2018 Equinox New Car Test Drive
Completely redesigned, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover SUV has shrunk and lost weight when compared with the first-generation Equinox. Despite losing 5.2 inches in wheelbase and 4.7 inches in overall length, interior space is only slightly smaller. The 2018 Equinox weighs about 400 pounds less than its predecessor.
While the previous-generation model was aging and outmoded, the 2018 Equinox is updated in just about every way. In addition to bolder styling, the latest version is better-equipped. Equinox has turned into a more solid, stylish, and capable vehicle. Stylish denim-like seat upholstery is an option.
Four trim levels are offered for 2018: Equinox L, LS, LT, and Premier. Chevrolet first offered only the 1.5-liter four-cylinder base engine. A 2.0-liter gasoline engine then became optional, to be joined by a 1.6-liter diesel. All three engines are turbocharged.
The 1.5-liter engine develops 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque, versus 182 hp and 174 pound-feet for the 2.4-liter unit that it replaces. Peak torque starts at 2000 rpm. A 6-speed automatic transmission is used.
Available for Equinox LT and Equinox Premier, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, driving GM's 9-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel delivers 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet to a 6-speed automatic, promising fuel economy near 40 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
In its new form, Chevrolet Equinox competes against such compact crossovers as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4.
Active-safety features and comfort options are available, but mostly limited to top trim levels. All Equinox models include a rearview camera. HID headlights are standard on LT trim, while the Premier edition gets Intellibeam bending headlights. Standard Teen Driver technology can report on behavior of a young driver, while preventing deactivation of safety features.
An optional package for LT trim includes rear parking sensors, plus blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Picking a Premier edition with the Confidence and Convenience II Package is the only way to obtain forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Equinox L ($23,580), offered only with front-wheel drive, comes with a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, pushbutton start, MyLink 7.0-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, 4G LTE wi-fi, active noise cancellation, and 17-inch alloy wheels. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $945 destination charge.)
Equinox LS ($25,510) adds a compact spare tire, carpeted rear mats, and a compass. All-wheel drive is available ($1,750).
Equinox LT ($26,750) includes a power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, heated power mirrors, HID headlights, and second-row seat release levers. A Confidence and Convenience Package for LT ($1,945) includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, and a power liftgate.
Equinox Premier ($30,790) comes with heated leather front seats, driver's memory, 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, auto-dimming mirrors, luggage rack, LED headlights and taillights, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a hands-free power liftgate. All-wheel drive ($3,645) is available.