2018 Chevrolet Equinox Revealed With Malibu-esque Styling, Turbo Engine Lineup, Diesel Option

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2018 chevrolet equinox revealed with malibu esque styling turbo engine lineup

Chevrolet has lifted the curtain on its next-generation Equinox, revealing a host of technological and styling updates for a long-running model that had grown long in the tooth.

The changes coming for the 2018 model year put the Equinox as a proper compact SUV, as the slimmed-down model sheds significant weight and adopts a trio of turbocharged four-cylinders. Going out on a limb in the red-hot market segment, Chevrolet plans to offer a diesel.

Looking like a Malibu that morphed into an SUV, the next-generation Equinox adopts the design language of Chevy’s newest crop of small sedans. Forget about the yawnmobiles of yesteryear and get a load of these busy, flowing flanks, the model shouts.

Underneath the skin, the changes are equally dramatic — maybe even more so. Chevy engineers shaved 400 pounds from the Equinox, which now weighs 10 percent less than the previous model. With rear seats folded flat, GM lists interior cargo volume at 63.5 cubic feet.

Like its recently redesigned Malibu stablemate, the Equinox’s diet allows it to accept a four-cylinder-only engine lineup. Gone is GM’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter V6.

The entry-level mill is the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder found in the Malibu, making 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Chevy doesn’t list the transmission, but it’s almost certainly the brand’s trusty six-speed automatic.

GM’s new 9T50 nine-speed automatic comes standard on up-level models powered by a 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four. While the automaker hasn’t announced torque figures for this mill (it’s a 2 hp bump over the 2.0-liter found in up-level Malibus), it does promise the same max trailering capacity as past V6 models (3,500 pounds).

There’s plenty of debate over the future of light-duty diesel engines in North America — mainly, is there a future? — but Chevy doesn’t seem worried about the oil-burning stigma spawned by Volkswagen’s emissions deception. The optional 1.6-liter turbo-diesel is the only engine of its type in the North American compact SUV market. Making 136 hp and 236 lb-ft, the mill adopts start/stop technology and allows the automaker to advertise a GM-estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

Highway mileage for front-wheel-drive base models is estimated at 31 mpg, while the 2.0-liter front-wheel-drive variant is estimated at 28 mpg. All-wheel-drive models adopt a switchable system that decouples from the rear axle when four-wheel traction isn’t needed, a la Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200, further aiding fuel economy.

The 2018 Equinox goes on sale in the first quarter of 2017.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • Rudiger Rudiger on Sep 25, 2016

    There are a couple caveats that go along with the diesel. First, will it require urea additive to meet emissions. Not a big deal, but having to constantly buy and refill that stuff might be a pain to some. More critical is the price. As everyone knows, GM has a real bad habit of pricing wanted options in the stratosphere. No one buys them, they end up discontinuing the option, and then put big incentives on the hood to eventually unload them. This is also rather important considering how cheap gasoline happens to be right now. If the diesel Equinox is priced reasonably, it could do alright. Otherwise, just another failed GM product. I'm a little torn on that big side 'swoop'. Seems like the stylists were channeling the now discontinued Mazda5, which might not be such a hot idea since that wasn't exactly a big seller. And, hopefully, the new Equinox' rear seats will fold flat. The current one has a two-tier effect in the cargo area when the rear seats are folded.

    • Shaker Shaker on Sep 25, 2016

      "And, hopefully, the new Equinox’ rear seats will fold flat." They do - there's a one-minute video @ Chevy's website. Of course the big print gives the "40"/"31" highway numbers for the diesel/1.5l turbo. Yes, every SUV owner drives on the highway most of the time, and will not be disappointed by the 15MPG city that they'll get. Edit - Rants redacted :-(

  • Rudiger Rudiger on Sep 25, 2016
    "They do – there’s a one-minute video @ Chevy’s website." Were they the last? I remember when the hoary old Aveo was like the only small car that had non-flat-folding rear seats. Better late to the party than never, I suppose.
    • Shaker Shaker on Sep 26, 2016

      I guess that Chevy had to make up for not keeping the sliding rear seat somehow.

  • Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.