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
2024 Subaru Outback
The Outback Continues To Deliver
In a world that’s SUV crazy, it’s easy to forget that the Subaru Outback has been delivering capable and comfortable all-weather and all-road capabilities to adventure-loving Americans for years. In fact, it’s now well into its 6th generation. So, it’s time for us to check in with the latest Outback and find out what’s new.
Almost 50-years ago, long before all-wheel-drive became an option for just about every car on the road, Subaru released the first four-wheel-drive passenger car in the U.S. Immediately, they knew they had a good thing going with that wagon, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the marketing folks got on board and helped launch the Subaru Outback Sport Utility Wagon.
While the 2024 Outback is approaching the end of its 6th generation, its not slowing down when it comes to delivering tons of value to adventure-minded families.
The Outback is the sole remaining wagon available here in the U.S. from a mainstream brand, though even Subaru doesn’t use the “W” word anymore.
Now strictly referred to as a mid-size SUV, when it comes to selling any vehicle, attractiveness is always a bonus, and the Outback’s unique blend of rugged and refined has set the tone for many followers over the years. The exterior was recently updated, and while it looks big and more like a true SUV than ever, it’s only about 5-inches longer than the 1990’s original.
Some trims do get additional standard content for ’24, but our top Touring XT showcases everything Subaru has to offer, with an 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment screen that controls more features than ever, includes navigation, and pumps tunes out with Harmon Kardon sound. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology remains an Outback standard.
Cargo capacity is a great 32.6 cubic-ft., 75.6 with rear seatbacks folded, and despite the high ground clearance, the floor is lower than SUV typical, which makes for easier loading.
Outback seat comfort has improved greatly over the years, and despite the increased reliance on the touchscreen, everything about the cabin is simple to operate and logically placed.
The XT part of our Touring XT means there’s extra power under the hood with a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo engine which rates 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s a big upgrade over the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter.
Both engines are unchanged and work with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT; all-wheel-drive is of course another Outback standard.
At Mason-Dixon Dragway, our XT had plenty of grip off the line, hitting 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. That’s a couple of tenths quicker than our last time out with this turbo-4. We’ll chalk that up to better weather this time around.
Like many Subarus, it doesn’t feel overly fast but it’s snappy off the line, and perfectly adequate from there.
Power delivery stayed very consistent down the track; the CVT definitely keeps engine revs maxed out the whole time, but noise is far from annoying. Our best ¼-mile time was 14.6-seconds at 97 miles-per-hour.
The Outback boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which is more than many mid-size SUVs; and while it felt plenty competent through our slalom course, there was noticeable body roll and understeer to deal with. Yet steering was light and predictable, plus Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control are hard at work to keep you stable and safe no matter what.
In panic braking, there were only moderate amounts of nosedive, and mild ABS pulsing. Stops averaged a fine 115-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a great 27.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular; a feat most SUVs can only dream of.
That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 11.9-barrels of oil yearly, with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.
Base Outbacks have plenty of standard content, and remain a real bargain, starting at just $30,240, top trims, including Wilderness, take you into the low 40s.
Decades of loyal Outback owners have helped Subaru grow the 2024 Subaru Outback into what it is today; a highly capable and comfortable, thoughtfully designed, adventure-ready family truckster that’s as adept at backwoods exploring as it is soldiering through the daily grind. Your family activities may not take you far off the beaten path, but life itself is an adventure, and the Subaru Outback is outfitted for your adventure better than ever.
- Engine: 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo
- Horsepower: 260
- 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 115 feet
- MW Fuel Economy: 27.9 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: CVT
- Torque: 277 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.6-seconds at 97 mph
- EPA: 22 City | 29 Highway | 25 Combined