2018 Chevrolet Equinox first test drive

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is an all-new crossover replacement, being brought to the market with a host of improvements and changes over the outgoing 2017 model. 2018 Chevy Equinox Premier

The 2018 Chevy Equinox is built on a new platform shared with the upcoming GMC Terrain and tips the scales 400 pounds lighter than the previous generation, Theta platform based, vehicle.

Styling of the vehicle follows the Chevrolet family design language with sharp edges, the split level pentagon shaped front grille. Overall the new Equinox looks quite current. Stepping inside the cabin, the first impression of my co-driver and I was that this new Equinox was much larger than the previous model. In fact the overall length is shorter. Despite the shortened exterior measurement, there was an actual increase in interior room including rear seat legroom. Seating both front and back was quite comfortable. Our test vehicle was a top of the line Premier model with a huge panoramic sunroof. The large greenhouse like panels enhanced the airy cabin feel. Cabin materials on the Premier are quite nice. The lower trim level offer hard plastics instead of softer padded surfaces on the upmarket Premier. 2018 Chevrolet Equinox dashboard

In an effort to streamline the purchase process, GM has also simplified the trim levels and available option packages. There’s nothing more annoying that going through the process of picking the model and options you want on your new car only to find one isn’t available in this part of the country and will have to be factory ordered. With the new layout of packages, buyers will likely find the vehicle they want sitting on a dealers lot or close at hand. A list of packages and add-ons follows:

The 2018 Chevy Equinox comes in three trim levels, LS, LT and Premier.

The base LS comes in one standard configuration and does not offer any options. The supposed base model comes pretty well loaded with; heated front seats, remote start, heated side-view mirrors, a 7-inch touch sensitive dash mounted display screen that serves as a monitor for the standard equipment rear-view camera. Also included are keyless unlocking and push-button start, a tire pressure monitoring system, Mylink wireless Audio Streaming, 17 inch wheels, one-touch folding second row of seats and under floor cargo storage for security. One interesting safety feature added in to the vehicle is the “teen driver” which is programed by an administrator and is PIN protected to dis-allow changes to the parameters in the feature.

The LT model adds some exterior upgrades that can distinguish the model including HID headlamps, optional paint colours, colour keyed body cladding, a deep tinted rear glass and high gloss belt line molding. Inside the cabin an 8-way powered drivers seat, a leather shift lever, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and roof mounted luggage carrier mounts.

The top of the line Premier edition includes LED headlamps and tail lights, fog lights, roof rails, 18 inch Aluminum wheels, exterior chrome package, handsfree power lift gate thats activated waving your foot under the rear bumper

Two optional packages are available for the LT and Premier trim levels. The first step upwards is to a Confidence and Convenience package which costs $2000 on the LT trim and $2500 on the Premier. The next step up is to the True North package which is the true value proposition here as it includes everything in the C&C package but adds a panoramic sunroof to either trim level plus other additional options. In short adding the panoramic sunroof to the vehicle for between $1000 to $1500 is a no-brainer especially when it includes the other equipment bundled with it. For a graphic illustration of the packages please see the image attached. 2018 Chevrolet Equinox trim level equipment

GM has done away with V6 engines on the Equinox. Buyers will have a choice of three engines. Already launched is a 1.5L turbocharged four cylinder engine, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, producing 170HP and 203 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity is 1500 pounds.

Later this summer a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine will be available. The larger engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and produces 252 HP with 260 lb-ft of torque. The extra power and torque increase the towing capacity to 3500 pounds.

Lastly, a 1.6L turbo diesel engine will be available towards the end of the year. Producing 136 HP and 236 lb-ft o f torque, the engine with be matched to a 6 speed automatic transmission and will have a towing capacity of 1500 lbs.

While the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox will be available, regardless of trim level or engine choice, in either Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive. The AWD versions will now come with a console mounted button to disengage the rear wheels when AWD traction is not required. This optional system was installed to allow drivers to conserve fuel when possible or desired.

On the road, the new Equinox is remarkably quiet for a turbocharged four cylinder engine. Cabin quietness was achieved through a more rigid exterior chassis, better sound proofing but also through active noise cancelling provided by the on-board audio system.

The new, more rigid exterior chassis uses a combination of lightweight and hot formed steel panels as well as high-tech joining processes. The extra rigidity is evident in the improved handling and road manners of the 2018 Equinox. The new exterior shell also helps account for the lighter weight as does the fact the vehicle is no longer carrying around the extra 2 cylinders in the V6 engine. Overall the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is a joy to drive. A good portion of our drive was on the highway, when sudden acceleration was called for to merge or pass, more than adequate power was available and there was no sense of strain or urgency when cruising at or above normal highway speeds.

GM has invested much of its technical expertise in designing the new Equinox. The product proves it is possible to have your cake and eat it too, as the new crossover ticks all the boxes that current crossover buyers are looking for and yet improves fuel economy, increases standard equipment all at a lower price than the outgoing model.

The 2018 Chevy Equinox with the 1.5L engine is already in Chevrolet dealers and starts at $25,195 for the LS front wheel drive, $28,195 for the LS and tops out at $38,295 for the Premier trim with the True North Package added. GM has not announced pricing for either the 2.0L or 1.6L diesel equipped models as of the date of our event.

The fuel consumption ratings for the 1.5L Equinox are:

FWD:  9.2 / 7.3 / 8.3 Litres per 100 kilometres

AWD:  9.8 / 7.9 / 8.9 Litres per 100 kilometres


2018 Chevrolet Equinox side view2018 Chevy Equinox interior cabin2018 Chevrolet Equinox rear storage