The Chevrolet Equinox has long been one of General Motors' best-selling models (excluding pickup trucks). The crossover, which competes in the hot segment populated by entries ranging from the Ford Escape to the Toyota RAV4, was all-new for 2018. The new model was significantly lighter than before, with a fresher design, more technology and a new range of turbocharged engines. Though fuel-economy and cargo-space numbers might not blow rivals out of the water, the Equinox is a well-rounded entry in its bustling class.
Powertrain and specs
The Chevrolet Equinox offers three different engines. The standard choice is a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four rated for 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a six-speed automatic. With front-wheel drive, it returns EPA ratings of 26 miles per gallon city and 32 mpg highway, while all-wheel-drive versions return 25/30 mpg. Those are good but not class-leading figures. The Honda CR-V, for instance, returns up to 28/34 mpg with FWD and 27/33 mpg with AWD.
There is also a 2.0-liter turbo engine that dishes up 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, though at the expense of fuel efficiency. It delivers 22/29 mpg with front-drive and 22/28 mpg with all-wheel drive, and is mated only to a nine-speed automatic. Finally, the Equinox is one of the few new passenger cars in the US to offer a diesel powertrain. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine produces 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet, returning 28/39 mpg with front-wheel drive or 28/38 mpg with AWD.
The Equinox is rated to tow 1,500 pounds with the 1.5- or 1.6-liter engines and 3,500 pounds with the 2.0-liter engine.
Interior space is good but not quite as roomy as some comparable crossovers. Cargo room behind the back seat measures in at 29.9 cubic feet, not especially generous compared to competitors like the Honda CR-V (39.2 cubic feet) and Nissan Rogue (39.3). Lowering the back seats raises the total cargo-room figure to 63.5 cubic feet, which is very good although not class-leading.
The Equinox offers 7- and 8-inch touchscreen infotainment systems, and the built-in MyLink software is among our favorites for its straightforward, responsive operation. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on all models, and satellite radio is included on all but the entry-level L and LS trim levels. The 8-inch system can also be equipped with built-in navigation. Other available tech highlights include LED lighting, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a kick-to-open power liftgate and wireless phone charging. To keep the cabin quieter, active noise cancellation is included as standard.
Active-safety technology is plentiful, but unfortunately it's reserved for more expensive trim levels or options packages. Optional on the LT trim and standard on the Premier, the Driver Confidence package includes rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Driver Confidence II, optional on the Premier, includes pre-collision warning and braking, lane-keep assist, a 360-degree camera system, automatic high-beams and the "Safety Alert Seat" that vibrates the driver's seat to alert him or her of safety hazards.
In addition, Chevrolet includes a feature called Rear Seat Reminder that sounds a warning chime when drivers exit the vehicle if something has been left in the back seat; the idea is to avoid parents leaving kids in a hot car. Teen Driver Mode allows parents to set restrictions (for example, max speed and max radio volume) and monitor the driving habits of younger drivers.
Options and pricing
Pricing starts at $24,795 for the Equinox L with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is not available). Standard equipment includes push-button start, the 7-inch infotainment system, 17-inch wheels and LED running lights. Moving up to the LS trim level costs $26,795 with front-wheel drive or $28,495 and adds a handful more features, like an interior compass and rear floor mats.
The Equinox LT is offered either with the standard 1.5-liter engine, the 1.6-liter diesel or the 2.0-liter engine. The former version costs $28,095 or $29,795 depending on the number of driven wheels, while the diesel version lists for $30,495 or $32,195 and the 2.0-liter LT is $30,595 or $32,395. Key upgrades over the LS trim level include a power driver's seat, HID headlights, heated mirrors, tinted rear windows, a color trip computer and roof rails. The 2.0-liter version adds 18-inch wheels and dual exhaust tips, too.
The final version is the Equinox Premier, which adds features like a power liftgate, heated leather seats, blind-spot monitoring, LED head- and taillights, 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, the 8-inch touchscreen and a 120-volt interior power outlet. With the 1.5-liter gas engine it costs $31,995 with front-wheel drive or $33,795 with all-wheel drive. The 1.6-liter diesel is $34,195 or $35,995 and the 2.0-liter turbo engine is $34,795 or $36,595.
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox is available nationwide now.