The last time I reviewed the Chevy Equinox was in 2010, and through 2017 it remained largely unchanged. By today’s standards, 7 years is a long time for no major changes. In spite of that, Equinox is Chevy’s #2 seller behind the Silverado.
Now comes the redesigned 2018 Chevy Equinox which is 400 pounds lighter and 4-inches shorter than the previous version, but somehow General Motors kept the interior and cargo area the same size.
My review vehicle has a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged.
Together with its 6-speed automatic transmission, the new Equinox is producing 170-horses and 203 pound-feet of torque. These SUVs are just getting to dealers now, but later in the year, there will be a 2-liter turbo with a 9-speed automatic offered, as well as a 1.6-liter diesel that Chevy says will get 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
Equinox comes as a front-wheel drive SUV, but my tester has the optional all-wheel drive system.
As good as Equinox looks on the outside, it’s really the interior that is going to wow people.
This is the top-of-the-line Premier package that features a two-tone interior that really grabs you. Everything is soft to the touch and you’ll find stitching everywhere on the seats and dash area.
In the center of the gauge cluster, there is a driver information center that allows you to see info on fuel economy or speed. It will even read speed limit signs. You can also look at audio info, or scroll down through phone and navigation information and change some of the vehicle’s settings under the options tab. All this is controlled from the steering wheel.
The center console is nicely done with the shifter in the middle, two cup holders, and a cubby hole which houses a built-in phone charger, USB ports, and a power outlet.
In the center of the dash is an 8” color touchscreen that operates Chevy MyLink. From there are easy to use apps to operate the Bose HD radio, sync your phone with Bluetooth, the projection feature that works with a USB port to put your phone image up on the screen, and an app to operate the navigation system.
On the second row of apps are settings for the vehicle, real-time weather, a text app that lets you hear and respond by voice to text messages, and you can contact OnStar.
Swipe the screen to the left, and page two lets you change camera settings, get real-time traffic info, and you choose the shop app to download even more apps, much like you do with your cell phone. Equinox is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and you get 4G LTE Wi-Fi, which will let you know is operating when you start the SUV.
The back seat of the new Equinox has a lot of legroom and headroom and is split in a 60/40 configuration.
As you go to the rear of the Equinox, the liftgate is power and you can operate it from the remote or by waving your foot under the bumper. Reach inside and there are two latches to lower the second-row seats for more cargo area. The load floor folds very flat, unlike some SUVs I’ve seen.
The Premier package comes well-equipped.
At no charge, you get remote start, keyless entry from the door handle, rear park assist, rear camera, blind spot warning, forward collision alert, lane keeping assistance, and low-speed emergency braking.
Other free items include leather power front seats that are heated and cooled, heated rear seat, heated steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Two free features I want to spotlight are Teen Driver, which lets you set parameters for your teenagers and even gives you a report card on how they drive, and also a Rear Seat Reminder that will remind you to look in the back seat when you turn the SUV off, if you’ve opened either back door. This is a lifesaver for children and pets.
This Equinox has the $3320 Sun, Sound, and Navigation package that includes a power panoramic sunroof, 19” wheels, the navigation system, Bose premium stereo, and HD radio. There is also a $385 charge for the color. Personally, I’d pay twice that for a different color, but that’s just me.
Total MSRP as equipped on this one is just over $39,000.
If that hits you as a little high, remember it is all-wheel drive, super loaded, and remember too, most domestic car companies price vehicles higher to allow for rebates.
Handling is good on the Equinox, it is quiet inside, and has more than ample acceleration. The overall driving experience with the new Equinox is extremely enjoyable.
Fuel economy is 24 in town and 30 on the highway, but it is actually doing better. The front-wheel drive version bumps that up by two miles per gallon. It does have the start/stop system that cannot be deactivated, but I have to say it is among the smoothest I’ve ever had.
I just put out a list of the top 20 SUVs in America through the first 3 months of 2017. The Equinox was #6 on the list and that was the old 2017 version. Now that this new one is out, I suspect it will move up on the list.