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2018 Chevrolet Equinox Review

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox ranks in the middle third of the competitive compact SUV class. The Equinox has spacious seating, good safety scores, and pleasant driving dynamics. Mediocre cargo space and pricier ownership costs keep the SUV from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Roomy seating space
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Good fuel economy
  • Dull six-speed transmission

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox's #9 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Chevrolet Equinox has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 25 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Overview

Is the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox a Good Used SUV?

The Chevrolet Equinox is a decent option if you’re shopping for a used compact SUV. The Equinox has a roomy interior with seating for five, it rates highly for crash safety, and it packs a lot of family-friendly tech features. Some trim levels even have six USB ports, ensuring there’s always a charging point for your devices.

The 2018 Equinox has many highlights:

  • Spacious cabin
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Fuel-efficient turbocharged engines
  • Easy-to-use touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Many available safety features

That being said, it does have its drawbacks:

  • Higher-than-average projected ownership costs
  • Less cargo space than many other compact SUVs
  • Sluggish six-speed automatic transmission

Consider the 2018 Honda CR-V or 2018 Toyota RAV4 if you need a compact SUV with more cargo space. Both of these SUVs also have lower projected ownership costs.

Compare the Equinox, CR-V, and RAV4 »

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

We’ve analyzed 29 Chevrolet Equinox reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

How Much Is the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

Based on listings for the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox on our site, the average price is $21,700, which is below average for the class. Prices range from $17,900 to $27,400 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Cost to Own?

The Equinox’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $24,900, or $4,980 per year. That’s higher than average for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Equinox?

Chevrolet redesigned the Equinox for the 2018 model year. Updates for 2019 are pretty minimal. The 2019 Equinox, which has a starting price of $23,800, is available with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. If you aren’t interested in these active safety features, you can save a lot of money by shopping for a used 2018 model.

Read about the new Chevrolet Equinox »

You can save even more money by shopping for a previous-generation Equinox. Chevy offered these models from 2010 through 2017, and they provide similar seating space, cargo room, and towing ability. However, they lack many of the newer Equinox’s features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The cabin materials also aren’t as nice, and the engines yield lower fuel economy.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Equinox »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

The 2018 Equinox has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Equinox reliability »

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Recalls

At the time of writing, there are four recalls for the 2018 Equinox:

  • There may be insufficient coating on rear brake caliper pistons
  • Fuel pump flange weld may fracture
  • Window glass may not meet safety standards
  • Right front driveshaft could fracture and separate

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Chevrolet Equinox safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Equinox Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Chevy Equinox is available in four trim levels: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The base model Equinox L is well-equipped with amenities and tech features, making it a great starting point in this lineup. That said, you’ll need to opt for the Premier trim if you want Chevy’s full suite of active safety features. These features were optional on that trim only.

  • Chevrolet Equinox L: The entry-level Equinox L has a turbocharged engine with 170 horsepower and front-wheel drive. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, a Wi-Fi hotspot, cloth seats, a rearview camera, the Teen Driver system, remote keyless entry, push-button start, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • Chevrolet Equinox LS: The LS trim is available with all-wheel drive.
  • Chevrolet Equinox LT: The LT trim comes with satellite radio, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and tinted rear windows. It also includes all three of the Equinox’s engine options, as well as front- or all-wheel drive.
  • Chevrolet Equinox Premier: The top-of-the-line Premier trim is available with all of the SUV’s engine and drivetrain options. Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, six USB ports, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, a hands-free power liftgate, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED headlights, fog lights, and 18-inch wheels.

Available features are mostly limited to the Premier trim. These include a navigation system, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree view parking camera, among others.

See 2018 Chevrolet Equinox trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Equinox?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Equinox a top safety score of Good in all six areas tested. Properly equipped models earned a Superior rating for front crash prevention. In headlight testing, the Equinox received the second-worst rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Equinox an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It received five stars in the frontal crash and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover evaluation. Early production models received a four-star overall rating with five stars in the frontal crash test and four stars in the side crash and rollover tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • rear-seat reminder (prompts you to check the back seat for kids and pets)
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set limits on speed and audio volume for secondary drivers)

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • rear parking sensors
  • low-speed forward collision warning with brake assist
  • automatic high-beam headlights
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • Surround Vision (360-degree parking camera)
  • Safety Alert Seat (vibrates to warn the driver of potential hazards)

See Equinox safety scores »

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox or 2018 Ford Escape?

The 2018 Ford Escape is another fine option in this segment. Both of these SUVs have quality cabins, zippy four-cylinder engines, and pleasant driving dynamics. Both also offer a wide variety of active safety features. The Escape is the better buy for most shoppers though. It rates higher for predicted reliability, and it has lower projected ownership costs. Used models are typically less expensive to buy as well. On the other hand, the Ford doesn’t earn great fuel economy. Stick with the Chevy if you want to maximize your gas mileage.

