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2015 Chevrolet Equinox: Used Car Review

Editor’s note: You may also want to read Autotrader’s 2010 – 2013, 2016 or 2017 Chevrolet Equinox review.

 

The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox is a car-based compact crossover SUV that slots in between the smaller Trax and the larger, almost full-size Traverse. The 5-passenger Equinox is General Motors’ best-selling crossover SUV, with an impressive list of standard equipment for the price. It offers a full complement of safety gear, including six airbags, OnStar crash notification, anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control. The Equinox features a stylish interior, with ice-blue ambient lighting and upgraded materials. A segment-unique feature is its sliding rear seat, which can be moved fore and aft to apportion rear-passenger and cargo space as desired. The rear seat is split 60/40 and when folded flat ups the maximum cargo space to 63.7 cu ft. Available on LT and LTZ models is the excellent Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with Bluetooth, voice control and a 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen. New for 2015 is OnStar 4G LTE with a standard built-in Wi-Fi hot spot in the cabin for up to seven devices.

The Equinox is a good choice for families looking for a reasonably priced, roomy and well-equipped 5-passenger crossover SUV with up-to-date infotainment and safety gear. See the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox models for sale near you

What We Like

OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hot spot; roomy back seat; good fuel economy with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder; attractive interior design and materials; nicely weighted steering

What We Don’t

Hard seat cushions; harsh ride impacts; thick roof pillars create blind spots

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The base engine is a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with an impressive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway for front-wheel-drive models and 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy for all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions. Optional on LT and LTZ trims is a very responsive 301-hp 3.6-liter V6 that the EPA rates at 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy for front-wheel-drive versions and 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy for AWD models. Some versions of the 4-cylinder engine are flex-fuel rated, meaning they can use unleaded regular gasoline, E85 ethanol or a combination of the two fuels. Flex-fuel models have a yellow fuel cap. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines.

Notable Features & Options

The Equinox is available in the base LS, midlevel LT and premium LTZ trims.

Typical LS fare includes air conditioning, cruise control, cloth seats, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, the OnStar communications system, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA stereo with SiriusXM, iPod support and USB ports, a trip computer, a rear wiper/washer, auto headlamps, a power driver’s seat, 17-in alloy wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a split folding and sliding rear seat, an outside-temperature display and power doors, windows and mirrors.

Upgrading to the LT nabs standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with Siri Eyes Free and text-message support, hands-free voice control and Pandora and Stitcher connectivity. More importantly, it can be upgraded with popular options not available on the LS, including a V6 engine, a power front passenger seat, a programmable power lift gate, auto air conditioning, a backup camera, a power moonroof, a navigation system, a universal home remote, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-speaker Pioneer premium DVD audio system, fog lamps, a backup camera, a rear park-assist system, leather seating, heated front seats and 18-in alloy wheels.

Moving up to the LTZ typically scores standard heated leather seats with memory, a power front passenger seat, a universal home remote, steering-wheel audio controls, auto air conditioning, a programmable power lift gate, a backup camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lamps, a premium audio system, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, rear park assist and chrome-clad wheels. 19-in wheels are optional.

Pricing

As long as there are young families with child safety seats, pets, sports gear and all of the related trappings, compact and midsize SUVs and crossovers will be in demand. The 2015 Equinox didn’t suffer from the spate of safety recalls that touched many other GM models. To get a good idea of the Chevrolet Equinox’s price range, we suggest checking out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following safety recall for the 2015 Equinox:

In a small number of 2015 models, the side-impact airbag inflator may rupture, possibly resulting in the side airbags not inflating properly and sending metal fragments into interior occupants. An improperly inflated side airbag may increase the risk of injury or death in a crash.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2015 Equinox a rating of four stars overall, with four stars for front impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.

The 2015 Equinox was an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. The IIHS gave the Equinox Good ratings for small- and moderate-overlap frontal and side impacts, roof strength, and head-restraint and seat performance.

General Motors covered the 2015 Equinox with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Chevrolet certified pre-owned SUVs must be 5 years old or less and have no more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. Each Equinox undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the original transferable 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Also included is a new 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan and roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Dodge Journey — Not as polished or roomy as the Equinox, the Dodge Journey can carry up to seven passengers as long as the rearmost pair is junior-size. The Journey excels in offering hidden storage compartments, with one under the front passenger seat cushion and two under the rear floor. Engine choices include a 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6.

2015 Ford Escape — The Escape is a top seller among 5-passenger compact crossovers and offers unique features such as MyFord Touch with an 8-in touchscreen and a hands-free lift gate that operates with a simple wave of the foot under the bumper. Engine choices include a 165-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder as well as 178-hp 1.6-liter and 231-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo fours.

Autotrader’s Advice

Even though the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox is bigger and heavier than most of its compact-crossover competition, it’s one of the better-handling examples out there. It’s stable on the highway, and the precise steering and lack of body lean in corners help it perform admirably on curvy roads. The ride, however, may be stiffer than some prefer, with bumps and ruts in the road intruding into the otherwise very quiet cabin.

Look for an Equinox LT or LTZ with a nice level of options, such as heated seats, a power driver’s seat, a backup camera and navigation. The premium-level seats have a more comfortable shape, and leather seat trim holds up better than cloth. The peppy, fuel-efficient base 4-cylinder is all that most buyers will need, but the 301-hp V6 is entertaining to drive if you don’t mind more frequent fuel stops. Unless you live in the mountains, front-wheel drive offers sufficient winter-weather traction. Go for a Chevrolet-certified used car when available and check with the dealer to make sure that any applicable safety recall repairs have been performed. 

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