2019 Chevy Equinox Review
2019 Chevy Equinox Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Cameron Rogers has worked in the automotive industry since 2013. He has tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Today, he leads the news team in developing cutting-edge news articles, opinion pieces and sneak peeks at upcoming vehicles. Favorite cars that he's driven during his tenure at Edmunds include the 991-era Porsche 911 Turbo S, Rolls-Royce Ghost and several generations of Honda Odyssey (really).
- Three engines to choose from, including a fuel-efficient diesel
- Smooth ride over most road surfaces
- Excellent handling characteristics
- Smaller cargo area compared to most of its competitors
- The base gasoline and diesel engines don't feel very lively
- Interior materials quality is disappointing considering the price
- New Infotainment 3 touchscreen interface
- Newly available adaptive cruise control
- Revised feature availability
- Part of the third Equinox generation introduced for 2018
Fortune doesn't necessarily favor the bold in the compact crossover segment — the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue and the Toyota RAV4 are perennial best-sellers thanks in part to their all-around competencies and history of reliability. Still, automakers strive to make their small SUVs distinct. The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox stands out by bringing high-end luxury features and a couple of distinctive engines to this typically price-conscious class.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox L 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$135/mo for Equinox L
Avg. Midsize SUV
Redesigned just last year, the Equinox is one of the newer entries in this segment. As such, all the latest safety features are available, from a surround-view parking camera to forward collision warning system that can identify pedestrians. Unlike some competitors, most of these features can only be ordered on the top trim level, but at least you can get them. Also available are a panoramic sunroof, a surround-view parking camera and ventilated front seats — rare options in this class.
We also like that the Equinox offers two alternative powertrains if you aren't satisfied with the base turbocharged 1.5-liter engine. At one end of the spectrum is a fuel-efficient diesel that achieves 32 mpg in combined driving (the standard engine earns 28 mpg); at the other, a turbocharged 2.0-liter with an additional 80 horsepower. Be careful, however: Once you start checking the options boxes, the Equinox can be substantially more expensive than rival crossovers. An engine stop-start system that cannot be disabled and disappointing materials quality also might give prospective buyers pause.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.4 / 10
Unusual luxury features and distinctive engine options help differentiate the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox from other compact crossovers. But you'll likely be unimpressed with the base engine and a higher-than-average price tag.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Chevrolet Equinox Premier (turbo 2.0-liter inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2018, the current Equinox has received some revisions, including a revised infotainment system for 2019. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Equinox, however.
|Overall||7.4 / 10|
The upgrade from the base 1.5-liter engine to the 2.0-liter is well-justified with the amount of power and efficiency it delivers. On top of that, the Equinox has impressive handling on a twisty road. The only downside is the big turning radius that affects U-turns and parking.
This engine is one of the best in the class. Acceleration is smooth and very manageable in everyday driving, but the front-wheel-drive model can generate torque steer when you floor it. Ours needed only 6.4 seconds to reach 60 mph, quicker than rivals. The diesel took a more leisurely 9.8 seconds.
The brakes feel nice and dependable. The pedal effort is appropriate for this kind of vehicle, and response is neither grabby nor lazy. It just feels right. Our Equinox executed a panic stop from 60 mph in 115 feet, a solid result in the compact SUV class.
Steering effort is what we expect from a small crossover, with low effort at parking speeds and more weighting at highway speeds. The vehicle tracks straight on most surfaces, and ample on-center feel makes for a relaxing drive. But we noticed some squirm on roads with longitudinal rain grooves.
The Equinox is surprisingly capable and balanced on a challenging twisty road. The handling limits are surprisingly high and approachable in these conditions, and it's just about as fun to drive as the class-leading Mazda CX-5.
We're deducting points for an unusually large turning circle. Multipoint turns are a common occurrence with this car on streets where rivals can make a simple U-turn. We noticed this characteristic when nosing into crowded parking lots, too.
Aside from the poorly placed air vents on the dash and the rather stifling leather upholstery, the Equinox gets high marks for comfort. Driving for many hours on end will not cause any undue fatigue. All things considered, it's comparable to other SUVs in the class.
