2019 Chevy Equinox: Many choices boost compact SUV appeal
In the race to concern the crossover SUV market, no company is working harder that Chevy, which offers no fewer than five models, ranging from the subcompact Trax to the full size Suburban.
And in the most popular compact crossover segment, buyers of the Chevy Equinox can choose from three turbocharged engines, two transmission and either standard front-wheel-drive or optional all-wheel-drive.
The Equinox is also available in five trim levels, from base L to fully-loaded Premier.
In case you're keeping score, that a lot more combinations than offered by most competitors.
The range allows buyers to choose economy with a 1.6-turbodiesel EPA rated at up to 39 miles per gallon on the freeway or performance with a turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine that boasts a peppy 252 horsepower. Near-luxury standards can also be met with full leather interiors and comprehensive safety packages in the upper trim levels. And although not built for severe off-road driving, available AWD makes the Equinox a practical vehicle for wet Pacific Northwest winters and the light mountain trails.
Our test Equinox was a top-of-the-line Premium model with the turbocharged 2.0-liter that comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission and optional AWD. In a week of test driving, it was consistently comfortable and well-manner, with a suspension tuned to absorb broken pavement. Although the engine was not as punchy as similar engines in luxury performance brands, it still had plenty of power for day-to-day driving, including climbing steep hills without bogging down.
Improvements this year include an easier-to-use infortainment system, which is among the most intuitive ever offered in a Chevy product. The air condition system is a little underpowered, however, which is common with smaller vehicles.
Crossovers have become popular because they offer the advantages of truck-based SUVs — like higher ride heights and available AWD — but drive like cars, get better mileage and cost less. Our test Equinox was one of the most car-like crossover we've ever tested. The ride was as smooth as any Chevy compact or even mid-size car.
But the $38,740 list price seemed a little high, although that was for the most expensive version. Front-wheel-drive base L models start at around $24,000. And while EPA-rated 24 average miles per gallon is not bad considering the turbo's power, it's a little disappointing for a compact crossover. The base turbocharged 1.5-liter gas engine and optional 1.6-liter turbodiesel offer better mileage, however.
The optional AWD system in the Equinox is part-time, meaning drivers can switch between it and front-wheel-drive by pressing a button on the center console. Choosing FWD makes the Equinox feel lighter and peppier because the engine isn't driving the rear wheels.
With its wide range of models and prices, the 2019 Chevy Equinox offers one for just about anyone shopping for a thoroughly modern compact crossover. Improvements like the upgraded infortainment system make the 2019 version better than ever.
2019 Chevy Equinox
Base price: $23,800
Price as tested: $38,740
Type: Compact crossover SUV
Engines: Turbocharged 1.5-liter 4 (170 hp); turbocharged 2.0-liter 4 (252 hp); turbocharged 1.6-liter diesel 4 (137 hp)
Transmissions: 6-speed; 9-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 22/28 to 28/39
Overall length: 183 inches
Curb weight: 3,274 to 3,682 pounds
Final assembly: Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada