GETTING AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION Chevy’s second best seller next to the Silverado, with more than 2-million vehicles sold, is all new for model year 2018.

It features new styling, new turbo engines, a 9-speed automatic transmission, FWD/AWD, new suspension, a new steering system and bigger brakes, while riding on 19 inch wheels/tires. The inside is also all-new with better materials, easier to use controls, especially the My Chevrolet interface, roomier, better ergonomics, more connectivity and safety systems. The all-new 2018 Equinox has caught up and in some instances, passed the heavy competition from Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai and Ford. Sales of compact SUV/CUV are expected to climb by 20% through 2020.

The all-new 2018 Chevy Equinox Premier, (no more LTZ), is fresh and modern, ready to meet the needs of the compact SUV customer. The Equinox’s more expressive style has a lean, taut muscular skin, echoing the global Chevy design cues and sculpted shapes seen on the all-new Volt, Malibu and Cruze. Extensive aero development in the wind tunnel influenced the sleek shape with the low-profile aluminum roofrack. It is a richer, more detailed design featuring chrome trim and Malibu-inspired styling. Projector-beam headlamps up front are mated with LED DRLs and foglamps. The aluminum hood shows two scallops that help channel air over the windshield for better aerodynamics. The sideview shows steeply raked A-pillars, deep lower side extensions, chrome heated/self-dimming sideview mirrors and white/chrome pull-out door handles with Chevy’s Keyless Go. The rear has horizontal LED taillamps that emphasize the Equinox’s wide stance.

The power opening/closing/height-adjustable rear door is perfect for loading and unloading.
The all-aluminum, efficient, turbo engine choices are three including a 1.6 liter turbo diesel, the compact SUV segment’s first turbo-diesel in North America making 137hp/240 pounds of torque; a 1.5 liter turbo engine generating 170hp/203 pounds of torque; while my text Equinox Premier came with the 2.0 liter turbo with DOHC, direct injection and VVT. It makes a powerful 252hp and 260 pounds of torque that is plenty of power to easily merge onto fast moving highway traffic and when maneuvering around slow city traffic plus it is good enough to trailer 3,500 pounds of gear. With standard Stop/Start the engine gets 22mpg/city and 28mpg highway. It is mated to an all-new Hydra-Matic 9T50 9-speed automatic with sequential shifting on top of the leather-wrapped stick shifter. Chevy is the first to offer all turbo engines in the compact SUV/CUV segment.

The ride is smooth and it gives me a very confident feeling when slicing through steep curving roads. Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with side-loaded modules, specifically tuned coil springs and a direct acting stabilizer bar. The independent rear keeps me on track when turning and features a four-link setup with gas charged shocks, specifically tuned coil springs, trailing arms and stabilizer bar. The new electric power assisted steering system features dual rack & pinion steering system that is ‘right on’ to my inputs, and gives a good feel for the road. Braking from speed or when coming into a steep curve gives me the extra confidence that I need to keep safe even with traction control working. Up front are 11.9 inch vented discs clamped with dual piston calipers and 11.1 inch solid discs in the rear clamped with single piston calipers. Standard ABS helps to keep me in control when braking hard in wet weather or in emergency situations. The Equinox Premier rides on large 8X19 inch cast aluminum wheels wrapped with 235/50R19 inch all-season radial tires for a smooth ride with plenty of grip for quick launches. This all-new Equinox has lost 400 pounds making it more nimble on the road with better MPG mileage.

The interior is roomy, more up to date, and safer with better connectivity. It takes advantage of the Equinox’s all-new architecture to offer a down-and-away easy to see and understand instrument cluster and dashboard faced with cut & sewn leather and real aluminum trim. With the low windshield base it gives a more commanding outward view. All switches, dials and buttons are easy to use and are placed perfectly. The new MyLink infotainment systems can be controlled by touch of the 8-inch Tablet sized color screen. Navigation fills up the entire screen and the screen is designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Down below is a storage box to easily charge my Smartphone. The new ‘kneeling’ rear 60/40 split fold down seat with pull-down armrest/dual cupholders, enhances functionality. With it the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatback are lowered, allowing a flat floor for easier loading.

Standard equipment not mentioned above in the Premier edition includes power windows/door locks with driver’s side express up/down, self-dimming rearview mirror, power front sport bucket seats with lumbar control, variable speed wipers/washers rear wiper/washer, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, Bose Audio System with 7-speakers, dual 120-volt connection, iPod/USB/Bluetooth connections, electronic brake, push button start/stop, retained power, 2-person memory/easy exit driver seat, grab handles above each door, Adaptive Cruise Control, switchable AWD system that enhances efficiency by disconnecting from the rear axle when not needed, deep padded/lighted storage box, storage in each door, dark tinted side/rear glass, dual zone climate control with rear air-vents, tilt-telescopic/heated/leather-wrapped, beefy steering wheel and a giant panorama sliding sunroof that extends into the rear seats and is complement with a power open/closing sunscreen. There aren’t many compact SUVs that can match the interior, storage, connectivity, safety and mechanicals of the all-new 2018 Chevy Equinox Premier.

Speaking about safety, the Equinox Premier offers a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety technologies. Start with 5-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners, roll-over mitigation, front/side and side-curtain airbags, new driver’s safety alert seat, new surround vision parking assist, new forward collision alert with following distance indicator, new low-speed forward automatic braking, new lane keep assist with lane departure warning, new rear seat reminder, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and front/side and rear crumple zones. You won’t find more in any other new compact SUV. The all-new Equinox Premier is fun to drive, can haul up to 5-persons and their stuff in comfort, safety with the latest in connectivity. Maximum cargo room is 29.9 cu. ft. behind the rear seat/63.5 cu. ft. with the rear seat folded. It has broken through to be more competitive with this fast growing segment in the auto industry.