Jan M., Grand Rapids, Mich.

The advantages of the 3.0-liter V-6 available on the Equinox are in performance areas. With 264 horsepower compared with 182 hp for the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, the V-6 delivers stronger acceleration and hill-climbing ability. With its greater torque — 222 pounds-feet versus 172 pounds-feet in the four-cylinder — the V-6 boosts the Equinox’s maximum towing capacity to 3,500 pounds; the four-cylinder can tow only 1,500 pounds.

2011 Chevrolet Equinox

The disadvantages of the optional V-6 are economic. It adds $1,500 to the price of the Equinox, and it will cost more to feed at the pump, whether you use gas or E85. With the V-6, the EPA fuel economy estimates for gasoline are 17/24 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 16/22 mpg with all-wheel drive. Because ethanol has about 25 percent less energy content, the EPA ratings for E85 drop to 12/18 mpg with front drive and 12/17 with all-wheel drive.

The EPA estimates for the four-cylinder are 22/32 mpg city/highway with front drive and 20/29 with all-wheel drive. The four-cylinder is not a flexible-fuel engine, so it is not designed to run on E85.

Another potential disadvantage of the V-6 is that if gas prices stay at current levels or continue to climb, that will hurt the resale value compared with a four-cylinder Equinox.

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Answered by Rick Popely on May 12, 2011 in Chevrolet , Chevrolet Equinox , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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