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#4

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $10,467 - $13,740
Original MSRP: $24,315 - $31,440
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2009 Chevrolet Equinox Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

We found the Equinox offers decent ride quality, responsive handling, with brakes that are easy to modulate. The Sport rides more firmly but reacts quicker and more precisely.Test drivers find that the 2009 Equinox accelerates quite well, though they complain about steering and handling -- especially when comparing the Equinox to the best SUVs in its class.

  • "The 2009 Chevy Equinox's fully independent suspension setup offers a satisfying balance between ride comfort and competent handling. It dispatches bumps and surface irregularities with ease, and long trips are especially relaxing thanks to its quiet, well-insulated cabin." -- Edmunds
  • "The handsome 2008 Chevrolet Equinox midsize SUV drives much like a high, roomy, full-size sedan." -- MSN
  • "On the road, the Equinox Sport shines. The ride is firm but compliant, and handling is better than I thought I'd ever see in an Equinox." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "We found the Equinox offers decent ride quality, responsive handling, with brakes that are easy to modulate. The Sport rides more firmly but reacts quicker and more precisely." -- New Car Test Drive

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with a 3.4-liter V6 engine that makes 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The new Sport model gets a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 264 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. The engine choices are noteworthy because many competitors in the compact SUV class do not even offer a V6 option -- let alone two.

  • "Put a heavy foot on the pedal and the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox takes it as a command, not a suggestion. While pulling away from a stop or negotiating slower traffic on a two-lane road, the 3.4-liter V6 always delivers plenty of power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With a 0-60 time of 8.7 seconds, even the smaller V6 provides respectable performance that should please most owners. According to Chevrolet, the 3.6 will do the same sprint in less than 7 ticks, an impressive time for any SUV." -- Edmunds
  • "Only Sport models have been made available for us to test. The 3.6-liter V6 engine in these versions provides good power delivery from a stop and for highway passing and merging." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers are not impressed with the Equinox's steering, and offer mixed assessments on the suspension.

  • "It would seem logical that the tradeoff for the Equinox Sport's stiff ride would be good handling, but that's not the case here. Steering feel is poor, even for an SUV, and body lean in turns is not well controlled. The wide turning circle hurts close-quarters maneuvering." -- Consumer Guide
  • "A soft suspension...smooths out rough roads but causes pronounced body lean in curves if you're driving hard. However, handling is good during routine driving." -- MSN
  • "For those drivers who may be more enthusiastic, one less-than-appealing aspect of the driving experience is the electric power steering system of the LS, LT and LTZ trims, which offers little feedback and an unnatural feel." -- Kelley Blue Book

Next Steps: 2009 Chevrolet Equinox

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