By on September 23, 2016

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

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.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

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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90 Comments on “2018 Chevrolet Equinox Revealed with Malibu-esque Styling, Turbo Engine Lineup, Diesel Option...”


  • avatar
    Snail Kite

    Wow that looks awful. The Malibu is fine from some angles, but the styling sure doesn’t translate to this.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I wouldn’t call it attractive, but I think it looks pretty good overall, certainly not ugly and certainly in relationship to competitors (CRV, Escape, RAV4, etc). The new Malibu looks downright sharp in top trims if you ask me.

      I will agree thought that the styling looks better on cars than on the new equinox. There is the 2018 Traverse in 2/3 scale.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    What a coinkydink, I was just thinking to myself, “I wonder if we’ll ever get a reveal of the next-gen Equinox.” I think it looks great.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’m digging Chevy’s current language, which values quiet dignity and refinement over bold-for-bold’s sake (or the awful “Slap a Silvy Grille On Everything” school of the early 00’s).

    Granted, their understated evolution kick seems to be hurting Camaro sales (though the subtle restyling isn’t the only reason), but they did a good job making the new ‘Nox look, well, _new_, without alienating customers who didn’t necessarily want a huge deviation.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    what do we know about the 9T50’s design? did they need to do similar tricks like ZF to fit 9 ratios in a transaxle?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I really think that the 1.6L diesel was a bad choice for a car that is approximately 3600lbs (before any passengers or cargo are added). A 2.0 diesel would have made it much more pleasant and likely given up very little fuel economy in the real world.

    I also don’t know if shrinking it to match the size of the competition was a good call — for the US market anyway. I feel being bigger than the CR-V, Rav4, and Escape was a selling point.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Shrinking the Equinox allows Chevy to better slide another CUV between the the Equinox and the Traverse.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        So new GMC Acadia is smaller than old Acadia, and now offers a 4-cyl with V6 optional.

        New Equinox is smaller than old Equinox and I’ve heard that the new Traverse is going to stay the same size as the outgoing Lambda. So this means Chevy’s lineup will soon be New Equinox, New C1XX platform, New Traverse?

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      Yes, but keeping the new Equinox as a true compact leaves room in-between it and the much larger Traverse for a midsize CUV. Like a Chevy branded EnVision.
      But wait, isn’t that made in…CHINA!!! AAHH! Run to the hills! Forget I said that.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      It doesn’t really sound appealing to me either, but keep in mind the 4-cylinder Equinox has been slow from day one and a hot seller from day one. Better mileage and a richer torque curve may be very appealing for a number of buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Even in its previous larger size it already gave up cargo space to the CRV and Rav4, looking at the numbers now that is an even bigger problem now!

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    GM make a CUV with the Gen 2 Voltec drive. I know it won’t make you money short term, especially with $2 a gallon gas, but think long term strategic planning. That’s how you make sure your still building cars 25-50 years from now.!

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “GM make a CUV with the Gen 2 Voltec drive”

      SECONDED

      Much better than the diesel option – sometimes I can’t figure out what the heck GM is thinking.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “Much better than the diesel option – sometimes I can’t figure out what the heck GM is thinking”

        Agree. And why not a Voltec in a Buick? Wouldn’t that be hugely popular in China? I’d think so.

        And you have had your Volt longer than me. I’m seeing mid 40’s when running on gas with only highway driving using the “hold” mode. Is it accurate t say that like a regular ICE vehicle the Volt gets better fuel economy on the highway than in town when using gas? I would have figured the opposite but that’s not what I’m seeing.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “…the Volt gets better fuel economy on the highway than in town when using gas? I would have figured the opposite but that’s not what I’m seeing.”

          Actually, I run so few miles on gas that I haven’t really gathered data on that.

          My feeling is that the mileage should be around the same – the regen keeps the Volt from suffering the “stop-and-go” penalty that would kill the MPG in a 3500 lb car. The city mileage won’t be higher (like a Prius) becasue of the Volt’s large battery pack, *and* the ICE pushing the weight/inertia higher. So, the “city” MPGe is around 99, where many EV’s are over 110 – that’s the price of having no range anxiety.

          Enjoy your Volt – I sure like mine!

          Just make sure that you’re using all the regen available by braking earlier and softer (the battery can’t use all of the regenerated power at once, due to the slow speed of the chemistry).

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            When running strictly on the highway I’ve seen as high as 52 MPG going off the odometer and what the car is telling me I used for gas. Not sure I believe i’m getting over 50 MPG but I figure i’m probably pulling mid 40’s which I can’t complain about one bit .

