The Equinox splits the difference between small SUVs and midsized models. While nice and roomy inside, it's less efficient than other five-passenger SUVs, but burns as much gas as larger, seven-passenger models.
The 3.6-liter engine supplies quick acceleration times at the test track, but feels sluggish in routine driving with its unrefined and slow-shifting six-speed automatic transmission doing it no favors. At 18 mpg overall, fuel economy from the V6 falls short. Four-cylinder models have an overworked 2.4-liter engine, which returns 21 mpg. Handling and ride are decent, but ordinary.
The roomy rear seat and easy access make this package practical though. The interior looks snazzy on the surface, although it's constructed of cheap-feeling materials. The top-trim LTZ includes standard electronic safety features like forward-collision and lane-departure warnings, which are unusual for this class. But it also lacks some common amenities you'd expect for the price, such as push-button ignition and dual-zone climate control.