The compact SUV market is still hotter than hot. And Chevrolet’s 2018 Equinox is equipped and positioned nicely to earn its share. In fact, Equinox sales have reached nearly two million, making it Chevy’s second best-selling vehicle, only trailing the Silverado.
My recent tester was the Premier, front-wheel drive, 1.5 turbo model that seats up to five adults and comes with a generous cargo area. The Equinox has been redesigned and now is 400 pounds lighter with expressive styling that echoes the Volt, Malibu and Cruze.
The turbocharged engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Together, they generate 170 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 203 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. Equinox receives an EPA rating of 32 miles per gallon down the highway.
Also new, for this model year, is available denim-style seat fabric that blends high style with durability. New safety features include low-speed forward automatic braking, surround vision and an “alert seat” that vibrates when danger is near.
Equinox is also the first model I’ve driven that includes a chime, when the vehicle is turned off, that alerts the driver to check the rear seat for children. This feature is in direct response to incidents during the summer months that led to children being left behind in overheated vehicles.
Chevy also offers the Equinox in L, LS, LT, 1LT, 2LT and 3LT/diesel configurations to create features and price points that will appeal to a wide range of consumers.
My Premier tester included a Confidence & Convenience Package ($1,895) that added heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear-outboard seats, lane-keep assist and departure warning. The heated features were appreciated during the first bout of cold fall weather.
An even longer list of standard features makes the Equinox a keeper. Highlights include leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, and rear-view camera.
When it comes to safety, this Chevy competes with the best. Features include stability and traction control, teen driver, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, side blind-zone alert, theft deterrent system, anti-lock brakes and remote vehicle start.
My tester came with a Cajun Red coat of paint. Other exterior appointments include 18-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a hands-free power lift gate, and deep-tinted rear glass.
Assembled in both Canada and Mexico, the Equinox was named the most dependable compact SUV as determined by J.D. Power & Associates when measuring 2013 model-year vehicles over a three-year period.
Base Price: $30,790
Price As Driven: $33,975
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.