2018 Chevrolet Equinox

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MSRP: $23,580 - 37,300

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Review

Redesigned for 2018, the Chevrolet Equinox received many respectable changes that make it a solid choice. It has a reasonable amount of passenger and cargo room, an abundant standard features list, and an attractive interior. Ride quality is good, but acceleration can take a while.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.6
Safety: 9.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of standard features
  • Quality interior
  • Stable handling
  • Sluggish transmission

Is the Chevrolet Equinox a Good SUV?

The Chevy Equinox is a good choice in the compact SUV class. It has enough cargo space to hold luggage for five people or all your bags from a trip to the grocery store. Additionally, passenger room is adequate, but taller folks might feel cramped in models with a sunroof. The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox's base engine has weak acceleration, but a more powerful turbocharged engine and a fuel-saving turbodiesel are available. Moreover, the Equinox has smooth handling and a comfortable ride over bumpy roads.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Equinox?

If you're looking for a compact crossover with a ton of standard features at an affordable price, the redesigned 2018 Equinox is a good pick for you. It has an average starting price of $23,580. It comes standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a touch-screen infotainment system, proximity key entry, push-button start, Chevy's Teen Driver system, GM OnStar with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hot spot, and voice command. You will have to spend thousands of dollars more to get these kinds of features in rivals like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. Yet, many of these competitors have a nicer cabin and better performance.

Compare the Equinox, CR-V, and Escape »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox was redesigned for the 2018 model year, so it has some notable differences from its predecessor. It's smaller, lighter, and more fuel-efficient (by about 3 mpg). There are new powertrains for 2018, but the new generation doesn't offer a V6 engine like the previous generation did. The new turbo-four engines are more powerful than the old four-cylinder base engine, but less powerful than the V6. The 2018 also has a turbodiesel option that the 2017 didn't offer.

The redesigned Equinox has spacious seats and similar cargo capacity to the last generation, but the outgoing model had more comfortable seats. The 2018 model offers more tech features, both from an infotainment and a driver assistance standpoint. These include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a surround-view camera, and automatic emergency braking.

You can certainly save yourself some money by shopping for a used Equinox, and the older model has some advantages over the 2018. Choosing the right one comes down to whether you prefer a bit more power and comfort or better fuel efficiency and more technology. To research some older models, check out our reviews of the 2016 and 2017 Chevy Equinox. If you decide an older model is right for you, visit our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Equinox »

We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

We researched and analyzed 20 professional reviews and combined that analysis with information like EPA estimates, performance specs, available safety features, and much more to create our comprehensive 2018 Chevy Equinox review. 

Because the Chevy Equinox was fully redesigned for 2018, this overview only includes reviews and data for the 2018 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team of researchers and writers has decades of collective experience in the automotive industry. Here at U.S. News & World Report we’ve been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. We don’t accept expensive gifts or incentives from car companies, so you can trust that our content is unbiased. Additionally, all ads on our site are sold through a third party.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Equinox Cost?

The redesigned 2018 Chevy Equinox starts at $23,580, which is right in the middle of the compact SUV class. There are two additional four-cylinder power plants: a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel, which start at $29,790 and $31,135, respectively. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is optional for $1,750 or $3,645, depending on the trim.

Several higher trim levels and/or option packages add additional features and can quickly increase the Equinox's cost. A fully loaded 2018 Equinox creeps past $40,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Equinox Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or GMC Terrain?

The GMC Terrain shares many mechanical components with the Equinox, including the same drivetrain and platform. They both have meager acceleration, but ride quality is smooth. Just like the Equinox, the Terrain has Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a touch-screen infotainment system.

GMC is an upscale SUV and truck brand of General Motors. With this, you can expect their models to be classier and cost more than Chevy models. If you want a more luxurious vehicle, go for the Terrain. Otherwise, the Equinox is a fine pick.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape sits near the top of the compact SUV class. The Escape's base engine won't blow your socks off, but it doesn't suffer from the same slow acceleration as the base Equinox. Both models have two optional engines, but each is slightly different. The Escape offers two powerful turbocharged gas engines, and the Equinox is available with a turbocharged gas engine and a turbodiesel engine. The Equinox has better fuel economy estimates, but the Escape has sportier handling, a better reliability rating, and wide, comfortable front seats. Both models cost about the same. The Equinox comes with a standard touch-screen infotainment system with smartphone integration, while the Escape has extra cargo room for a few more shopping bags. In the end, the Escape is the better vehicle. .

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Equinox or Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is the epitome of what a compact crossover should be, and it's a superior choice to the Equinox. The Chevy has good passenger space, but models with a sunroof come up short on rear-seat headroom. That's not the case in the Honda. The CR-V has one of the most spacious cabins in the class. Compared to the Equinox, it has 10 more cubic feet of cargo space. Despite the fact that the Equinox's cabin was updated for 2018, the CR-V has a much nicer interior (it was redesigned for 2017). The CR-V’s cabin is filled with soft-touch materials, and higher trims have woodgrain accents, making it well worth the extra $500.

