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.   

Specifications

  • 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
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles