Reader Review of the Week: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox

Reader Review

We’ve talked about the apparent disparity between the Chevrolet Equinox’s stated gas mileage and its real-world returns. “On the road” from Union Grove, Wis., is noticing the same thing in the new 2012 Equinox. The reader does a lot of highway driving, but instead of seeing something closer to the stated 32 mpg rating, “On the road” is getting 26 mpg. Continue reading the full review below. Once you’re done, write a review about your own car here.

2012 Chevrolet Equinox
“I just bought this 2012 1LT front-wheel-drive Equinox. It’s a nice car overall, but with the four-cylinder it’s underpowered. If you’re looking at buying this car, I would strongly recommend getting the V-6. I put on 33,000 miles on an average year; those who really drive, or travel, will understand... I have put 2,300 miles on this thing in less than one month. Lots of highway miles.

“The best mileage I have gotten is with the cruise control and ‘Eco’ feature on; that boosts mileage to 26 mpg. The trouble is the I4 can’t hold 65 mph up highway inclines without downshifting a lot. For those who know, this means loss of gas mileage. I traded in my 2009 Pontiac Vibe, which had a manual transmission and got 33 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg driving the car like you meant it. With this Equinox and the I4, plan to drive like the grandma causing the traffic jam.”

By Colin Bird | December 16, 2011 | Comments (16)



If you are here to help consumers make educated buying decisions then instead of harping on the same thing over and over again why not identify other vehicles that don't live up to their rating e.g. Hyundai Elantra.

Amuro Ray


Hey Dr. Expert, did you miss the title / purpose of this post? It's called reader's review - written by owner!

Why can't the owner of Equinox write an honest review of his, due to his ownership and driving experience of a vehicle, that he purchased due to whatever it is being advertised?

And won't it be wrong if he's going to write a review toward a vehicle - Elantra as you've suggested - that he doesn't own, or drive, pretty much at all? How can that be "helping" consumers? By writing make-up reviews just because of whatever he can think of, kinda like you?

He did mention his experiences with the Vibe, didn't he? Something that he drove and own for quite a duration?

Why are you judging his experiences harshly? Do you own an Equinox? Do you own a Vibe? Do you own an Elantra? If so, you can write and submit to kickingtires too, about your personal experiences. What entitlement do you have for evaluating someone else's experiences - is it because you really think that you're Dr. Expert? Or is it of you beliefs of free speech?

If your criticism is towards CB, then why can't CB report from what had found earlier, and now an owner is also stating the same observation? This piece is about Equinox, not Elantra, in case if you miss the review, you know.

Who the heck do you think you are? Gees.


@Amuro Ray,

Thanks! Also, there is yet to be substantiated evidence that the Elantra does not meet its ratings.


From a guy that owns an Elantra I can tell you from experience it doesn't come anywhere close to 40 MPG during hwy use. Best I've done so far is 34. I'm not happy with the misleading numbers, makes one wonder how they got 'em.


How 'bou that! I'll remember your thesis here when I read your future comments. Let's see if you can practice what you preach. Probably not...



I have had my 2012 Equinox for about 3 weeks. When i first started driving it i was averaging 23 mpg, now its worse at 22 mpg. I have done tons of hwy driving and have seen no improvement what so ever, even with "eco". I too was a pontiac vibe owner until my car was totaled, and my 4 cylinder vibe was more of a car than this equinox is. It cant maintain its acceleration when climbing even small hills, or even just coasting down a hill. I loved it when i test drove it, but i absolutely hate it now. It makes me sick to think GM can get away with feeding consumers a line of bullsh** when it came to gas averages for this vehicle.


No one should think that you are going to get the rated fuel mileage that is on the window sticker. The way they get that number is at 80km/hr at perfect conditions, flat ground and nothing on.


Mileage of 26 is more than sufficient for me because i like very much this 26. The trouble is the I4 can’t hold 65 mph up highway inclines without downshifting a lot. For those who know, this means loss of gas mileage. But this reason give me a sorrow effect. very bad


I recently purchased a 2012 Equinox, 4 cyl. FWD. I carefully researched the claims that it didnt live up to the MPG ratings, and test drove the car carefully noting the indicated MPG on the trip computer.

My experience with the car since purchase is that it actually comes quite close to the EPA ratings. I average 23-24 in around town mixed driving. On the highway, I am getting 28-30. On a 200 mile trip from Dayton to Cleveland, AC on, cruise set at 70 mph, ECO engaged, it did a best of 30.5 actual (30.6 by the computer). Return trip was 28.5 mpg. And the car only has 1000 miles on it so far. I'm happy.


