2018 Chevrolet Equinox — Road Test

Posted on Sep 11, 2017 by
2018 Chevrolet Equinox
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  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED76,900 - AED110,900
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  • Last modified: September 12, 2017
  • Exterior
    Editor: 75%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Driving
    Editor: 80%
  • Overall
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

Chevrolet Middle East has replaced the old Captiva crossover with a new Equinox nameplate, downsized to a choice of 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre turbocharged engines and an available nine-speed automatic transmission.

Pros

Car-like driving dynamics, good safety kit.

Cons

The design is a touch generic.

Chevrolet has replaced the old Captiva crossover with the Equinox nameplate and downsized to 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged engines. We drive it in Oman

2018 chevrolet equinox 1

How can you tell if that new car you’re looking at is American? It’s not that easy any more, with styling much more in line with European manufacturers and powertrains that offer performance and frugality from smaller units. Once the country of the original gas guzzlers, America is now building its best ever cars – well screwed together, nicely designed, safe and easy on the pocket, and the new Equinox from Chevrolet doesn’t seem intent on changing the status quo.

Downsizing

Efficiency is Equinox’s calling card and, where once we might have assumed was an engine with at least six cylinders, these days four will do nicely. It shares its two engines with the current Malibu sedan, with either a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre available, in two- or four-wheel drive configurations and three different trim levels: LS, LT and Premier.

2018 chevrolet equinox 1

Pricing is on the aggressive side, with the base model starting from less than Dh77,000 and the Premier topping out at about Dh112,000 depending on how many you options you go for.

Exterior

Design-wise, the 2018 Equinox is a rather smart looking machine – a bit generic, perhaps, but thankfully, its designers have toned down the usual chrome trim to give it a more subtle appearance. Sitting on the base model’s 16-inch wheels it can tend to look a bit muddled but there’s little else to criticise – it’s a job well done and represents the US car industry’s desire to be seen as players on the world stage.

2018 chevrolet equinox 1

The styling echoes the design of Chevrolet’s Malibu and Cruze sedans, and the new lightweight body and chassis save up to 180kg compared to its predecessor.

Driving

Ever been to Salalah? This stunning environ, on the southernmost tip of Oman, ranks highly as one of the Gulf’s most beautiful regions but it’s not exactly blessed with good road surfaces. A few hours piloting the Equinox along coastal and mountain routes, though, reveals it to be a comfortable machine with a ride that borders on the firm with taut damping that endows it with car-like handling.

 

Performance from the 2.0-litre is pretty rapid, with impressive acceleration, although it can sound a bit thrashy at higher revs, particularly when driving uphill.

Interior

Like its exterior, the cabin of the Equinox is pleasing to the eye and there is enough tech and gadgetry, especially in the top line model, to keep kids of all ages occupied on even long journeys. However, there isn’t anything about it that jumps out as being in a different league to its rivals – something its maker doesn’t appear to deny. So why would the Equinox possibly tempt people away from their Japanese and South Korean compact crossovers?

2018 chevrolet equinox 1

It might sound dull but it’s definitely worthy: Chevrolet has thrown pretty much every piece of occupant and pedestrian protection it has in its repertoire at the Equinox, resulting in a family vehicle that does everything it can to keep occupants and pedestrians out of harm’s way. Chevrolet rightly pronounces this as the leader in its segment for active safety features – lane assist, collision alert, seats that vibrate if you drift over the white lines without indicating – it’s all present but worry not, it doesn’t feel like a four-wheeled nanny state.

2018 chevrolet equinox 1

Verdict

Tested with a 2.0-litre four-pot making an impressive 252bhp and 352Nm of torque, the Equinox is a perfectly decent offering in a rather crowded marketplace. It feels quick, planted and safe. It’s easy on the eye, offers impressive value for money and would make an eminently practical car for families. It’s a job well done.

 

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