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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
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Expert's Rating

3.5Good | Details

MPG

25 City / 32 Highway

The compact SUV race has proven to be a long, uncompromising one. Updates happen often in order to satiate consumer demands. After dragging its Equinox crossover through a seven-year second generation, Chevrolet has redesigned the popular SUV for 2018.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is all-new and features a restyled exterior, an updated interior, a new 9-speed automatic transmission, and added safety technologies. The new Equinox also features the brand’s first all-turbocharged engine lineup, including a segment-first diesel.

Chevy Equinox

Choosing Your Chevrolet Equinox

The Equinox ranks as Chevy’s second best-selling vehicle behind its Silverado full-size pickup. After watching the competition garner market share and awards with their new crossovers, the Bowtie brand updated its segment entry with new gadgets and gizmos but with relatively stable pricing.

The standard engine is a 1.5-liter, turbocharged inline-four that delivers 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 26 miles per gallon city, 32 highway, and 28 combined for front-wheel drive models. All-wheel drive configurations are rated at 24/30/26 mpg.

The 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder works with a nine-speed automatic and boasts 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The EPA estimates front-drive models will return 22 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 combined while all-wheel-drive drops those figures to 22/28/24 mpg rating.

The upcoming 1.6-liter turbodiesel uses a six-speed automatic and delivers 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Not yet tested by the EPA, Chevy estimates the diesel model will achieve up to 40 mpg highway. Both the 2.0-liter turbo and 1.6-liter diesel should arrive in dealerships sometime this summer and be offered in LT and Premier models only.

New available safety features include a safety alert seat that can vibrate to warn drivers, automatic braking, front-collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear seat reminder, and a surround-view camera system.

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is available in four trim levels:

L

Also known as the L trim, the base model starts at $24,525 (including $945 destination) and comes with an assortment of amenities: 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires, heated outside mirrors, keyless entry, keyless ignition, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a seven-inch Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity.

Chevrolet made a few interesting equipment decisions with its base model. For example, LED daytime running lights are paired with halogen headlamps and floor mats are provided only in the front. 12-volt power outlets are in all rows and the rear cargo area, but there's only a single USB port in the front center stack. A tire inflator kit takes the place of the spare tire, which is available on other trims . There also are only two exterior color choices (silver, white), one interior hue (gray), no body-color exterior adornments, and no rear privacy glass.

There is no skimping on safety, however, as a rearview camera, Teen Driver controls, and a trail package of OnStar Guidance Plan are standard. Teen Driver allows for configurable vehicle settings associated with a key fob, which includes limiting certain features as well as preventing safety systems from being disabled. The OnStar Guidance Plan offers a variety of features such as roadside assistance, automatic crash response, stolen vehicle support, and advanced diagnostics.

AWD is not available on the base model, nor are any options packages.

LS

For $26,455, the LS model adds few extras: rear carpeted floor mats and a 16-inch compact spare tire. Package options do increase from zero to three, but all are cosmetic and generally related to all-weather protection and cargo area functionality. The interior remains a gray cloth but exterior colors now total seven, with dark green and orange being $395 premium options.

Other accessories, such as a vehicle entry keypad, black bowtie emblems, and wheel locks, are now available as well. For all-wheel drive models, add $1,750.

LT

Starting at $27,295 for front-wheel drive models and $29,445 for all-wheel drive, the LT trim is where the Equinox begins to look and feel like a competitive product. Exterior colors choices are up to 12, including four premium choices with a $395 add-on fee, and the cloth interior adds two shades of black to the existing gray.

Standard features now include HID headlamps, SiriusXM satellite radio, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and roof-mounted luggage attachments.

Chevrolet lumped the convenience and technology features familiar to consumers into expansive bundles. For example, the Confidence and Convenience Package demands $1,945 and adds remote start, heated power-adjustable body-colored outside mirrors, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an integrated garage opener, a power liftgate, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

The Sun and Infotainment Package ($1,995) adds a panoramic sunroof, an eight-inch MyLink touchscreen, a multi-color driver information cluster, six USB ports, and a 120-volt power outlet. Other option groups mirror the protection-related items available on the LS.

Premier

The top-of-line Premier model starts at $31,735 for front-wheel drive and $35,380 for all-wheel drive. Included as standard equipment are 18-inch wheels along with the features of the LT's Confidence and Convenience and Sun and Infotainment packages. Interior lighting, memory settings, leather seating, wireless charging, fog lamps, and a gesture-activated liftgate round out the trim-specific standard features. Packages offer additional Premier-only options, particularly in the safety category.

The $1,895 Confidence and Convenience II package, for example, features forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, following distance indicator, a safety alert seat, a surround-view camera system, and adaptable headlights. Convenience features include heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and an eight-way power adjustable passenger seat.

The Sun, Sound, and Navigation package ($3,320) includes a panoramic sunroof, an eight-inch MyLink touchscreen with navigation (this is independent of the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto navigation systems standard on all 2018 Equinox models), a premium Bose sound system, HD radio, and 19-inch ultra-bright aluminum alloy wheels.

CarsDirect Tip

What makes the crossover such an attractive buy are amenities and affordability. Although Chevrolet kept pricing for the Equinox LT and Premier steady from 2017 for both front- and all-wheel drive configurations, the numbers listed above are still based only on the base 1.5-liter engine. Currently, with all the boxes checked, a 2018 Equinox Premier AWD will run an eye-opening $42,405. Until Chevy releases the 2.0-liter turbo and diesel models, our recommendation is the LT with the Confidence and Convenience Package, which will keep the tab at a reasonable $29,240.

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