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2019 Chevrolet Equinox

Starting at $24,995

2018 chevrolet equinox
Chris Amos|Car and Driver

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  • Highs Great handling, fuel-efficient powertrain, spacious cabin.
  • Lows Slow acceleration, awkwardly angled infotainment display, can be downright expensive.
  • Verdict A well-rounded fighter, the Equinox needs more training before it can claim the title belt.
By Drew Dorian


Its easy, carlike handling combined with SUV-like seating height and practicality make the Equinox an appealing choice. Chevy comes out swinging, as the Equinox's feature-rich options list offers all sorts of modern infotainment and driver-assistance features. It's in the hunt for fuel-efficiency street cred, too, with an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that sips fuel with the best of them. A super-efficient turbo-diesel engine is also available. Unfortunately, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder standard engine makes the Equinox feel substantially underpowered, and acceleration is lukewarm at best. Chevy's decision to charge a hefty premium for high-value models and popular packages may drive shoppers to rival brands.

What's New for 2019?

Chevrolet has made a few changes to the Equinox lineup for 2019. Three new option packages are now offered, starting with the LS Convenience package and the LT Appearance package. The Lights and Bright package is also available on the LT model and adds 19-inch chrome wheels, LED head- and taillights, a chrome grille surround, and molded running boards. Four USB ports are now standard across the range and the backup camera has been upgraded with a higher-resolution lens. Pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control both join the options list but are only available on the top-spec Premier model.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We'd choose the midrange LT trim with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive costs $1750 extra). We’d spend the extra $2500 for the 2.0T, but that may be hard to justify for someone who doesn’t care as much about performance. The LT adds a number of features that many will appreciate, such as a power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar, heated exterior mirrors, and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlamps. Chevrolet's packaging strategy makes it difficult for the Equinox to compete with rivals such as the Honda CR-V, which offers far more luxury, driver-assistance, and convenience features at this same price point. To match the CR-V on features and equipment, requires adding extra-cost option packages such as the Confidence and Convenience package and the Sun and Navigation package.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Likes: Gutsy optional 2.0T engine, athletic handling for a crossover, great steering.
Dislikes: Lethargic 1.5T and diesel engines, harsh ride on large optional wheels.

Underpowered and frequently out of breath, the base turbo four-cylinder engine won't win any fans with its sluggish performance. The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder makes 170 horsepower, and when paired with the optional (and heavier) all-wheel-drive system (front-wheel drive is standard), it takes a heavy foot to hustle the Equinox up to highway speeds. A larger, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is optional and far better suited for the Equinox's weight. The standard six-speed automatic shifts seamlessly, and in the interest of fuel economy, the gearbox is reluctant to downshift when extra power is needed. A diesel four-cylinder is also offered and is very efficient, but it's also expensive and slow.

Agreeable and easy to drive, the Equinox handles competently, and its steering is accurate and direct. The ride is a bit harsh, particularly with the optional 19-inch wheels (17s or 18s are standard), and rougher stretches of road translate some unpleasantness into the cabin. Body roll is kept in check during cornering, and the stiff suspension yields a legitimately athletic crossover should you encounter a twisty back road.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

In the race for the best fuel economy, downsized engines are all the rage. Chevy's 1.5-liter turbo isn't speedy, but it does offer attractive EPA fuel-economy ratings. Honda's CR-V outpaces the Equinox in both acceleration and fuel efficiency. In the real world, EPA estimates aren't always so easy to achieve, and our all-wheel-drive Equinox proved thirstier than expected. It delivered just 28 of its rated 30 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test loop while the CR-V managed 32 mpg. Ironically, the Equinox's larger turbocharged 2.0-liter turbo recorded 30 mpg in our testing and the diesel-powered version saw an incredible 43 mpg.

Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

Likes: Handsomely styled interior, spacious for adults in both rows of seats, intuitive infotainment.
Dislikes: Base model is stingy with equipment, not as spacious for cargo as some rivals, interior cubby storage is only average.

Made from durable materials and styled nicely, the Equinox's cabin should draw broad appeal. Both front- and rear-seat passengers should find themselves comfortable in the spacious interior, with enough luxuries to keep them content on longer trips. The cabin features plenty of cupholders, but most interior luxuries are offered as standard or optional equipment on higher trim levels; the base Equinox L is a price leader with very few features.

A 7.0-inch touchscreen (an 8.0-inch unit is optional) displays Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment interface atop the Equinox's dash; the system continues to impress with its ease of use and quick responses. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB connectivity, and an auxiliary input jack. Standard 4G LTE–powered onboard Wi-Fi makes the Equinox one of the best-connected crossovers.

Some rivals offer more space behind the rear seats, but we still managed to fit eight of our carry-on suitcases back there. Aside from a capacious center-console storage bin, the Equinox's cabin storage is merely average.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

View Crash Test Results

The Equinox nabbed a five-star honor from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration but missed out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick accolades due to headlights that scored only Marginal in that agency's testing. For Equinox shoppers who place driver-assistance features at the top of their wish lists, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that automated emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlamps, and lane-keeping assist are all available features. The bad news is that they require shelling out the dough for the top-of-the-line Premier trim, and even then it'll add extra cost to the bottom line. Key safety features include:

  • Available automated emergency braking
  • Available lane-keeping assist
  • Available automatic high-beam headlamps

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Chevrolet's basic warranty package is just that—basic—but so are those of its competitors. The Kia Sportage and its corporate cousin the Hyundai Tuscon both offer longer protection plans. Chevy also provides one free dealer maintenance visit within the first year of ownership, which is a nice perk.

  • Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit


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