When I first drove the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox last fall, I was uninspired (to say the least) by the car’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder base engine. During my short time in the model around a cone course, I could only figure that people who are pleased by it must never leave their city grid or want to get off the line with any speed.
When Chevrolet gave me the opportunity to drive the new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder power plant I jumped at the chance, hoping that it would give a driver the power they are seeking in ways the base engine failed.
It succeeded. In fact, it exceeded my expectations.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission capable of delivering 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. It delivers satisfying acceleration and quickness, and smooth shifts. Its power seems in proportion to the car’s size. I wouldn’t want any less.
The Equinox handles the road well. It’s easily maneuverable around a town’s rotaries and in tight parking lots, delivering a dynamic drive experience that is more like a midsize sedan than a traditional SUV or crossover. It does not require drive modes to make the drive engaging though it’s not as sporty as some luxury SUVs.
The Equinox’s 24 mpg combined isn’t the best in its class, but a reasonable figure given the vehicle’s performance numbers. It is worth noting, the FWD base engine returns 39 MPG highway.
The base model Equinox starts at $23,580. The Premier 2.0T with all-wheel drive model Chevrolet delivered to my home for testing had only wheel locks ($60) and a cargo net ($65) as extra equipment on the $37,230 base price. A $945 destination and delivery charge brought up the overall price to $38,300.
If I were to buy the Equinox, or recommend a friend buy one, I would recommend the upgraded engine without hesitation. Sure, it isn’t the most fuel-efficient power plant on the market but in terms of performance, if you’re settled on the Equinox, it is the way to go.