Ask Jack: Bigger Than a Breadbox?July 22, 2017
NHRA Mile-High Nationals Friday qualifying resultsJuly 22, 2017
Even when makers are not introducing new vehicles to fulfill the nooks and crannies that stay between sections, they are shifting the shapes and sizes of present units to match the boundaries which have prevailed because these cars were introduced. Together with the newest 2018 Equinox, Chevrolet has been performing exactly the latter: The brand new Equinox was downsized to closely align with other compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5, the Ford Escape, and the Toyota RAV4, and in the method that the Chevy has come to be a far better car.
Chevrolet’s previous-generation Equinox, that debuted at 2009 and conducted all the way via the 2017 version season, has been nothing if not sedate. It served its function but did devoid of excitement. Advertisers with peak torque coupled with transmissions which upshifted created to get a blend that was lethargic on the street.
The new 2018 model would like to suppress those memories with a revamped engine lineup. The base, turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four with its modest 170 horsepower might trigger flashbacks, but the optional 2.0-liter turbo that replaces the prior 3.6-liter V-6 as the step-up choice has much more life, and it pairs with a new nine-speed automated transmission that’s smooth and well programmed. The 2.0’s output reaches 252 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 2500 rpm versus the preceding V-6’s 301 horses at 6500 rpm and 272 lb-ft at 4800 rpm. The power peaks that are reduce make sense for a small SUV that spend the majority of its time toolingas soon as the oomph is accessible, it’s better.
Boosted engines can have turbo lag, and, foot to the floor in the Equinox, there’s a definite pause before the bowstring is released. Because Equinoxes like the one we drove default by decoupling the axle to front-drive when it is, there’s a noticeable quantity of torque steer. In case the car senses wheel slippage, an alert is triggered by it on the instrument cluster suggesting that the driver switch to drive, which is accomplished by pressing a button. An individual need not come to a stop to engage the axle, and all-wheel drive will stay engaged if the vehicle is turned off and restarted, once the button is pressed. Engaging the AWD system also cures the torque steer, but in either mode the 2.0T feels legitimately quick, significantly more so than the 1.5T.
The steering is nicely weighted with appropriate heft. There’s a little bit of play on-center, which can make for somewhat vague turn-in (but is great for relaxed freeway cruising), yet the car responds faithfully to inputs without feeling disconnected. The Equinox feels a lot more agile than before.
The cabin is quiet, the feeling of isolation enhanced by means of a chassis and suspension setup that’s more refined than in the preceding Equinox. A smidge is of body movement, specifically some dive but the suspension is well damped and firm keeping disturbances.
The new Equinox isn’t knockout gorgeous–what small crossover is? –but the styling that is fresh imparts a handsome appearance. The headlights encroach in the hood’s territory, and the grille, which features shutters, is wider and higher. The Equinox is closely aligned by the face with Chevy styling seen on the Traverse, the Malibu, and the Cruze.
The rear similarly emphasizes width. The new model is simply 0.9 inch lower and 0.1 inch wider, but it appears more squat. Lamps which are connected by a crease throughout the liftgate have replaced vertical taillights. While the wheel arches are not as pronounced than before, the body sides get creases and character lines.
The new model is 4.7 inches shorter in length, and the wheelbase is trimmed even more, shrinking by 5.2 inches. Chevrolet claims the vehicle is some 400 pounds lighter than its predecessor, but we will have to put the Equinox on our scales to discover the legitimate weight savings. Contrary to what might be expected, the size doesn’t signify a decrease in space. In actuality, the Equinox has almost the exact identical quantity of passenger room. Cargo volume with the seats stowed whilst less than two cubes are up lost by volume with the row is about the same. The cargo floor lifts to reveal a hidden compartment for smaller items, thus we’ll call it a wash.
Inside, where the former version looked almost immediately dated, the redesigned model looks more timeless even while retaining the general T-shaped layout of the dashboard and center stack. There are rounded corners, yet and more swoops, along with the Equinox ditches centre air vents and that the infotainment home to get a display surrounded with vents and inserted into the dashboard. HVAC switches and radio, that are redundant to the touchscreen controls, are appreciated and are user friendly, straightforward, and easy. And integration is just as simple as it receives.
If there’s a downside, it’s that the 2.0-liter model starts at more than $30,000 in front-drive trim. You are going to want all-wheel drive, which then bumps the price to nearly $34,000, and it’s possible to push an Equinox 2.0T to more than $42,000. (The available turbo-diesel engine costs even more.) That pricing puts it at the pricey end of its competitive set–and it’s well worth mentioning that just over $40K will get you a Mercedes-Benz GLC-class, albeit one without options–a tiny gamble from Chevrolet considering the nameplate’s reputation for mediocrity.
But with the 2.0-liter engine, the new Equinox is a significant step up from its predecessor, and an Equinox buyer no longer needs to create excuses to those behind the wheel of crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V. It does everything well enough to make almost any buyer.