2018 Chevrolet Equinox
The ratio of power to weight for either an aircraft or land vehicle translates to better fuel economy, fun, and safety. Yes, safety. Weight does not mean safer. 400lbs reduction for Chevy's all new designed mid-size Equinox targets types of steel to reduce weight and improve the cabin occupants safety. Absorbing impacts outside of the vehicle's cabin through five different types of steel grades delivers less vehicle weight with maximum protection.
Six instead of the previous four frame to suspension connections provide an even car-like ride. MacPherson struts up front, and a four-link rear produces a smooth ride. A new multi-ratio stopping brake pedal and larger master cylinder halt the Equinox.
Rack-mounted dual-pinion power steering that is digital (electric) versus mechanical increases the feel of the road. ANR (Active Noise Reduction) blanket road noise in the cabin.
2.0 or 1.5-liter gasoline twin-scroll turbo and new 1.6-liter turbo diesel engines and a user selectable AWD (All Wheel Drive) option available complement the hydraulic clutch with software that senses driver intent and determines the best front or rear torque split.
Real-world Tennesse backroads produced 27.6 MPG for two under 200lb occupants with no appreciable luggage. Chevy achieves fuel economy through realistic physics of aero styling besides lower weight. Automatic front grille opens and closes based on speed. Tire defectors instead of air dams and the all important laminar flow (read smooth exiting air) off the rear of the vehicle with a larger rear spoiler and "air trips" on the rear corners.
We drove the 2.0 liter with the 9-speed transmission and a 3,500lbs trailering capability. This configuration of engine and transmission delivers the best-integrated power to gear experience while the 1.5 liters 6-speed lagged until 3,000 RPM.
The "Hydra-Matic" stop-start 9-speed transmission claims a 2 percent fuel efficiency while reducing mass. But it's the smooth GM shifting software that excels for a 2.0 liter DOHC four cylinder engine. This increased drive ratio over the 1.5 liters 6-speed configuration gives the vehicle a smooth shift.
New to GM vehicles is the "Teen Driver" software that permits a parent to monitor and set limits and warnings for speed, audio and track distance driven. The Equinox includes rear vision camera, rear park assist and rear cross traffic and side blind zone alerts. Forward collision warning should be emergency stop.
Default connectivity includes a 8" touchscreen with ubiquitous Bluetooth, Apple Carplay, and Android auto.
The Interior option must have is the "Sun, Sound & Navigation PKG" which includes a vehicle WIFI hotspot, touch screen interface, a sky view vehicle-long retractable sunroof, Bose 7 speaker system and HD radio.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0-liter delivered a neutral power/suspension all day.