2018 Chevrolet Equinox Review
Edmunds expert review
In 2016, the Chevrolet Equinox outsold every other vehicle in GM's lineup except the Silverado pickup. Not a bad year, but the Equinox still didn't do as well as its competitors from Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. That's not a complete surprise since the segment favors the latest and greatest, and the Equinox has stayed more or less the same since 2010. We appreciated the previous model for its copious interior and cargo room, but it was clear the Equinox was uncompetitive in terms of performance, comfort and value. That changes with the debut of the redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.
The new Equinox is smaller and lighter than the vehicle it replaces, and it's powered exclusively by turbocharged four-cylinder engines with standard engine stop-start technology. Chevy says the most economical of these, an optional 1.6-liter diesel engine, will achieve an impressive 40 mpg on the highway. Even if you don't go for the diesel option, the standard engines all deliver improved fuel economy figures compared to the previous Equinox.
The downsizing has barely impacted the Equinox's spacious interior. There's plenty of legroom for tall passengers in all outboard seats — though the panoramic sunroof reduces headroom for those in the rear — and the back seats fold flat at the pull of a lever to increase the size of the cargo area to 63.5 cubic feet. You'll appreciate the extra space because the 29.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats is smaller than most in this class.
The Equinox features plenty of advanced safety equipment, from standard items such as a rearview camera and Chevy's Teen Driver reporting feature to a top-down parking camera system and lane departure warning and intervention. Tech features are also abundant, with every Equinox boasting a touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
The Equinox is not the most exciting compact crossover to drive, but it is one of the best all-rounders in the class. If you can look past its small cargo area, you'll be rewarded with a comfortable ride, roomy cabin and one of the best touchscreen systems in the business.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox as one of Edmunds' Best Small SUVs for this year.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The base L model seems like a great deal, until you realize that it's a custom-order model and you'll have to wait for it to be built. You'll find the LS at practically any dealer, but it doesn't offer much more than the L for the added price. Best to skip straight to the LT, which is just a bit more expensive and includes more features and access to additional options. If you want the LT and its two packages, the leather-trimmed Premier includes it all.
Three engines are offered on the Equinox. The standard engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder (170 horsepower, 203 pound-feet of torque) matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. A more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (252 hp, 260 lb-ft) is optional and comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Also optional is a fuel-efficient 1.6-liter diesel (137 hp, 240 lb-ft) mated to a six-speed automatic. The 1.5-liter engine is the only engine available now. The optional engines won't be offered until later in the model year. Until we have a better understanding of the features offered in conjunction with the selection of the diesel and 2.0-liter engines, the following trim breakdown applies solely to the 1.5-liter engine.
The front-drive-only base L is well equipped, and it comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, a fuel-saving engine stop-start system, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a driver information display, height-adjustable front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Chevrolet's Teen Driver watchdog modes, Bluetooth, OnStar (with 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot), a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It's a built-to-order trim, however, so you're most likely going to see the next-level LS on dealer lots. It's pricier and doesn't add much besides rear floor mats, a spare tire, a tire jack and a digital compass. It does open the door to an expanded range of exterior colors and availability of all-wheel drive, however, so it's worth considering if you want the least expensive AWD model.
Stepping up to the LT adds xenon headlights, rear privacy glass, a leather-wrapped shift knob, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way lumbar adjustment), auxiliary rear-seat release levers and satellite radio.
The LT offers two notable feature packages. The Sun and Infotainment package adds a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded driver information display, an 8-inch touchscreen, a second USB port in the front, two USB ports in the armrest bin and two charge-only USB ports in back. The Confidence and Convenience package includes rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, remote engine start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring that also detects rapidly approaching cars in the next lane.
Finally, the range-topping Premier includes the above packages (minus the panoramic sunroof, which can be added separately), along with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, foglights, auto-dimming mirrors, roof rails, a hands-free liftgate, chrome exterior trim, ambient interior lighting, driver-seat memory settings, perforated leather upholstery and wireless device charging.
Even the top-trim Premier leaves some goodies on the table. Standard on all-wheel-drive models and optional for front-wheel-drive models is the feature-heavy Confidence and Convenience II package. It adds automatic high-beam control, a top-down, 360-degree parking camera system, a heated steering wheel, an eight-way power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, lane departure warning and mitigation, Chevy's Safety Alert seat, a meter that measures the distance (in time) between you and the car in front, and forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking at low speeds. The Sun, Sound and Navigation package builds on top of this package with 19-inch wheels, the panoramic sunroof, navigation and a seven-speaker Bose audio system with HD radio.
Noise & vibration7.0
Ease of use7.0
Getting in/getting out7.0
Child safety seat accommodation8.0
Audio & navigation8.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.