New 2019 Chevrolet Equinox SUV New 2019
Chevrolet Equinox SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

Revamped last year as a slightly smaller but more sophisticated version of its former self, the 2019 Equinox is Chevrolet’s answer to compact-crossover SUVs like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Ford Escape. It compares well to those rivals in its feature set and driving manners, and offers something no other can match: a diesel engine that earns nearly 40 mpg. Also available is a potent 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that can be had in lieu of the standard 1.5-liter turbo-4. The Equinox boasts laudable technology with standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and 4G LTE connectivity. But to get active safety features such as lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking, you must buy the highest trim and then spend extra on options.


You'll Like This SUV If...

If you’re a Chevy loyalist looking for a compact SUV, this is it. Other reasons to choose the Equinox are for its two optional engines: a segment-exclusive diesel that earns up to 39 mpg, or the potent, 252-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline powerplant that is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

Active safety and driver-assistance features like forward-collision warning with automatic braking and lane-keeping assist require the most expensive trim, then you still must pay extra. On a Honda CR-V, they can be had for thousands less on a lower-level trim, and they are standard on the Toyota RAV4. If you’re among the few remaining buyers craving a manual-transmission crossover SUV, look to a Subaru Forester.

What's New for 2019

Though all-new just last year, Chevrolet has been quick to update the Equinox with active safety and driving features already available on rivals: adaptive cruise control and pedestrian-sensing automatic braking. Also, a higher-definition rearview camera is optional, and the Equinox’s standard 7-inch and optional 8-inch touch-screen infotainment systems have been updated.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

With three distinct powerplants, the 2019 Chevy Equinox has three distinct driving characteristics. The standard 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is more than satisfactory. With a 6-speed automatic driving either the front wheels or all four wheels, the little turbo handily gets the Equinox going. We found it had enough grunt to tackle hilly roads, but it’s no barn-burner. The optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, however, packs significantly more power. Its 80-plus-horsepower advantage over the base engine grants surprising, chirp-the-tires acceleration off the line and plenty of power for passing. Floor it in a front-wheel-drive version, and you’ll be dealing with torque steer. Then there’s the diesel engine. Like the base gasoline model, this one won’t win many races, but it’s a fuel-economy champ. With an EPA-rated fuel economy of up to 39 mpg, nothing this side of a hybrid comes close. No matter which engine you choose, the Equinox has a ride quality that favors comfort and quiet over, say, the athleticism and nimbleness of a Mazda CX-5.

Favorite Features

The new Equinox stands alone in its class with the availability of a diesel engine. And while diesels are (again) combating a bad reputation, those in the know understand that these powertrains have impressive torque and fuel efficiency. Emissions, meanwhile, are negated via fluid easily added every few thousand miles.

The Equinox’s other optional engine, a 2.0-liter turbo, changes the character of Chevy’s crossover SUV. With 252 horsepower on tap, it makes the Equinox notably quicker. Accelerating from a stop becomes something of a guilty pleasure with this engine, available on LT and Premier trims.

Vehicle Details


Chevy’s 2019 Equinox has a sensible and roomy 5-passenger interior. The front seats are supportive and good partners on trips. The 2nd-row bench has a recline feature, but we found the angle a little too sloped when in the max position. Conversely, it folds nearly flat in a 60/40 split, a big help when hauling gear. In all, the Equinox boasts 63.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seats down. That’s notably less than the Honda CR-V’s 75.8 cubic feet, but still quite usable. We also like the sub floor in the rear cargo area to secure smaller objects and keep them out of sight. Up front, the touch-screen system is easy to see and use, and controls for audio and climate are simple and in plain view. Most versions of the Equinox have basic cloth seating, but you can spruce it up with leather in the top-line Premier trim.


Looking the part of a younger and smaller sibling to the midsize Chevy Traverse, the new Equinox retains a fresh look all its own. At just over 183 inches in length, the Equinox crossover SUV is large enough to have presence, but small enough to easily fit in parking spaces and garages. Roof rails are available to add utility and bolder SUV looks, while a hands-free tailgate on higher trims makes it easier to load and unload groceries and gear. Various packages, like the new Lights and Bright offering, add elements like a chrome grille surround and 19-inch wheels. Models with the 2.0-liter turbo engine stand apart with dual-exhaust outlets.

Notable Standard Equipment

The Chevy Equinox is available in four main trims: L, LS, LT and Premier. The least expensive Equinox comes with a 1.5-liter turbo engine, keyless entry and push-button start, 7-inch infotainment system with four USB ports and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 17-inch wheels, and the Teen Driver system that can set parameters and relay information on driving habits. Other highlights include General Motors’ OnStar telematics system and a subscription-based 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi. The LS trim adds a compact spare tire, compass and carpeted floormats, plus allows for all-wheel drive and a few other options, but most buyers will be better off in at least an Equinox LT trim. The LT opens the door to the optional engines and comes with amenities like 8-way power-operated driver’s seat, SiriusXM satellite radio, tinted rear glass, high-intensity headlights, and color driver-information screen.

Notable Optional Equipment

The top-line Equinox Premier model includes leather interior, heated front seats with driver-position memory, hands-free power tailgate, 8-inch infotainment system with optional navigation, dual-zone climate control, roof rails, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Unfortunately, and unlike competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, you have to spring for the top-line Premier model, then still pay extra for safety features like forward-collision alert with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Other options include a Bose audio system that sounds much better than the subpar standard one, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and panoramic sunroof. A Redline Edition that’s available on models with the 2.0-liter turbo engine adds aggressive aesthetics like a black grille, black mirror caps and black Chevy bow-tie badge.

Under the Hood

You have a choice of three engines in the 2019 Chevy Equinox. All are 4-cylinder and come standard in front-wheel drive (FWD), with all-wheel drive (AWD) optional for better traction on slippery surfaces. Standard is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough oomph for most tasks, and is rated to tow 1,500 pounds. Optional is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 252 horsepower/260 lb-ft of torque that makes the Equinox feel quite a bit faster. It is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Then there’s the Equinox’s X factor -- a diesel engine. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel has 137 horsepower/240 lb-ft of torque, but a remarkable fuel-economy rating of up to 39 mpg. The 1.5-liter gasoline engine and the diesel use a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.0-liter turbo has a 9-speed automatic. All Equinox models have an idle start/stop system that cuts engine power at idle, such as at stoplights. Restarts can be annoying, and unlike in other automakers, the system can’t be deactivated.

1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
170 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
203 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/32 mpg (FWD), 25/30 mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
252 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 mpg (FWD), 22/28 mpg (AWD)

1.6-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
137 horsepower @ 3,750 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/39 mpg (FWD), 28/38 mpg (AWD)


Pricing Notes

The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $24,795 for a front-wheel-drive base L model. Most buyers will be better off in an LS or LT model, which start at $26,795 and $28,095, respectively. If you want a Chevy Equinox diesel, you’ll also have to step up to the LT diesel, which begins at $30,495. Equinox Premium models begin just under $32,000. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,700 and requires the LS trim or higher. All-in, an Equinox SUV can top $42,000 -- quite high in this segment. At its base price, the Equinox undercuts the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue, and is in line with the Ford Escape. Rivals like the Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson start slightly less. Before buying your new compact SUV, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what folks in your area are paying. The Chevy Equinox’s resale value is about average, trailing leaders like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester.

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