            Pretty much anytime I have the gas engine kick on I always do the calculation when I get home. Kind of funny that you have to do it manually because the software won’t give you that figure w/o including the electric miles.

            Regardless I’m pretty impressed with the car. I’ve been getting 45+ miles out of the battery pack all summer and i run it in “sport” mode with somewhat of a lead foot.

            Parked next to a 2nd Gen Volt at the grocery store this evening and my 11 year old had to check it out. He really likes the Volt. He let me know based on his observations that it was pretty much better in every way over ours!……LOL

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            If I want a proper MPG reading, I reset the trip meter (I use Trip B) when using hold Mode or Range Extender mode, otherwise, your electric miles get averaged in and give optimistic MPG readings.

            The few times I checked, I got 38-42 MPG running on gas – that might not seem great, but I traded a 2013 Malibu 2.5 auto that was netting me 19 MPG over the 2 years I owned it.

  • avatar

    I’ll be checking it out when the time comes to replace our current ‘Nox.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That is hideous. Evidently, GM forgot about how ugly the Buick Rendezvous was, because that’s what this reminds me of.

    The Equinox’s shape (really, the shape of the side daylight openings, which was first seen on the first-gen Lexus RX) does not lend itself to Chevrolet’s modern design language. It worked in 2010; it won’t work in 2018. And beside that, it looks like someone ran it through one of the Photoshop distort filters. I’d have liked to see them go a whole different direction.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Further blurring the lines between CUV and station wagon.

    I don’t want a wagon because they are frumpy, but that tall egg on wheels over there? Mmmm mmm, tell me more about that lease offer.

    If this is successful, and it will be, then the Kia Rondo was ahead of its time.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Ironic how GM destroyed the passenger car diesel option in the early 80s in North America, while VW kept improving on their engines until they destroyed the passenger car diesel market – at least among VW group vehicles.

    Now GM sees the lost opportunity by VW and is trying to resurrect the diesel option by putting their 1.6 in the Cruze and the Equinox.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      I wouldn’t lay that entirely at GM’s feet. Fact is the second “oil price shock” created instant demand for much better fuel economy. Most of the gasoline engines weren’t at all ready for prime time — still struggling to meet emissions requirements with reasonable driveability. So, there was a rash of “dieselized” gasoline engine, of which the notorious GM V-8 was only the most famous. Audi dieselized its 2.3 liter 5-cylinder gas engine as well. They were all pretty much a disaster in terms of reliability and longevity. Meanwhile, Mercedes had 3 excellent diesel engines, the 2.4 4 cylinder, the 3 liter 5 cylinder and the turbocharged 3 liter 5-cylinder. However, they cost a fortune.

      Moreover, even with the then 55 mph highway speed limit in the U.S., all but the turbo Mercedes were questionable.

      I assume that GM knows in today’s market what the acceptable minimum acceleration performance is and is providing vehicles that meet it.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the VW 1.5 diesel in the Rabbit was based on their gas engine family as well. The problems with the Olds diesel V8s had nothing to do with being somewhat related to the gas V8. The engines were actually quite different; its similarities were largely so the engine could be manufactured with the same tooling and equipment. The diesel block was a lot stronger, to where it became popular among drag racers for a while. The actual problems with the diesel cars were:

        1) Lack of a water trap in the fuel system. this would let water and other contaminants into the fuel, resulting in an occasional no-fire or (worse) a sticking injector. which would cause an over-pressure event in a cylinder, overwhelming the head bolts and compromising the head gasket

        2) short injection pump and injector life, especially the Stanadyne “pencil” injectors used on early engines. again, due to the lack of a water trap.

        3) 12 volt glow plugs which would take an eternity to pre-heat on a cold morning.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Well…I am obviously the weird one here.
    I like it and the engine choices.
    Not sure about the diesel, but never, ever liked their 6 cyl in this car. Thought for the power there was not very good MPGs.

    I think the design is good.

    Actually always liked the car except for the poor power on the 4 and the poor mpg on the 6. Hopefully this will give me more choices in a few years.

  • avatar
    gasser

    31 mpg highway????
    The 2016 Equinox FWD was rated at 22/32. So losing 400# and downsizing the engine lost 1 mpg?
    I always preferred the styling of the Terrain, and am eager to see a picture of the new one. The interiors also seemed to be a bit nicer on the GMC. I drove the Terrain 4 cylinder AWD, however, and it was very slow. It made freeway merging into a white knuckle event. Too bad. I liked the driving position, steering, braking and the size. The engine, however, was the deal breaker. There was a great lease special that had lured me into the dealership, which of course, did NOT apply to the V6 models.
    Pass on the Terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “It made freeway merging into a white knuckle event.”

