The 2018 Chevy Equinox goes down a weight class, gets smaller, and enters the ultra competitive small SUV market. It is newly redesigned though, and its refinements and added power may give it all it needs to hold its own in this niche. The Equinox had been caught between the small and mid-sized SUV markets, and Chevrolet decided to take it to the smaller market with a completely new design for this year. Everything is new.
The new version of the born again Equinox is five inches shorter, 400 pounds lighter, and you won’t notice any difference in the interior space available. The biggest change is the power train. The V-6 is no longer offered in the Equinox. Instead, there is the 1.5-liter four cylinder that cranks out 170 horsepower. If you want more power there is a 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder engine that puts out 252 horses. The Equinox also has a diesel, which is a 1.6-liter engine that sips fuel and puts out 136 horsepower. The Diesel will be released a few months after the car is introduced. These engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. At the highest level, a Continual Variable Transmission is available. Another feature is a stop-start device that turns the motor off when at a red light and turns it on again when you go forward.
Inside the car, the front seats are a bit larger and more comfortable with an eight-way adjustment available. A rearview camera is now standard on all models, increasing visibility, and safety. The rear seat is large with plenty of room. It also folds down flat to make a cargo area. Also inside the car the GM Mylink Infotainment system is now available. It is a great system that has been very popular in other models because it is easy to use and is compatible with Apple or Android.
The transmission helps a lot with the gas mileage, and front wheel or all wheel drive is available. With front wheel drive, the gas mileage is rated at 26 in city and 32 highway. All wheel drive is rated at 24 in city and 30 on the highway. The Equinox of 2018 is rated at 9.0 seconds from zero to 60. That is better than last year’s 9.5 seconds, but the middle of the pack in the small SUV line.
Interior design is generally improved with a sleeker look and a bit more chrome. The design and the infotainment center by themselves are great improvements to the 2018 Equinox. The rear seat does not slide, which is new, and that lets the seat offer a better ride with better support. The back seat itself is higher, which is good for kids. A panorama sun roof is also available for the first time, which is also a positive.
There are four trim levels, with the Premier being the highest. it has leather trim, heated seats, and remote starting. Safety features include forward collision warning, lane keeping, and warning, low-speed braking, but there is no adaptive cruise control. Standard on the 2018 model is blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking assist. The Equinox can also stop from 70 miles per hour in 161 feet, which is better than most vehicles in this class.
The exterior is also improved. It’s getting smaller and less weight gives it a nice look as a smaller car, but it is redesigned as well. Sleeker lines and a more athletic stance give the Equinox a nicer look that should help it be competitive. The Equinox has been successful since 2004, so it will be interesting to see how well it does in a lower weight class with a new design and some extras.