By Bob Nagy

Touting it as the likely segment leader in highway fuel economy, Chevrolet announced the new 2018 Equinox with its optional 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine carries a 39-mpg EPA highway rating in front-drive form and a 38-mpg when fitted with all-wheel drive. Those figures put ahead of its closest compact SUV rivals, the Nissan Rogue Hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The former carries a 35-mpg freeway number and the latter clocks in at 34 mpg. Equally notable, a FWD Equinox turbodiesel can travel up to 577 miles before refueling while an AWD version with its larger tank can top 590 miles.

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The most fuel-efficient version of the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox also records very respectable EPA city numbers when fitted with the diesel. While falling slightly behind the aforementioned Nissan and Toyota Hybrid models, both versions of the Equinox turbodiesel earn solid 28-mpg in-town ratings. That efficiency is helped by an exceptionally smooth and transparent start-stop system.

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Backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission, the new 1.6-liter oil burner also features a trick variable-geometry turbocharger that adds extra punch to its acceleration.  “It’s very fun to drive, with torque on demand at all speeds,” notes Dan Nicholson, vice president of Global Propulsion Systems. “The engine delivers 90 percent of peak torque between 1,500 and 3,250 rpm. That strong torque provides the feeling of a larger engine, with exceptional smoothness and quietness.”

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