2018 Chevy Equinox Buyer’s Guide

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

The market prioritizes the latest and the finest, and the Equinox has remained mostly unchanged since 2010. This changes with the introduction of the updated 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.

The new compact crossover is lighter, smaller, more aggressively designed, better equipped throughout trims, and is basically a more complete, capable car than anything to wear the Equinox nameplate. Equinox’s capacious interior has been hardly affected by the downsizing. Tall passengers will find plenty of legroom in the outboard seats.

The car also gets a new engine portfolio. Chevy claims that the most fuel-efficient of them, a 1.6-liter diesel engine, would get an amazing 40 mpg on the interstate. Even if you don’t choose the diesel engine, the regular engines all offer better fuel efficiency than the previous Equinox.

While the base 1.5-liter engine is plenty for zipping about town, the Equinox also provides something for performance enthusiasts. It has a potent 252 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The Equinox also doesn’t scrimp on driver aids if you’re ready to pay for them.

Altogether, the Equinox might not be the most luxurious small crossover, but it is one of the class’s greatest all-rounders. If you can look past the limited luggage capacity, you’ll be rewarded with car-like driving characteristics, a smooth ride, high safety ratings, a spacious cabin, and one of the best touchscreen systems in the business. In fact, Edmunds picked the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox as one of the Best Small SUVs.


TrimsOriginally MSRP

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox comes in four trims: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The turbo 1.5-liter engine is the only option for the L and LS models. The LT and Premier, on the other hand, can feature either a 2.0-liter turbo engine or a turbo diesel engine. Except for the base model, which is only available with front-wheel drive, all trims are available with both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

The base model Equinox L is well-equipped with comforts and tech features, giving it an excellent starting place in this portfolio. However, if you want Chevy’s entire array of active safety technologies, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premier level. 



The Equinox crossover SUV is large enough to command attention while retaining compact dimensions to easily fit in parking spaces and garages.

Length183.10 inches
Height65.40 inches
Width72.60 inches
Wheelbase107.30 inches


The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, like its Cruze sibling, debuts as one of the best-looking vehicles in its class. While it doesn’t overwhelm us with aesthetic excesses, the Equinox manages to go from dowdy to edgy, thanks to precise lines, elegant chrome accents, and spot-on dimensions. Gone are the original Equinox’s wide-eyed face and vertical taillights, replaced by narrow lights at both ends.

You’ll also like how the Chevy family grille has grown over the last several years. The Redline package, which is optional, adds blacked-out trim and other sporty accents.



Total Passenger Space103.2 cubic feet
Front head Room40.0 inches
Rear Head Room38.50 inches
Front Leg Room40.90 inches
Rear Leg Room39.90 inches
Front Shoulder Room57.20 inches
Rear Shoulder Room55.50 inches

Space and Comfort

Chevy downsized the Equinox for 2018, shaving more than five inches off the wheelbase, yet the Equinox lost less than an inch in virtually every significant passenger space measure.

This guarantees plenty of leg and headroom in the backseat, as well as enough space for two adult passengers. Three? That’s a higher order, but the Equinox should manage it nicely on short trips. However, the optional panoramic sunroof reduces front and back headroom by roughly 2 inches.

The back doors open wide enough, so entering and departing the second row isn’t too difficult. The front seats are well-shaped for lengthy drives and provide enough support.

Interior design and quality

The dashboard is conceptually similar to the inside of the new Chevrolet Malibu. The design is straightforward and pleasant. The materials used in the cabin are generally nice; higher trim levels have stitched vinyl on the top dash and cushioned areas on the upper doors’ front and rear portions where your elbows rest.

There are just a few dubious material selections, such as certain plastics with rough edges on the bottom door panels and dashboard. Other controls, on the other hand, are well-designed, and a 7- or 8-inch MyLink infotainment system display sits on a raised plane for a subtle layered impression.

Driving position and Visibility

The seat has a fair range of adjustability. The steering wheel, however, doesn’t telescope far enough for average-sized adult drivers, forcing them to sit closer and more upright than many may desire. 

Like previously, large C- and D-pillars reduce the view to the back. However, the makeover replaced the Stonehenge-sized head restraints from the previous model with smaller ones that can be flipped down, which is a big assist.


The base Equinox L is a low-cost option with few features. In the top-spec Premier model, however, expect to be spoilt with a plethora of creature comforts like as automatic temperature control, power-adjustable front seats with heat and ventilation, and more.

Cabin Insulation

Road and wind noises are audible but not bothersome. 


The Equinox is praised for its easy-to-use infotainment system. It comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. However, an optional 8-inch display is available. The touch screen has sharp visuals as well as easy on-screen buttons and menus. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system’s usability continues to amaze. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

This infotainment system also has Chevrolet’s Teen Driver monitor, which can monitor your child’s driving habits and allows you to set a speed warning or a speed restriction.


