What is it: The 2018 Chevy Equinox diesel is a compact crossover powered by a 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine, reportedly good for 39 mpg on the highway. The most luxurious (and expensive) trim level is this Premier version, which adds leather heated seats, rear cross traffic alert, side blind-zone alert, a hands-free power liftgate, 18-inch wheels and more.
Key Competitors: Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape
Base Price: $33,930 As-Tested Price: $34,325
Full Review: 2018 Chevy Equinox first drive
Highlights: The Equinox lost about 400 pounds for the new model year, making it more efficient and easier to pilot. New safety features include the safety alert seat (vibrating pulses on the left, right or both sides of the seat help alert you to the direction of possible danger), low-speed forward automatic braking and a surround vision camera.
Our Opinion: The most exciting thing about this Equinox is its teeny turbodiesel. It only makes 137 hp but brings 240 lb-ft of torque along with it, which makes for a seriously punchy little SUV. I don’t love the styling, but it is perfectly sized for the kind of weekend errands most of us do — which in my case included carting the boy and childseat around in the rear seat.
I started out picking up some cargo from our little local market in downtown Detroit. I folded down the non-childseat side, threw some meats, veggies and plants in and and Road Test Editor Jr. had stuff to look at all the way home, as opposed to just the fronts of the back seats. When will they install a forward-facing, rear-mounted screen for rear-facing toddlers! Kidding, that’s a terrible idea. On Saturday we hauled a ton of boxes of varying sizes and they all fit, with a little wiggling. Unloading them was still a pain in the ass, but that’s not the Equinox’s fault.
Mileage was good. The average indicated was always over 30 mpg, and I drove how I normally drive, which is relatively fast.
The interior is Chevy-simple black and gray, and everything is laid out neatly. The Chevrolet’s SmartLink touchscreen is quick to react and there is a knob for volume, but not tuning. The Chevy does have buttons for tune forward and back though, and thankfully they actually just switched channels and not bounced from favorite to favorite like many cars.
In this realm, I like the Ford Escape a little better. This Equinox feels bigger inside and outside but actually has a few less cubic feet of cargo space overall. The Mazda CX-5 is good too, as well as the GMC Terrain, which is the same vehicle but a step more upscale.
–Jake Lingeman, road test editor
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $33,930
As Tested Price: $34,325
Powertrain: 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 diesel, FWD six-speed automatic
Output: 137 hp @ 3,750 rpm; 240 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,327 lb
Fuel Economy: 28/39/32 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Options: Cajun Red Tintcoat ($395)
Pros: Diesel highway mileage is amazing
Cons: Interior is simple but feels sparse