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2006 Chevrolet Equinox Sport Utility Crossover

4dr AWD LS

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 23 MPG Highway

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  • $22,900 original MSRP
Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Sport Utility Crossover

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2006 Chevrolet Equinox

Source: New Car Test Drive

 


Overview
The Chevy Equinox is Chevrolet's answer to the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. It's bigger than each of them (including the all-new 2006 RAV4). Equinox is big enough that its dimensions blur the line between compact and midsize sport utilities. It's nearly 14 inches longer than the Ford Escape and just three inches shorter than a Chevy TrailBlazer.

As a result, the Equinox is roomier than other compact SUVs, and has features that enhance its versatility. The back seats are mounted on tracks and slide fore and aft. Slide forward and you have more cargo space. Slide the seats rearward for more rear legroom. The rear seatbacks also recline for additional comfort. Fold the rear seats down, then fold down the front passenger seatback down, and you can load eight-foot objects inside. However, Equinox only seats five because it does not offer a hopelessly cramped third row as the new RAV4 does.

It long wheelbase gives the Equinox good stability and ride quality. Like the CR-V, RAV4, and Escape, Equinox is based on a passenger car design.

Equinox was launched as a 2005 model so there aren't any major changes for 2006. However, the 2006 models do come standard with anti-lock brakes, cruise control, and other features, which wasn't the case last year. Also, interior changes have been made for 2006 to improve the appearance and function of the cabin. Our biggest complaints with the 2005 models had to do with interior materials.


Model Lineup
The 2006 Chevy Equinox comes in two trim levels, the basic LS and the better-appointed LT. Both are available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Equinox comes standard with a 3.4-liter V6 and five-speed automatic transmission. The 2006 Equinox LS packs more standard equipment than last year, and the LT level has been split into two sub-levels called LT1 and LT2.

Equinox LS FWD ($21,755) and AWD ($23,505) come with air conditioning; cruise control; cloth upholstery; a fold-flat front passenger seat; a Multi-Flex 60/40 split rear bench seat that folds, slides, and reclines; six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio; and power windows, mirrors, and locks with remote keyless entry. Bumpers are body-color for 2006. LS FWD comes standard with traction control.

LT1 FWD ($23,050) and AWD ($24,675) add fog lights, carpeted floor mats, deep tinted glass, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Mirrors, door handles, and roof-rack side rails are body-color rather than charcoal or black. Sound system options expand considerably at the LT1 level, and include a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 unit with RDS ($135); a similar unit incorporating a six-CD changer ($395); and digital audio with XM Satellite Radio ($325). Also available: a tilt-and-slide sunroof ($595) and luggage rack cross-bars ($95).

LT2 FWD ($24,180) and AWD ($25,805) add an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with an eight-point compass and outside temperature display, leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio controls, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. In addition to the LT1 options, LT2 buyers can choose leather seating (at no cost), heated seats ($250) with cloth or leather, and a Pioneer seven-speaker sound system with amplifier and subwoofer ($295).

Options for all models include a towing package ($350), engine-block heater ($35), and OnStar.

Safety features include anti-lock brakes, now standard on all models. Side-impact and head-curtain airbags are optional ($395) offering torso protection and head protection in the event of a side impact or rollover. OnStar is an excellent safety feature as its operators will dispatch rescue crews to the scene should your airbags deploy and you fail to respond to their calls.

       

Walkaround
The Chevrolet Equinox looks the part of a Chevy truck from the front, with its requisite single-bar grille sporting a large gold Chevrolet bow-tie emblem. But its side-view shape is quite a bit different from the rest of the family, and we like it.

The roof pillars and the sheetmetal above the windows but below the roof seem to be extra-thick, imparting a feeling of extra solidity and strength, important for a truck made on a car platform. When you shut the doors, the sound is more like a the muted mating of plastic than the hollow clang of sheetmetal. It's a sound that no other Chevrolet truck makes.

The Equinox look solidly planted on its wheels. Its bigger size is evident everywhere. The doors open wide for easy entry and exit, and the rear gate goes up and out of the way, allowing you to stand fully upright for easy loading of groceries, camping equipment, dogs.

Equinox is based on a car-type platform, with unit-body construction rather than body on frame for better ride and handling.

 

Interior Features
Inside, where the people live, work and ride, is where the Chevy Equinox shines when compared to some of its competitors. Up front, Equinox carries flexible net storage pockets on both sides of the center tunnel. The center console/armrest has a small storage cubby and a coin holder for toll money. Dual cupholders pop out of the end of it, but they're flimsy and get in the way of the handbrake. The armrest flips up, providing better access to an open floor console that's a perfect place for a purse, briefcase or tote bag. The floor-mounted cupholder works well, while slots farther to the rear holds CDs angled forward for easy selection.

The Equinox cabin is a clean and functional design, with low-gloss nickel-plate trim on the console and control panel, a scheme that matched well with the light gray of our test Equinox LT2's leather upholstery. Improvements for '06 include new knobs for climate control (and a claim of improved performance), and better integration of the passenger-side airbag cover. Down on the console, the T-handle shifter on the '05 models has given way to a more conventional shift lever for '06. Seat heaters are now available with cloth as well as leather seats, and the seat-heating controls of been re-located to the instrument panel.

