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2018 Chevrolet Equinox: Real World Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Chevrolet Equinox, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Chevrolet Equinox Review

The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is hitting the streets this summer, and two Autotrader staff members recently had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Chevy’s totally redesigned crossover. This past weekend, data specialist Dwight Cunningham traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for a Chevrolet-sponsored event and was able to experience the Equinox’s top-of-the-line Premier trim. Right around the same time, content producer Rob Nestora was traversing (ahem) the streets of Atlanta, Georgia in the Equinox’s second-highest trim — the LT.

Nashville Star

On the back roads and hills just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, Dwight Cunningham tested the top-of-the-line Equinox with its Premier trim, all-wheel drive and largest available engine. Under the hood, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder unit producing 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque supplies the Equinox with ample power. Exclusive to the 2.0-liter engine is a 9-speed automatic transmission, providing silky smooth shifting which makes it virtually inconspicuous to the driver. Dwight praised the spirited engine and excellent transmission as he put the Equinox through its paces on the winding country roads. A note on the AWD system: The system is switchable and allows you to toggle between FWD and AWD, but does not automatically switch into AWD, thereby allowing you to stay in FWD to save fuel. Instead, a prompt appears whenever the system feels that you should switch into all-wheel drive.

Cunningham also appreciated the Premier trim’s interior design and mix of materials. Given the price of this particular Equinox and trim level coming in right around $41,000, Dwight did feel that the quality of materials begins to feel somewhat cheap in comparison with other vehicles at the same price point. In addition, he felt the seats were moderately comfortable, but due to a sportier design which tends to hug the occupant, some drivers might feel somewhat constrained. See the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox models for sale near you

Meanwhile, in Atlanta …

Amid the suburbs, traffic and urban sprawl of Atlanta, Georgia, Autotrader’s Rob Nestora took an Equinox with the LT trim for a pretty average weekend of errands and commuting across the metro area. This particular Equinox was powered by the base-level 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine doling out an adequate 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. Despite finding the Equinox easy to drive with a facility reminiscent of Chevy’s diminutive Cruze, Nestora did think that the engine might be just slightly under-powered when fully occupied.

The subject of the interior on the LT Trim is one with a bit of contention. While some of the staff have enjoyed Chevrolet’s premium cloth interior on other models, Rob thought it felt more suited to a rugged SUV and not necessarily a more mainstream crossover. Nestora did note that while this is not the material some might prefer on their crossovers, it would be highly appropriate for parents with messy children or pets. In general, the interior of the LT trim of the Equinox didn’t feel remarkable in any way, but adequate given its price point right around $32,000. Rob did enjoy the infotainment options including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the easy-loading rear-cargo area and its automatic tailgate.

Conclusions

It seems that while the LT Trim of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is just fine for many shoppers, the Premier Trim with the 2.0L engine and all-wheel drive feels like a large leap forward over other the LT, while commanding a steep price increase. Drivers are also treated to the exclusive 9-speed automatic transmission with 2.0-liter engine, which is much more enjoyable than the standard 6-speed automatic found on the smaller engines. However, depending on your budget and lifestyle, the Equinox has a trim level that is just right for you.

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