Compare the Equinox, Terrain, and Escape »

Equinox Interior

How Many People Does the Equinox Seat?

The redesigned 2018 Chevy Equinox seats five. The redesigned seats are adequate but not as comfortable as those in the outgoing model. The standard front seats only offer a handful of manual adjustments, though they remain supportive and snug through corners.

Cloth seating is standard, but the optional leather upholstery is cozier. You can also opt for eight-way power-adjustable front seats that make it easier to find an ideal seating position. Most passengers should find enough head- or legroom wherever they sit, though an optional sunroof takes away a couple valuable inches of headroom in the back seat, making it tight for tall passengers.

Equinox and Car Seats

The Equinox has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in its second row, and a top tether anchor to use for the middle seat. The IIHS gave this LATCH system an Acceptable rating (the second-highest score possible) for ease of use.

Equinox Interior Quality

In redesigning the Equinox, Chevy took cues from some of its most popular models, like the Malibu and Cruze, for the interior. Lower-end trims feature ample amounts of plastic surfaces, but they feel high quality, especially compared to the previous generation. Higher trim Equinox models feature soft-touch surfaces – like vinyl covering on the dash – throughout the cabin.

Equinox Cargo Space

The Chevy Equinox has 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which you can expand to 63.5 cubic feet by collapsing the split-folding rear seats. Those values are down slightly from the previous generation. The second row folds nearly flat and opens up a wide and convenient area. There are also hidden spots for storage under the trunk floor. A power liftgate is optional and so is a hands-free power liftgate.

While the Equinox has enough storage space for daily use, rival compact SUVs offer more. The Honda CR-V has the largest cargo hold in the segment with 39.2 cubic feet and a maximum of 75.8 cubic feet. The Ford Escape offers 34 cubic feet of space, which doubles when you fold the seats.

Equinox Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Like many other GM models, the 2018 Equinox stands out for its wealth of standard tech features. Even in the base Equinox, you’ll get a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which allow you to connect your smartphone to infotainment system and access things like apps, contacts, media, and texts directly on the touch screen in a layout similar to that of your phone.

Rivals like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V don’t come standard with a touch screen. Higher trims of both models add a touch screen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

In addition to basic features like Bluetooth and voice command activation, all Equinoxes come with GM’s OnStar system that has 4G LTE data connectivity that you can turn into a Wi-Fi hot spot. If you plan on letting your teenager (or friends or valet) borrow your Equinox, you'll appreciate the Teen Driver function. This system allows you to track the car’s speed, to see if any safety features were engaged, and to mute the stereo until all occupants are buckled up.

Available options for the Equinox include navigation, an 8-inch touch screen, and six USB ports so you and your passengers can keep all your devices juiced.

Read more about interior »

Equinox Performance

Equinox Engine: Weak Base Engine, but There's More

The 2018 Equinox comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower. That's actually a downgrade from the 2017 model and its 182-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. A six-speed automatic transmission is also standard. The base engine delivers sufficient power, but the transmission will likely hamper your driving experience with its slow shifts. Push the pedal, and the throttle can be slow to respond. The six-speed also tends to jump into higher gears quickly, stifling spry acceleration. However, the transmission works well at higher speeds. Two additional engines are available. There's a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 252 horsepower. A fuel-efficient 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine with 138 horsepower is also available.

Equinox Gas Mileage: Better Than Most

According to the EPA, the base 2018 Equinox gets 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which are good estimates for the class. Going with optional all-wheel drive reduces those estimates to 24/30 mpg city/highway. The 2.0-liter engine gets 22/29 mpg city/highway and the turbodiesel gets 28/39 mpg city/highway.

Like the Equinox, the Honda CR-V gets great mileage for the class: 28 mpg/city and 34 mpg/highway. The Ford Escape, on the other hand, performs worse at just 21 mpg/city and 29 mpg/highway.

Equinox Ride and Handling: Smooth and Stable

The 2018 Equinox isn't exactly sporty, but its ride hits all the right marks for a compact SUV. Over rough pavement or jarring bumps in the road, the Equinox rides comfortably. The cabin also stays quiet and serene when driving, even at highway speeds.

With its precise steering, it's easy to pilot the Equinox through curvy roads or around turns, and it exhibits much less body roll than you might expect from an SUV.

Equinox Towing Capacity

If you plan to do any light towing, choose the Equinox with the 2.0-liter turbo engine. It offers the most torque (260 pound-feet) of the three-engine lineup and a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. That's the same maximum amount as the Ford Escape and should be enough to tow a small motorboat, a couple of jet skis, or a smaller camping trailer.

Read more about performance »

Equinox Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Equinox Reliable?

The Chevrolet Equinox has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Chevrolet Equinox Warranty

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. That's the same coverage you'll get with competitors like the GMC Terrain, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V.

