2018 Chevrolet Equinox

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Episode 3645
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

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 Mazda3

2023 Mazda3

Still The Same Mazda3, Just A Bit Better

Episode 4304
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the fourth-gen Mazda3 arrived for 2019, it grew a little more stylish, a lot more upscale; and loads more practical too, adding all-wheel drive into the mix for the first time. How does it get better than that? Well, for ’23 the 3 adds an engine update that promises to deliver more power and better efficiency. Time to speak truth to this power.

The Mazda3 has always been a great compact car, big on both fun and value, and has earned numerous MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards over the years. This current-gen has been on the road for 4-years now, and it gets even better for 2023.

Starting with the powertrain, the base 2.0-liter I4 has been eliminated leaving just 2 versions of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbo and non-turbo. Base versions get a 5-horsepower bump to 191-horsepower, along with updates for its cylinder deactivation system. The 2.5 Turbo fits standard all-wheel drive and outputs the same 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque as last year; provided you use Premium gas. Max ratings drop to 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft. with Regular.

2023 Mazda3 6
2023 Mazda3 2
2023 Mazda3 5
2023 Mazda3 3
2023 Mazda3 4
2023 Mazda3 62023 Mazda3 22023 Mazda3 52023 Mazda3 32023 Mazda3 4

A 6-speed manual transmission remains available in front-wheel drive 3s, but AWDs come exclusively with a sport-tuned 6-speed automatic. We found it well-sorted and seemingly always on the same page as us whether we were shuffling through back roads or sitting in traffic. There is a softer overall feel compared to Mazda3s of old, which you’ll appreciate when encountering harsh pavement, but it still feels plenty agile when called upon.

That softer feel certainly carries over inside, where it has gotten much quieter, and quite nicely finished, consistent with Mazda’s Audi-like premium intentions. All 3s get an 8.8-inch center display, and all of the fingerprints on our test car’s screen signifies most people assume it’s a touchscreen. It’s not, however, as inputs are made with a rotary controller on the console. It’s not the most intuitive system, but once you’re past the learning curve, it’s tolerable.

The rear seat room doesn’t have the roomy feel of the Subaru Impreza, but space is certainly more than adequate compared to the rest of the compact set. Rear cargo space for this hatchback rates a good 20.1 cubic-ft. with trunk space in the sedan coming in at 13.2 cubic-ft. So yes, the Mazda3 remains available in both sedan and hatchback, but we still prefer the 5-door hatch both for its practicality and for its sporty looks. Top Turbo Premium Plus gets gloss black aero treatments including a roof spoiler and front air dam.

At the test track, power from the 2.5-turbo felt more than adequate off the line, using all-wheel-drive grip to bite into the pavement and get up and go to 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. There was virtually no turbo lag, and the engine felt nicely refined with its power delivery. Transmission operation was equally as smooth and kept the power flowing quite effectively throughout the ¼-mile, which ended in 14.5-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour. We really appreciate a well-tuned 6-speed in this world of overactive 8 and 10 speed automatics.

2023 Mazda3 1

While there was definitely some understeer to manage in our handling course, the 3 turned in quickly and provided real, sporting feedback through our cone course. I-Activ AWD features G-Vectoring Control Plus, which uses both engine torque vectoring as well as selective braking to minimize body roll, and preserve the lively feel we’ve come to expect from Mazda. In panic braking runs, the pedal was soft, but that kept ABS pulsing to a minimum; and the results were great, as we averaged a very short 106-feet from 60, with minimal nose dive and stable, straight stops.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for an all-wheel drive Turbo are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined; we averaged a good 28.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Obviously by eliminating the previous base engine, prices have taken a jump for ’23, but so has everything else. Still they remain more than reasonable. The base S now starts at $26,855, with the top Turbo Premium Plus at $37,815, with many options in between. And sedan prices are even more sensible, starting at $23,715.

Like most brands, Mazda seems to be going all-in on SUVs; as the 3 is the last family sedan and hatchback in their lineup. And it would be a real shame if that were to change. As the 2023 Mazda3, the hatchback in particular, is just about the perfect car, offering utility vehicles levels of practicality along with better than average luxury, plus handling performance that few crossovers can match. So, long live the Mazda3!


As Tested

  • Engine: 2.5-liter Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 227 | 250
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 106 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.4 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 6-speed auto
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft. | 320 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.5-seconds at 95 mph
  • EPA: 23-City / 31-Highway / 26-Combined