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox or 2018 Mazda CX-5?

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 outshines the Equinox in many areas. The Mazda boasts a more luxurious cabin with higher-end materials. It feels more agile and fun to drive, and it packs more standard safety features. For instance, all trims have forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring. The CX-5’s ownership costs are also projected to be lower. That said, the Equinox does offer superior fuel economy, and used models are typically more affordably priced. Test-drive both SUVs to see which you prefer.

Compare the Equinox, Escape, and CX-5 »

2018 Equinox Performance

How Does the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Drive?

The Equinox is a pleasant compact SUV to drive. It remains stable around turns, and its pliant suspension does a nice job of soaking up bumps and dips in the pavement. The brakes provide fine stopping power as well. The Equinox is offered with a trio of four-cylinder engine options, and each of them feels refined.

The standard 1.5-liter engine is more than capable of hauling the Equinox around town, and its turbocharger supplies ample punch for zipping the SUV to highway speeds. The 1.6-liter diesel engine offers a similar driving experience, but it’s the 2.0-liter engine that earns the most praise. It easily hustles the Equinox up to speed and provides strong passing power, even with a full load of passengers or cargo.

It’s not all good news though. The six-speed transmission – standard with the 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines – is occasionally slow to downshift, and it can make the Equinox feel out of breath when passing other vehicles. The steering is also somewhat vague, which can cause the SUV to feel larger than it actually is when parking in tight areas.

  • Base engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 170 horsepower
  • Available engines:  
    • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower
    • 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with 137 horsepower (LT and Premier trims)
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed automatic; available nine-speed automatic (LT and Premier trims)
Does the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Equinox earns good fuel economy for a compact SUV, especially when equipped with its 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine.

  • 1.5-liter, FWD: 26/32 mpg city/highway
  • 1.5-liter, AWD: 24/30 mpg
  • 2.0-liter, FWD: 22/29 mpg
  • 2.0-liter, AWD: 22/28 mpg
  • 1.6-liter turbodiesel, FWD: 28/39 mpg
  • 1.6-liter turbodiesel, AWD: 28/38 mpg
2018 Chevrolet Equinox Towing Capacity

The Equinox can handle light-duty towing when properly equipped. Equinox models with the 2.0-liter engine and tow package have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. All other models are rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds.

Read more about Equinox performance »

2018 Equinox Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Equinox Seat?

The Chevy Equinox is a two-row SUV with five seats. The Equinox offers generous headroom and legroom for taller passengers in both rows, and its cabin stays fairly quiet at cruising speeds. The front seats are supportive, and the driving position is relaxed. However, the seat cushions are firm and rather tight around the shoulder area. Outward visibility is limited by the SUV’s large roof pillars.

The Equinox’s cabin is neatly styled, and it’s trimmed with a number of soft-touch plastics, especially on the dashboard. Feel around though, and you’ll find quite a few hard, cheap-looking plastics in less-obvious areas.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front and rear seats
  • ventilated front seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system its second-best rating of Acceptable. This setup is mostly user-friendly, though some of these anchors can be confused for other hardware.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Features

The Equinox earns praise for its user-friendly infotainment system. All models are equipped with a touch screen, which offers crisp graphics, simple on-screen buttons and menus, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These programs allow users to integrate their iPhone and Android apps on the screen. The climate controls are located beneath the screen, and they are easy to adjust while driving. The only fault with this system is with the 8-inch touch screen, which can be hard to see in direct sunlight.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an OnStar Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, a navigation system, satellite radio, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, and six USB ports
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry and push-button start
  • Other available features: dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a sunroof, and a hands-free power liftgate

See 2018 Chevrolet Equinox specs »

Read more about Equinox interior »

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Dimensions

Chevrolet Equinox Cargo Space

The Equinox has 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 63.5 cubic feet of space with these seats folded. That’s a decent amount of cargo room, but a number of compact SUVs offer more. Check out the 2018 Nissan Rogue and 2018 Subaru Forester.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Length and Weight
  • Length: about 15 feet, 4 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,274 to 3,682 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Built?

Chevrolet built the 2018 Equinox in Canada.

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Equinox Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Mazda CX-5 2018 2018 Mazda CX-5

#1 in 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs

Hyundai Tucson 2018 2018 Hyundai Tucson

#2 in 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs

Ford Escape 2018 2018 Ford Escape

#3 in 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs

Honda CR-V 2018 2018 Honda CR-V

#4 in 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs

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