With crossover utility sales being what they are, you shouldn’t be surprised that the Equinox has long been Chevrolet’s best-selling vehicle that’s not a pickup truck; even though it hasn’t really changed that much since its gen 2 redesign for 2010. Well, an all-new 3rd generation has finally arrived. So let’s find out if it will signal continued four-season success for Chevrolet.
When the Chevrolet Equinox first arrived for 2005, it was GM’s answer to what Honda and Toyota had started in the late 90’s with the CR-V and Rav4; and what has become one of the most popular of all vehicle segments, the compact crossover. And it didn’t take long for the Equinox to get right in the mix for sales, even beating both rivals on occasion.
But that segment is much different now, with more modern rides, and many more of them. So, the all-new 2018 Equinox is well timed.
Getting on board with the GM weight loss plan means it’s about 400–lbs. lighter than before, and you do feel it.
It looks smaller too, and indeed it is, by about 5-inches in length; yet with more efficient packaging, overall passenger volume is actually up, with cargo room about the same.
There’s 29.9 cu-ft. of space behind the rear seats, with a max of 63.5. The seat-folding design is much improved; it’s easier to use and allows for a flatter load floor.
Up front, the driver enjoys a fairly high seating position with good visibility, and pronounced comfort from the back and lower cushions.
Rear seat room is plentiful for a compact ute, and seat comfort is equally good. All techno goodies you might need are available on either a 7 or 8-inch MyLink touchscreen. Available safety includes automatic braking.
But, you’d better like small displacement turbo engines, as that’s all that now powers this Equinox.
This 1.5-liter I4 is standard, with 170-horsepower and 203 lb-ft. of torque; connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 252-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 with a 9-speed automatic is the upgrade, and keeps max towing at 3,500-lbs.
But, most interesting, is a 137-horsepower 1.6-liter I4 turbo-diesel, arriving shortly after launch; a first for the segment.
Front drive is standard, with a new selectable all-wheel-drive system available, that fully disconnects the rear axle when appropriate to boost efficiency.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the all-wheel-drive 1.5-liter are 24-City, 30-Highway, and 26-Combined. We averaged a very good 28.0 miles-per-gallon of Regular. For an average Energy Impact Score of 12.7-barrels of yearly oil use, and 5.6-tons of CO2 emissions.
Despite the lower weight and smaller engine, the Equinox still drives stable and comfortably, and everything feels a bit more responsive than before.
Even at the higher speeds of our slalom course, it didn’t feel cumbersome at all; displaying only moderate hints of both over and understeer, with minimal computer intervention.
Things weren’t quite as thrilling in the straight line, however. There’s not much in the way of guts off the line, taking us 8.7-seconds to hit 60, or more than a second slower than the CR-V. Engine noise is, however, well-subdued for a 1.5-liter turbo.
The lack of urgency is consistent throughout the 1/4, accompanied by momentum-killing shifts from the 6-speed auto.
Eventually, the ¼-mile ended in 16.7-seconds at 84 miles-per-hour. Note, an Equinox with the 2.0T and 9-speed more than levels the playing field.
A slight increase in base price over last year puts an Equinox L at $24,525. Top level Premier starts just over 30.
Leaner, but certainly not meaner; the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox has gotten itself into fighting shape, ready to battle it out with all comers in the compact crossover segment. Fully modernized with all-turbo powertrains, more functional interior, and up-to-the-minute tech options; this Equinox does indeed signal more seasons of success for Chevrolet.
Engine: 1.5 liter
Torque: 203 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 8.7 seconds
1/4 mile: 16.7 seconds @ 84 mph
EPA: 24 mpg city / 30 mpg highway,
Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 5.6 tons/yr