2018 Chevrolet Equinox
With crossover utility sales being what they are, you shouldn’t be surprised that the Equinox has long been Chevrolet’s best-selling vehicle that’s not a pickup truck; even though it hasn’t really changed that much since its gen 2 redesign for 2010. Well, an all-new 3rd generation has finally arrived. So let’s find out if it will signal continued four-season success for Chevrolet.
When the Chevrolet Equinox first arrived for 2005, it was GM’s answer to what Honda and Toyota had started in the late 90’s with the CR-V and Rav4; and what has become one of the most popular of all vehicle segments, the compact crossover. And it didn’t take long for the Equinox to get right in the mix for sales, even beating both rivals on occasion.
But that segment is much different now, with more modern rides, and many more of them. So, the all-new 2018 Equinox is well timed.
Getting on board with the GM weight loss plan means it’s about 400–lbs. lighter than before, and you do feel it.
It looks smaller too, and indeed it is, by about 5-inches in length; yet with more efficient packaging, overall passenger volume is actually up, with cargo room about the same.
There’s 29.9 cu-ft. of space behind the rear seats, with a max of 63.5. The seat-folding design is much improved; it’s easier to use and allows for a flatter load floor.
Up front, the driver enjoys a fairly high seating position with good visibility, and pronounced comfort from the back and lower cushions.
Rear seat room is plentiful for a compact ute, and seat comfort is equally good. All techno goodies you might need are available on either a 7 or 8-inch MyLink touchscreen. Available safety includes automatic braking.
But, you’d better like small displacement turbo engines, as that’s all that now powers this Equinox.
This 1.5-liter I4 is standard, with 170-horsepower and 203 lb-ft. of torque; connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 252-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 with a 9-speed automatic is the upgrade, and keeps max towing at 3,500-lbs.
But, most interesting, is a 137-horsepower 1.6-liter I4 turbo-diesel, arriving shortly after launch; a first for the segment.
Front drive is standard, with a new selectable all-wheel-drive system available, that fully disconnects the rear axle when appropriate to boost efficiency.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the all-wheel-drive 1.5-liter are 24-City, 30-Highway, and 26-Combined. We averaged a very good 28.0 miles-per-gallon of Regular. For an average Energy Impact Score of 12.7-barrels of yearly oil use, and 5.6-tons of CO2 emissions.
Despite the lower weight and smaller engine, the Equinox still drives stable and comfortably, and everything feels a bit more responsive than before.
Even at the higher speeds of our slalom course, it didn’t feel cumbersome at all; displaying only moderate hints of both over and understeer, with minimal computer intervention.
Things weren’t quite as thrilling in the straight line, however. There’s not much in the way of guts off the line, taking us 8.7-seconds to hit 60, or more than a second slower than the CR-V. Engine noise is, however, well-subdued for a 1.5-liter turbo.
The lack of urgency is consistent throughout the 1/4, accompanied by momentum-killing shifts from the 6-speed auto.
Eventually, the ¼-mile ended in 16.7-seconds at 84 miles-per-hour. Note, an Equinox with the 2.0T and 9-speed more than levels the playing field.
A slight increase in base price over last year puts an Equinox L at $24,525. Top level Premier starts just over 30.
Leaner, but certainly not meaner; the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox has gotten itself into fighting shape, ready to battle it out with all comers in the compact crossover segment. Fully modernized with all-turbo powertrains, more functional interior, and up-to-the-minute tech options; this Equinox does indeed signal more seasons of success for Chevrolet.
- Engine: 1.5 liter
- Horsepower: 170
- Torque: 203 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 8.7 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 16.7 seconds @ 84 mph
- EPA: 24 mpg city / 30 mpg highway,
- Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 5.6 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined