The new Chevy Equinox, particularly in the less-expensive LT version like this, offers a lot of what you need and none of what you don’t. Though I want a sunroof, I don’t need one. The bumpy fabric seats don’t really appeal to the eye but they were perfect for my 5-foot-10, not-very-wide frame. Back support and the bolsters kept me planted in my seat and I put a few hundred miles on this ‘ute, so I was in there for a while. The dash looks a little cheap, but the leather-wrapped steering wheel looks and feels nice.
What’s more important in the Equinox is that there’s plenty of space, front and back, and I threw a ton of baby stuff in the cargo area without having to maneuver. The child seat and base were easy to hook in, and still left plenty of room for the front passenger.
This particular SUV is powered by the smaller 1.5-liter turbo four from Chevy. Power is only at 170 hp but torque is at 203 lb-ft. I’d say it’s just enough not to be annoying. You have to floor it to get any speed going, but most of the time it’s perfectly acceptable. The MPG gauge claims I got 26.5 in my last 50 miles, and that’s impressive. It cost me 30 bucks to fill it up with regular — no need for premium fuel here even with the turbo.
Acceleration is, like I said, acceptable — the new Equinox is 400 pounds lighter than the outgoing model — but never thrilling. The brakes have a great feel with little pedal travel and any jarring inside the cabin from bumps is mostly kept in check; the noise, less so, but at $30K and change, I think that’s acceptable.
It’s a better handler than the outgoing model as well and the steering weight and feel is pretty good for this class of car. Not too light, not too heavy.
The new 2018 Equinox ranges from about $25,500 to about $32,000, so it offers a lot of car for the money. That 1.5 is not your only choice, either: There’s a stout 2-liter turbo and a diesel available in the Equinox ine too.
It’s easy to live with and deserves a test drive if you’re in the market for a compact SUV.
–Jake Lingeman, road test editor
The new Equinox gets the same grille treatment found on the Cruze, Trax and every other current-gen Chevy available. The familiar styling on this Equinox feels a little too familiar; the interior, too feels borrowed from its production line compatriots. The plasticky rubber dash and hard touch points won’t earn too many accolades, but they should last a long time.
The smaller turbocharged I4 is potent enough for you to forget about the styling. Hauling your family around won’t tax the powertrain, but you might find the automatic stop-start to be invasive. Every new Chevy (with the exception of its performance cars) rolls out with this undefeatable system, so we’re hoping Chevy will iron out the system’s jarring nature.
Chevy put the Equinox on a 400-pound diet and made it into the crossover that most folks say that they want, so it’ll likely be a hit despite my styling ennui.
–Wes Wren, associate editor
Options: Confidence and convenience package including rear power liftgate, remote vehicle start, driver and front passenger heated seats, dual-zone air conditioning, auto climate control, universal home remote, leather-wrapped steering wheel, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, power adjustable outside mirrors, heated ($1,945)
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $29,395
As Tested Price: $31,735
Powertrain: 1.5-liter DOHC turbocharged I4, AWD six-speed automatic
Output: 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm; 203 lb-ft @ 2,000-4,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,540 lb
Fuel Economy: 24/30/26 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Pros: Space for family and stuff
Cons: Nothing really exciting or soulful about it