Is The Chevy Equinox AWD or FWD? All You Need to Know

Is the Chevy Equinox AWD or FWD?”, is an important question that you might have if you’re thinking of buying this car. Many car enthusiasts that consider purchasing this car are confused about the traction of the car.

Chevy Equinox AWD

If you’re one of these car lovers, then you have all that you need in this guide. We have all you need to know about the Equinox and whether it uses all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, so let’s take a closer look. 

Does Chevy Equinox Use AWD or FWD? 

Chevy Equinox uses AWD and FWD, although this depends on the year and trim. The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with front-wheel drive only, but all-wheel drive is available on all the trims. All the Equinox vehicles from 2005 onwards use an all-wheel drive in the LS trims and above.

The Equinox does not have an all-wheel drive on the standard models, but it comes as an available option. If you want an all-wheel drive, you should get the LT, LS, RS, and Premier, so you can switch between the two tractions. There is no all-wheel drive on the L trim, which is the base. Also, keep in mind that the AWD is only part-time, and you will have to turn it off after use.

Does Chevy Equinox Use Four-Wheel-Drive? 

Yes, Chevy Equinox uses four-wheel drive. It is equipped with L4 driving modes, which means low-speed 4-wheel drive. While you cannot use this under normal driving conditions, once the surface condition changes, you can engage L4 to improve traction. The low-speed gear will transfer more power to all four wheels

Chevrolet Equinox SUV

The L4 driving mode is very useful when you’re driving on slippery, rough or muddy roads or when towing on steep inclines. There is also the L2 which is low-speed 2-wheel drive, which can also transfer power to the two wheels. The driving mode will also be suitable for rough surface conditions. 

If you are using the four-wheel drive on an Equinox that was equipped with an all-wheel drive, keep in mind that L4 will disconnect the AWD feature. The L4 gear will also power all four wheels. Then, when you turn the four-wheel drive off, you can use the all-wheel drive or the front-wheel drive. 

Low-speed gears are meant to be at slow speeds when you’re going on wet or slippery surface conditions. Also, with the 1,500 pounds towing capacity, you can activate L4 and L2 and safely tow a heavy load. Both the L2 and L4 driving modes, which are two-wheel and four-wheel drive, can be used to improve traction when driving. 

How Do You Activate All-Wheel Drive On a Chevrolet Equinox? 

You activate all-wheel drive on a Chevrolet Equinox by simply pressing the AWD button. This moves from front-wheel drive to part-time all-wheel drive. The AWD button is located just in front of the shifter. When you don’t need the all-wheel drive, then you should press the AWD button again. 

Activating All Wheel in Car

The all-wheel drive has a light that will appear on the driver’s display when it turns on. Then when it turns off, this shows that the AWD system has been disengaged. The Equinox has two main types of all-wheel drive, which are the part-time and full-time systems. So, when it’s not using the all-wheel drive, it will use the front-wheel drive as a default.

You can consider driving in all-wheel drive when the roads are icy, or the temperature has reduced. If you are planning to drive on uneven surfaces like off-road terrain, then the all-wheel drive will also provide your wheels with more traction as you drive. Since it’s a part-time AWD, you will have to turn it on and then back off when you no longer need it. 

When you engage the all-wheel drive feature, it will send power to all the wheels. It will function on demand to transfer power to the wheels that might be slippery during rough road conditions, thus adjusting traction. The main benefit of this is the fuel-efficiency because front-wheel drive has a better fuel efficiency, 1 mpg more, than all-wheel drive

Are All Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive the Same on the Equinox?

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are not the same on the Equinox. The Equinox offers AWD and L4, which is a low-speed four-wheel drive. Both are part-time and need to be activated, but the former is ideal for low-speed driving when you need extra traction. 

The AWD will adjust your vehicle on the road and at any speed to shift power where it’s needed.

All-Wheel Drive in Equinox 

There are two types of all-wheel drive, which are full-time and part-time or automatic. Full-time AWD will continually send power to all the vehicle’s wheels. But the automatic or part-time all-wheel drive will only be activated when you need extra traction while driving on rough terrains like in the snow or off-road. 

Keep in mind that Equinox uses part-time all-wheel drive. This means that you will be using the front-wheel drive for most of the time, but you can either click on the button to switch, or the car will switch with no driver intervention. The AWD will shift power to the wheels that need it while you’re driving. You can turn it on and off as you please. 

Four-Wheel Drive in Equinox 

The low-speed four-wheel drive Equinox is designed to deliver equal power to all the wheels of your car simultaneously. Unlike the AWD, which will deliver power to specific wheels, the 4WD is for all the wheels. The four-wheel drive is a part-time system, so you can only turn it on when using icy, snowy or off-road terrains. 

Drive in Chevy Equinox

The L4 driving mode is activated when you press a button on your car. Once you do so, the four-wheel drive mode comes on, and the front and rear axles will turn on at the same time. The two drive shafts will also be locked together.

The downside of using the L4 driving mode is that it has a higher fuel economy than other modes. It does not have as good fuel economy as the front-wheel drive mode. So, when the four-wheel drive is not activated, your car will be in front-wheel drive. This is the standard mode of the Equinox. The L4 is quite similar to the L2 mode, which is also available.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do I Check If My Equinox is All-Wheel Drive? 

You can check if your Equinox is all-wheel drive by simply asking the manufacturer. You can also look at the back under the vehicle, and if you see a drive axle connected to the rear wheels and the front wheels, then you will see that you have AWD. 

As long as you’re using the Equinox LT, LS, RS and Premier in the 2022 models, you have a part-time AWD.

What Type of Car is the Chevrolet Equinox? 

The Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover type. The car comes with a wide range of standard and optional driver-assistance technology.

Small SUV Crossover

It also comes with different traction options, which include standard front-wheel drive, part-time all-wheel drive, low-speed four-wheel drive and low-speed two-wheel drive. 

Does The Chevy Equinox Work Off-Road? 

The Equinox works off-road because it’s a crossover compact SUV. Despite being a compact SUV, it can still be taken off-road. The Equinox might have front-wheel drive, but the all-wheel drive, when activated, will allow you to drive on off-roads like muddy, slippery, bumpy and uneven terrains.

Does The Chevy Equinox Work in Snow? 

The Equinox works in snow. Although it uses front-wheel drive, some of the trims also have the choice of part-time all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive can drive well in the snow since the drivetrain gives more weight to the front wheels and offers more traction on the road. 

With all-wheel drive, there is more traction and power on all the wheels. The system will be useful when driving on icy roads and any other rough terrains. For those living in states where snow is common in winter, the Chevy Equinox is a joy to drive. 

Which Should You Use Between FWD and AWD?

Between FWD and AWD, you should use front-wheel drive when you’re driving on the road, while all-wheel drive is ideal for other driving needs like going off-road or through snowy weather. They are two different driving modes, and where you are driving, you can determine which mode is better. 

Four Wheel Drive

AWD will also be better in wet weather conditions because it will prevent slipping and skids. The Equinox is designed to drive through these conditions with ease and safety. 


Now that we have answered the question, is the Chevy Equinox AWD or FWD, you know how to switch between the two of them on any of the road conditions. Here’s a rundown of what we covered in our guide:

  • Chevy Equinox uses both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, but it depends on the trim that you are purchasing, and you can switch between both.
  • The trims that offer FWD as standard and part-time all-wheel drive include the LT, LS, RS and Premier, and this is available from the 2005 year and upward.
  • The Chevrolet Equinox also uses four-wheel drive in a design called L4 driving mode, which is a low-speed four-wheel drive that is ideal for rough terrains.
  • There is also L2 which is the low-speed two-wheel drive, and this provides power to the two wheels that need it the most when you’re driving on off-roads and terrains.
  • You can turn the all-wheel drive option on by clicking the button that is in front of the shifter; this will flicker a light that shows that the AWD is on, and you can turn it off at any time.

With this guide, you know all that there is to know about the all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive on your Chevy. The Equinox even has four-wheel drive which is quite impressive in only one car, which you can switch between. 


Rate this post
Ran When Parked