2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0-liter Quick Take
Forget what you've heard: Bigger is always better. All-new for 2018, the newest version of the Chevrolet Equinox is fielding praise from all sides. This new iteration of Chevy's compact SUV has progressed well beyond the also-ran lack of status it's had in prior years to a strong, competitive foothold in comparison tests, including our most recent 6-crossover-SUV battle. In that test, we gave the Equinox high marks for its agreeable highway manners, very agreeable 2nd-row room, and its MyLink infotainment system.
We also noted that the 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine was adequate, though we didn't fall all over ourselves about things like passing power and onramp acceleration. If that's the kind of performance that matters most to you, the Equinox now has your answer: a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It's also a 4-cylinder, but it's a much better sprinter.
Ready to do some work
As a replacement for last year's 301-horsepower V6, the 2.0-liter turbo-4 is more than an adequate stand-in. Its 252 horsepower rolls on nicely, yes, but in truth it's the new Equinox's 260 lb-ft of torque—good for hauling stuff and on-boost acceleration—that gives the 2.0-liter SUV its bragging rights. The 2.0-liter Equinox builds its maximum torque from a low 2,500 rpm and holds that power all the way up to 4,500. That's 300 rpm sooner than the old V6 even hit its peak-torque level, and it's also where most of your driving gets done. It's also where the towing gets done. The 2.0-liter Equinox is rated to pull 3,500 pounds, the gold standard among compact SUVs.
As a bonus, the 2.0-liter Equinox gets significantly better fuel economy than last year's V6. In a front-wheel-drive (FWD) Equinox, you can expect around 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 29 mpg on the highway. With the all-wheel-drive (AWD) models, 22 mpg is still your city number, but the highway fuel economy drops to 28. In addition to the weight saved in creating the new Equinox, much of this lower fuel consumption comes thanks to the 9-speed automatic transmission that gets paired with the 2.0-liter engine (7th, 8th and 9th speeds are all tall, fuel-saving gears).
Both around town and (especially) on the open road, the 2.0-liter Equinox is a rewarding drive. The engine's specialty is in that wide 30-70-mph window, where it responds beautifully to throttle. Under extra load, say on an uphill at low speeds, the turbo takes an extra beat to kick in, but once it does, you get to hang on and smile as slower traffic is dispatched with ease.
Taking full advantage of the latest in noise-cancellation tech, Chevy engineers do a good job of keeping road noise and the 2.0-liter's powerful personality out of conversations happening inside the cabin.
The 2.0-liter versions of the 2018 Chevy Equinox are available in LT trim ($30,090 for FWD, $33,785 for AWD) and top-tier Premier trim ($34,530 for FWD, $38,175 for AWD). The third engine in Chevy's 2018 Equinox plans, a high fuel economy 1.6-liter diesel, will arrive late this summer.