The 2016 model year Equinox saw substantial changes both inside and out from the first generation originally introduced in 2010. However, with competition inching ever closer, it wasn’t enough and just two years later a brand new generation of the Equinox is born.
The fully redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is now in its third generation, bringing a selection of turbo charged four cylinder engines, some safety and technology upgrades and an updated exterior and interior design for good measure. The 2018 Equinox is slightly smaller, significantly lighter and is sure to make a splash in the mid-sized SUV market segment. This all-new generation promises to be a lot more efficient, powerful, practical and luxurious compared to its predecessor, while becoming even more affordable!
SLEEK EXTERIOR DESIGN
Gone are the old boxy shapes and traditional lines of the two previous generations, replaced instead with modern angles, accent lines and smooth curves, fitting for a 2018 mid-sized SUV. The 2018 Equinox’s front end showcases Chevy’s current corporate fascia design, along with a chrome accented grille, sleeker narrow headlights and sporty hood accent lines.
The rear end design of the 2018 Chevy Equinox brings the most amount of change, starting with the sloping roof (several degrees steeper than the last generation Equinox). This gives the SUV that iconic crossover shape similar to the Nissan Murano, making it appear a lot smaller, sportier and better proportioned.
Overall the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox’s sleek and elegant exterior design is a vast improvement over previous generations and will keep the design of the Equinox current for years to come.
VERSATILE INTERIOR COMFORT
For all of Chevy’s hard work redesigning the exterior, they’ve made the Equinox’s updated cabin just as impressive! The first thing you notice when stepping inside the cabin of the 2018 Equinox, is the bright, modern and tasteful atmosphere. The multi layered dash combines various high quality materials, provides a great contrasting effect that’s far from monotonous and ties in all the vents, controls and seams very elegantly. The shortened center console minimizes the clutter of buttons and allows additional room for storage or wireless charging. The large touch screen display runs Chevy’s latest MyLink infotainment software on all models, making controlling features fast, intuitive and responsive.
With plenty of leg and headroom both in the front and the rear, along with a huge cargo area, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox didn’t compromise interior space with the smaller exterior redesign. While the all black interior was sleek and impressive, I’m personally more partial to a two tone interior, which the 2018 Chevy Equinox offers through the sharp looking black-brandy leather interior option.
The full featured cabin of the 2018 Equinox offers all the latest technology plus some features I wasn’t expecting. Features like the soft touch steering wheel controls allow for controlling almost everything and the vibrating driver’s seat for safety alerts, allow for the focus to stay on driving without taking eyes off the road. A hands free rear power lift gate provides easy access to the cargo area, plus Chevy takes it one step further and allows custom programmability to raise the lift gate to a specified height (to avoid hitting low ceilings). Lastly, 6 USB ports and an inductive charging pad really show that the 2018 Equinox is built for the modern era.
With a full length sunroof to brighten the interior and a cabin that’s well isolated from wind and road noise, the 2018 Equinox a pleasant place to be, even during a full day’s worth of driving.
EFFICIENT PERFORMANCE AND DRIVE
The 2018 Chevy Equinox offers a choice of three charged four cylinder engines paired with an automatic transmission. The base 1.5L turbocharged four cylinder produces 170hp, more than enough for the relatively light body of the Equinox. If you want more power, the 2.0L turbo charged four cylinder engine outputting 252hp should suit you nicely. The 2.0L engine provides much stronger accelerations while sacrificing little in terms of fuel economy. New for 2018, Chevy offers the choice of a 1.6L diesel engine outputting 137hp and 240 ft-lb of torque for towing, while offering the best fuel economy of all three options. All engines are also equipped with Chevy’s fuel saving stop/start technology that turns off the engine when the vehicle is idle. I was pleasantly surprised that when the engine restarts, it happens quickly and smoothly versus some of the competition’s abrupt and jostling restarts.
The diesel and the 1.5L engine are paired with a six speed automatic transmission, while the 2.0L engine gets the more sophisticated nine speed automatic. Front wheel drive is the standard for the 2018 Equinox, but you can upgrade to Chevrolet’s “Switchable AWD” system which turns on AWD with the push of a button when needed in difficult terrain or allows the option to turn AWD off and save gas in normal driving conditions.
For a mid-sized SUV, I was very impressed with the fuel efficiency. Over our 500km combined city and highway road test, we attained an average fuel consumption of 9.1 L/100 km. An amazing achievement for a gas powered SUV of its size!
The 2018 Chevy Equinox is a pleasure to drive and a delight to be shuttled around as a passenger. The Equinox provides great steering feedback and precise handling, yielding a very “true” driving experience. Responsive, smooth and consistent acceleration makes easy work of overtaking, while the planted stance keeps the wheels on the road in sharper turns. Maneuverability is improved through the 360 degree camera, proximity sensors and a solid turning radius. Overall the 2018 Equinox is a stable and comfortable ride whether in the city or on the highway.
ROAD TRIP PERFECTION
We took the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox across the border on a road trip to put it to the test on a long distance drive. This is where the 2018 Equinox will really shine for drivers and passengers alike. The driving experience was top notch with smooth and quiet cruising and amazing highway fuel consumption. A quick menu selection to change units to imperial adjusted the speedometer instantly for an easy transition to US driving.
The bright and comfortable interior functioned perfectly with all the interior storage and pockets for papers, electronics, cups and everything else. The spacious interior and comfortable yet firm seating was a pleasure for passengers on the extended drive, while the cargo area provided all the room required for bags, food and equipment for a multi night trip with kids. The built in Wifi allowed us to stay connected while our phones stayed off the networks.
For everything else you can’t figure out or are unsure of, there’s OnStar. With a quick push of the button, it calls up a live person to help with anything you need. We used it to find a location that the navigation couldn’t locate. After sending the map directly to the Equinox, we were on our way again. The whole process took under a minute and I didn’t even need to pull over!
The 2018 Chevy Equinox offers a perfect blend of performance, efficiency, technology, comfort and affordability. Consumers will delight in the fact that the 2018 Equinox is priced starting at $25,545, which is almost $2,000 cheaper than the 2017 version!