Popular since its launch in 2005, the new-generation Chevrolet Equinox is considerably smaller than the two generations that came before it. This 2018 model crossover SUV is now 4.7 inches shorter in length and sits on a wheelbase some 5.2 inches shorter as well. Curb weight is reduced by about 400 pounds, an important consideration as automakers strive to shed weight in the interest of optimizing fuel efficiency. The Equinox is available in three trim levels – L, LS, LT, and Premier with either front- or all-wheel drive.
The Equinox is offered with a choice of two turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines. Its base 1.5-liter engine is rated at 170 horsepower with 203 lb-ft torque and connects to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers up to 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway in two-wheel drive. All-wheel drive models lose 2 mpg across the board. A 2.0-liter engine connects to a newer nine-speed automatic and produces 252 horsepower with 260 lb-ft torque, delivering 22/29/25 mpg with FWD and 22/28/24 mpg with AWD. Fuel-saving engine stop-start is standard on the Equinox.
Optionally powering this efficient crossover is a 1.6 liter, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, making the 2018 Equinox the only vehicle in its segment currently available with a diesel. This quiet turbodiesel provides 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft torque with an impressive 39 highway mpg, definitely in hybrid efficiency territory without the need for hybrid cost or added complexity. It delivers an estimated 577 driving range between fill-ups and is B20 biodiesel compatible.
An array of advanced safety technologies is offered as optional or standard equipment, although many are only available with the uplevel LT and Premier trim levels. These include Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Vision Camera, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Spot Alert, and Lane Change Alert. A hands-free gesture liftgate is also available that opens with the simple motion of a foot. Intellibeam Headlamps switch to high beams when driving conditions become too dark, then revert to low beams when an oncoming car approaches.
All models come with myChevrolet Mobile App plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. A built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available with the ability to connect up to seven devices to the Internet. A 7-inch diagonal touchscreen is standard. Available Surround Vision provides a virtual bird’s-eye view around the car on an optional 8-inch color touchscreen. Teen Driver technology mutes the audio until front-seat occupants are buckled and automatically turns on available advanced safety technologies like Side Blind Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert, and Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking.
The Chevrolet Equinox offers buyers an excellent value and notable efficiency in a stylish and versatile crossover package. It has long been a popular model in the Chevy stable and this latest generation promises to keep this momentum going strong.