New Equinox is shining star for Chevrolet lineup

SHARE New Equinox is shining star for Chevrolet lineup

Completely redone for the 2018 model year, the Equinox small crossover SUV comes to market some 400 pounds lighter than its predecessor, along with boasting Chevrolet’s first all turbocharged roster of engines for a single model.

It brings better fuel economy – particularly with the optional diesel powerplant — which is estimated to return 40 miles per gallon on the highway. By the way, Equinox becomes the only vehicle in its category to offer diesel power in the U.S. with this engine.

Another notable highlight is all-new styling, which brings the look of the Equinox more into line with the Volt, Bolt, Malibu and Cruze. In a nod to the fun, family-oriented nature of the Equinox, the model also offers a denim-like cloth upholstery option.

The roster of advanced safety features includes a Safety Alert Seat that uses the seat cushion to caution drivers, as opposed to audible alerts. This alternative method gives hearing-impaired drivers the benefit of the latest crash avoidance warning systems, too. While the application originally debuted in Cadillac products it is now trickling down to the more mainstream GM vehicles. I was startled to feel the seat suddenly vibrate the first time, but it’s an effective method once getting used to it.

Other active safety features offered with this new version of the Equinox include Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking and Chevrolet’s Surround Vision 360-degree camera system, as well as Rear Park Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert and Chevrolet’s Teen Driver safeguards. The 2018 Equinox also offers 7- and 8-inch touchscreens with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and OnStar 4G LTE WiFi, in addition to wireless charging for compatible mobile devices.

One of the most significant aspects of the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox lineup is its collection of turbocharged powerplants. The base engine is a 1.5-liter four with 170 horsepower and 203 lb.-ft. of torque. The higher performing option is a 2.0-liter four capable of producing 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. The diesel is a 1.6-liter four rated at 137 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. A nine-speed automatic transmission accompanies the 2.0-liter, while the diesel and the 1.5 get a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is the default offering, while all-wheel drive is available as an option.

Fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway for the 1.5 with FWD. All-wheel drive drops those numbers to 24 and 30 respectively. The 2.0-liter is capable of returning 22 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway with FWD, but the highway figure drops to 28 with AWD. As of this writing, no city figure had been released for the diesel, though the highway figure was estimated at 40 mpg with front-drive.

Standard comfort and convenience features on the base L and LS trimmed models include automatic headlights with LED daytime running lights, a rearview camera, heated exterior mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, height-adjustable front seats, and Bluetooth. Stepping up to Equinox LT (the best value) adds xenon headlights, rear privacy glass, a leather-wrapped shift knob, an eight-way power driver seat and satellite radio.

All of this is packaged into a handsome interior environment offering good legroom for all passengers. Headroom is ample as well, even with optional moonroof. Pricing for the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox starts at $24,525.

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