2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Change year or car

Change year or car

$23,580

starting MSRP

2018 Chevrolet Equinox
2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Key specs

Base trim shown.

Overview

The good:

  • Base engine no longer feels underpowered
  • Quick turbo 2.0-liter
  • Firm but controlled ride
  • Intuitive multimedia systems
  • Much-improved gas mileage
  • Child-seat accommodations

The bad:

  • Steering and handling
  • Visibility
  • Front-seat comfort
  • Crash-avoidance tech costs extra
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Headroom with panoramic moonroof

9 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price.

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2018 Chevrolet Equinox trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Redesigned for 2018
  • Smaller, lighter than predecessor
  • FWD or AWD
  • 1.5- or 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engines
  • 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine
  • Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Review: Our expert's take

By Kelsey Mays

The verdict: 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 definite refinement.  

Versus the competiton: No longer a plus-sized entrant among compact SUVs, the redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox takes direct aim at popular models from a long list of automakers.  

The Chevrolet Equinox comes with front- or all-wheel drive in four trim levels (L, LS, LT and Premier) and three engines: two gasoline and one diesel four-cylinder, all turbocharged. We tested both gasoline engines in several FWD and AWD vehicles — one of them back-to-back against six other SUVs in Cars.com’s 2017 Compact SUV Challenge.

Exterior & Styling

Gone is the old Equinox’s wide-eyed expression and vertical taillights, replaced by thin lights at both ends that evoke the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze. The new Equinox profile carries over a lot of elements, including the arched-forward C-pillars, even though it’s nearly 5 inches shorter than before — the product of a new platform shared with the redesigned GMC Terrain and no other GM models in the U.S. (GM’s stateside brands are Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC).

How It Drives

The new platform helps shed about 400 pounds — more than 10 percent of the Equinox’s weight — and it’s immediately noticeable. The new base engine is a turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 170 horsepower, and it moves the Equinox with a punchiness its underpowered four-cylinder predecessor lacked. It’s a noisy climb to higher revs, but the drivetrain’s 203 pounds-feet of torque makes the ascent brisk enough.

There’s still room for improvement, especially on the highway, where accelerator lag and a transmission that resists downshifting conspire against passing. But in a class known for modest power, this is more than adequate.

The Inside

The dashboard is thematically similar to the redesigned Malibu’s, which is a good place to start. But two days’ driving confirmed one of our initial takeaways: The Equinox’s new seats are a step backward. As compact SUVs go, the old Equinox had exceptionally big, comfy seats, while these ones are, well, ordinary. Headroom and seat height are good across the board, but the optional panoramic moonroof takes away nearly 2 inches of headroom front and rear. Get a car with this feature, and tall passengers in back will have to slouch.

The rear seats reclines a few clicks and collapses level with the cargo floor when you fold them forward, but doesn’t slide like it once did. GM claims customer indifference toward the sliding function, but if you’re in the minority and still want sliders, check out the Volkswagen Tiguan or Nissan Rogue. (Or White Castle.)

Behind the backseat is about 30 cubic feet of cargo room; there’s a maximum of 63.5 cubic feet with the seats folded. That’s roughly unchanged versus last year despite the truncated exterior, but anyone with serious cargo needs should look at the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Rogue. All three max out (on paper, at least) in the 70s.

Like before, bulky C- and D-pillars limit rear visibility, earning the new Equinox a last-place finish in our comparison of blind spot visibility among small SUVs. Still, the redesign traded last year’s Stonehenge-sized head restraints for smaller ones you can flip down, which helps considerably.

Cabin materials are attractive overall, with stitched vinyl on the upper dash in higher trim levels and padded sections of the upper doors, front and rear, where your elbows rest. That’s a rarity in back, where most competitors slap on some cheap plastic and call it a day. Some flatter plastics on portions of the doors and dashboard drew criticism from certain editors, and the flimsy turn-signal stalks don’t inspire confidence. But other controls have a well-crafted look and feel, and a 7- or 8-inch MyLink infotainment system touchscreen sits on a raised plane for a subtle layered effect. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, and higher trim levels have up to six USB ports and a 120-volt household outlet — enough to charge a small army of mobile devices.

Value in the Market

Entry-level pricing starts around $25,000 for the Chevrolet Equinox L (which GM officials insist you can really buy, as opposed to it being a fleet-only model seldom stocked by dealers), while a loaded Equinox Premier tops out in the low $40,000s. You’ll have to pay close to the latter price to get must-have safety features like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, which Chevrolet confines to an options package on the Premier. Even at that, the system works only at low speeds, versus rival systems that work across greater speed ranges.

As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has yet to evaluate the Equinox’s crash-avoidance technology or subject it to other crash tests. It passed our evaluation of car-seat accommodations with flying colors.

The Chevrolet Equinox’s limited safety-feature availability conspired with other factors to relegate it  to a middling finish in our comparison of compact SUVs. GM’s redesign is compelling in certain areas, but the class includes strong alternatives — from the CR-V and Tiguan, both champions of practicality, to the luxurious CX-5 and fun-to-drive Escape. Those are all must-drives for any compact SUV shopper; whether the Equinox ends up winning your wallet will depend on what you value.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.7
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews

4.9

Mostly a great SUV

After I bought used 2018 Equinox I discovered it did not have back up alarm. Hate not having it. Also the back up camera display on dash sometimes cannot see as it has a glare. My 2012 Kia Sorento had back up camera on rear view miirror, like that better. Like electric driver's seat to lower and move back, easier to get out of. Plenty of room although trunk area is smaller than Sorento.

3.6

Still deciding

Still deciding. Has a glitchy bluetooth, glitches with the transmission, blew oxygen sensor before 30k miles. Overall, I would recommend this vehicle. I hope that it's glitchey behavior subsidies.

4.7

Loving this car

I've hd this car for 2 months and so far I love it. Came out of a Jeep Wrangler and the equinox is such a smooth and comfortable ride. Lots of room inside

See all 705 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Chevrolet
Certified pre-owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Compare the competitors

2017

GMC Terrain

$24,070

starting MSRP

2019

Buick Envision

$31,995

starting MSRP

See all 2018 Chevrolet Equinox articles