I bought a 2012 Equinox exactly one week ago. Having read the mpg and power reviews of the 4 cylinder everywhere, I was prepared for the issues. I drove off the dealer lot which was on a service road of a freeway. There was only 1 traffic light before getting on the freeway to drive the car home. It was 11pm at night with very little to no traffic and some slight inclines on my 35 mile journey to bring the car home from the dealership. I live 1 mile from the freeway exit I would need to take to get to my driveway and would experience 1 traffic light upon exiting, which was a right on red so it was a quick stop, then I had about 1 mile through the neighborhood to drive to get to my driveway. I Reset the mpg computer before driving off the dealer lot since it had idled a lot on test drives and while we set up my bluetooth phone, etc. so the computer said 19.5 average mpg. With the computer reset, I left the lot, stopped at one traffic light, then got on the freeway. I didn't set the cruise right away as I was getting used to the new car and a bit nervous in it. On the journey home there is one steeper incline on the highway...oh...I had made sure the eco button was on before I left the car lot. I did notice the car needing to downshift for power up the incline, but it kept it's speed so that was fine with be expected in a 4 cylinder that doesn't have a turbocharger and does have a 6 speed transmission. I missed my exit for the next freeway so I got off at next exit and made a u-turn and got back on the freeway, so there was some harder acceleration there. I continued on my journey and now about 5 miles in on the correct highway, I set the cruise at 70 mph and again confirmed that the eco mode is on noticing the eco symbol in the left gauge box. I did reduce speed and discontinue cruise control use as freeways merged and got a bit busier as I needed to change lanes and exit one freeway onto another, etc. I watched the mpg computer and by the time I got to my exit, it was showing 32.9 mpg with mixed cruise control use and keeping my speed around 70, maybe 60 to 65 at times during merges, etc. Once I pulled into my driveway, the computer now said 32.5 mpg so the 1 mile drive through the neighborhood from the freeway exit dropped mpg a bit. There are not huge mountain inclines where I live, but some modest ones for the most part where freeways go over ground level roads and back down again. I live in Dallas, TX which for the most part is flat, but not completely. I was pleased to see that the car got better than the 32 mpg rating and feel that for most "interstate" type trips the car will yield 32 mpg for highway use with eco on and cruise on without a problem. The issue is that if you end up in stop and go traffic, or city use for the car, your mpg will drop significantly because city mpg for this car is quite a bit lower than highway mpg. Reviews show 21 mpg. Still on the same take of regular fuel...I have now driven the car about 110 miles this week and about 50 of it was highway and the other 60 is very slow local driving through neighborhoods between 25 and 35 mph with stop signs and occasionally having to wait for traffic to clear. I am working on a house in my neighborhood and have been making local trips to and from Lowe's with the car which is just down a local street with several stop signs and 1 traffic light. Having used between 3/8 and half the tank (per gas gauge) the average mpg is now showing 22.9 mpg per the computer for this tank so far. Clearly, the city mpg rating must be higher than what the car gets for only stop and go low speed city use. I will reset the mpg computer when I refill the tank and since most of my typical driving is stop and go city use as described, we'll see what I average with just city use for the vehicle. My previous car was a 2007 Nissan Murano with a 3.5 liter V6 and continuously variable transmission. A very smooth acceleration car, but I would have to gas it on even slight inclines on the highway. It provided 16.9 mpg around town and on a cross country trip from Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod to Dallas, TX, I averaged 24 mpg, very light to no stop and go traffic on the freeways on that trip. Some, but very minor around town driving. The air conditioner was in use for about 95% of the trip.

I averaged 17 to 19 mpg over the time I owned the Murano driving mostly city and occasional highway with that one trip being the only major trip I ever used the car for. Otherwise, all other use was within the metro area of the city. The car was totaled in an accident and I wanted a replacement that would get better mpg for my local use so I chose the Equinox over the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rouge due to a combination of low ride and engine noise, comfort, features, and interior finish out. The Equinox was by far the nicest. The CRV a close second, but wind, road, and engine noise were substantially louder and ride was busier and more small car like. The rogue was the smallest drive like and the noisiest and interior styling and cargo space notches below the other two in consideration. I am hoping to average around 23 mpg with the Equinox, but will be ok with 22 mpg. Won't be as happy if I get 21 mpg around town, but still will be about 4 mpg better than what I was getting for the most part with the Murano. Yes, the engine is buzzier than a six, but to be expected in a 4. It was peppy to take off though when I had to cross a six lane busy street and hurry because I just had an opening big enough to get across quickly.

Nancy Reese

I recently went to the local Chevrolet dealer & test drove an Equinox. Fully in tensing to buy one I was highly disappointed in the Riverside seating. The bucket arms wrapped around my very small frame so tight I was very uncomfortable. Letting the salesperson know how dissatisfied I was I went to a different manufacter and purchased another brand crossover.
After having purchased many Chevrolets, something needs to be done to the Equinox to bring me back to Chevrolet next purchase in 5 years.

Dave Sowers

I am experiencing same mpg of around 26 with 90% at 70mph on interstate.Dealer checked all codes and said everything checked out.Even put K & N air filter in it to try and help since they have helped my previous cars. No such luck. Am looking now at Mazda CX-5 that is promoting 35mpg. If I can't at least average 30 with the Equinox, it has to go.


Recently purchased a used 2010 model with 25k miles on it. First owner had 24.5 mpg average on the computer since purchase. He claimed mostly in city driving in a suburban area. I just was on a 7 hr trip on the highway from montreal to nyc (over the adirondacks). The 7hr average was 30.2 mpg including 3-4 short detours for gas, coffee etc. i averaged 28mpg going on the mountain, and must have averaged around 32 to get an average of 30.2.

I was cruising mostly at 70 mph with the eco button on. Yes, the car is heavy, especially uphill. i cant drive it like my sporty sedan.

I'll test again in a few days when i drive back.


In and around the NYC, I got 23mpg. On the way back, I set the cruise to 75 mph, which resulted in 27.5 average mpg.


I purchased my 2012 Equinox in May of 2012 was very interested in the fuel mpg even though I realize that is under what they consider perfect driving conditions and fuel you use. I have a short drive to work approx 10 miles no traffic at about 50 mph with eco button on and I can't get this vehicle to get better than 20 mpg avg even with top fuel. Took it into dealer last week to make sure something was not wrong and they say all checked out fine except to 2 struts they had to replace with 6500 miles on it? Explained to them drastic decrease in fuel milage and they told me use best gas which I am so I think this is just the way it is... I would have def bought something different if I knew this was the case. I bought it due to what they claim would be approx milage - Not even close


Amuro Ray-- You spoke loud and clear on your post. Kudo's !

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