2018 Equinox New Car Test Drive
The Chevrolet Equinox is a solidly built compact crossover SUV closely related to the GMC Terrain. Last redesigned for 2010, it carries over with little change for the 2017 model year, following the addition of safety features and a light refresh for 2016. The top trim level, formerly LTZ, is now the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox Premier.
While the GMC Terrain proclaims a more masculine aura with its squared-off styling, the Equinox is more rounded. Carlike in operation, the Equinox fits right in among Chevrolet's sedans, courtesy of sharp detailing and attractive proportions. Chevrolet's compact crossover has sold well, helped by a choice of four-cylinder or V6 powertrain, offered with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Boasting direct injection, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine makes 182 horsepower and ranks among the most fuel-efficient in its class. The available 3.6-liter V6 develops 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. Both engines mate with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
All-wheel drive, which adds 100 pounds to vehicle weight, is available for every trim level except the base-level Equinox L. An Equinox is considerably more maneuverable than Chevrolet's much larger, three-row Traverse.
Comparatively large for a compact crossover, the Equinox is roomy inside. Interior space is easily configurable for cargo or people. The rear bench can slide fore/aft, offering up to 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the seat up, and nearly 64 cubic feet with seatbacks flipped down. Moving to the farthest rearward position provides extra room for passenger knees. Two adults can spread out in the second row, with decent legroom and good head clearance.
Crash-test scores have been good, but not top-notch. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given a four-star rating overall, with the same score for frontal impact and rollover protection. Equinox was rated Good in all categories, including the difficult small-overlap test, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Chevrolet's optional collision-mitigation system got only a Basic rating.
A rearview camera is standard, which is good news because rearward visibility is poor otherwise. Lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems are available, but only in the top trim level.
The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox comes with a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive ($1,750) and four-cylinder engine or V6 ($1,500).
Equinox L ($23,100) comes with cloth upholstery, rearview camera, OnStar 4G LTE, remote keyless entry, tilt/telescopic steering column, six-speaker audio, USB port, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and a 7-inch touchscreen. Equinox LS ($25,510) adds SiriusXM satellite radio (3-month trial) and a digital compass.
Equinox LT ($26,750) adds heated power mirrors, LED daytime running lights, and roof rails. Chevrolet's MyLink system enables Bluetooth streaming and integrates Pandora and Stitcher internet-radio, plus navigation connectivity. Options include the V6 engine with sport-tuned suspension, plus blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Midnight and Sport Edition packages are available ($1,695).
Equinox Premier ($30,040) gets perforated-leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, foglamps, automatic climate control, and 18-inch wheels. Active-safety features are available, including forward collision and lane-departure warnings. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.).