Although the Equinox had a nice revision for the 2016 model year, the next runner-up is already waiting in line. For 2018 the Equinox gets a full interior and engine revamp, with the United States even getting a diesel engine! That makes the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox the first car in the American compact SUV segment to feature one. However, that isn’t all as Chevrolet offers the choice of two gasoline engines as well.
We are awed by Chevrolet’s pro-activity with the Equinox and we definitely appreciate the extent of the alterations Chevrolet made. It’s always nice to see a car brand having worked so hard to deliver such an upgraded vehicle.
The front fascia has decreased in size significantly. Whereas the last fascia was rather bulbous, the new one is more toned down and a lot sleeker and sharper. The hood has increased in length, adding to the new muscular look.
Furthermore, the headlights are completely new, sharper and wider than the last oval ones. The fog lights, lower air vent and bumper have undergone a serious shape shifting too.
The grille and lower air dam are not being separated by a strip of body metal anymore. Chevrolet also connected the headlights to the grille, creating a front fascia block. Finally, the Chevrolet logo is now placed on the grille and is surrounded by chrome. Especially the front of the vehicle offers a great set of similarities with the exterior of the redesigned 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
The most noticeable change on the side is the space between the wheel arches and wheels. The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is positioned much lower on the wheels than the last Equinox. This definitely adds to the sleek and faster look that Chevrolet went for. It now says ‘Equinox’ on the front door in chrome letters.
The side windows have grown in size overall and have a much sharper outline. The hard crease line on the lower part of the doors has been smoothed out. The puffed out line above the wheel arches has been ditched completely. Fortunately, the slightly curved body line from the front wheel arch to the rear fender did remain where it was.
Over to the rear part, where less changes immediately catch the eye. The exhausts are the same rectangular ones, one on either side. The rear bumper now follows one line, with a slightly expanding chrome strip on top of it.
Moreover, the taillights and license plate space have eloquently altered. The taillights are much sharper, matching the headlights and the license plate space is enlarged.
The interior had a wonderful upgrade too. The first thing you’ll notice is the new steering wheel. It’s much sturdier and ergonomic. It is also more minimalistic and lost the silver grey lining and opening on the bottom. The presence of buttons looks more streamlined and the logo in the middle is bigger.
The center stack had a full redesign. A wider, full-colour infotainment screen now embellishes the top and lost most of the buttons underneath it. Standard is a seven inch screen, optional an eight inch. The infotainment screen lay-out reminds us of the interior cabin of the eco-friendly 2016 Kia Soul Electric Vehicle, a car famed for its clean and modern design.
The air vents beside the screen are smaller and have a sweet silver outline. The air vents on the far left and right had a reshaping too.
The gauges are now placed in a new niche with a bigger TFT-screen for driving information in between. The gear shifter is the only thing that was carried over from the 2016 Equinox.
Multiple interior upholstery options are available, one of which is a denim-style seat fabric. Also, there’s a combination of dark grey and sand-coloured leather, as seen on the image.
On the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox it is now possible to fold the rear seats into the floor, a very welcome addition to any (compact) SUV.
The standard engine on the 2018 Equinox is the 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine. It’s directly injected and makes 170 horsepower. The other gasoline engine is a powerful 2.0 liter four cylinder that makes 252 horsepower. This is of course a great range of options for a compact SUV. A comparable engine is found in the SUV vehicle 2017 Honda Avancier, with a similar sale date as well.
Now, the really special engine is of course the 1.6 liter variable-geometry turbo with stop/start technology. The latter is meant to increase fuel efficiency which now stands at a maximum of 40 mpg on the highway. This engine’s horsepower lies at 136, pretty good for a diesel.
All engines come with Chevy’s nine speed automatic transmission and optional switchable All Wheel Drive.
A remarkable feature of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox with the 2.0L gas engine is that it can tow up to 3500 pounds (1600 kg). This is much more than similar vehicles in its segment can tow.
Apple CarPlay and Android auto are available on both of the MyLink infotainment systems. An OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available as an additional option.
On the side of safety, Chevrolet is never too keen to include options as standard. The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox does offer these features, but at an additional price.
Some outstanding features include Teen Driver Technology, an option that allows parents to keep an eye on the car when their child is driving. Parents can limit the audio volume and mute audio until front seat occupants are buckled or automatically turn on available safety features. Another option is to set a speed limit, the driver is notified when overspeeding and it is shown in the in-vehicle report. In-vehicle reports can be viewed and show statistics about the drive.
Other safety features are: Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Alert. Optional is to use seat vibrations to alert the driver, instead of audio alerts.
Also optional is a rear view camera, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Park Assist. Finally, there’s Lane Departure Warning to top the safety feature range off.
Price and sale date
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox was unveiled on September 22, 2016. US prices are not known yet, but we expect a starting price of $22,000 with higher trims and options going to high in $30,000. Although the 2018 Chevy Equinox is a 2018 model, it will go on sale in the early spring of 2017 with the standard 1.5L engine. The 2.0L gas and turbodiesel engine leave us waiting until the summer of 2017.
The Equinox as such will not become available in Europe, but it is possible that it will replace the current Chevrolet Captiva.
Pricing info is known, starting price of the 2018 Equinox is $24,475 for the entry level.