Improved, but behind the segment benchmark
We Like: Spacious rear seat; great road manners.
We Don’t Like: Driver-selectable AWD switch; Suspect build quality
The new Chevrolet Equinox is worlds better than the version it replaces, but for every step forward it takes, the competition takes two.
Although significantly smaller than the version it replaces, it feels bigger inside. Thanks to the Equinox’s new platform, Chevy was able to boost rear-passenger space, even engineering away that pesky drive shaft hump in back, making the middle seat actually usable. Chevy also revamped the Equinox’s powertrains. We only had access to the 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo I-4 engine paired to a nine-speed automatic and optional all-wheel drive, but Chevrolet also offers a 170-hp 1.5-liter turbo I-4 and a fuel-efficient 1.6-liter turbodiesel I-4.
The top-shelf engine has plenty of power on tap, and the new nine-speed shifts quickly and decisively. The Chevy handles well, too, with exceptional body control and sporty steering. The big negative is the driver-selectable all-wheel-drive switch; the all-wheel-drive system only activates if the driver remembers to press a poorly placed and dimly lit switch on the center console. Forget to press the button or ignore the warnings on the instrument cluster, and getting stuck in snow, sand, or mud is a real possibility.
The materials in the cabin felt built to price, but what holds the Equinox back is its suspect build quality: The door sheetmetal flexes if you gently brush against it, the hatchback creaks when opened and closed, and a weird, booming sound emanates from the back of the cabin at highway speeds. The competition has already set a benchmark far ahead of the Equinox.
Read about other 2018 SUV of the Year contenders:
- Audi Q5
- BMW X4
- Buick Encore
- Buick Envision
- Jeep Compass
- Maserati Levante
- Mazda CX-5
- Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
- Nissan Rogue Sport
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Volvo V90 Cross Country
|2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0T AWD LT|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$36,175|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.0L/252-hp/260-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve I-4|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,759 lb (58/42%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||183.1 x 72.6 x 65.4 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.6 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.2 sec @ 92.1 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||127 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.77 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.0 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||22/28/24 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||153/120 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.80 lb/mile|