The rear seat rides on a track that allows it to slide back and forth by up to eight inches, to bring kids or briefcases closer to the front, or to provide extra legroom for tall second-row passengers. With both front and rear seats in the full rearward positions, there's more rear-passenger legroom in the Equinox than you'll found in many larger SUVs: a full 42 inches. And behind the seat there's still plenty of room for your stuff. GM calls this innovative feature the Multi-Flex rear seat. Rear passengers also enjoy a 12-volt power outlet and dual slide-out cupholders. Rear head restraints have been down-sized slightly for '06, improving rearward visibility for the driver.

GM's designers have used the space above the wheel wells to a handy cargo storage system. A lightweight reversible panel slides into slots on the Equinox's wheel wells at three different heights. Carpeted on one side and plastic on the other, the panel can serve as shelf, cargo cover or even a picnic or tailgating table. The tops of the wheel wells contain storage bins for small items. And there are several tie-downs and hooks on the panel from which to hang grocery bags. However, this system is being eliminated during the 2006 model year to increase cargo capacity.

XM Satellite Radio is a great feature when traveling cross country because the stations don't change. It's nice to have around town for listening to music, 24-hour news broadcasts (Fox, CNN), sports (NASCAR), talk radio, and comedy.

Equinox doesn't offer a navigation system, but OnStar can can help and doesn't even need to be programmed. Simply press the blue button and a human operator responds, to provide directions and other assistance. OnStar always knows the location of your vehicle. The operators will notify authorities of your location if your airbag goes off and you do not respond to their calls. Or you can press the emergency button and they'll send out the troops. They can unlock your doors if you lock your keys inside. They can direct you to the nearest gas station or help find a good restaurant or motel. If your vehicle is stolen, OnStar can pinpoint its location and direct the authorities to apprehend and recover.

 

Driving Impressions
The Chevy Equinox is among the few compact sport utilities that offers a V6 engine. It delivers good acceleration and it's smooth enough. EPA fuel economy estimates are 19/24 mpg city/highway for front-drive models and 18/23 for the AWD version. The 3.4-liter V6 is an old overhead-valve design that lacks modern features such as variable valve timing and variable-length intake runners. So it feels strained when pushed at high rpm. It delivers 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque.

The V6 engine is aided considerably by the five-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet says the Equinox can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds, which should be adequate performance for most families. And while it may not excel at acceleration, Equinox is rated to pull a 3500-pound trailer.

Its long wheelbase and 3600-pound heft give the Equinox a decent ride, making it a suitable companion for long trips. Its handling is responsive and it's easy to modulate the brakes for smooth stops.

The Equinox has good road feel in highway driving, yet the driver may notice that steering effort is very low at low speeds for easier maneuvering in tight parking lots. The steering ratio is variable, and the Equinox uses electric, rather than hydraulic, power steering. An electronic control unit programmed for a variety of performance characteristics regulates an electric motor mounted adjacent to the steering column, providing the right amount of assist for a given driving situation. We don't think the average driver will feel the difference between this system and more conventional hydraulics, and that's a good thing. Unlike a hydraulic servo, the electric booster doesn't use engine power, resulting in slightly better fuel economy.

In AWD guise, Equinox still sends power to the front wheels in dry-road conditions, automatically transferring power to the rear wheels only if the front wheels slip. The system is designed primarily for improved wet-pavement performance but is rugged enough for some light off-road duty.

 

Summary
The Chevy Equinox is larger than other compact SUVs. Its flexible interior design provides room for full-size people and their gear, featuring a sliding second-row seat. It comes standard with a V6 and offers a good value.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Jim McCraw is based in the Detroit area.

 

Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Chevrolet Equinox LS FWD ($21,755); LS AWD ($23,505); LT1 FWD ($23,050) LT1 AWD ($24,675); LT2 FWD ($24,180); LT2 AWD ($25,805)
Engines: 185-hp 3.4-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): ABS, traction control, dual-stage front airbags, front seat belt pre-tensioners, LATCH system child seat anchors
Safety equipment (optional): side-impact and head-curtain airbags
Basic warranty: 3 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in: Ingersoll, Ontario

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Chevrolet Equinox LT2 FWD ($24,180)
Standard equipment: air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control, daytime running lamps, power windows, automatic door locks, ABS, traction control, power mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, 6-way power driver's seat w/manual lumbar and map pocket, auto-dimming inside mirror w/temp and compass, rear washer/wiper, fog lamps, luggage rack side rails, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system, sliding rear seat, rear cargo panel system, P235/60R17 on 17-inch alloy wheels
Options as tested (MSRP): leather seating surfaces (NC); heated front seats ($250); sunroof ($595); 6-CD changer ($395); 7-speaker Pioneer premium sound system w/subwoofer and amp ($295); XM Satellite Radio ($325) includes 3-month trial subscription; OnStar ($695); towing package ($350)
Destination charge: 590
Gas guzzler tax:  
Price as tested (MSRP): 27675
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.4-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 185 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 210 @ 3800
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 19/24
Wheelbase: 112.5
Length/width/height: 188.8/71.4/67.0
Track, f/r: 61.6/61.8
Turning circle: 41.8
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 40.9/51.1/41.2
Head/hip/leg room, m:  
Head/hip/leg room, r: 40.1/51.4/40.2
Trunk volume: 68.6
Payload: 1290
Towing capacity: 3500
Suspension, f: independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs
Suspension, r: independent, one trailing link and three lateral links per side, coil springs
Ground clearance: 7.9
Curb weight: 3660
Tires: P235/60R17
Brakes, f/r: disc/drum with ABS
Fuel capacity: 17

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Miles

Months

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Sport Utility Crossover

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