      I have doubts about that statement. The engine may be overmatched for the car’s weight and the transmission might stink and the whole process might sound unpleasant, but bury the throttle to the floor and let it sing up to redline, I guarantee that thing would be flying by the end of the ramp.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I had the unfortunate experience of having to drive a 1st gen Equinox (part of the work fleet) which was AWD and had the ancient 3.4 V6 (updated with the name 3400 on the engine shroud). I would burry the pedal on an on ramp and let all 185 horses sing their way to 5000 plus RPM while sounding as if the whole mess under the hood would explode at any min.

        Unpleasant? Yes. White knuckle? No, that sucker would be moving at the end of the ramp, despite all of the protesting.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Oh, yes…the 4-cylinder 2016 Equinox I drove was that bad (never drove a Terrain). What was worse, though, was the 2016 Cherokee 4-cylinder that replaced it when it developed a problem and I had to return it to the rental company. The Cherokee was sloooooooowwwwww.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        yeah, somehow I managed to be able to merge onto the freeway with my first car and all of its 84 horsepower.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      “rated”

      Never was there a four cylinder Equinox that hit 32 MPG on the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      EPA rating has changed for 2017. Everyone is losing numbers across the board, even vehicles that are carryover between 2016 and 2017.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I’m not sure how much power the AWD saps, but I have an FWD 2.4L Terrain and while it’s certainly not fast its hardly white knuckle. It has more than enough power to merge on a freeway and pass cars if needed. C&D pegs it at 8.7 to 60 an 16.8 @ 84mph in the 1/4; which is well within an acceptable range of everyday performance. If that’s white knuckle you must be one hell of an aggressive driver. How fast does a tractor/trailer accelerate again? They use freeways don’t they?

  • avatar
    make_light

    It doesn’t look bad, but that base MPG is way too low for a brand new, 400lb lighter vehicle. The aging forester gets 32mpg with AWD standard.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    For most of my life I have wished for more gears in my car’s transmission. I started with three. Now I have six, and for the first time am thinking it’s enough. Are 8-10 speed transmissions more for the CAFE numbers than the driver?

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Both. A great comparison is the Chrysler 300. The 8-speed in the 300 allows the V-6 to produce the same or better acceleration numbers than the “hemi” V-8 produced with the old 5(?) speed. The greater number of gears allow the engine to spend more time in the meat of its torque curve or, alternatively, its efficiency curve.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Nice Hyundai.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I never thought GM would be the one taking weight out of cars.

  • avatar
    ixim

    Smaller outside. Same space inside. But the huge second row legroom is reduced by no sliding seats there. With less weight the 1.5T should perform like the current I4 but the loss of 1 mpg is probably optimistic as you’ll have to spend time on the turbo to do it. The 2.0T should get better mpg numbers if driven easy, with plenty of reserve pep when needed. Looks fine. Should sell great.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      Are there numbers on the second row legroom? The legroom was a huge factor in our Terrain purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        ixim

        The old rear legroom is listed at 39.9 inches. Don’t know whether that’s max slide or not. The picture of the new model, with a fixed second row looks like less than in my 2016 ‘Nox, but still OK.

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          That’s what I was thinking too, but I’m not sure on the OK part. Our Terrain’s replacement might be an Acadia. Or a Wrangler if Jeep fixes the crash safety.

          • 0 avatar
            ixim

            Yes, I meant OK, as in, Ford Escape legroom. The RAV4 used to have a sliding second row which gave it Theta sized legroom. I don’t know if it still has that. But it still has 10 cubic feet more cargo room. Though disappointing, I still prefer the Chevy, having owned both.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Once again, I’m unimpressed with the efficiency of these tiny turbo things – I swear that we’re going backwards.

    And the diesel will get decent highway mileage, but I’ll bet the city mileage is significantly lower.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      EPA ratings are changed for `17; specifically the way the coastdown test is preformed. The number would be probably higher for `16.

    • 0 avatar
      gomez

      I’m also betting that the 40 mpg rating is only for the FWD model. I don’t know anyone who buys a CUV and doesn’t get AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      shaker,
      My experience with a diesel vs gasoline in city mileage is the diesel has a more consistent FE.

