The Car Connection Chevrolet Equinox Overview
The Chevrolet Equinox is a five-passenger, compact crossover SUV. It was redesigned for the 2018 model year to be more comfortable, but the new Equinox is still true to its roots.
The 2018 model marks the third generation of the Equinox; it remains available in front- or all-wheel drive and now offers a choice between gasoline turbo-4s. Chevy dropped the short-lived turbodiesel Equinox in the 2020 model year.
The new Equinox is nearly identical to the GMC Terrain underneath their exteriors but feature different bodies, interior materials, and options. There are minor differences in the powertrains, mostly limited to available transmissions.
MORE: Read our 2020 Chevy Equinox review
With the Equinox, Chevy has a competitor for vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester.
The new Chevrolet Equinox
A new Chevrolet Equinox made its debut in 2017 as a 2018 model year. The latest Equinox is 5 inches shorter than the outgoing model and more than 400 pounds lighter in an effort to better compete with rivals like the Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4.
A trio of turbocharged engines is now available: a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo-4, a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4, and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel rated up to 40 mpg on the highway.
An updated interior in the 2018 models included a 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and softer interior materials. While the overall length and wheelbase was significantly reduced, interior size didn't change much in to the new generation.
The exterior styling was updated significantly for the 2018 model, and the Equinox was made sharper, although not as dramatic as the mechanically related GMC Terrain.
The new Equinox comes with more available advanced safety features than before. In addition to GM's rumble safety seat that alerts drivers of potential crashes, the Equinox comes with an available surround-view safety system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, and a teen driver feature that reports on guest driver behavior.
Changes for 2019 were limited to an updated infotainment system with an available HD rearview camera.
Chevy Equinox history
The first-generation Equinox debuted in 2005, one of four then-new crossover vehicles that used the same underpinnings. Only the Equinox survives; the other three have passed into history (they were the Saturn Vue, Pontiac Torrent, and Suzuki XL7).
That 2005 Equinox was positioned as a "just right"-sized crossover utility vehicle—a little larger than compact crossovers like the Ford Escape, but a little smaller than three-row mid-size entries like the Toyota Highlander.
The first generation of the Equinox was offered with front- or all-wheel drive, and 4- or 6-cylinder engines, through the 2009 model year. While reviewers appreciated the interior room of the first Equinox, its antiquated, coarse V-6 engine and bland styling were outdone by competitors from Honda, Ford, Toyota and Subaru.
In 2008, Chevrolet added a smoother, more powerful V-6 to the Equinox lineup (and to the Pontiac Torrent as well).
The last-generation Equinox debuted for 2010. Power came from either a 182-horsepower inline-4 or a 301-hp V-6. Both were mated to 6-speed automatic transmissions with front-wheel drive standard or optional all-wheel drive.
The Equinox saw few major changes from 2010 to 2016, although it received some of the latest connectivity and active-safety features. Those include lane-departure warning and forward collision alert, plus Chevy's MyLink system, for easier hands-free calling and media access. In 2013, the Equinox introduced a combination of MyLink and touchscreen navigation, while a new 301-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 replaced the 3.0-liter V-6 as the top-level powertrain.
A refreshed Equinox arrived for the 2016 model year. The formula changed very little, and there were no major mechanical updates. Instead, the 2016 Equinox receives revised front and rear styling, with a new grille and headlights and resculpted lighting units in the rear. Inside, the materials have been improved, and the 2016 model added a few new options, including the advanced safety features already offered on the GMC Terrain Denali. Since the 2018 arrived as an all-new model, the Equinox didn't change substantially for a shortened 2017 model year.