ models like ours start at $29,950 (as-tested price $33,540). The exterior is attractive and refined, but the interior is where you really get a feel for the value the Equinox serves up.

“Spend a little bit of time in the driver’s seat of this 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ, and you can see why General Motors has such a short supply of these,” said executive editor Roger Hart. “The ride is comfortable and surprisingly quiet. The only noise creeping into the cabin was courtesy of tires on the pavement.”

News editor Greg Migliore echoed Hart’s sentiments and added, “The cabin looks and feels premium, for the most part, with comfortable seats.”

The Equinox houses a 264-hp 3.0-liter V6 engine, which our editors thought performed very well. Customers shopping for fuel-sippers should note that even the less-powerful four-cylinder Equinox models delivered adequate power in our experiences with them. We suggest Chevrolet improve brake response and offer the AWD option at a lower price.

We toyed around with our test model’s forward-collision-warning/lane-departure system, too. The safety feature offered short-, medium- and long-distance settings, allowing drivers to choose how soon they’d like to be alerted. We felt the medium setting provided the most realistic feedback, with one editor observing the short setting would not give drivers adequate time to react while the long setting made the system too sensitive, resulting in constant alerts.

This five-seater returned a better-than-estimated 24.2 mpg for our drivers. EPA estimates 20 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

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