Read more about reliability »

Equinox Safety

Equinox Crash Test Results

The 2018 Equinox has a great safety score for the class. It performed well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluations, earning a top rating of Good in all six crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Equinox four out of five stars for overall safety. The SUV received four stars in the side and rollover crash tests and five stars in the frontal evaluation.

Equinox Safety Features

The only driver assistance feature that comes standard in the Equinox is a rearview camera, which is common in most cars. There are a host of available advanced safety features, but you'll have to move up a few trims and then purchase a package to get them. You can get rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring. These features detect cars in your path when you’re backing up, merging, or changing lanes.

An optional package in the highest Equinox trim adds several advanced safety features: a 360-degree camera that gives you a top-down view of the car and its surroundings, a safety alert seat that vibrates to warn you of impending collisions, automatic high beams that turn off in the presence of oncoming traffic or as you approach traffic from behind, lane departure warning and lane keep assist to alert you when you drift out of your lane and steer you back into line, and forward collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking that detects collisions ahead and warns you to apply the brakes. If you don't apply the brakes and you're moving under a certain speed, it will even slow or stop the SUV.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Equinox Model Is Right for Me?

The redesigned 2018 Chevy Equinox comes in four trim levels: L (base), LS, LT, and Premier. The Equinox comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine are also available, and they deliver greater levels of horsepower and torque. If you often travel with a full load of cargo or passengers or plan to do any light towing, you'll probably want one of those powertrains. The 1.5-liter- and 1.6-liter engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.0-liter engine features a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional with any model except the base trim, which only comes with front-wheel drive.

If you don’t need all-wheel drive, the base model provides an excellent value. The price tag is about average for the class, and you’ll get cool features like a standard infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. However, if you want AWD, your best bet is the LT trim. It adds features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat and satellite radio (whereas the in-between LS doesn't add much), and it gives you access to other option packages.

Chevrolet Equinox L

The base Chevrolet Equinox L starts at $23,580. Standard features include cloth seating, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, proximity key entry, push-button start, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a rearview camera, Chevy's Teen Driver system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, voice command activation, and GM OnStar with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hot spot. One of the few major optional features for the base trim is remote start for $275.

Chevrolet Equinox LS

For $25,510, the Equinox LS doesn't add much, though you will get a spare tire and rear floor mats. However, if you want all-wheel drive, you’ll have to upgrade to at least this trim and then spend another $1,750.

Chevrolet Equinox LT

The Equinox LT trim retails at $26,750 and adds features like an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, satellite radio, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and high-intensity discharge headlights.

There are also a few option packages available. For $1,945, the Confidence and Convenience package includes heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a universal garage door opener, a power liftgate, remote start, and driver assistance features like rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

The Sun and Infotainment package ($1,995) comes with a panoramic sunroof, a multi-color instrument cluster screen, an 8-inch touch screen, six USB ports, and a 120-volt electrical outlet.

Chevrolet Equinox Premier

The top-of-the-line Equinox Premier will set you back $30,790. This trim adds leather seats, heated front seats, driver’s seat memory settings, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, six USB ports, an 8-inch touch screen, a multi-color instrument cluster screen, wireless device charging, a 120-volt electrical outlet, remote start, a universal garage door opener, LED headlights, a hands-free power liftgate, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

All-wheel drive will cost you $3,645 in an Equinox Premier. The Confidence and Convenience II package ($1,895) includes an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree camera, a safety alert seat, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. The Sun, Sound, and Navigation package costs $3,320 and comes with a panoramic sunroof, navigation, a seven-speaker Bose premium sound system, and HD Radio.

Who Makes the Chevrolet Equinox?

Chevrolet is a division of the American auto manufacturer General Motors. GM builds the Equinox at its plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2018 Chevrolet Equinox specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Chevy Equinox is an above-average compact SUV that does several important things right. It's easy to drive, it provides decent space, and its base trim is a good value. Those thinking about a higher trim, however, should consider similarly outfitted rivals, which are better choices overall.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "No longer a plus-sized entrant among compact SUVs, the redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox takes direct aim at popular models like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue. The new Equinox is less distinctive than its predecessor, which had a certain bigger-is-better appeal among smallish rivals. This one feels more like the rest of them, but it lands there with undeniable refinement." -- Cars.com
  • "With the all-new, third-generation Equinox, GM finally seems to have figured out what matters in this contentious segment. Fully modern and right-size rather than oversize, this redesigned 2018 Equinox strikes us as the first Chevy crossover that could truly make inroads against the segment leaders." -- Car and Driver
  • "Of course, being the newest model in the segment, it should feel more mature. It should offer the latest safety features and it should move the segment forward. In that sense, Chevy accomplished what it set out to do. Last year, the Chevrolet Equinox was the fifth-best-selling car in its class. With the latest generation upgrades, it should at least hold that position, if it doesn't pick up a few new buyers who were previously deterred by its soft looks and soft driving. Those looking for a small SUV, particularly to haul around a small family—be it to the rolling foothills of Appalachia or to soccer practice—the all-new Equinox warrants consideration." -- New York Daily News
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