Although the Equinox received a nice update for the 2016 model year, the next runner-up is already in line. The Equinox receives a complete interior and engine redesign for 2018, with the United States even receiving a diesel engine! As a result, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is the first vehicle in the American compact SUV segment to include one. However, that is not all; Chevrolet also provides two gasoline engines.
We are impressed by Chevrolet’s initiative with the Equinox, and we particularly appreciate the breadth of the changes made. It’s always reassuring to see a car manufacturer work so hard to produce such a high-quality vehicle.
The front fascia has decreased significantly in size. Whereas the previous fascia was rather bulbous, the new one is much more toned down, sleeker, and sharper. The hood has grown in length, adding to the new muscular appearance.
In addition, the headlights are completely new, sharper and wider than the previous oval ones. The fog lights, lower air vent, and bumper have also undergone significant shape changes.
The grille and lower air dam are no longer separated by a body metal strip. Chevrolet also connected the headlights to the grille, resulting in the formation of a front fascia block. Finally, the Chevrolet logo has been relocated to the grille and is now surrounded by chrome.
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 reads ‘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 was also greatly improved. The new steering wheel is the first thing you’ll notice. It’s much more durable and ergonomic. It is also more minimalistic, as the silver grey lining and bottom opening have been removed. The presence of buttons appears to be more streamlined, and the logo in the center is larger.
The center stack was completely redesigned. A larger, full-color infotainment screen now adorns the top, and most of the buttons beneath it have been removed. A seven-inch screen is standard, with an optional eight-inch screen.
The air vents adjacent to the screen are smaller and have a nice silver outline. The far left and right air vents have also been reshaped.
The gauges have been relocated to a new location, with a larger TFT-screen for driving information in between. The only thing carried over from the 2016 Equinox is the gear shifter.
There are several interior upholstery options available, including a denim-style seat fabric. There’s also a mix of dark grey and sand-colored leather.
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 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine is standard on the 2018 Equinox. It has 170 horsepower and is directly injected. The other gasoline engine is a potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 252 horsepower. Of course, there are numerous options for a compact SUV.
The truly unique engine, of course, is the 1.6-liter variable-geometry turbo with stop/start technology. The latter is intended to improve fuel efficiency, which is now capped at 40 mpg on the highway. The horsepower of this engine is 136, which is quite good for a diesel.
All engines come standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission and the option of switchable all-wheel drive.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox with the 2.0L gas engine can tow up to 3500 pounds, which is an impressive feature (1600 kg). This is significantly more than comparable vehicles in its class 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 speeding 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.
The starting price of the 2018 Equinox is $23,580 for the entry level. The Equinox, as such, will not become available in Europe.