Vacation Special: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

It’s that time of year again; the annual family vacation. This year, it was a week at the beach, requiring a vehicle that could haul all the beach gear, a bike, and a weeks worth of luggage. Thanks to our friends at Chevrolet, the all-new 2018 Equinox stepped right up to the challenge. Our tester, a front-wheel-drive Premier model with the 1.5T engine and no navigation or sunroof was a bit of a spartan build. That being said, for the singular purpose in which we needed it, the Equinox excelled beyond even our expectations.

Leaving our location in Albany, NY we headed Northeast towards the New Hampshire coast with the Equinox and a full tank. One quick stop for breakfast, another for coffee, and a few traffic delays later we arrived at our destination five hours later having averaged 31.5 miles per gallon. The only complaints during the entire trip werewere the lack of the aforementioned navigation system and the somewhat short seat bottoms for longer legged passengers. The active lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, and forward collision warning helped when traffic became prevalent and the frugal turbo four cylinder meant less stops for gas.

During our week of local driving around the Portsmouth, NH area, mileage barely dipped under 30 miles per gallon. The 1.5L turbo is rated at 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. Though the Equinox has lost a few hundred pounds and over 4 inches of length in this new 2018 generation, the engine still seemed to struggle with the weight it had to carry around. When called to duty, it eventually got the job done, though the engine is a bit noisy. Thankfully, there is an upgraded 2.0T engine with more horsepower and torque. The Equinox’s weight loss does, however, work wonders for the handling. We were surprised at the calibration of the steering and suspension and how well the Equinox controlled its body motions through the sweeping corners of the wonderful route 1A.

Inside, the MyLink touchscreen has excellent graphics and is easy to use. Incorporation of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a built-in 4GLTE wi-fi service all here to keep you and your family connected. The combination means you don’t really need a built-in navigation system, relying on your phone paired to the car’s data plan to get the job done. We did find that the in-car wi-fi can drop or slow down in some of the more desolate areas, however. Other than the slightly uncomfortable seats, the interior of the Equinox was excellent for all 5 passengers. Rear head and leg room were above average allowing the two outermost seating positions to stretch out more than other vehicles in the class. There’s also no space crunch in the Equinox’s roomy cargo area.

Once the week was over, it was time to head home. Hitting less traffic helped return an even higher  average of 32.7 miles per gallon on the ride home. After living 10 days with the Equinox, it’s easy to see why this new 2018 model is going to be a sales giant for Chevrolet. The bevy of safety features, upscale cabin, and frugal fuel economy will entice shoppers that may have previously though domestic wasn’t the way to go. Overall the Equinox is a winner, but for us to be completely satisfied, we’d probably opt for the 2.0T. Perhaps another vacation is in order?

-Scott Villeneuve

2018 Chevrolet Equinox FWD Premier 1.5L Turbo
Confidence & Convenience II Package $1,895
Destination Charges $945
As Tested MSRP $33,630



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