When it first hit the market, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox was offered with either a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood. Later in the model year Chevrolet introduced additional options- a 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Having driven the woefully underpowered base 1.5-liter power plant last year, I was offered the opportunity to experience the larger gasoline engine and jumped at the opportunity.
The base model Equinox starts at $23,580. The Premier 2.0T with all-wheel drive model Chevrolet delivered to my home for testing with only wheel locks ($60) and a cargo net ($65) as extra equipment on the $37,230 base price. A $945 destination and delivery charge brought up the overall price to $38,300.
By the time 2017 rolled around, the previous generation Equinox was starting to show its age. The signature design elements of the Chevrolet brand had moved on and so when the 2018 arrived, it was less revolutionary and more catching up. Still, it’s not unattractive. The Equinox is a model that won’t stand out in a crowd for its unique lines or handsome looks but your teen won’t be embarrassed being seen in it.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine to perform as well as it does. The power plant is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission capable of delivering 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque delivering satisfying acceleration and quickness.
The Equinox handles the road well. It’s easily maneuverable around a town’s rotaries and in tight parking lots, delivering a dynamic drive experience that is more like a midsize sedan than a traditional SUV or crossover. It does not require drive modes to make the drive engaging though it’s not as sporty as some luxury SUVs.
The Equinox’s 24 mpg combined isn’t the best in its class, but a reasonable figure given the vehicle’s performance numbers.
In the tested grade, the Equinox’s interior is surprisingly refined. It’s as nice as a modern Buick SUV’s with leather appointed seat trim, heated and ventilated front row seats, split folding rear seats, heated second row seats, dual zone air conditioning, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel, and wireless device charging. The materials used appear to be high quality with excellent fit and finish.
The Equinox also comes with an 8-inch infotainment touch screen with Bluetooth streaming, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The screen is quickly responsive to the touch and controls are easy to use. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot is standard but service is an add-on.
Seating is comfortable in all rows with adult rear seat passengers having enough legroom. The cabin is spacious as you need it in a compact SUV and I had zero problems with storage space in the rear cargo area as I was going about my weekly shopping routine. A power, hands-free liftgate came with the Premier trim.
This generation Equinox has slightly less cargo space than the previous generation but its second-row seats fold flat, giving the space plenty of versatility.
The Equinox comes equipped with a good amount of safety equipment including a rearview camera, Teed Driver, rear parking assist, rear cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert, forward collision alert, lane keeping assistance, and low speed forward automatic braking. OnStar is standard, and a new vehicle purchase includes a five-year basic service plan in addition to a trial of additional OnStar services.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Premier 2.0T is a good buy in the hotly contested compact SUV category and gives customers another reason to cross shop rather than just buy another Honda CR-V.