The Chevy Equinox has a sizable cargo area that measures 29.9 cubic feet behind the back seats and 64 cubic feet when the back seats are folded. 


The Equinox’s features score improves as a result of solid basic features, a strong selection of options, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. But strange packaging that only offers the most costly trim with certain comfort amenities and key active safety measures.

Chevrolet Equinox L

  • 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system
  • Bluetooth
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Proximity keyless entry
  • Alloy wheels
  • Four USB ports
  • Rearview camera
  • Teen Driver monitoring system
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Automatic headlights
  • 17-inch alloy wheels

Chevrolet Equinox LS

The Chevrolet Equinox LT has the same standard features as the base model, but it’s available with additional amenities, including all-wheel drive.

Chevrolet Equinox LT

  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Satellite Radio
  • Upgraded headlights
  • 4.2-inch color driver information display
  • Tinted Rear windows

 It also includes all three of the Equinox’s engine options.

Chevrolet Equinox Premier

  • 8-inch touch screen
  • Six USB ports
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Remote start
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • LED headlights
  • Fog lights
  • 18-inch alloy wheels

What’s the best Trim Option on the 2018 Chevy Equinox?

The front-drive-only base L is adequately equipped, but because it’s a built-to-order trim, you’re more likely to encounter the next-level LS on dealer lots. It’s more expensive and doesn’t contribute much. It does, however, open the door to a wider variety of exterior colors and the possibility of all-wheel drive, so it’s worth considering if you want the most affordable AWD variant.

Nonetheless, it’s best to go on to the LT, which is somewhat more expensive but offers more features and access to optional extras. We recommend adding all-wheel drive and going with the bigger, 2.0-liter engine.

There’s also a worthy Sun and Infotainment package available. This adds heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen, blind spot monitoring, an upgraded driver information display, and USB ports.

If you want more amenities, you can also opt for the Confidence and Convenience package that includes remote engine start, rear parking sensors,  heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.

Finally, the Premier trim level contains all of the aforementioned items (excluding the panoramic sunroof, which can be selected individually) as well as numerous other goodies.

Engine and performance

1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4

  • Power: 170 hp @5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 203 lb-ft @2,000 4,000 rpm
  • Automatic Transmission: 6-speed

Because of the shorter body and less weight, the small 1.5-liter engine is more than capable of carrying the Equinox about town, and its turbocharger provides enough punch for zipping the SUV to highway speeds. When pushed, it also stays amazingly smooth and hushed.

Though not a deal breaker, the power and torque output are bogged down by the rather sluggish six-speed transmission. There’s also obvious throttle lag from behind the wheel – press the foot, and the engine takes a complete second to respond, making it tough to accelerate out of corners or out of a sticky position.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

  • Power: 252 hp @5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 2,500-4,400 rpm
  • Automatic Transmission: 9-speed

With such a solid and composed handling, the standard powertrain isn’t able to fully exploit the Equinox’s capabilities. This is where the 2.0-liter turbo powertrain comes into the picture; one of the best engines in the class. 

Its 80-plus horsepower increase over the basic engine provides incredible, chirp-the-tires acceleration off the line, as well as adequate power for overtaking. In reality, if you accelerate hard in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, torque steer will occur. It gets to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which is faster than most competitors.

1.6-liter inline-4 turbocharged diesel

  • Power: 137 hp @3,750 rpm
  • Torque: 240 lb-ft @2,000 rpm
  • Automatic Transmission: 6-speed

The Chevrolet Equinox is one of the few vehicles in its class with a diesel engine. The strangle response is a little sluggish at first, but as the engine reaches 2,000 rpm and beyond, peak torque is available for powerful mid-range push, which is ideal for highway merging and overtaking slower traffic.

Aside from a little clank at startup, it is impossible to tell that there is a diesel engine beneath the hood. The only obvious diesel indicator is how slowly the fuel gauge dips; it’s a fuel-economy master. Except for hybrids, no other car comes close to the EPA-rated fuel efficiency of up to 39 mpg.


The six-speed gearbox, which comes standard with the 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines, is occasionally hesitant to downshift and can cause the Equinox to seem out of breath while overtaking other vehicles.

Manual shifting is allowed in the transmission’s L mode, but only via an awkwardly situated toggle switch above the gear lever (paddle shifters are not offered).

The 2.0T’s nine-speed automatic transmission, on the other hand, is smooth and fluid, blending into the shadows of the amazing driving demeanor. It’s a fantastic complement to the strong 252-horsepower 2.0-liter engine.

Ride and handling

The Equinox is a pleasurable compact SUV to drive, with a smooth ride and confident handling. The Equinox maintains a tight grip on the road and absorbs bumps with rarely a vibration in the cabin.

