2013 Chevrolet Equinox Expert Review

3.7 Overall Score
Performance 3.4Comfort 4.0Styling 3.9Value 3.6

Editor's Overview

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox competes against compact crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, but its larger size makes the Chevy feel more substantial. The Equinox trails others in cargo capacity, but offers more passenger space, a quiet and compliant ride, and commendable towing capacity with the optional V6 engine.

You'll Like The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox If...

If you want a small-but-not-too-small SUV with plenty of passenger space, a comfortable ride and good fuel economy, consider the 2013 Chevy Equinox. Those who need to tow will appreciate the 3,500-pound pull rating on V6 models.

You May Not Like The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox If...

The Equinox is not available with three rows of seats, so if you need to carry more than 5 people, look to Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, or the Equinox’s bigger brother, the Traverse. Need to make the most of cargo space? Check out the Honda CR-V or Mitsubishi Outlander.

What's New

The V6 option grows from 3.0 liters to 3.6 and now makes a robust 301 horsepower. Passenger seats can be had with 8-way power adjustment. Other options include a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, universal garage door opener, and safety system with collision-warning and lane-departure alerts.

Interior Features

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox has a comfortable and versatile cabin, but despite the boxy design, it does not make the best use of space. The Honda CR-V, for example, is nearly 10 inches shorter in length yet has almost 6 additional cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat. Where the Equinox does have an edge is in passenger comfort, especially in the rear, where the bench seat can move several inches fore and aft to create more legroom. Up front, driver and passenger benefit from generous-sized seats. Dash materials and the instrument cluster are attractive, especially on models with a 7-inch color screen and 2-tone surfaces.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Equinox has a good blend of soft curves at its edges to balance the vehicle’s rectangular shape. A long hood further helps even out the Chevy’s proportions. It all works to give the Equinox an athletic but not overly tough appearance. Other standout aesthetics include the signature 2-bar grille, “floating” foglight bezels and creased fender flares. Even base LS models are equipped with big 17-inch wheels, and top-of-the-line LTZ versions ride on 19-inch wheels.

Driving Impressions

If the 2013 Chevy Equinox has an area where it shines, it’s the SUV's comfortable and quiet ride. In this regard, the Equinox feels like a more expensive car. Models with the 4-cylinder engine have good fuel economy, but sacrifice power and thus performance for those precious mpgs. Buyers opting for the new, larger V6 engine will be rewarded with good off-the-line acceleration and plenty of power for passing, which was not a strong point in the outgoing version. The standard 6-speed automatic transmission connected to both engines is smooth. The Equinox does not feel at home in the twisties, as its suspension favors comfort over corner carving. The driver’s seat and tilt/telescoping steering wheel have multiple adjustments to fit a variety of driver sizes.

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Chevy Equinox SUV has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $24,500 for a base LS model. A loaded Equinox LTZ with V6, all-wheel drive and options can reach over $37,000. At its base price, the 2013 Equinox is a bit higher than competitors like the Honda CR-V, Kia Sorento and Mitsubishi Outlander. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what other buyers in your area are paying for the Equinox. Five-year resale value for the Chevy Equinox is expected to be strong.

Notable Equipment

All 2013 Equinox models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission, cruise control, and GM’s OnStar service with a 6-month trial subscription. Base LS models have an AM/FM/CD/satellite radio with auxiliary jack. All other trims come with touch-screen stereo system.

Notable Options

Option up an Equinox, and you’ll get a mainstream SUV that feels more like a luxury liner. Among the goods you can add are a V6 engine, all-wheel-drive (AWD), leather seats, dual-screen DVD entertainment system for rear passengers, touch-screen navigation system, collision alert and lane-departure warning, and heated seats. Chevy’s MyLink telematics system offers a host of information and entertainment options like Bluetooth audio streaming and the ability to implement functions using your voice.

Favorite Features

Optional on 2LT models and standard in the top-line LTZ trim, this saves the hassle of manually opening the rear hatch door, and gives you the ability to adjust its opening height.

GM went to great lengths to make the Equinox quiet by using specially insulated and sound-absorbing materials. The result is a much more serene cruising experience.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine that makes an adequate 182 horsepower. New this model year is a more impressive V6 that puts out 301 horsepower, just what was needed to move this nearly 4,000-pound vehicle. Both engines are connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, with all-wheel-drive as an option for both engines. The 4-cylinder model can tow a maximum of 1,500 pounds, while the V6 can pull 3,500 pounds.

2.4-liter inline-4
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg (FWD), 20/29 mpg (AWD)

3.6-liter V6
301 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
272 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (FWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

The 2013 Equinox is Chevrolet’s torchbearer in the sizzling compact crossover market that pits it against rivals like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. But the Equinox stretches the boundaries of the term “compact,” as it is noticeably bigger than its rivals. That size difference affords more room for passengers in the second row seat and a larger presence on the road. The 2013 Equinox does not offer a 3rd-row seat, but can be had with a V6 that has thankfully grown bigger and stronger for this model year. Those seeking the best fuel economy will want to look at models equipped with the base 4-cylinder. What that engine may lack in gusto, it makes up for in fuel economy with an EPA rating of up to 32 mpg.

Video Reviews

Here's the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox Review on Everyman Driver
2013 Chevrolet Equinox AWD Drive & Review
2013 Chevrolet Equinox LT | In-depth Video Walkaround | Sherwood Park Chevrolet
MVS - 2013 Chevrolet Equinox LT

Owner Reviews

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