      The EPA figure you guys get in the US, especially gasoline appear overly optimistic. From the many articles I’ve read it seems US diesel vehicles come closer to the EPA figures than do the gas powered vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Big Al I’d say it’s all across the board. I blew the EPA ratings out of the water with my 5spd ’12 Civic with a 1.8L NA motor, my fiance likewise ekes out better mileage from her Camry (32ish lifetime MPG) than the official rating (25 City/35 highway). It depends on both the real world driver’s habits, as well as how much the manufacturer optimizes their vehicle to ace the test versus focusing on real world results.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          gtemnykh,
          Our mandated FE numbers here in Australia are overly optimistic as well in most cases.

          I have noticed of late diesel here are becoming a little more distorted. Maybe the new gas engines are getting better and better forcing manufacturers to stretch the diesel numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I think you’re right on the gas vs diesel gap. I saw 40 indicated/38 calculated mpg with sustained 77mph cruising (A/C on, cruise control) this summer in a Passat 1.8TSI. That matches the highway sticker of 38mpg. Does getting the more expensive to buy and more expensive to fuel 42-43mpg highway Passat TDI even make sense? I would say no, let alone the whole diesel emissions scandal.

  • avatar
    blackEldo

    My OCD is triggered every time I see a new Chevy–can’t the horizontal bar across the grille be centered? Also, maybe it’s time to re-color the old bowtie; I really like it when I see Silverados with a black bowtie with chrome border.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    I’m surprised people are reacting so negatively to this as I see a *lot* of the current Equinox in this design, and that’s my main issue. Other than the bits of the Sienna I see in the front. Eek.

    I think the main problem is that it looks a little Nissan/Infiniti-ish (and no, that’s far from a compliment) in its profile. Not enough straight lines, so it doesn’t look agile or sporty. So it’s still too big (if it’s Envision-sized) and it also *looks* big. I bet these’ll be quite expensive, too. Meanwhile you can get a 2017 Rav4 with automatic braking for $24k quite easily.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It seems GM (Holden) here is replacing the Captiva with the Equinox.

    From what I’ve read the two litre is gaining a 9spd auto.

    The diesel is good for 101kW/320Nm and I’d say ours will be manufactured by the Thais.

    http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/holden-equinox-replaces-captiva-20160923-grmx4k.html

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Most of you should have figured out by now that some cars just don’t photograph well. Kind of like people. I wait until I see it in the flesh before I form an opinion about its looks.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    the Big American V8 isn’t even dead yet, and the V6 is already endangered by the turbo-four, and eventually, the twin-turbo-three. Soon the engine compartments will be too small for an LS swap.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I like Turbos personally, but we have pronounced the V8 dead before. Remember there was a time when the First Gen Ford Probe was being developed as the Mustang. The days of it being the mainstream motor of choice in many vehicles are probably gone but I see it hanging around in some vehicles. If this generation of Turbos prove reliable over the long term though it will become a niche motor for sure though. As for cars like the Camcord losing their V6, well the Accord was 4 cylinder only most of my life anyway.

      And Ford just give me the Raptor 3.5 in a Mustang with a funky spoiler, great suspension, and SVO badges already.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Why are downspeeded naturally-aspirated engines dying as the entry level engine of choice. I know CAFE leans towards turbo-gimmickry, but the difference can’t be that great, and CUV’s will probably need to use hybrid powertrains if they are going to survive CAFE 2025.

    Is this just a new planned-obsolescence? The engine goes 150K and then grenades on the hapless owner who owns it at the time?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Well yes. Also, as people learn about the realities of turbo ownership, you can’t have less expensive options available that are superior. The useful idiots will be happy that cars only serve their first owners as this will make car ownership less egalitarian for people that think they’re part of the elite. Other puppets will be happy that cars are scrapped faster to necessitate their replacement with whatever new vehicles are viewed to be in the ‘common good,’ which means the good of those ruling the common.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Why you gotta always throw feces at people?

        Don’t you care how visible that makes your wounds?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        I’m inclined to believe that the auto industry is also moving towards the world of disposable pleasures, and that brand name and initial technology will be more important than selling durable transportation goods. If the market moves that direction, it would be advantageous for the manufacturers to get their older cars off of the road to avoid brand-damaging optics.

        However, I don’t see how they can make it happen. Americans tend to prefer buying, so much so that they avoid leasing though they rarely pay off the vehicles they own. They merely trade them in for something newer with a different payment. To make the planned obsolescence model work, they need to transition substantially all of the market to leases.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    With the 2.0 liter turbo, 9 speed trans and lower weight, the new Equinox hints at challenging the Subaru Forester XT. Interior seems nicer than current Equinox. Now if Chevy gets its ride, handling and reliability right…but that’s next year.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “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 :-(

  • avatar
    rudiger

    “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.

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