- Complete redesign for 2018
- Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine lineup
- Up to 63.5 cu. ft. of cargo space
- Up to 3,500 pounds towing capacity
- Optional all-wheel-drive system
- Long list of available safety technologies
- MyLink infotainment with available navigation, Wi-Fi
The compact crossover SUV is officially the best-selling type of vehicle in America. Naturally, every car company wants to field a competitive entry in the segment, but Chevrolet’s Equinox was last redesigned for the 2010 model year. With a new Equinox debuting, that changes, effective in the first quarter of 2017.
Completely redesigned, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is constructed using an all-new vehicle architecture and is 400 pounds lighter, on average, than the vehicle it replaces. It remains a 5-passenger vehicle, offers up to 63.5 cu. ft. of cargo space, and is powered by a new lineup of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, including a fuel-efficient diesel.
For the new Equinox, Chevrolet adopts design themes from the latest Cruze, Malibu, and the refreshed 2017 Trax models. Of particular note are the flared front fenders swelling into the doors and providing the basis for a dramatically down-swept character line that defines the Equinox’s flanks. Like most modern Chevrolets, the SUV’s name is rendered in large chrome letters on each front door.
Expect the lineup to include L, LS, LT, and Premier trim levels, though Chevrolet has not officially confirmed this. The debut vehicle wore Premier trim with appealing aluminum wheels, chrome greenhouse surrounds, and chrome roof rails. The lower portion of the Equinox features gray plastic trim, but otherwise no traditional SUV styling cues exist, such as over-fender trim or fake front and rear skid plates. The result is a clean and modern-looking vehicle.
Instrumentation and the dashboard design reflect Chevrolet’s increasingly familiar “down-and-away” design theme. In combination with a low windshield base, this approach promises excellent forward visibility, according to Chevrolet.
A kneeling rear-seat design ensures a flat cargo load floor when the rear seat is folded for maximum capacity. Chevrolet says the new Equinox can hold 29.9 cu. ft. of cargo behind the rear seat, while maximum capacity measures 63.5 cu. ft.
Immediately following the 2018 Equinox’s debut, Chevrolet did not announce trim-specific equipment differences or announce the full range of optional equipment.
Aside from those items discussed in the sections that follow, we know that the Equinox will offer available “denim-style” fabric or leather upholstery, an extra-cost panoramic glass roof, and an available heated steering wheel.
Under the Hood
Equinox buyers will select one of three engines, each featuring 4 cylinders, turbocharging, and an automatic transmission.
The most popular engine is likely to be the turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It is expected to make an estimated 170 horsepower and 203 lb.-ft. of torque, and to get up to 31 mpg on the highway, according to Chevrolet.
A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is an option, bolted to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet expects this engine to develop 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and should return 28 mpg on the highway by the automaker’s estimation.
A 1.6-liter, turbodiesel 4-cylidner engine is also planned, employing a 6-speed automatic transmission. The company expects this efficient engine to generate 136 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque while getting as much as 40 mpg on the highway.
In standard format, the Equinox is a front-wheel-drive vehicle. An optional all-wheel-drive system includes a rear-axle disconnect design to improve fuel economy.
Additional mechanical highlights include a 4-wheel-independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and a 4-link setup in the back. Braking components include discs at all four corners, as well as Duralife rotors that are designed to last twice as long as conventional components, according to Chevy.
Several driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems are available for the new 2018 Equinox.
They include a forward-collision warning system with low-speed automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot warning system with lane-change alert and rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist. Alerts are issued through a Safety Alert seat system.
In addition to these upgrades, two technologies are specifically designed for parents of both young children and teenagers. A new Rear Seat Reminder will notify the driver if he or she departs the Equinox while a child remains strapped into a car seat or seat belt in the rear seating area. Teen Driver technology helps parents of new drivers to restrict and monitor their behavior while they are behind the wheel of the SUV.
Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system is standard for the Equinox, equipped with either a 7-in. or an 8-in. display screen. Both include access to OnStar subscription services and an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. MyLink also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-projection capability. Navigation is optional.