The front seats are well-shaped for long hours on the road, though the lumbar adjustment seemed a bit too low, pushing on the top of the hips. The cushioning is adequate, but the perforated leather didn't breathe well without the ventilation activated. The rear seats offer good thigh support.
The majority of ruts and bumps are well-absorbed by the compliant suspension. The car feels remarkably solid on the road without any harshness. This is especially impressive when you consider how well the Equinox handles.
Noise & vibration7.0
Road and wind noise is noticeable but not at all intrusive. On paper, it's as comparably quiet as the Honda CR-V, but in practice it sounds marginally louder. The diesel engine emits a lot of chatter that reminds us of old-school diesels.
The vertical vents flanking the touchscreen do a poor job of distributing air. The only part of the driver they're able to cool are your knuckles. The ventilated seats are very effective at reducing the stifling nature of the leather upholstery.
The Equinox interior is attractive and mostly well-configured. But we would prefer the steering wheel to telescope further and wish the panoramic sunroof wasn't as intrusive for rear passengers.
Ease of use7.0
The touchscreen is awkwardly angled away, making it prone to catching glare and obscuring the display. Otherwise, the layout of the controls is logical, and operating the many systems is intuitive.
Getting in/getting out7.0
The step-in height is low enough for smaller passengers to get in with minimal effort, and the doors are small enough to open wide in tight parking spaces. But the bottom edge of the doors are low and prone to scraping on high curbs.
There's a good range of seat adjustment, but the steering wheel doesn't telescope far enough for average-size adult drivers, forcing them to sit closer and more upright than many will prefer.
There's a wealth of room up front, but rear headroom is limited by the panoramic sunroof. Thankfully, you can get the Equinox's best features without opting for the sunroof.
The front roof pillar is a bit thicker than you'll find in rivals, somewhat obstructing the view through left turns. Visibility out the sides and back is typical for other compact SUVs, with some reliance on the rearview camera needed in tight spots.
The interior materials quality is disappointing for the class and even more so when you consider how expensive the Equinox is. Hard plastics are one thing, but the textures are mismatched and there's a definite downmarket look and feel.
While the Equinox doesn't have an abundance of cargo space compared to rivals, it should handle the bulk of everyday hauling. Some thoughtful features help compensate for the lack of on-paper capacity.
There are plenty of bins, pockets and trays to hold your personal effects. The trays for cellphones are particularly helpful with rubberized coverings to keep objects in place.
In terms of cargo capacity, the Equinox is slightly below average, but we think there's plenty of space. Still, it's well below the Honda CR-V's class-leading capacity. The self-folding rear seats and underfloor storage are praiseworthy additions.
Child safety seat accommodation8.0
The LATCH anchors are easy to find and hook up to, and there's plenty of space for forward-facing seats. Rear-facing seats fit well if the passenger seated ahead doesn't slide the seat into the last third of seat travel.
Chevrolet gets high marks for tech, curing many of the ills that plagued past models. It has plenty of features that are standard throughout the lineup, and the inclusion of six USB ports ensures all devices will be charged.
Audio & navigation8.0
The infotainment system's sharp graphics make it easy to read at a glance. The optional Bose premium audio is surprisingly powerful with excellent clarity.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment. The Apple CarPlay system had no glitches to speak of and is more intuitive than the MyLink system. It's a good substitute for the optional navigation system that forces you to add the panoramic sunroof. Also, there are six USB ports.
The forward collision warning system is well-tuned to avoid false alarms and is also adjustable for sensitivity. The lane keeping assist, however, doesn't activate until you're well over the line. We're fans of the safety alert seat, which is more effective than beeps and flashes.
The MyLink and Apple CarPlay voice controls are equally good at accurately deciphering commands. The Apple CarPlay gets a slight edge for the ability to use more natural speech, but it is reliant on an internet connection.
Which Equinox does Edmunds recommend?
