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2018 Chevrolet Equinox Overview
The Chevrolet Equinox has been a bit of an odd duck in the compact crossover realm. Its overall size put the Equinox in between compact and midsize crossovers, so it was hard to know what the Equinox's competition was. Chevrolet said it was the likes of the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, but buyers didn’t care, as they made the Equinox the second best-selling model in Chevrolet’s lineup. Only the Silverado pickup outsells it. But like the spring and fall equinoxes that signal a change in seasons, Chevrolet is changing the Equinox for the 2018 model year, with the big news being the model getting smaller.
Chevrolet has sliced off 5 inches from the 2018 Equinox’s overall length without significantly impacting overall cargo volume, which should help it become a true competitor to other compact crossovers. For the design, Chevrolet’s designers plucked some ideas from the new Cruze and Malibu. The front end features a two-tier grille with a slim chrome bar as a divider and new headlights with LED daytime running lights. A character line that swoops downward and the "Equinox" name on the front doors are the key details along the side. In back, Chevrolet has blacked out the pillars to give the impression of wrap-around glass.
Inside, the Equinox’s dashboard has been fully redesigned to include a new control layout and either cloth or leather covering various surfaces. The dash has also been lowered to improve frontal visibility. All Equinox models will feature the latest version of Chevrolet MyLink with a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard, and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi is available as an option. Behind the rear seats, the 2018 Equinox features 29.9 cubic feet, down 1.6 cubic feet when compared to the 2017 model. Fold the rear seats and the difference is minuscule: 63.5 cubic feet for the 2018 model vs. 63.7 cubic feet for the 2017 model.
Under the hood of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox will be one of three new turbocharged engines. The base is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. Next is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder offering 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet torque. Finally, a 1.6-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder provides 136 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The diesel will be the mileage champ for the Equinox, as Chevrolet estimates the model will get 40 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic comes standard for the 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines, while the 2.0 will get a new 9-speed automatic. The Equinox offers front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Chevrolet is using a clever AWD system that can disconnect the rear axle to improve fuel economy. When traction is needed, the system automatically connects with the rear axle. One other detail to take into account with the 2018 Equinox is that Chevrolet was able to drop 400 pounds of curb weight, which means better performance and fuel economy.
Chevrolet is filling the 2018 Equinox with an extensive list of safety features. For starters, the 2018 model will be available with Rear Seat Reminder and Teen Driver. Rear Seat Reminder alerts you to check the back seat after you shut off the vehicle to help prevent leaving kids or valuable items in the back. Teen Driver allows a parent to set up a special key for their teen with limits on speed and the volume of the audio system. Teen Driver also provides a report that gives a parent details on how far their teen drove the vehicle, any times the speed alert went off, and whether the antilock brakes and stability control were activated. Other optional safety equipment includes low-speed automatic braking, a surround-view camera system, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
At the time of this writing, Chevrolet announced that the 2018 Equinox will begin at $24,475 with destination. More pricing details should be revealed closer to the Equinox’s launch, which is expected sometime in the first quarter of this year.
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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