What is most important to you in a compact crossover? Chevrolet hopes they answered all your needs with the all-new 2018 Chevy Equinox. As their second best-selling vehicle in the United Stated (behind the Chevy Silverado), the Equinox is a very important vehicle for Chevrolet. It’s also competing in one of the most popular and fastest growing segments – the compact crossover. Competition is fierce, so the Equinox better bring its top game. Has Chevrolet done enough to push the Equinox to even greater sales? Let’s break it down.
Chevrolet went to work on making the chassis and body structure smaller, lighter, stiffer, and more safe. The result is a car that is about four inches shorter, 400 pounds lighter, and (according to Chevrolet) safer than before. The NHTSA and IIHS have not published their 2018 Equinox safety ratings yet.
While the Equinox is smaller on the outside, it retains the same passenger and cargo volume of the outgoing model. Namely, its 29.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row, and 63.5 cubic feet of space with the second row folded down. This is far from segment leading but it’s enough to easily swallow three roller bags, a briefcase, two tripods, and a backpack behind the second row.
The new Equinox is already on sale and it’s initially available with one engine option. Power comes from the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 203 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm. That is a lot of torque from such a small engine. The 2.0-liter turbo-gas and 1.6L turbo-diesel engines are coming in the summer of 2017 according to Chevrolet.
The 1.5-liter turbo is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. You won’t find a 9-speed or a CVT with this engine option. This crossover is not the quickest among the main competitors (Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape) but the power is adequate for around town driving and easy highway cruising. This engine has auto stop/start as standard and it won’t let you brake-torque it too much for a boosted launch.
Chevy engineers dialed in just the right amount of weight into the electrically-assisted steering system but there is still not a lot of road feedback coming through. Overall, the lighter Equinox carves a twisty mountain road with the best in the class. The handling has been greatly improved.
The shape of the Equinox is slippery and the active front grille shutters ensure optimum aerodynamics to achieve 32 mpg on the highway for the FWD model. EPA rates the FWD model at 26 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.
Although the AWD system in the 2018 Equinox is able to disconnect the rear driveline components in driver-selectable front-wheel-drive mode for improved efficiency, the AWD model is rated at 2 mpg lower across the board for a (24/30/26 mpg).
Pricing starts at $24,475 for the L FWD model. There are four trim levels: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The Premier starts at $31,685, and the fully loaded FWD model with the 19-inch wheels and a panoramic sunroof among many other options (seen above) can reach just over $37,000.
Has Chevrolet done enough to win more sales? The 2018 Equinox is a complete package and it left a very good first impression. We will have to wait for all of the engine options and pricing to become available this summer before we can assess its success.
We are working hard to bring you the first drive review video of the 2018 Chevy Equinox. In the meantime, here is the video of its official debut.