Considering the L is special order only, and the LS doesn't add much for a substantial price bump, we think it's worth skipping straight to the LT model. Its list of added features isn't extensive, but you do get upgraded headlights for better nighttime visibility, along with satellite radio and tinted glass. The LT also opens the doors to several worthy option packages. The Confidence and Convenience package stands out, with additional luxury features and blind-spot monitoring.
2019 Chevrolet Equinox models
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox is a five-passenger compact crossover that costs a bit more than most rivals. It's sold in four trims: L, LS, LT and Premier. 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's more expensive and doesn't add much. 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. Both of these engines can be ordered on LT and Premier trim levels.
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 a Wi-Fi hotspot, a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports up front, and two charge-only USB ports in the rear.
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 and a tire jack. 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. The new LS Convenience package adds a power driver's seat and rear privacy glass.
Stepping up to the LT adds xenon headlights, an upgraded information display, auxiliary rear-seat release levers, satellite radio, and the contents of the LS Convenience package. Select either of the optional engines and you'll also add a sunroof and roof rails, while the 2.0-liter motor exclusively adds 18-inch wheels.
The LT offers three notable feature packages. The Lights and Brights package pads on 19-inch wheels, chrome exterior trim, and LED headlights and taillights. The Infotainment package adds a 120-volt household-style power outlet, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation and two USB ports in the armrest bin. The related Sun and Navigation package includes the contents of the Infotainment package plus a sunroof. (Note that Chevy discontinued this package partway through the model year.)
For increased safety, get the Confidence and Convenience package, which includes rear parking sensors, a power liftgate (except on the diesel), remote engine start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.
Finally, the range-topping Premier includes the above packages (minus the navigation system and panoramic sunroof) 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. Nineteen-inch wheels are added with the selection of the 2.0-liter engine.
Even the top-trim Premier leaves some goodies on the table. The feature-heavy Confidence and Convenience II package adds automatic high-beam control, a 360-degree parking camera system, a heated steering wheel, a power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, a meter that measures the distance (in time) between you and the car in front, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking. The Sun, Sound and Navigation package (also discontinued midway through the model year) builds on top of this package with 19-inch wheels, the panoramic sunroof and the contents of the Infotainment II package (navigation and a seven-speaker Bose audio system with HD radio).
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4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
2019 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I've spent months test driving vehicles, researching, and it looks like the 2019 Equinox is going to be the one. First off, I'm coming from a F-150 with a big V8, so I know what adequate power feels like. The 1.5L is perfectly adequate for accelerating; it was tested in highway merging and residential traffic conditions. Out of all the SUV's I tested it was the only one that felt like … it responded as needed. The quiet engine and transmission shifting is simply the smoothest in this class. The back seats are super comfy even in the lowest trims. The only negatives for me: 1)the back cargo space is smaller than others. However, it does have a neat hidden cargo space above the spare. 2)I don't desire adaptive cruise control myself but I do believe lane assist and blind spot warning should come standard on all cars at this point without an upcharge. Technology features are superb, clear info screen and enough USB ports. I think if you cross shop and test all the SUV's in this class, you'll see what a wonderful vehicle the Equinox is.
5 out of 5 stars
We SWITCHED to Chevy
2019 Chevrolet Equinox Premier 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
I compared this SUV to the Cadillac XT4 and GMC Terrain Denali...I have a 2017 Terrain Denali FWD but I use to have a 2016 AWD and liked it so we got the 2019 Equinox Premier AWD as even in the rain AWD is better even living in the south as it hardly snows here the $1500 extra is worth it and in the chevy you can SWITCH it off to just FWD. The one negative comment I have is the TIRE … noise we have the 19 inch japan brand tires and they have road noise. My terrain has 18 inch Michelin they are much better. We got this suv for my wife to drive around town. Price wise this dealer has all GM makes and the Chevy Equinox Premier comparing them the Cady was $7,000 higher and the GMC Terrain was about $1500 ALL had the exact same OPTIONS when we priced them out but the Chevy had $2000 more in rebates also at that time..You get a lot more for the bucks if you get the Premier with the 2.0 Turbo AWD combination. I was afraid of a 4 cyl as I always had 6 or 8 cyl but this 2.0L Turbo with 255 HP will really go and I use the Regular gas even though they "recommend " premium just to get Govt Fuel rates is why as you will get slightly less MPG with the reg but you save the 60 cent per gallon price difference The Msrp Price was $42,650 this suv was really LOADED but after Rebates at that time paid $37600 plus T,T,&T.
5 out of 5 stars
I STILL LOVE MY CHEVY EQUINOX after 4 1/2 years
Tommy Vee, 02/23/2019
2019 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Nothing has changed about my review below, from 3 years ago. DO NOT listen to the negative comments from the critics in car magazines and online about this Equinox. The 1.5 - 4 cylinder turbo engine is GREAT. I wanted this engine and did not want the 2.0. I was looking for an SUV that rides well and is fuel efficient. I am very happy. I am getting a lot better mileage than my last … SUV. My Equinox rides very well, the seats are very comfortable, and there's plenty of room inside. I do not need the navigation system. I am using the Android Auto app on my cell and I now use Waze on the screen. My only complaint is that I wish the warranty lasted longer than 3 years/36,000 miles. This is my 1st GM car since my 1988 Firebird. I went with foreign cars after the Firebird and now I am back with GM. I also wish they had a auto dimming rear view mirror.
5 out of 5 stars
First SUV, and first update...
2019 Chevrolet Equinox Premier 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6A)
Update: Still enjoying the Equinox TD with nearly 7,000 miles traveled. MPGs continue to be on the remarkable side for this type of vehicle. Suburban and highway trips have yielded 43+ mpg average. First oil change and tire rotation at 6,000 miles. The interior remains comfortable and quiet in any environment. The Bose sound system is excellent. Driving characteristics are great, easy … to navigate in traffic, parking lots and on Interstates. Safety sensors are very helpful in traffic. The 360 degree camera is amazing for squeezing successfully out of impossible spots. The 1.6L turbo diesel engine is definitely a little powerhouse. Gotta watch those takeoffs from a standing start. I have to continue giving this Chevy a couple of thumbs up. Original review: Needed a new wagon. These small SUVs are the new wagons, I guess. Thoroughly test drove all the small SUVs on the market. Loved the CR-V. Last on the Test Drive list was the Equinox and I have to say that my wife and I were very surprised by the ride quality, interior comfort and safety equipment. It lacks a bit of the load room that CR-V has, but the removable rear floor panel allows for bicycles to be loaded standing up inside the cargo area attached to fork mounts. That clinched the sale. Well, that and the fact that a fully optioned 2019 diesel Premier ended up costing significantly less than a CR-V Touring. The 360 degree camera is quite the aid getting in and out of tight spots. Adaptable cruise control works really well, and allows for less stressful Interstate travel. Our first trip was 1,500 miles. Equinox has very linear highway driving dynamics and is quiet. Ventilated seats are a definite plus. I give these seats an A+ for comfort. The 1.6L diesel delivered impressive efficiency with a measured 41 mpg on the trip where average speeds were 65 to 70 mph in less than perfect weather. MPG is especially good considering that we had rear seats down and the load area filled, so not traveling light. I can't comment on durability yet since our Equinox is new. If there's anything I don't like, it's the usual vulnerable interior plastic surfaces. I found an awful lot of very easily scratched interior plastic in all the small SUVs that we test drove.
2019 Equinox Highlights
|Combined MPG||28 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$135/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
Our experts like the Equinox models:
- Safety Alert Seat
- Vibrates to alert the driver when advanced safety systems, including the parking sensors and blind-spot monitor, are triggered.
- Side Blind Zone Alert
- Illuminates a light on the Equinox's outside mirrors if there's a vehicle in or approaching the Equinox's left- or right-hand blind spot.
- Forward Collision Alert
- Sounds an alarm if the Equinox rapidly approaches the vehicle in front and a collision is deemed imminent.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.4%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedMarginal
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood