2018 Chevrolet Equinox | First Impressions

    Posted by Wheels On Edge about 7 months ago
    Canadians love big cars. No matter what the cost of fuel is, sales of larger vehicles, especially crossovers, continue to rise across Canada and North America. It’s a lucrative market, and manufacturers know this so how do they get their crossovers to stand out? Constant improvement. Can Chevrolet’s new Equinox get a leg up on the likes of Honda, Toyota and Ford? We went out to South Carolina to find out.

    The new Equinox is both smaller and lighter than its outgoing predecessor. Chevrolet’s redesign shaved off over 180 kilograms from the total weight and despite a more compact size, the company managed to increase cargo space. The new styling is sharper, but not overwhelmingly so. It utilizes design language from other vehicles in Chevy’s lineup on the outside and inside.
    On the inside, buyers can opt for two choices of two-tone leathers

    On the inside, buyers can opt for two choices of two-tone leathers. The base cloth seats are surprisingly nice, utilizing a denim-like pattern, elevating the standard fabric to something that at least looks more premium. Cheaper plastic surfaces can still be apparent, especially on the base trim level, but overall, the cabin of the new Equinox is a rather pleasant place to be. 

    Chevrolet is trying to push the bang for your buck ratio on the 2018 Equinox. Standard features, even on the base model, include a remote starter, start/stop ignition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support and a rear view camera. Parents may also be pleased with the inclusion of the Teen Driver tech, which lets them monitor and place restrictions on their children’s driving. Moving up in trim levels yields luxuries and safety features like a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, WiFi connectivity, parking assistance and a wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones.

    Our fleet of test cars only featured the base 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Chevrolet will offer the Equinox with an optional 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder or – perhaps more exciting – a 1.6L turbocharged diesel engine that is said to be good for 5.7 L/100km, or about 40 US MPG. 
    The base 1.5L engine is perfectly adequate

    During our test, we forged a route from Greenville, South Carolina to Asheville, North Carolina. This gave us a good mix of suburban roads, twisty country roads, winding and climbing mountain roads and a few blasts on the highway. The base 1.5L engine is perfectly adequate in regular city driving. It won’t blow you away with sheer power, but it gets the job done with little to no fuss. The engine did seem to struggle somewhat while ascending some of the mountainous roads in the Carolinas and carving through the more winding areas, but the handling, at least, was very composed.

    Chevrolet’s new Equinox starts at $25,159 in Canada for the base front-wheel drive LS model. Chevrolet expects the majority of Canadian buyers will, at the minimum, go for the optional All Wheel Drive – which can be toggled between AWD and FWD. Our country is known for its winter weather after all, and AWD gives many drivers peace of mind on the road. The range topping Equinox Premiere, starting at $31,795, can further be kitted with the “Confidence and Convenience,” and “True North” package, which includes a 360-degree camera view, panoramic dual sunroof and an upgraded sound system. 

    We’ll go more in depth with the new Equinox once we get our hands on the other available engine and trim levels. 

    Written by Shane Kalicharan

    Tags:
     2018 Chevrolet Equinox, Review, SUV, south carolina 

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