What Will the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox–Now With Diesel Power–Do For Discerning Buyers?

During the autumnal equinox, on a warm September evening at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago’s Hyde Park, Chevrolet debuted what has quietly become one of their most important products–meet the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.

If pickups are Chevy’s bread and butter, the Equinox has quickly and almost quietly become the brands jam–every year since 2011 more than 200,000 Equinoxes have found new homes across America, making it the second-best selling Chevrolet.

Today’s compact SUV clientele shop with a laundry list of requirements, turning the segment into a venerable crucible of competitiveness–with a lean and cut figure, turbo engines times three, technology, active safety, cargo capacity, and the segments first and only diesel–Chevy hopes to have developed an all-around champion.

20160922_191505_resized

Much like we’ve seen across the GM-verse as of late, the General’s chassis engineers went to work once again, cutting and slashing some 400 lbs from the new ‘Nox, making it 10 percent lighter than the outgoing model, helping GM to claim 40 mpg on the highway, depending on engine selection.

Along with its new diet comes a new family of 4-cylinder turbocharged engines at the expense of the popular 3.6-liter V6.

20160922_191107_resized_1

Starting from the bottom is a direct-injected Ecotec 1.5-liter turbo, which Chevy says will kick out 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked to GM’s Hydra-Matic 6T40 6-speed automatic transmission and could be good for 31-miles per on the highway.

20160922_191115_resized_1

Next up, in the premium trims, is a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four–Chevy doesn’t list the torque figure, but if it’s anything like the Buick Envision’s 252-hp 2.0T expect something in the neighborhood of 260 lb-ft. Oddly enough, unlike the more premium Buick Envision’s 6T70 6-speed, the 2018 Equinox comes with GM’s brand new 9T50 automatic transmission. Together the pairing promises the same 3,500-pound max towing as the old V6.

IMG_co0d9f_resized

Lastly, GM continues courting the spurned lovers of VW’s once adored TDI family of diesel engines, with its new all-aluminum 1.6-liter “whisper quiet” diesel in combination with the beefier 6T45 6-speed auto. Borrowed from Opel and eventually shared with the Cruze, the 136 hp and 236 lb-ft flüster diesel, plus stop/start tech let the 2018 Equinox promise 40 mpg on the highway.

It will be interesting to see how consumers respond to the diesel, trim details weren’t discussed but it’s thought the diesel will be select to only the most premium of Equinoxes. While the Colorado/Canyon twins are enjoying huge success in segment, speaking to buyers seeking more capability; the last time Chevy offered a diesel in the Cruze it faltered as a mere afterthought against the far more economical VW Jetta.

Front-drive 2.0T models are estimated at 28 mpg, while AWD versions receive a new smart system which decouples from the rear axle when four-wheel power is pointless, aiding day-to-day fuel economy.

20160922_192215_resized_1

Efficiency is only one part of the battle Chevy faces for America’s driveways, consumers now continuously demand technology that will keep them both smiling and safe. So, along with 7- and 8-inch MyLink systems, obviously designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus OnStar 4G LTE capability. In addition, Chevy packed the 2018 Equinox with the following safety stuff:

  • New Safety Alert Seat
  • New Surround Vision
  • New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
  • New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking
  • New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • New Rear Seat Reminder
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

20160922_191433_resized

The well appointed interior is nearly identical to both the new Cruze and Malibu–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Despite losing 4.7-inches in length, a new rear fold-flat seat design allows for a virtually unchanged 63.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity, while losing 1.6 cubic feet of capacity with the second row upright. Rear seating room is more than comfortable for two adults or three growing kids.

20160922_191342_resized

Outside, Equinox receives Chevy’s new ribbon cut styling, once again evocative of Malibu and Cruze; coupled with standard LED daytime running lights, optional LED tail lamps and a modern, fresh–yet familiar–face honestly make it one of the prettiest looking options in class.

20160922_191844_resized_2

Depending on price structure and popularity of the new diesel option, it’s more than possible the Equinox could bring home 300,000 + sales. Look for the 2018 Equinox to hit Chevy stores during early winter 2017, from what I understand diesel models will follow closer to the summer.

Comments