The new 2018 Equinox’s distinct exterior style has a muscular stance that equals the global Chevrolet design cues and sculpted shapes seen in the newest Volt, Malibu and Cruze models.
According to Chevrolet, extensive aero development in the wind tunnel influenced the sleek shape of these vehicles’ exteriors and so you get great form with equally efficient function. Not a bad combo for a compact SUV to exhibit.
While it is nearly six inches shorter and 400 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the all-new Equinox has not dropped any interior space and in fact it feels bigger to me than previous models. Outside of the great exterior looks, the biggest news may be the lack of any 6-cylinder engines in the lineup.
My Equinox tester used a 170-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 203 lb.-ft. of torque; a 252-hp, 2.0-L 4-cylinder, along with a 137-hp diesel engine. This gives shoppers an enormous selection for this segment and more reason to highly consider Chevrolet’s lineup in general.
The 1.5-liter engine I tested was mated to a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission, which is used in other Chevrolet models, including the new-generation Malibu. Power is capable of going to the front or all fours wheels.
Equipment included full basic safety equipment plus forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic low-speed braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, and a rearview camera with an overhead view. However, there was no radar cruise control.
Also included was Chevrolet’s innovative teen driving parental control, which can set speed limits and audio volume, as well as produce a report card on the teen’s behavior behind the wheel.
During my test period, I really felt that in most cases the Equinox feels quicker than its 9-second 0-to-60 mph acceleration time. I experienced zero turbo lag. When it comes to torque, I thought my tester exhibited reasonable ability from stoplight jumps to highway-speed merges and high speed maneuvers.
I get the whole start-stop system and how it saves fuel, emissions, etc., but I really hate the shutting down of the engine at stoplights. I never feel comfortable and I am always aware of it being stopped. Having said that, my Equinox exhibited none of the annoying hesitations associated with many systems. It engages instantly and smoothly.
My Equinox tester felt ‘planted’ to the pavement and showed just a slight amount of lean around corners. This really pays off for comfort in the cabin. The Equinox delivers generous head and knee room for five people, plus 30 cubic feet of cargo space that expands to 64 cubic feet if the rear seatbacks are folded flat.
The interior had a refined look brought about with high quality materials and trim styles. My tester was the premier version, so there was a bit more pomp and circumstance involved, including leather and upgraded audio and safety features.
I had the chance to take the Equinox on a longer road trip and I can only criticize the bolstering on the seatbacks for having little hold in cornering and maybe lacked a bit of contour on the bottom. Rear seats provided comfort for all three passengers, even the center-rear position, a normally rough ride for any vehicles.
Equinox has a base sticker of $35,330 and, with premier options, it landed at $39,645.