The Equinox is unexpectedly competent and balanced on a tough winding route. The ride is superbly damped, with well-controlled wheel motions and very little feeling of body float. It’s almost as entertaining to drive as the class-leading Mazda CX-5. This is particularly amazing, given how comfortable the Equinox is.

The brakes are also pleasant and trustworthy. The pedal effort is appropriate for this vehicle, and the reaction is neither grabby nor sluggish. It simply seems right.

Fuel Efficiency

When equipped with its turbo diesel engine, the 2018 Equinox earns some of the highest EPA-estimated fuel efficiency among compact SUVs. Models with the base 1.5 liter engine achieve excellent gas mileage as well.

MPG figures

Front-wheel driveAll-wheel drive
1.5-liter 26/32 MPG24/30 MPG
2.0-liter22/29 MPG22/28 MPG
1.6-liter diesel 28/39 MPG28/38 MPG

Remember that all-wheel drive is not an always-on system. Unless the driver selects AWD through a dial on the center console, the Equinox is front-wheel drive. This is great for keeping the Equinox in fuel-efficient FWD mode. The Equinox also includes a stop / start technology that enhances fuel efficiency.

Towing Capacity

When properly outfitted, the Equinox is capable of light towing. Equinox vehicles equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and tow kit can pull up to 3,500 pounds. All other versions can tow up to 1,500 pounds.


The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox receives good ratings from the IIHS and NHTSA, depending on when it was produced.

The Equinox received a five-star overall rating from federal testers, but that grade is only applicable to cars produced after February or March (depending on the factory). Older models only received a total rating of four stars.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Ratings

Crash TestRating
Frontal crashFive-Star
Side CrashFive-Star
Overall RatingFive-Star

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration awarded Equinox a five-star safety rating.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Safety Ratings

Crash TestRating
Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Roof Strength TestGood
Front Crash PreventionSuperior
Small Overlap Front Driver TestGood
  Small Overlap Front Passenger TestGood
Rear Crash ProtectionGood
Side Impact TestMarginal

Safety Features

When it comes to safety features, adaptive cruise control is not available on any model level. And, if sophisticated safety measures are available at all, you’ll have to pay a premium for them.

In terms of basic features, all Equinox grades include a rearview camera as standard, with the LT offering an extra package that includes rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic warning.

The Premier adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard features, but the Comfort and Convenience II package adds lane departure warning and lane-keep assist, low-speed collision alert, and braking, as well as surround-view cameras and a haptic seat.

Nonetheless, Chevy should be commended for including Teen Driver technology as standard equipment. The Teen Driver technology is an excellent tool for monitoring the driving behaviors of the family’s younger, less experienced drivers.


The expected reliability rating for the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is a solid 82/100 from JD Power.


The Chevrolet Equinox is the company’s best-selling vehicle, behind the Silverado pickup truck. The Equinox first appeared in 2005, with the newest third-generation model arriving in 2018.


  • Solid base engine
  • Potent turbo 2.0-liter
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Available diesel model with class-leading fuel economy
  • Composed handling
  • Easy-to-use touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Child-seat accommodations
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Roomy interior
  • Comfortable ride quality


  • Crash-avoidance features are not standard
  • Some low-rent cabin materials
  • Limited headroom with moonroof
  • Available Options elevate the price
  • Less cargo space 
  • Poor Visibility
  • Lazy six-speed automatic transmission


While the Equinox’s interior might appear cheap and outdated when compared to competitors, there are lots of additional advantages to this car.

The Equinox is useful since it has ample back passenger space and supportive seats. Chevrolet’s infotainment system is simple to operate. Four standard USB sockets keep all passengers’ electronics charged.

Even though only the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter engine provides remarkable performance, all gasoline and diesel engines provide good fuel economy. Regardless, the Equinox’s body design is tight, with a smooth ride and quick handling.

Overall, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox isn’t a showy SUV, but it checks a lot of boxes.


How is the 2018 Equinox different from the 2017 model?

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is all-new, built on an all-new architecture.

Should you buy a used 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

Yes, the 2018 Equinox is a fantastic pre-owned small SUV. With two rows of big and comfy seats, user-friendly equipment, and high fuel economy ratings with its primary or optional diesel engine, it’s rather practical. It also gets a high ranking for projected reliability. However, Equinox’s competitors have a higher level of interior quality and more advanced safety features.

Will the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox last long?

With a great JD Power rating of 82/100 in terms of reliability, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is expected to last considerably longer.

What Are the Most Distinguishing Features of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

While it is no Porsche Macan, the Equinox handles well enough that you will desire more power than the 1.5-liter turbo supplied. Fortunately, the Equinox’s new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine accelerates smoothly and quickly.

Chevrolet has provided us with a 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that is uncommon in the class. With an estimated 39 highway mpg, it ensures that there will be plenty of driving time between fill-ups.